You’re not imagining it: everyone is getting married right now. With the stockpile of delayed ceremonies over the last year and a half, the likelihood that you’ll be attending more than one wedding this fall is higher than usual (even if “usual” is busy enough in and of itself). This is good for the obvious reasons — who doesn’t enjoy celebrating loved ones? — but it can evoke a mild amount of stress when you realize navigating what to wear to a fall wedding (or many of them) was not a problem on your radar until extremely recently. For some, there’s that one dress in the closet that’s typically delegated for nuptials and formal events — not a viable option when you’ll be posing in Instagrams on back-to-back weekends. If you feel like you’ve exhausted your go-to outfit, or simply sense that it’s time to take it up a notch, consider advice from a mainstay industry expert: the stylist.
Stylists’ range and versatility — they can dress a model in head-to-toe designer for a magazine editorial and know a shortlist of on-the-rise brands for the average consumer — make them particularly well suited to giving advice that feels novel. When it comes to how they dress for a celebratory occasion, it often shakes out to be a trend-forward look made wearable for everyday life, a welcome reprieve to the same old shopping options you turn to time and time again. With this in mind, the stylists below give a sneak peek at what they’d wear to a fall wedding with shopping suggestions to inspire your next outing.
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For The Creative Rebel
Leah Adicoff’s roster of editorial work is a mashup of well-known names like Interview and New York Magazine and cult-favorite indie titles including Wonderland and Puss Puss Magazine. Her aesthetic is vibrant, colorful, and slightly subversive — she’s the kind of person who can masterfully clash prints and make it look brilliant (examples here, here, and here). Unsurprisingly, her ideal fall wedding guest look follows suit — beginning with a checkered-print dress. “I love this dress and its warped checkered print. I know I’ll also be warm enough because it’s long sleeve and a turtleneck,” Adicoff says. “I love having a little sheer sock with a loafer, which is dressy and still comfortable enough to dance in all night.” Read also: closed-toe shoes are ideal for cooler evenings. She’s topping off the look with a structured red purse. “It’s such a fun pop of color to add to the look and would also go with a red lip for a little glam.”
For The Glam Dresser
Iman Alem’s work as a stylist is focused on the use of ethical and sustainable brands. She’s also the founder of Maison Commune, a site carrying exclusive designer objects made sustainably and in limited quantities. For a fall wedding, Alem’s go-to ensemble is a mismatched top and skirt from Paco Rabanne. “I love the modern dark green floral print on the top, which is so perfect for the season,” she explains, “The gold skirt adds the perfect celebratory touch for a wedding.” Alem argues that the perfect outfit can take you from the ceremony to the party, which explains her festive-yet-functional accessory choices. "I would wear simple black sandals and Simone Rocha black beaded earrings and skip the bag to allow the skirt to be the star of this outfit."
"For a more traditional version of this look, I would swap the top and skirt combo for the dress version of the top,” she explains, suggesting black boots as an autumnal alternative to sandals, finishing with a gold bag “to bring back the festive drama that the skirt added. To top it off: “Both looks [can] be worn with a dark burgundy lip!"
For The Color Lover
Having grown up in the English countryside, stylist Rebecca Dennett’s work feels imbued with a sense of mysticism and romance. She contributes to publications like Elle US, Allure, and The Sunday Times Style Magazine and has helped style and produce shoots for Christian Dior, Salvatore Ferragamo, and Oscar de la Renta. For a fall wedding, she’s leaning into a high-impact dress that’s also weather appropriate. “I love this Carolina Constas dress, it’s a perfect color for a fall wedding and also long-sleeved, so you don’t need a jacket,” she says. “It has a special feeling without overpowering the bride’s big day ... a go-to fall wedding look for me.” Dennett notes a square-toe heel would be the perfect accompaniment. And to let the dress do the talking, keep jewelry minimal — opt for sleek, silver, sculptural earrings.
For The Slick Trendsetter
Fashion stylist Gina Marie Barbaro has her finger on the pulse when it comes to trends that are on the cusp of making it big. Her ideal fall wedding guest outfit leans into luxe seasonal fabrics, namely, velvet. “I would opt for a longer length and sleeves, but [with] interesting details like a slit or cutouts,” she says. “This combination is a must for a fun party look that I’ll want to dance in all night.” On the accessory front, she notes that a fun shoe is a way to get bold without competing with the bride. “A statement shoe brings a look to the next level for me, whether that be playing with color or in this case embellishment,” she says of the Mach & Mach shoes topping her shopping list. To finish, add layered jewelry and a velvet bag to mirror the dress fabric.