Ask sXs: How To Dress For Your Friend's Wedding?


Always read the dress code, avoid doing all black or all white, and wear a sense of humour are just a few tips from best-selling author/fashionista Dr Loretta Chen. Read on...

Dear styleXstyle, I will be attending my good friend's wedding dinner later this month. I like to dress up and look nice, especially for special occasions like this, but I'm worried people might think I'm trying to steal the bride's limelight. This is a perennial problem of mine actually. Do you have any tips or recommendations on what I should wear and how to shop for friends' weddings without upstaging them? — Fiona Leigh Tan, 29

Hi Fiona, we've all asked ourselves and everyone around us this question before: What do I wear to her wedding? Weddings can be tricky, especially if the day belongs to a good friend, whom you shall not, cannot upstage (unlike, say, if it were a frenemy). You want to look good, but not too good. You want to debut that fabulous gown you bought in London last month but... is it too much? And no, you may not wear jeans (unless the dress code calls for it). 

Well, you're in luck, because this week, we have Dr Loretta Chen — best-selling author, business and creative director, self-professed "shameless fashionista" — to the rescue. Loretta, who is often seen impeccably dressed at various events, dinners and celebrity weddings (the most recent one being MediaCorp artiste Yvonne Lim's, in her red-hot Geroge evening gown), has all the answers!  

Dr Loretta Chen: To me, a girl looks most stunning when she is comfortable in her own skin and confident in the threads she has on. Indeed, stealing the bride's thunder is a big no-no, but I believe in creating a lasting impression with understated class, elegance and style. Always read the dress code and try to keep to the theme so you don't stand out like a sore thumb in an anti-social way. 

Personally, I love juxtaposing styles and having a statement accessory like a signature clutch. I also like accentuating my femininity with masculine accessories such as a huge timepiece. For example, I'd have on a long, figure-hugging red Marchesa gown paired with a large deLaCour watch, or a short, sequined Emporio Armani dress with opaque leggings and platforms.

Avoid dressing in all white or all black unless specifically told to, or if you're off to a Coco Chanel-inspired or Karl Lagerfeld's wedding!

For day weddings and less formal receptions, try a fitted shift dress a la Victoria Beckham accompanied with killer accessories or matching coordinates. 

For evening weddings, try on a maxi gown for a change. If you're daring, pair a tuxedo shirt with a big skirt, or a fitted vest with appliqué and tailored pants to a less formal wedding dinner. 

But if the wedding is held in front of the Merlion, then all bets are off. You're on your own since good taste is evidently not in question. Throw all caution to the wind and wear a sense of humour.

You are reading styleXstyle's "Ask sXs" column. Once a week, we address your style, shopping and beauty conundrums with the help of experts in their fields — whether they're a designer, stylist, make-up artist or celebrity. So, if you don't know what to wear on your first date, or need help with your make-up, email us your questions at, or drop us a message in the comments field below or on Facebook, and we'll do our best to have them answered and featured.

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