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What To Wear To A Black-Tie Wedding: Hayley Paige Decodes The Dress Code

Wed, March 30, 2016 12:58pm EDT by Katrina Mitzeliotis 1 Comment
black tie wedding what to wear
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Wedding season is upon us! Don’t know what to wear to a black-tie wedding? Don’t stress it! We chatted with wedding dress designer Hayley Paige, who decoded the dress code and filled us in on how to dress to impress.

If you’re gearing up for a slew of weddings and don’t know what to wear, you shouldn’t drive yourself crazy trying to decode the dress code. Sure, usually a black-tie affair calls for a gown, but that doesn’t mean you can’t switch up your style in a very formal tea-length dress that’s just as dressy. With new silhouettes and styles coming back in style, the options are endless. The crucial key? To look sophisticated and chic. We chatted with designer Hayley Paige, who filled us in on what, (and what not!), to wear to someone’s wedding.

Let’s break down the wedding dress codes — what do they mean and what should a guest wear to the wedding?
“Typically the dress code is written on the couple’s invitation or website. I’m a sucker for a great black tie event; so when in doubt, I say, go all out. It’s best to look your best and better to show up slightly overdressed than uncomfortably schlepy.”

Biggest wedding faux pas? Things someone should NEVER wear to a wedding as a guest?
“Captain obvious says a guest should not wear a wedding dress to the wedding! I might also add scuba suits, outrageous costumes, or fat heads of the bride and groom to the list of faux pas. Regardless of the couple’s sense of humor, classy and respectful attire is always appreciated…and, of course, a hint of fashion never hurt.” Join Amazon Prime For Free – Thousands of Movies & Shows Anytime

How can you incorporate red carpet trends, (crop tops, backless silhouettes, plunging necklines) into your look if you’re a guest at a wedding?
“I love a good fashion moment, so if you’re taking a subtle risk in the plunging neckline or crop-it-like-it’s-hot department, it’s necessary to balance the rest of your look! If you are showing skin up top, keep the bottom covered with a floor-length skirt, and if you’ve got legs for days on display, maybe consider a bateau neckline or sleeves. If you have any apprehension, I recommend bringing along a stylish lightweight pashmina or blazer so you can start out a little more conservative and bring on the sass when the time is right (hello, dancefloor). There really aren’t that many “rules” anymore, but looking polished and put together never goes out of style.”

You’re invited to a co-worker’s wedding — are the rules for dressing any different?
“I don’t think the rules change all that much. Regardless of your work dress code, it’s ok to treat your co-worker’s wedding like the actual wedding it is and show off a little personal style and refinement.”

What should you wear to a wedding if it is your significant other’s family member? Say you’re meeting the family for the first time?
“I love the quote “dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” In this case, I would dress to impress, especially if this significant other is your heart and soul. You will have plenty of opportunities to later show your style/personal taste, but in this case I would recommend dressing more for the part and making a great impression.”

Don’t miss out on Hayley’s tips for wedding dress shopping!