Not everyone has the cash on hand to buy themselves the ultimate matrimonial outfit. I was reminded of this truism while reading Genevieve Antoine Dariaux’s A Guide to Elegance, a book originally published in 1964. I have the 2003 edition, but it doesn’t seem to have changed much, being that Dariaux advocates the constant wearing of suits and warns against soiled kid gloves.
I wasn’t sure how to take the advice she gives brides-to-be whose dreams outstrip their budgets.
A bride-to-be never dreams of getting married in her everyday clothes, even for the most informal ceremony. If circumstances or her financial means do not permit her to wear the traditional white wedding gown, she wishes at least to appear in something new on that happy occasion. Her best solution in this case is to buy a smart suit and a very pretty hat, which can be of any style at all except for a flowered or white feather headdress with a veil.
Nothing strikes me as more pathetic than to see on Saturday morning at the doors of a church some young bride who could only afford half of a wedding ensemble, when it would have been much more charming and easier on her budget too if she had simply selected a normal city outfit. The same is true of the wedding party, who also have every interest in avoiding cho-chis and pastel shades which will be of no use to them later on.
It’s nice to know that the bridesmaids of yesteryear were as concerned about blah pastels as we are today–the most memorable part of 27 Dresses was how each and every bride told her maids that they’d be able to wear their hideous novelty dresses again–but Dariaux’s advice sounds rather condescending to me. While there’s nothing wrong with going with a nice “city outfit,” there’s a whole world of options in between the giant marshmallow gowns and the plain white suit. Especially now!
For example, this midweight silk dress from the J. Crew Wedding Shop costs a mere $225, which is a steal where wedding wear is concerned. Pair it with a silk and cashmere wrap, some gold (or gold-like) filigree jewelry, and a pair of pretty white heels for a wonderfully elegant and put-together look.