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Friday, June 8, 2012

Tricks Up My Sleeve: What to Wear to a Daytime Summer Wedding

As a style contributor to the website Women's Voices For Change, I was asked to write a piece on a fashion conumdrum that women currently face; where oh where are they hiding the dresses with sleeves??? Here is my take:

As we thought about occasions to address for Fashion Friday in June, the concept of weddings arose, of course. When you’re invited as a guest, what is appropriate yet fashionable attire? In a lecture last week, Iris Apfel mentioned how difficult it is to find dresses with sleeves when you’re shopping for such events. So we have made it our mission to find some suggestions. Our frequent contributor Debbi O’Shea explains her selections for the fun Polyvore set she created for daytime nuptials.—Ed.

June remains one of the most popular months for brides and grooms to tie the knot. If you will be a lucky guest attending a daytime wedding, figuring out what to wear always requires some thought. And if you are at the point where a sleeveless dress will be highlighting a lesser asset, you may require strategic planning. Designers, it seems, will always have a special affinity for bare arms.
Finding a dress that is not overly embellished for day, with a sleeve, can be particularly daunting.

In Iris Apfel’s talk, the 90-year-old style icon and maverick commented that if she had more time, she would open a store called, “Sleeves!” The audience roared with appreciation; probably no one would be surprised if it was a great success.

When a trip to your favorite store becomes an exercise in frustration, looking online may be your easiest solution. While Polyvore is often thought of as the creative equivalent of X-Box for a fashionista like me who enjoys styling fantasy sets of clothing, it is also a terrific source; all the clothing items actually have live links for purchase.

Suits are always an option, but dresses just seem more festive, particularly if there will be dancing. The beauty of these is that they are timeless, and, with dressier accessories, could easily be notched up for evening occasions. A bit of work to find, but well worth it. Who said only the bride and groom deserve congratulations?

These dresses are meant to be a guide, but if you find yourself particularly enchanted, they can be found: the versatile cream silk crepe Valentino (on sale), the colorful yet classic Pucci, and the on-trend, affordable lace Diane von Furstenberg.

Debbi O'Shea has spent her career in fashion and is currently the "By Appointment" consultant and Brand Ambassador for Giorgio Armani Black Label at Richards in Greenwich, CT.  O'Shea also writes the Beauty and Fashion Blog DivaDebbi.

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