I’m going to my very close friend’s wedding and I’m trying to figure out what to wear.
Here’s the problem. Bralets – a somewhat daring style, I’ll admit – have become my uniform (one bralet, two bralet, red bralet, blue bralet!), and I feel most comfortable and happy in them.
I’m struggling because I want to be respectful, but I also want to feel confident around these people I haven’t seen since I moved across the country! For me, confidence usually involves a bralet. (I know.)
I ordered a very delicate but structured TopShop bralet (it’s mint green, not as white or lacy as it appears in this photo).
Simply said: help?
A. Let me start by saying that I love this question, and the reason that I love it is that it’s not about whether or not one can wear a bralet (or anything) to a wedding, not really.
It’s about how from time to time in your life you may feel a little unsteady on your feet, a little uncertain, and you need something small – even maybe something as small as an item of clothing – to give you the confidence to go forward with it all. And that’s OK.
Now, to answer your question specifically:
First of all: while it’s always important to show a healthy dose of respect for formal occasions like weddings, the fact is that I suspect you know whether or not your friend is the kind of person who expects total, by-the-book decorum. You also probably know whether or not this is the kind of event that requires a degree of conformity (for example, if it’s black-tie or religious). So my first piece of advice is to follow your instincts, and it sounds to me like your instincts are telling you that this is the kind of event where you can be yourself…but you still want to make sure not to offend any more traditional attendees.
Like I said, I totally get wanting to wear something that makes you feel comfortable and happy and confident – as long as you follow some basic wedding rules (I try to steer clear of white, red, and anything that screams “LOOK AT ME AND NOT AT THE BRIDE”), I think that you should always veer towards what you’re happy in, even if it’s not necessarily the kind of thing that “everyone” would wear.
For example, a few years back I wore what amounted to a fancy silk sarong to a wedding (above), because 1) I was busy being hard on myself and insecure at that moment in time and it was the only thing I felt good in for whatever reason, and 2) I knew the bride and her family well enough to feel certain that they wouldn’t be offended by slightly non-traditional attire.
Sure, a bralet is a style risk at a wedding if not done right, but it’s also more than possible to make it look less like a bralet and more like a corset-y top to a boho-style dress, which is a perfectly acceptable choice of attire at a relatively casual wedding (again, so long as we’re not talking black-tie and/or very religious…which I assume we’re not). That one you ordered looks a liiiiittle white and lacy, but the reviews all say that it’s much more mint green than it appears in the photo, so I’m sure it’s fine, color-wise.
What I’d wear it with: a long dove-gray skirt (in a fancy-ish cut and fabric, and make sure it’s not see-through in the slightest; one daring piece is enough), a belt around the waist to hide the seam between bralet and skirt (a wide gold belt would be pretty), a light, fringe-y shawl or bolero to cover up with during the ceremony, and chic jewelry and a pretty purse (to make the look work for nighttime).
An updo, I’d say.
Now go have fun with your confident self!
UPDATE: A bunch of you, both here and on Tumblr, have commented that bralets at a wedding are a hands-down no. But while I can understand that perspective, here’s what it comes down to for me (I’m reposting from the comments):
First of all, i’m pretty uncomfortable telling someone that they flat-out “can’t” wear something to an event or in a situation, because there are so many factors that we can’t know. Weddings are as individual as the people who have them, and what might look wildly inappropriate at one could look gorgeous and fashionable at another. At my own wedding, a family friend showed up with purple-streaked hair wearing a long cotton dress with a blueberry-colored, 2-foot-tall man’s face across the front. I thought she looked awesome, and she didn’t look out-of-place in the slightest…just like the cool, quirky person she is.
For me, the challenge when answering style questions I get from readers is always to start from the base point of respecting the individual choice, no matter how “out there” it may seem to others, and trying to find ways to make it work both for the situation and for them personally. There are people who only feel comfortable in goth clothing, for example, or in rockabilly attire, or in, I don’t know, pants rather than skirts…and I’m generally very in favor of personal expression through fashion if there’s a way (and in this case I do think there is) to make it “work” in terms of not causing grievous offense.
The other thing about this question that I found interesting was that I totally get it on a personal level. At various points in my life, certain pieces of clothing or accessories have felt like a sort of armor, helping me to feel confident in situations that might have otherwise made me nervous…and I was hard-pressed to let go of them even if they didn’t make a ton of “sense.” I’ve been made fun of a whole bunch for my fashion choices, and I’m sure have had some eyes rolled behind my back from time to time…but to me, being sorta out-of-the-box fashion-wise has generally been a fair tradeoff for feeling confident and like I’m being myself.