Wedding season is once again upon us and invitations to the joyous occasions are flooding the postal system. I used to dread weddings. I liked the party and seeing family or friends. I enjoyed the food, the drinks, the dancing and generally sharing in the couple’s joy. Heck, I even surprised myself by crying at a few of them (because I was moved to tears, not for the girls that got away. Henh.)
No. The dread came from something else. You see, the realization that I was going to have to find something appropriate to wear would often not hit me until the night before the event, far too late to do anything about it. I would then be filled with sudden mounting panic as I flipped through the clothes in my closet, hoping desperately that the perfect outfit would have magically appeared. Thing is, I didn’t know what that outfit might look like. My mind was a swirl of societal expectations at odds with my own sense of—or rather lack of—style. To be honest, it was this part of the wedding ritual that produced the most tears.
But now! Now I can’t wait! Now I have style, swag and serious clothing mojo. I love formal wear, and a wedding invitation is an easy way to justify adding to my wardrobe. (I never understood that before. I always felt bad for the girls who reckoned they needed to buy a new dress for every occasion. Now I know it is not a hardship, it is a convenient excuse to pick up a hot little item—by which I mean outfit. Although I understand a lot of people do very well picking up hot new girlfriends at weddings.) I feel good and confident and ready to truly share in the joyous occasion without feeling like I should apologize for my inadequate attire.
In January a friend told me she was getting married this summer. In March, my girlfriend started looking in her closet and asking me what I thought she should wear to the wedding. The ceremony is in August. Fully 5 months away. (Is that what girls do? They start planning their outfits that far in advance? I had no idea! No wonder I was never prepared.) I sat on her bed as she pulled out gorgeous dresses: frilly frocks, vintage gowns, funky little numbers, all different styles and colours. We agreed on which would be the right one.
(Sidenote: Being asked my opinion on women’s clothing is an entirely new experience to me. But I think I’ll elaborate on that another time.)
With the perfect dress chosen, I now have plenty of time to think about what I will wear. As much as I love my new style, let’s face it, my girl should be the focus. She is like the sparkling gem in the jewelry. I am just the setting. I’m not trying to undercut the importance of my clothing. In fact, it makes me feel proud and kinda sexy to be showing her off to best advantage. So I am thinking about the most fitting way to do that; pick up the colour of her dress in my tie, perhaps or subtly in my shirt. I have really enjoyed our transgressor-in-chief Susan Herr’s wedding fashion pieces and have gathered a few ideas.
Last week I received the official wedding invitation to the August wedding and was thrown for a bit of a loop. Because the couple live in an area of Toronto called The Beach and in fact met walking on said beach, the wedding is beach themed. Okay. It is good to know these things. But here’s the thing. The invitation actually says “Guests are encouraged to dress up comfortably in their best ‘Beach formal wear’. Okay, what? I don’t know what that means. My attempts at translation go as follows: “Dress up” = formal; “Comfortably” perhaps not so much. “Beach” = um… khaki’s and white shirt? Surely not swim wear. And then there’s the “formal wear” tacked on the end. I mean, what is “beach formal wear?”
I applaud my friend for having a theme and letting us all know. This is very important and if you are getting married this summer and you are planning a theme wedding, I hope, for the sake of all the femmes and other advance outfit planners, that you have already sent out your invitations with dress code clearly explained. For my friend’s wedding, I called to get clarification. And hopefully 6 weeks is enough time to re-jig and pull together the proper ensemble. (Honestly, I had no idea there was so much forethought required.)
Knowing what you are expected to wear in a given situation and being able to pull together just the right look makes you feel confident and gives you a hot swagger that makes the girls swoon. It is an art that requires nurturing. People used to employ valets and maids for that very purpose. There is nothing worse than feeling under-dressed for an occasion. Here’s a true story by way of example.
I was at the park the other day with my son. I noticed two little girls of about 4 years of age arrive with their mothers for a play date. Upon arrival, the mother of one of the girls reached into her bag and pulled out a full princess outfit: poofy dress, kiddie-high-heels and tiara. The other little girl was beside herself. No one had told her it was going to be a princess dress-up party. She started to unravel. She had a princess dress at home, why didn’t her mother bring it. I could feel the frustration and disappointment building in her. Finally she looked at the little princess who had become her rival and said. “My dress is more beautiful than yours!” And then with a wail sobbed, “I’m jealous! I WANT TO GO HOME!” And you know what? I knew just how she felt. It has never been a princess dress that sent me over the edge—the one I have is beautiful and fits me perfectly and I always know exactly when to wear it—but I have been reduced to tears knowing that I did not have the right clothes to wear.
Do you have a wedding to go to this summer? Have you decided what you are going to wear? If not, take your time and imagine the perfect ensemble. Look around for inspiration, talk to your date, and have fun. Remember, the dapperQ wardrobe can be mixed and matched and worn in different configurations at numerous formal and semi-formal occasions. What you purchase is not an expense, it is an investment. Happy shopping!
There are plenty of great ideas and photos on the dapperQ site. Check the Weddings section for some stylish threads or check out the expert advice on GayWeddings.com—given by our very own Susan Herr.
Congratulations to all the dapperQ’s getting married this summer. Please be sure to post a photo or two on the dapperQ Facebook page!