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March 20, 2018

What to wear to a wedding

Alisa Frederico of Dressing Jane provides us with expert advice

Weddings Advice
wedding guests Ibrahim Asad /Pexels

When deciding what to wear to a wedding, consider the season, location, and whether or not there was a dress code on the invitation.

Deciding what to wear to a wedding can seem like a daunting task, but according to Philly-based style director, Alisa Frederico of Dressing Jane, it doesn’t have to be.

The wedding invitation itself provides a general framework for your style choices.

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“Did the bride and groom send out specifics for the dress code? Is it black tie? One rule I will never break is wearing the proper attire for a function,” says Frederico. 

“If it says black tie, guys need to wear a tux and the ladies can’t get away with wearing a cocktail dress — it has to be a floor-length gown.”

And if the invitation doesn’t specify a dress code, Frederico says to dig deeper for clues.

“Consider the venue. That will give you a good idea of what’s in store,” she says. 

“If you have an invitation with a lot of formality on beautiful paper, expect a really formal and classic function. If the wedding is at a winery, you’ll be wearing something different than if it was at a ballroom.”

When it comes to choosing a color to wear, under no circumstances should you ever wear white.

“I even tell clients to not wear white to pre-wedding festivities,” Frederico adds. “You’d be surprised by how many people wear white to weddings.”

She also recommends avoiding print dresses with white in the background and wearing anything too avant garde that might distract from the bride.

“This is her big day,” she says. “Your train shouldn’t be longer than hers.”

The season can also play a big role in choosing what to wear to a wedding.

“If you have the option of wearing a suit, opt for lighter colors in the warmer months to keep you cool,” Frederico says. 

“For the ladies, if it’s a springtime wedding and it’s outside, maybe you can go for something a little more boho.”


Enjoy yourself at every wedding, but never upstage the bride.

Even if the wedding isn’t black tie, Frederico thinks it’s better for guys to be overdressed than underdressed.

“For some reason, guys hate ties. I always say you can take a tie off. Wear your tie,” she says. “If you show up and you’re in a shirt, jacket and no tie and everyone has a tie on, you can’t make a tie magically appear.”

Ladies should also pay careful attention to what they put on their feet.

“Be sure that your shoe choice is something you’re comfortable with wearing all day,” she says. 

“Shoes do not come off your feet no matter how bad they hurt. You take your shoes off and it hurts 20 times more to put them back on.”

Bringing a wrap or shawl is a good idea, too.

“They have the air conditioning pumping so high,” she says. “There’s nothing worse than being cold.”

For all the latest on Alisa Frederico, stay tuned to Dressing Jane