So, you’ve RSVP’d yes to your good friend’s wedding. If you’re like me, your next thought is “What the heck am I going to wear?”. Finding a plus-size wedding guest outfit is fun and let’s face it, nerve-racking.. You want to look and feel really spectacular—after all it is a special occasion—but you don’t want to upstage the bride or the bridal party. And maybe you have plans to conquer the dance floor? But sweat is the enemy to plus-size wedding guest outfits everywhere. Where do you start when looking for an outfit that will stand up to you being on the dance floor all night long and make you look and feel great? You start by reading the rest of this post (jk, but maybe not joking so much?)!
As a woman who is passionate about cloths for curvy women and someone who loves weddings, I have been to more than I can count and I’m sharing my knowledge so you don’t have to do things the hard way. Here are the do’s of plus-size wedding guest style.
I always pledge to sacrifice dancing for the light colored dress I’ve been dying to wear, then the DJ plays my favorite song and it’s all over!
Do: Follow the dress code as closely as possible.
If you’re plus size, what to wear to a wedding can be baffling. Start with the dress code. Wedding dress codes can range anywhere from white tie (think White House State dinner—floor length evening gowns and tuxedos) to come as you are (imagine a smaller ceremony in the couple’s home). Honoring the wedding dress code is a sign of respect for the couple’s big day. If the invitation is vague about the dress code, consider the couple’s style and what they’ve worn to all of the preceding wedding events. If the bridal shower was tea at high noon, it’s safe to assume you should lean towards something formal. Most importantly, pick a dress that makes you feel beautiful.
To note: Etiquette says that white is completely off limits as a wedding guest, except by specific request from the bride and groom. When it comes to black, it can be offensive in some cultures to wear black to a joyous occasion like a wedding. Err on the side of caution and avoid wearing black unless instructed to do so. It’s also a good practice to stay clear of the official wedding colors when browsing plus size dresses tow ear to a wedding—the bridal party will most likely be in some shade of this color.
Do: Start shopping early!
As soon as you RSVP yes, begin your outfit search. Pro Tip: Shop your closet first. I love to shop, so I typically run straight to my favorite online plus-size dress websites to see what’s new and trending—true confessions of a shopaholic (LOL). By shopping your closet first you will figure out if you actually need to buy a new dress. If you already own the perfect piece, that’s a lovely surprise. But if you don’t, knowing that early will give you plenty of time to find something that you love. And, if your new purchase doesn’t fit or you don’t like it as much as you anticipated, there is ample time for another round of shopping.
But if you do wait until the last minute…
I want to tell you a little story about a good friend of mine—let’s call her Melissa. Melissa is a gorgeous plus-size woman but every time she is invited to an event she avoids shopping until her only viable options are rush shipping or go naked! The last time we went to an event together, she bought 5 dresses, half didn’t arrive on time and the other half didn’t fit. She had to settle for a dress she already owned but disliked. And to add insult to injury, her tights caught a run, and she did not have an extra pair. Drugstore tights are not typically kind to plus-size women. As you can imagine, Melissa spent most of the evening bummed out about her dress and hiding the run in her stockings. Don’t be Melissa.
Do: Dress comfortably.
When buying plus-size wedding guest dresses, purchase the right size for the body you have now—even if the wedding is in six months! If you’re pregnant or experiencing a major life event where you anticipate your body changing dramatically; you can still start your browsing early and save the purchase for closer to the wedding day, at least two months out.
Pro Tip: Plus-size formal dresses for weddings and events tend to run 1-2 sizes smaller. As the granddaughter of a seamstress, the best advice I can offer is to size up, because you can always alter a dress to remove excess fabric, but you can’t get extra fabric added on. Well, you can but it costs almost as much as the dress (yep, I’m guilty of buying a dress two sizes too small!). And last but not least, wear comfortable shoes. You’ll thank me on this one too.
Do: Dress for Sweat!
Let’s keep it real here, sweat is a major factor when you’re hitting the dance floor. So, consider it when choosing a plus-size outfit. And if you are like me you sweat non-stop. I always pledge to sacrifice dancing for the light colored dress I’ve been dying to wear, then the DJ plays my favorite song and it’s all over! So I’ve come up with these tricks: 1) Wear darker colors: I love navy and royal blue for this reason. They’re more festive than black, depending on the style of the dress it’s acceptable for any style of wedding at any time of the day, and it disguises sweat like a boss! 2) Wear plus-size shapewear that breathes, you won’t get as hot and there will be a layer between your skin and your clothes to protect from sweating through your outfit. 3) Go for heavier fabrics that don’t absorb sweat. 4) If you must do a lighter-colored dress, choose one with layers and lining. Pro Tip: Carry a few feminine wipes and a travel size deodorant in your purse that can double as chub rub insurance – essential survival kit for freshening up in the bathroom.
Do: Let it Breathe
A pastel colored jersey dress at an outdoor wedding in Jamaica – enough said (another cautionary tale)! Light colors and pastels tell on everyone. Silky and clingy fabrics will not only reveal your panty line, they will stick to hot sweaty skin and show everything. Go with the flow and choose crisp fabrics you’ll feel incredible in.
Last but not least, the most important Do of all, have a fabulous time!