After the turbulence of the past few years, this summer is overflowing with social promise and plenty of excuses to get dressed up.
“2022 is set to be one of the biggest years for weddings on record, due to delays from the pandemic lockdowns and couples not wanting to waste any more precious time before they tie the knot,” suggests Jane Reik, buying director for Joe Browns (joebrowns.co.uk).
“The search for the perfect wedding guest outfit is on, and it’s all about wearing what makes you feel confident and joyous.”
These are the key looks to have on your radar if you’re attending a wedding this year…
1. Maxi dresses
When it comes to trends, Katie Eastwood, stylist ambassador at Stitch Fix UK (stitchfix.co.uk) says you can’t discuss occasionwear without mentioning Bridgerton.
“Last year’s obsession with Regencycore isn’t going anywhere,” she says. “Look out for puff sleeves, embroidery and full lengths when embracing this trend. Opt for minimal jewellery and a muted bag, so your gown can take centre stage.”
Thomasine Jordan, global product and design director for LK Bennett (lkbennett.com) says there are plenty of ways to bring a vintage spin to your fashion: “From eye-catching fabrics and painterly prints, to dainty button details and ruffle motifs”.
Maxi dresses perfectly fit the Bridgerton aesthetic, and Jordan suggests they offer a dramatic and elegant look for formal occasions.
Aspiga Enny Dress in Paisley Floral Multi
Karen Millen Tie Dye Studded Woven Bardot Drama Maxi Kimono
LK Bennett Bower Yellow Silk Blossom Print Maxi Dress
“Maximalism with a classic twist is a key trend for 2022, with bold florals and prints seen on classic shift and Fifties dress shapes,” says Reik. “Detailed hand embroidery on classic fitted jackets are the ultimate in femininity combined with individuality.”
Eastwood says floral dresses can be elevated for special events, or muted for more casual occasions.
“Pair your frock with a blazer and heels for your best friend’s big wedding,” she suggests. “Then tone it down with trainers and a cardigan for a picnic date in the park.”
Joe Browns The Mariette Dress
Nobody’s Child Esme Print Broderie Dress in Blue John Lewis
Karen Millen Floral Organdie Woven Short Mini Shirt Dress
3. Tailored trouser suits
“This powerful and sophisticated look is commonly associated with workwear, but can easily be customised for weddings,” says Eastwood. “Start by ditching darker pieces in grey and black, instead opting for a more colourful palette.”
She says vibrant suits make a statement and are perfect in pastel shades – a spring staple.
“Pair your trouser suit with a fitted white top and a matching white clutch or chain bag for a contrasting, clean fit,” adds Eastwood.
Caroline Young, author of The Colour Of Fashion: The Story Of Clothes In Ten Colours (Welbeck, £14.99) is also a fan of bold, block colours.
“Whether it’s a zesty green, lemon yellow or one of the many [shades of] pink, it’s a great way to bring a burst of vibrancy with you,” she says.
“You could also take inspiration from the Duchess of Sussex’s two-piece tailored suit, worn to the Invictus Games. Rather than choosing pristine white, you could go for fuchsia, soft orange, peach or electric blue.”
Karen Millen Cotton Sateen Cut Away Tailored Jacket in Yellow, £103.20 (was £129); Cotton Sateen Tailored Slim Leg Trouser
Coast Premium Edge To Edge Tuxedo Blazer in Navy, £127.20 (was £159); Premium Tuxedo Trouser with Satin Detail
LK Bennett Rosalind Blue Satin Floral Jaquard Blazer, £299; Rosalind Blue Satin Floral Jacquard Trouser