Attending An Event With A Festive Attire Dress Code? Here's What You Need To Know

It's wedding season, so you may have received a couple of intricately designed invitations detailing the venue, dates, and attire. After getting the invite, you mark the dates off on your calendar, maybe tell the bride and groom congratulations, and head to your closet to select an outfit. Or you may ask yourself how to dress for the wedding and procrastinate the last part and only glance at the clothing requirement. "Hosts are getting so creative with dress codes that guests are left scratching their heads," former director of ready-to-wear for Rent the Runway Derek Guillemette told Real Simple.

Deciphering dress codes and what they entail can feel like detective work when the term used to describe it is relatively vague. Let's dive into what "festive attire," or most descriptions with the word festive actually means. It's safe to say that most may think of something colorful after seeing festive. Maybe you go as far as conjuring images of holiday attire. Both of these are accurate, but the latter depends entirely on the time of year.

Finding a fun and festive look

Choosing what to wear to the wedding can be a fun task after you have a clear understanding of what you're expected to wear. So when the invite says festive, think bold and cute. "Festive attire is cocktail attire but with a fun colorful flair," wedding planner Lara Mahler told Brides. "Guests are encouraged to have fun and play with their look with bold colors and accessories."

There's plenty of room for self-expression with this dress code. You can show up in your favorite patterns, your biggest, brightest jewelry, a funky bow tie, and/or your most extravagant shoes. Choosing an outfit with texture is another fun, creative way to show up. "Go all out with sophisticated bling and a vibrant dress," lifestyle and etiquette expert Elaine Swann told Real Simple.

While it's not as formal as a black-tie wedding, it's still fancy, so choosing something classy is a must. Looking at the fabric can help determine which clothes are appropriate. Cotton, linen, and chiffon are great for weddings in the spring and summer, whereas satin and velvet are better suited for colder climates.

What to consider before you go to the wedding

For men, you can spice things up by wearing a bright suit rather than a more traditional, dark one. Statement pieces are also a great way to add to your outfit. Finding a fun patterned tie, a colorful pocket square, or a sparkling brooch are great details to consider. If you want to ditch the suit completely, looking for a tweed sport coat, sweater, or button-down are all great options.

For women, cocktail dresses are ideal. If you're not feeling a dress, a silky blouse, pant suit, or a vibrant skirt all work. If it's cold out, cardigans and dark, thick tights can keep you warm.

You should wear something to the wedding that you'll have fun with. With that being said, keep it modest and make sure it's not so flamboyant it draws attention away from the bride and groom. Avoid wearing white — if you insist, make sure you check in with the bride first to make sure it's okay.