Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and everywhere you go there are cards and chocolates and flowers to make absolutely sure that you don’t forget! I am sure that lots of diamond rings are carefully hidden away, waiting for the perfect moment to pop ‘THAT’ question on that special day. Romance is in full bloom, how can anyone deny that and it is not only for the young ones. It is a time that can force us all to recall, relive and rekindle our relationships, no matter how ‘long in the tooth’ they are.
You can take your pick of wedding fairs at the moment. All of the beautiful hotels in your area are showing every blushing bride-to-be how they can transform their wedding day dreams into reality. It’s a beautiful time for every couple, that journey to ‘I do’ should be a wonderful experience. There are ever so many services available these days that can reduce the wedding planning workload considerably and make it a really ‘fantastic’ day so make sure that you familiarise yourself with exactly what is out there, from wedding favours to photo booths — the list goes on.
If you have just received a wedding invite and you have ‘frazzled’ yourself into a state thinking about what to wear, then this is exactly what you should be reading right now. Wedding guest outfits ‘can’ be a nightmare to shop for. First of all you don’t have to buy something new for every wedding that you go to. Clever shopping will ensure that a classic cut in a neutral tone will allow you to wear the same piece over and over and still look absolutely amazing — the key here is to accessorise in different colours each time. Flamboyant designs and striking colours only allow you to wear one time because they will be a ‘talking’ piece and everyone will remember the ‘Lady in Red’! Vary your hairstyle, deciding if you’re wearing a headpiece or not, indulge in a very eye-catching vintage bag or make your shoes the focal point — this is how you vary one ‘subtle’ well-fitting dress and look fresh and sparkling every time.
Just because it is not ‘your’ big day, it does not mean that you cannot ‘shine’ as a wedding guest. For all you style divas, this is when you get to strut your stuff and show off your sense of individuality or creativity. There really are no golden rules as to what you have to wear as a wedding guest other than it is a sin to wear white to a wedding — I really thought that everyone knew this, but when it comes to a summer wedding, some women ‘forget’. No matter what you choose to wear, make sure that it fits you properly; do not buy anything too tight in the hope that you will lose a few pounds and never buy anything with enough room for you to gain weight. Find a perfect fit; yes it does mean that you have to put a bit of work in. Be very aware of your body shape and focus on a style that you know will emphasise all of your assets, while at the same time distracting the eyes away from any ‘wobbly’ bits or ‘lumpy’ areas! There is no such thing as ‘perfection’.
If are planning on wearing skyscraper heels, then please practice walking in them in front of a mirror for at least six months before the wedding — in front of the mirror being the most important part of the sentence! How many of you spend the day fretting about making it up the church to your seat without wobbling or across the dance floor to the toilet without falling over? Sound familiar? I’m not saying that you have to limit yourself to a low court heel but be realistic and practice makes perfect. You really don’t have to wear hold-in-can’t-breathe underwear. Instead choose good support underwear that give a ‘toned’ rather than a ‘squashed-in’ look. You would be amazed at the number of people that never try on good support underwear with whatever dress or outfit they are wearing before the actual day that they need to wear it — always better to have a trial run in case it doesn’t work well and you need a different type of underwear.
Fake tan is always a huge ‘wedding’ issue, whether to ‘do’ or ‘not to do’. While purple or blue legs and arms never really complement any look, orange or mucky brown arms and legs are a definite no-no. Choose to get a light spray tan or use whatever tan you always use at home, opting for a lighter look first — you can always add another layer, but if you pile it on then you better stock up on brillo pads because it will take an awful lot of scrubbing to get it off. So many of the fake tans on the market now have a ‘decent’ scent so check around and ask for samples first. Life is so hectic for so many of us that you really need to enjoy the build up to being a wedding guest. Pamper the ‘living daylights’ out of yourself. Have long lavender scented baths in the week coming up to the wedding to get your skin soft and gentle. Exfoliate all over and remember that the brown sugar and baby oil mix is as good as any of the expensive exfoliators, especially on your legs and feet — it’s great to get the circulation going around your body too. If you decide to put on some fake tan your skin will absorb it more evenly after an exfoliation, especially around knees, ankles and elbows. Treat your nail cuticles to an olive oil bath every night for a week. Use face packs but never less than 10 days before any ‘big day’. Your face will glow with a natural shine especially if are drinking lots of water too.
What do you actually wear after you have ‘beautified’ yourself? Are you daring enough to try a jumpsuit? Yes of course it’s a bit different but if you have some height and are sick of the same old dress — you will be amazed at how flattering and stylish they can be. If you are conscious about the top of your arms, choose a capped sleeve, especially if you find jackets or pashminas too fussy. Subtle patterns and smaller details are definitely the way to go if you are carrying a little weight; the thinner you are the bigger the pattern you can wear. Only wear a strapless dress if you are very comfortable in it, so many women spend the entire day pulling up the dress and you can’t enjoy yourself if you are self-conscious. That old saying ‘it should fit you like a glove’ is very true, you should be able to put on a dress and not have to fix, pull or push it for the entire day.
Vintage dresses are my absolute favourite. I was at a 40th last summer and the birthday girl wore a dress that her mother had when she was in her 20s. You can never beat a classic cut — it withstood the test of time and still looked like it had just been bought. Be clever, be creative, be spontaneous, find your signature look and never ever be afraid to ‘be yourself’. If you feel good you will look fantastic and always dance the night away…