Fashion Advice Requested: Seasonal Colors?

Does anyone really care about “fall colors” or “spring colors” when choosing formalwear? I can understand choosing different styles and fabrics to adapt to the weather, but are there really people who will judge you for wearing pastels in fall or jewel tones in the spring?

I had a dress picked out for a wedding I’m attending (I posted about it a few weeks ago when inquiring about gift customs), but I just found out that the ceremony takes place outdoors, in a garden, at around 2 PM. The season-neutral, full-length gown I had in mind doesn’t seem like it would be appropriate (if you trust what this site says, I don’t think the occasion will count as “very formal,” but there was zero guidance on the invitation). I have a knee-length cocktail dress that looks great on me, but it’s light lavender with black satin trim. The wedding is in mid-august. Think that’ll work?

Am I overthinking this? Damned social anxiety. I do want to make a good impression. I have no close female family to ask, and my female friends are either totally un-girly or of the “great flip-flop flap” generation. When I asked my boyfriend to read the invitation looking for a dress code, he said “I think it’s just normal wedding clothes.” :smack: He’s no help.

Feel free to hijack this into discussion of seasonal colors in general (or whatever), so long as I get some kind of reassurance on the dress. Thanks.

What fabric and style of dress is this? If short-sleeved or sleeveless, in a light fabric, perfect. If a heavier fabric or full-length sleeves, not so much (not to mention that you’ll be very uncomfortable in it). Your jewellery will also make the difference - fancier jewellery will dress up any dress. And remember - dangly earrings OR necklace, not both.

Does that help at all? :smiley:

The main, lavender part of the dress is some kind of textury cloth… I don’t know what it’s called, but it’s some sort of synthetic and has a little scrolly raised design on it, kind of like the fabric for a cheongsam, but without contrasting colors. Maybe you’d call it a brocade? The trim is black satin (a ribbon around the waist, and on the rolled top edge of the dress), and it has a teensy bit of black tulle to make the skirt flare out. Think 80’s prom nostalgia, toned down and expressed in a more modern way. It’s funky and I love it.

It’s strapless (don’t worry, I have the shoulders for it.) No cleavage showing.

My neck looks naked when I put it on, are you sure about that no dangly earrings and necklace thing? How about a modest string of pearls and smallish, amethyst/moonstone drop earrings? I also have a small silver and amethyst locket, a chunky, bold amethyst ring, and a silver and amethyst bracelet very much like this one . I wouldn’t wear them all, of course, but what combination would you recommend? The only really small earrings I have are a pair of gold hoops.

Thank you for the help. :smiley:

Sorry - the one or the other rule stands. Your jewellery should accent your neck and shoulders (especially in a strapless dress, where your shoulders are displayed prominently), not overpower them. Besides, it looks really classy when young ladies (and I assume you are fairly young) are knowledgeable about the old rules. Check out the pictures of all the stars at events - they all follow this rule.

And that bracelet is gorgeous. A pair of earrings in that style with the bracelet sound perfect for your ensemble.

OK, bracelet and earrings it is. The earrings do match well, they were purchased off of the same site and made in the same country as the bracelet. I would have posted a picture of them but they aren’t on the site anymore.

Thank you so much for your help, featherlou!

Looking at the pictures of the stars at the Oscars, Tara Reid’s look is what you want to avoid. You know, some of them do manage to pull off earrings and necklace, but the majority don’t wear both.

From the same set, Emmy Rossum appears to be violating the rule, yet the overall effect does not seem (to me) to be overpowering. I agree that Tara Reid was wearing too much. I’ve always just picked how much jewelry to wear based on the overall impression I got when I looked in the mirror, rather than following a rule about number of pieces.

Penelope Cruz follows the rule and looks great, but her earrings are a lot bigger than the ones Emmy Rossum wears. Hmmm.

At this point I’m happy with the advice on what I should wear, but I’m really interested in learning more about this “rule” now.

Probably, but who cares? The dress sounds terrific.

I think the rule is two-fold: 1) you don’t want to draw attention away from your naturally beautiful self. If people are glued to your massive jewels, they aren’t glued to you and what you have to say. 2) It’s gauche flaunt your wealth (even if it’s costume wealth). It screams, “Look what I can afford! Look how much so-and-so loves me!” Less is more. There’s a “rule” that I saw somewhere that said “put on four pieces of jewelry and then take one off.” or something like that. It’s probably pretty solid advice.

Hee hee hee. Things that sound dirty but aren’t.

I’ll agree that generally you want to avoid jewelry overload. Sometimes there are exceptions to the rules, as featherlou mentions. Like one might want to wear a necklace and earrings, but small and/or simple earrings*. A dress may be so simple in style that you contrast with all huge jewelry or keep the theme with subtle jewelry. I’d err on the side of caution in this case. It’s hard to wear the wrong bracelet, if you’re not wearing a bracelet.

*Maybe it could be a point system like Weight Watcher’s. Small earrings = 2 pts Big necklace = 10 pts Bracelet = 5 pts. “For this dress do not exceed 13 pts.” If I can just come up with a catchy name I could make millions! Wealth beyond my wildest dreams! Or, you know, not.

Nope, do the opposite. Encourage people not to dip below 13 points of jewelry. And start a jewelry company.

Aahhh-- not just chaotic, but sneakamous, too!

Go for the lavender! A cocktail length prom style dress would be perfect for an afternoon outdoor wedding. Remember not to wear very high heels if you’ll be on grass, and to bring a wrap, shawl or cardigan in case it gets cold, or the reception goes on into the evening. I’d go for black in my non-jewelry accessories.

This is assuming that the invitation was not a hand calligraphed piece of fabulously expensive cream linen paper, nor a badly photocopied flyer.
If the former, assume formal wear, if the latter, jeans and a t-shirt. Sometimes the clue to the dress code expected is the invitation itself and not the wording on it.

Ah, that is an excellent point.

I think the word you are searching for here is jacquard. Like this?

That’s very similar, yes. The cloth in my dress is less busy than that, though.

I’d look at the invitation for clues, but it’s… far away. Stuck to my boyfriend’s parents’ fridge in Ontario, while I’m down here in Virginia. I think what we’ve collectively come up with will be just perfect, though. :slight_smile:

Maybe I should post a picture after the event?

Yes. We want to see you in your finery!

Oh, definitely.

I don’t think Emily Rossum broke the rule – neither the earrings nor the necklace is huge, and they are clearly designed to go together.

Scale is the point.

(Yes! Pics!)