Style Advice: What To Wear To A Fall Wedding

Reader Sandy T. recently left this comment on my "what to wear to a wedding" style advice post from last year:

"I am going to a wedding on September 18th. It is an afternoon wedding. What is appropriate to wear? Please help me."

Sandy, I still stand by the original advice I gave in reference to the Polyvore set above:

"Save the sequins and skin-baring numbers for the raucous bachelorette party! Daytime weddings call for something more demure. This full-skirted colour block dress is bold yet classic and feminine; add a silver pendant and pearl stud earrings for some subtle polish without detracting from the impact of the dress. Black peep-toe flats walk the fine line between casual and dressy, while a cropped cardigan will keep bare shoulders warm. I added the Chanel purse because the textured cream-and-black tweed is so lovely."

But an afternoon wedding in autumn calls for some tweaks. Here are a couple of pointers to keep in mind for your outfit, accompanied by inspiration collages to help you on your search for the perfect ensemble.

All dresses in this collage from Anthropologie

The dress. A dress that isn't too sparkly, shiny, or revealing is still your best bet for looking put-together at an afternoon wedding. For a fall wedding, look for jewel-toned colours and patterns featuring a light or neutral background. Fabrics should be thicker than spring/summer cottons and luxurious to the touch. If it's a chilly day, you can always wear dark tights with your frock, but make sure you do a test run at home first to see if the dress clings to your tights. You don't want to spend the entire evening tugging your skirt down and fighting static electricity.

All necklaces in this collage from Forever 21

The accessories. A delicate silver necklace and some pearl studs suffice for summer, but fall is a time when fashion becomes bolder, richer, and much more dramatic. Up the ante in your outfit by adding some bling. Put on a statement necklace to bring attention to your face and add visual interest to the neckline of your dress, or slip on a cuff bracelet to play up bare wrists.
All cuff bracelets in this collage from Forever 21

All flats in this collage from Net a Porter. Bloch, Christian Louboutin, Lanvin, Miu Miu, Tory Burch...hey, a girl can dream!

The shoes. In my experience, unless you're going to a Chinese wedding reception and are expected to stay seated through umpteen different courses, you'll most likely be on your feet standing around or dancing. Heels can be painful when worn for hours at a time, and if the wedding's outdoors you definitely don't want your lovely stilettos sinking into mud and grass. The solution? A really pretty pair of flats with interesting details--bows, jewels, ruffled chiffon. Everyone will be enamoured with your shoes while you gloat about how comfortable you are--talk about a win-win.

Sweater, blazer, and coat from Gap. Miu Miu clutch from Net a Porter.

The extras. Autumn can be chilly, so layer accordingly. Aside from wearing tights with your dress, bring a fine-knit cardigan, blazer, or chic trench to wear on top. If you tend to get really cold like I do, wear the cardi under a blazer or trench. Bring along an evening clutch big enough for your essentials and you're good to go.

Sandy, I hope this post has helped you. Readers, do you have any other style advice for her? What would you like to wear if you were going to a fall wedding?


  1. very lady-like dresses and such cute flats! I just happen to have a wedding next month.

  2. Holy moly, Lisa, I'm always jealous of your fantastic fashion sense. I think I need a Lisa that I can keep in my closet who will tell me what to wear.

  3. I love blazers esp for the fall. it's chic even when you just pair it with jeans and a simple top

  4. I love when I go to blog and I learn something new or a new tip. Great post :)

  5. Great advice Lisa! That yellow skirt dress is so pretty and cheerful, perfect for a wedding.

  6. How very timely! I just booked my plan tix for a wedding next month. I have this Winter Kate dress to wear to it...the question or colored shoes? I was thinking eggplant or deep green...Thoughts?

  7. really love the yellow on that day time wedding dress and the pearly sparkly cuffs. i agree the sequins and shiny fabrics are OTT for a daytime affair, but i don't think I can go with flats otherwise i feel too short! love the chanel tweed purse of course - so classy.

  8. That's some great advice. I really like the Polyvore outfit you created. Loving all your picks in this post.

    Embracing Style

  9. Great post. I can buy all the clothes in the world and never know how to put them together or what is appropriate when. Thanks for the help!


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