Dear Cheryl, My wedding date is set but I’m struggling to find a dress that isn’t strapless yet still suits a Florida setting. —Andrea M, Pine Island
In style terms, you couldn’t have chosen a better time to find your perfect dress—designers have taken inspiration from all sorts of influences so you won’t be restricted by neckline.
Lace continues to be a bridal favorite. When Catherine Middleton married Prince William in 2011, her dress with its lace sleeves and overlay bodice (itself reminiscent of Princess Grace’s 1956 wedding gown) showed how modern this traditional fabric can be and re-launched the trend for lace.
Another way to show some skin without being too revealing is the use of illusion—a sheer net fabric. Embellishments such as floral trims, crystals or lace can all be applied to the material to give an ethereal, floating appearance. Old Hollywood glamour is influencing many wedding dresses, from heavily beaded 1920s silhouettes to slinky, figure-hugging halter neck gowns. On the subject of vintage influences, one of the freshest looks in wedding wear is this year’s short dress. Pretty and poised (think full-skirted, knee-length) or chic and sharp (à la 1960s shift dress), there’s a short dress out there for you, whether your wedding is low key or full-on formal. Whatever you decide to wear when you say, “I do,” congratulations!
Cheryl Lampard, founder of Style Matters International, answers your questions each month. If you have a question for Cheryl, send it to [email protected]
What to wear: Pool Parties
If an invitation for a pool party finds you immediately checking the calendar hoping to find a conflict, fear not—the perfect poolside outfit isn’t hard to put together.
Even if you have no intention of going in the water, it’s important to be practical, as you’ll be outside a good deal of time. A tunic top with long sleeves in a breezy, lightweight fabric is a stylish way to enjoy the party and protect yourself from the sun. Choose one with an embellished neckline so you can be jewelry-free. If you can’t bear being without some accessories, look for beachy, surfer- style jewelry with beads or wood that won’t be damaged by pool water.
Flowing dresses and skirts are pretty and practical for poolside wear. Pair shorts and skirts with cotton tops in bright colors. Try neon.
A cute pair of flip-flops or sandals, a bag that’s big enough to hold sunscreen, something dry to change into and a great pair of sunglasses are all you need to make a style splash.