A few weeks ago, Jeff and I attended a wedding for one of his cousins in Georgetown. When the invitation came back in April, the attire was listed as “festive formal,” which immediately gave me a mild panic attack. What in the world does that mean?
I spent far too much time scouring the internet/ fashion blogs, and I still never really found a solid definition for “festive formal.” I even Facebook messaged the groom himself (so tacky, I know), and he explained it as “formal, anything goes.” Um… Thanks?
Anyway, I figured since I was already spending hours and hours of my life looking at dresses and – since I’ve actually been to the wedding now with lots of beautiful, trendy, city people – I’m basically an expert on “festive formal” attire these days. I take my responsibilities to the interwebs very seriously, so allow me to give you a clear definition:
Festive Formal Attire – slightly less formal than “black tie,” but tuxedos or suits are appropriate for men, long or short dresses for women; sequins, glitter, and bright/flashy colors or patterns are encouraged
When it was all said and done, it really was a “formal, anything goes” affair. (I guess the groom was right – who knew?) It felt like most of the younger women were wearing long dresses – usually with either a fun print, a bit of sparkle, or big jewelry; and, the “older” generation of women were shorter black or navy dresses with a touch of lace or sheer features for added flair.
The men at the wedding wore a mix of either tuxedos (some with Converse sneakers) or suits with bow ties (like my hottie date). I also saw a lot of gingham shirts with suspenders and skinny ties.
Here’s what I wore:
The dress is from Anne Taylor Loft, the necklace is JCrew Factory, and the shoes are from Payless.*Hair and make-up c/o my much-more-stylish-than-me sister. Spray tan and Spanx purchased separately. 😉 (Jeff’s suit was worn in a friend’s wedding last summer and the bow tie came from Belk.)
I’ll be honest, I bought (and returned) a total of SIX dresses before finally settling on this one. A part of me really wanted to do something more wild, but this one was 40% off (gotta love Loft’s sales) and I felt like it fit the bill for “festive formal” while still feeling like me. Overall, I felt appropriately dressed and comfortable. Really, in general, I don’t think you can go wrong – for any event – with a classic maxi dress, statement necklace, and fun pair of shoes. 🙂
And, because you know I can’t resist, here are a few of my other favorite finds from the internet to fit the occasion (you know, just in case someone else is trying to dress for a “festive formal” event this summer):
Long (left to right):
Short (left to right):
What do you think? Have you ever been to a “festive formal” event? Heard of it? Which dress is your favorite from above?