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Alternative Wedding Guest Looks

5 ways to dress to watch your friends say ‘I do’.

It’s the wedding season; invitations are rolling in and your searching like mad for the right outfit? If you fancy a spot of experimentation, or a move away from the fitted lace dress (again!), then here are some ideas from Elegant Atelier in Cambridge about rebooting you guest attire.

Rose Crescent Cambridge

Based in the beautiful Rose Crescent in the centre of Cambridge, this boutique is jammed with elegant and unusual designers from the UK and abroad.  I popped in the other day and spent a couple of hours with Sinead O’Loghlen, the stylist and brains behind the shop, to get her take on what we should be trying on this wedding season. You’ll see me strutting my stuff on the catwalk (yeah, go one have a bloomin good laugh), not that I’m trying to boot Kate Moss off the runway but sometimes it helps to see someone with a bottom the size of hippo squeezing themselves into outfits.

Who wears the trousers?

Elegant Atelier, Alternative Wedding Outfits

Custommade trouser suit, £284; Kukoon pant suit, £450 ; 2ndday trouser suit, £460

Trouser and jumpsuits have made a massive resurgence in the past few years so the misconception that trousers are more informal has pretty much been bashed on the head. Remember that incredible white trouser suit that Anal Clooney wore to her civil ceremony to a small-time actor. Comfy to wear, take it smart with a structured fit or opt for a more relaxed floaty style. Wide legs look great with wedges, there’s enough to stress about without loose trousers getting in the way of heels. Pair kittens or pointy flats with cropped trousers for a flattering silhouette, add a clutch and some statement earrings and you’re good to go.

It’s an evening affair

Elegant Atelier, Alternative Wedding Outfits

Rixo Louise backless dress, £295; Rixo Rose backless dress, £315; Ba&sh silk Robe Jessy, £460

Whether you’re a B-lister (not quite good enough friends to see the bride and groom tie the knot) or it’s a late wedding where it all happens in the evening – it opens up a lot more options in the wardrobe department. Long dresses look great with cut away ankle boots, or team strappy sandals with floaty dresses – ring the changes with a gold chain belt if you’re wearing it more than once. They’re versatile too and would look good at any party or summer ball – investment pieces that you’ll get more than one spin round the block in are worth splashing the cash on at times.

Keep it chic

Rixo Louise, £295; Rixo Valerie, £295; Ba&sh silk Robe Jessy, £460

Kelly Love silk Watercolour Dress, £395; Roisin Linnane, Louise Dress, £315; Kelly Love silk Wild Thisle Dress, £395

Weddings provide us with a valuable opportunity to put on a frock, but there’s nothing worse than wriggling into said dress, only to spend the whole time yanking at the hemline and feeling uncomfortable. Chic and sophisticated is a safe route to go – the key is not to try and upstage the bride remember. The Louise dress by Irish designer Roisin Linnane can be chucked in the washing machine which is a bonus and would make a stunning alternative wedding dress if playing it low-key as a bride. Kelly Love is a new young designer whose prints have a feminine but contemporary feel. The Wild Thistle dress has an open back and front splits so pair with killer heels or summery flats.

Let’s go boho 

All by Ba&sh: Yanis, £225; Yuki, £180; Liam, £180

You need good pins for these numbers, the Yanis can be pulled down on the hips if you think it’s just too revealing but remember these models are all 6ft in heels so for the rest of us it will down to our knees! The Yuki and Liam have loose flattering sleeves and complete the look with velour ankle boots or strappy sandals and a delicate clutch for the ultimate in fashion.

A flash of colour

Ba&sh, Robe Prune, £255; Rixo, Valerie £295; Rixo, Gemma silk dress, £255

It is the time of year to be brave with colour; catwalk designers have gone wild for vibrant shades this season. Embrace it – try on various hues to see what works with your hair and skin colouring and slap a bit of fake tan on if you’re bearing the legs. Team with strappy sandals or wedges, or in the case of the cut away silk dress rock an on-trend pair of heeled loafers.

Many of these outfits will take you from nuptials to summer parties and days at the races. Although price tags are higher than your high street shops these smart looks are super versatile but also timeless, which means you’ll have plenty of opportunities to wear them again and again.

Elegant Atelier, 12 Rose Crescent, Cambridge, CB2 3LL, elegantatelier.com

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