Wedding guests' outfits
PUBLISHED: 11:27 23 February 2010 | UPDATED: 16:46 20 February 2013
Virginia Heath looks at what the best dressed wedding guests will be wearing in 2010
Among the great pleasures in planning any wedding are the much anticipated shopping expeditions to find a stunning outfit for the big day itself.
Most mothers of the bride and bridegroom, along with other female guests, savour the whole experience of hunting down the perfect ensemble.
Planning an outfit is all important, of course, so its far better to start looking around now in good time for the actual ceremony whether its May, June or later on in the summer.
What is important for a bride or grooms mother, or any other female guest for that matter, is that they look and feel good on the day. A relatively easy way of finding the right outfit for an individual body shape and colouring is to visit shops with experienced, well trained staff to help them make their choice.
Another good tip from wedding fashion organisers, certainly for the chief female guests, is to discuss the colour theme chosen by the couple concerned. Rest assured, any outfits that blatantly clash with a particular theme will go down in the family history books.
The days are long gone since female guests turned up in dowdy skirt and jacket suits with matching accessories. Nowadays, female guests have an eye-popping choice of anything from a fishtail skirt worn with a fitted top and bolero for evening receptions through to the classic but chic matching dress and jacket combinations in shimmering fabrics.
Upcoming collections offer a rainbow of shades, as Avril Bell, sales and product manager with the Frank Usher Group, explains: Occasionwear this season varies from monochrome black and white to startling fuchsia and orange, says Avril.
Soft taffeta in rose pink or hot jade and turquoise are included in the palette from Frank Usher.
The designs include soft, structured suiting in shimmer fabrics with colours such as apple, gold, rose pink and platinum, and all with exquisite details.
The collections also take in playful prints with pale pink and blue spots or, for a bolder approach, hot fuchsia and purple.
We also have a stunning asymmetrical print evening dress in purple and shades of deepest blue, trimmed with black satin bows and pleated details, says Avril. There are also lots of one-shoulder dresses and beaded dresses for summer wedding parties. On the millinery front, hats and fascinators range from cheeky 1940s styles to huge, wide-brimmed hats that will get you noticed at any event.
The skys the limit then in the fashion stakes where mothers and others are concerned this wedding season. So get set for that shopping spree
Prices quoted are approximate.
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What suits you, sir
The most important colour to emerge in formal menswear collections for spring and summer is grey and all shades of it, says leading mens fashion expert Mark Taylor.
The main colour palette for us is grey, grey and more grey, everything from silver mohairs from Paul Smith to charcoal pin dots and textures from Canali and Hugo Boss, says Mark, a director of Pockets Menswear in Shrewsbury.
Whatever the shade of grey, the chosen suit is teamed with soft lilac, sky blue and pink accessories, he explains. But, of course, the finishing touches are usually decided by the bride who generally wants to use her colours to match those of the groom and who are we to argue.
We also have classic navy and blacks, a great option for the guys buying their first suit which can be worn for every occasion. They can change the look of it by adding a classic white shirt for a very formal occasion or adding a purple stripe from Duchamp or a floral print from Paul Smith. Anything goes really. Perhaps an open collar for an evening reception, for example.
Slim and knitted ties are very popular. They complement the slimmer suits to create a Rat Pack look. Bridegrooms and best men are favouring the grey shades with slim ties, while ushers and fathers of the bride and bridegroom want the more subtle navy and black, and then using the same or similar accessories to bring the whole wedding party together.
Generally, guys are looking for a wardrobe investment now. Theyre taking their time choosing a suit and accessories. In previous years, we had the hiring of morning suits and frock coats with silk waistcoats and cravats, but guys feel a bit overdressed in them.
The major talking point in menswear this season is the return of the three-piece suit, says Mark, whose company also has branches in Worcester, Nantwich in Cheshire and Hanley and Newcastle-under-Lyme in Staffordshire.
The three-piece suit has a more modern take with narrower lapels, a more fitted jacket and a slightly narrower trouser width very reminiscent of the 1960s, he says. However, its still the two-button jacket that remains a firm favourite, but with a slightly lower button fasten to show off the waistcoat.
Another talking point in trends is the fact that men will be dressing up again for spring and summer, and making an effort with their appearance, Mark adds.
Men now want to stand out in the crowd and not fade into the background. Theyre not afraid to use colour in their wardrobe. They want to make a statement and invest in a good quality, well-made suit that can be worn on many occasions as well as weddings.