What to Wear :: Black Tie Optional

Wedding attire can be tricky. When the invitations don't blatantly state the dress code, it's setting you up for disaster. And even when it is spelled out, that doesn't always help. I attended a wedding Saturday that said dress was "Black Tie Optional". Optional? What does that mean? I have the option to wear a ballgown OR shorts? Why even specify at all? I poured over everything in my closet, stressed to find something to wear. In Arkansas, people rarely dress, so the fact that the invitation specified made me worry I would be under dressed.
I decided to go with length for a dressier feel, but a jumpsuit that could go either way. Dressy jewelry and an updo topped off my look that I feel was wedding fab without being fussy or over the top.
Have a black tie optional event coming up you're stressing over? Anything from a cocktail dress to a full length gown can be appropriate. Look at the venue to help you determine. Skip the jersey and cotton and pick a dressier fabric like chiffon or silk. As far as accessories, sparkle it up! Sparkly, dangly earrings and a great sequin clutch can dress up almost any outfit. I also prefer wearing my hair up for weddings. It feels more festive.

Looking to buy? Here are a couple of options I LOVED for a wedding! Think outside of the formal dress, too - a chiffon maxi skirt and sparkly top can create a faux dress look from things you may already have in your closet. A jumpsuit in a bright color can be perfect without being over the top. And a well tailored suit in a dressier fabric would work well any time of year.

Ted Baker Pleated Maxi :: $293
Forever 21 Ruffled Maxi :: $23
JS Boutique Metallic Cocktail Dress :: $97
White House Black Market Halter Maxi :: $198
Notte by MARCHESA One-shoulder tiered dress :: $403
Trina Turk Jumpsuit :: $228