So, I had one of those Oh No She Didn’t! moments in my life when I was invited to my first destination wedding when I was 20. My mother has not been in my life since I was 9 years old, so there are a lot of lessons that I have to learn the hard way…including knowing what NOT to wear to a wedding. I know it may seem like common sense, but as a 20-year-old going to a destination wedding in Puerto Rico, I had NO IDEA that it’s frowned upon to wear white to a wedding. I showed up in what I thought was the perfect summer destination ensemble and blushed when people at the resort asked me if I was the Bride-To-Be. It wasn’t until weeks later when I came home, developed the pictures and showed my girlfriends what I wore that I realized why everyone was asking me that. My friends were practically screaming, “THAT’S what you wore to the wedding?! Didn’t anyone EVER tell you NOT to wear white to a wedding because it takes away from the bride?!!!” I was devastated and later sent a card to the Bride to express my embarrassment. Luckily, she was amazing and understanding, and she truly didn’t mind. It was a hard lesson to learn, but wearing white to a wedding (or a shower) is a HUGE mistake for any guest to make. For that reason, I’ve put together a little “What to Wear” guide so none of you have to learn the way I did….
For a Wedding Shower
If you’re the Bride-to-Be…
- Wear White: Whether you’re traditional or not, wearing white is a key symbol that you are the bride-to-be. No one else should wear white to your wedding shower other than you. You can accessorize with other colors to help bring out your personality. Even though it’s not your actual wedding day or anything, I love the idea of accessorizing with something blue.
- Stand Out. By wearing white, you’re already standing out. But make sure you also take joy in doing your hair and makeup (or getting it done). This is an event that takes a lot of planning, and you’re most likely to have a lot of people attending, too (some of whom you may not have seen in a while). Your appearance is key to making you feel confident and happy.
- Keep it Classy. Some of those attendees will be family of yours and also family of your fiancé’s. Even though the ring basically proves you got it in the bag, it’s really important for you to continue to impress (and respect!) your in-laws. Don’t show up in a dress that flashes your you-know-what…You’ll be suffering the repercussions of that the rest of your married life!
If You’re a Guest…
- Don’t Wear White, Red or Black: The Bride-to-Be usually sports a white dress; so try not to steal her spotlight by coming in a white dress yourself. For the same reason, it’s considered inappropriate to wear red to a wedding shower (or a wedding!) as it can take the attraction off the woman of the party and onto you. And black is typically considered a coloring of mourning…Since we’re celebrating an exciting time, black isn’t exactly appropriate.
- Mind the Season: Speaking of colors, it’s important to take the seasons into consideration. A knee-length coral dress with nude shoes is perfect for a spring or summer wedding shower, but might not be as appropriate for winter or fall (especially if the shower is outdoors!). As with any outfit, make sure you dress comfortably for the time of year.
- Keep it Classy: Again, the bride-to-be’s in-laws and family will be in abundance at the shower, and you don’t want them talking about her skeezy friend for the rest of her life. Make sure you dress appropriately to meet, mingle and make a good impression for the sake of your friend!
For a Baby Shower
For my shower I wore a baby blue (for my lil man!) Rachel Pally dress and flat sandals. I accessorized with gold jewelry to finish the look. I was so comfortable, yet still felt very feminine and pretty.
If You’re the Expecting Mother…
- Wear Comfort with Confidence: As the mother-to-be at a baby shower, you will be hugging and kissing more people than you have in your entire life. It’s important to wear something you’re comfortable—especially something you won’t be too warm in…You wouldn’t want to be hugging people with sweat stains galore! Not to mention, you’re going to be close to 7 months pregnant… Comfort is key.
- Wear Flats or Low Heels: Again, you’re going to spend a lot of time on your feet and mingling with guests. Make sure your sure are fit for that! You wouldn’t want to spend the entire shower in absolute misery.
- Show off Your Baby Bump: As much as people will be hugging and kissing YOU, they will also be constantly cooing over the little one in your belly. They want to be able to see, feel and give some love to your belly too. Make sure you wear something that shows it off! Afterall, people came all the way to the shower because of THAT BUMP, right?!
If You’re a Guest…
- Consider the Time & Location: Baby showers can be really different. If it’s in a backyard, you’re cool going a little more on the casual, cute side. If it’s at a banquet hall, you’re probably better off going a bit dressier. Also, keep in mind the season. You wouldn’t want to show up in a mini dress to an outdoor, winter shower! Brrrrrr.
- Go Girly in a Classy Way. This is the perfect time to bring out the floral, ruffles and pretty flowing dresses. Traditionally, showers are for women only, so this is the only party where you can really get your girly on. However, more and more showers have recently gone coed. Nick really wanted to be a part of the whole process, so we threw a coed shower for Cam. Either way, babies are cute, so dressing cute (whether it’s a floral dress for you or a pastel shirt for your hubby) fits the theme. However, just as with a wedding, there will be a lot of family members there… Make sure your outfit reflects your respect for them (and the mother-to-be)!
- Make Sure you can Mingle & Move: Between chatting amongst friends, playing games and helping out the mom-to-be with all her new gifts, baby showers usually include a lot of moving around. Make sure you are comfortable in your outfit or you’ll regret it!
Alright, so there’s my Outfits for Showers 101. Hopefully it inspired you a little bit for any soirees you attend in the future!
What tips do you suggest for what to wear to a shower? Let’s chat in the comments below! I’m excited to see what you got…
Excerpt: Creature Comfort Blog
1. White Dress: Top Shop, Blue Pumps: Sole Society, Coral Dress: Nordstrom, Nude heels: Sole Society
2. Purple Maternity Dress: Target, Flats: Aldo, Floral Dress: Nordstrom, Nude heels: Sole Society