Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Perfect Modest Outfit for an Outdoor Summer Wedding

Do you panic when you're invited to an outdoor summer wedding? Does the question "What am I going to wear?" give you nightmares? It's hard enough to find a modest dress, but a special occasion modest dress? One that doesn't cost a heap? Help!

I recently came upon these photos of a New Zealand summer wedding I attended as guest and wedding singer. I hope you'll be inspired with ideas or at least encouraged to make your preparations well beforehand so you can enjoy the event, knowing you're appropriately dressed.

Remember, my style does not have to be (in fact, should not be) your style. Your life and personality are unique. Allow yourself to express that.

Here you see me at the beginning of the day, before the heat took effect. Waiting for the wedding ceremony to begin, I was able to sit in the shade and enjoy a cool breeze.

Hats are a feature of my personal style, but I also find them superbly practical when outdoors. This hat was white when I bought it from Postie.

The cotton burnout blouse (The Warehouse) with covered buttons and cotton lace was also white. I dyed the hat and blouse together in the same pot. I've paired the blouse with a lace-top JayJays camisole.

The purchased fabric flower is secured with a pearl-headed hat pin. To travel, I removed the flower and flattened the hat to stow it in my bag. The flower traveled in a cosmetic purse that protected it from getting squashed.

The curls are my own.

The afternoon heat was intense by the time I sang, but at least I had my back to the sun, which the valiant orchestra did not. Here I've rolled my hat brim up, better allowing me to see and the audience to see my face. It was hot having my hair down, but it allowed me peace of mind that I wouldn't get a sun-burned neck.

White jandals (thongs/flip-flops) with cork inner soles were perfect for my feet, thanks to the dressy but non-formal style of the wedding. I was thankful for the easy-balance heels, too, given the uneven grassy surfaces of the camping ground venue.

I purchased the skirt on clearance for NZ$10 at Ezibuy. Labelled a "beach skirt", it had a crinkle cotton outer layer and voile half-slip underneath, all transparent. I unpicked the joining seams of the knit waistband, outer skirt, and lining, placed a new full-length layer of cotton gingham in between the outer skirt and lining, and stitched it together again.

I love this skirt. I can wear it for casual or more dressy occasions. It's brilliant for spring through summer to autumn. The roll-over knit waistband is comfortable. It travels well. It's easy care. I launder it in a cold wash with a medium spin and drape it over a drying rack indoors (no pegs allowed near that knit waistband). It requires no pressing. The one downside is the light colour, making it susceptible to grubby seats, grass stains, or dirty cars, but in the 3+ years I've been wearing it, most of these have been removable.

I found this outfit excellent for maintaining comfort and elegance during the heat on a long day. Now I know how well it works, it's one I can pull out any time and know I'll look good and feel great. I hope you find an outfit that does that for you, too.

All the best!

PS For progress on production of the "Magdala Waltz", click here.

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