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What to wear to an afternoon wedding

Categories: beyond 9 to 5, dresses

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Arwen has a question: “What is cocktail attire when the party (a wedding) is in the middle of the afternoon?”

Ooh, good one!

I am a firm believer in always dressing up for a wedding; it’s a simple way to show respect for the couple and the institution and the venue. It’s also a good excuse to wear that lovely frock that doesn’t work for your everyday life. And of course, weddings are a great option to have your picture taken, and why not look your best when the photographer comes your way?

The twist here, of course, is the combination of cocktail attire and a function that starts before the cocktail hour. The real key here is not just when the actual wedding is, but what the reception schedule looks like. If the event is the wedding and cocktails only, then Arwen can go more casual; if cocktails will be followed by dinner (and maybe dancing!) then a dressier look is more appropriate. Either way, it pays to get dressed up.

Let’s consider the options.

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Ten terrific cocktail dresses

Categories: beyond 9 to 5, dresses

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Susan is looking for a cocktail dress — one designed for a real person, not a model. She writes, “I do NOT want something so short my crotch is going to show (seems to be popular). I do NOT want to wear something drapey/flowey/grandmotherly. I had my fifth baby 9 months ago and just got my body back (thank goodness!), so I want something that fits, but doesn’t squeeze.”

Done! Here are ten options, in various styles — none of which will expose Susan’s crotch or cause her to be mistaken for a grandmother. And all of them are available at Nordstrom.

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Maggie London, $158


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best fall dresses (because it can’t stay hot forever)

Categories: beyond 9 to 5, dresses

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It’s still a million degrees where I live (that would be on the face of the sun, by the way) but I’m dreaming of cooler temperatures, and waiting impatiently for the morning when I need to put a little cardi on over my dress. Soon. I hope.

I love a dress for fall; it’s the perfect transition piece. Wear it on the warm days with sandals or peep toe pumps; when the weather cools down, add leggings or tights and a cardi or jacket.

anthropologie
Curtain Call Dress, $128 at Anthropologie


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Vacation must-haves

Categories: accessories, basics, dresses

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I’m on vacation this week, which means that I’m pretty much just wearing a swimsuit all day long. Not bad, really.

My kids are finally old enough that the idea of a “family vacation” isn’t as much of an eye-roller any more. You know what I mean — when they’re wee and tiny, any journey with them isn’t a vacation in the purest sense but a road trip, one that necessitates hauling the entire nursery to the beach or the mountains or wherever it is that you will be “vacationing.” And then, once you’re there, doing all the parent things you do at home, but on the fly in a strange place.

I do not miss those days.

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Regatta-stripe knit dress, Talbot’s, $79.50 currently $62.99


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