I've finally hit the age where everyone I know is getting engaged (...including myself!). I got the same "we're engaged!" Facetime call from four of my best friends within a three-month period last year, so I'm gearing up for a summer of rehearsal dinners, destination weddings and bachelorette parties.
Weddings and all the events that surround them get extremely expensive between gifts, flights, and hotel rooms. And my friends have chosen some incredible yet vastly different destinations (a Cape Cod beach wedding, a manor in London, a ranch in Wyoming, to name a few). While I love debuting new clothes for special occasions, I'm not in a position to purchase different pieces for each of the eight drastically different weekends. I narrowed-down my shopping list to ensure I have dresses worth rewearing and accessories that will still feel fresh by this time next year:
Save: This under-$50 wicker straw mini bag is exactly what I need for all the summer weddings ahead – but I might supplement it with this $25 Amazon (!?) clutch that's structured and elegant. Or if you're into the bead trend, this brown option from H&M is fantastic (or dip your toe in with this beaded handle bag).
Splurge: Pretty sure this Clare V. bag is the most perfect clutch in existence, and this Emily Levine clutch comes in a close second. If you're looking for something a bit less formal, this Staud mini croc bag doubles as a clutch and a cross-body.
Save: When I was scrolling through Topshop, this bronze jumpsuit immediately caught my eye. It's sophisticated but the cutout makes it a bit sexy, and it would pair well with any of the clutches. I found another great option on ASOS–a subtle white polka dot print on black silk that could also be worn with sneakers for brunch.
Splurge: I recently purchased this Rouje jumpsuit in navy. It's insanely flattering and can easily be dressed up or down depending on the vibe. I've also had my eye on this other Rouje jumpsuit in black because it could even be accessorized to be appropriate for the reception.
Save: When it comes to heels, I want to be practical so I'd stick to black, metallic, or nude. Kelly recently showed me the magic of Target shoes, and I found these nude heels that look chic and insanely comfortable. Also loving the subtle 70s nod from these blush patent heels.
Splurge: If I could, I would get these Jimmy Choo heels in both colors, or these jewel star Miu Miu slingback pumps. I'm also digging these woven Souliers Martinez sandals that I'd pair with socks in the winter.
Save: I happen to find lip stains to be my best bet when I want my lip color to last, and L'Oreal Paris' Rouge Signature Lip Stain is smooth, creamy, and doesn't crack as the day goes on. I've also heard Maybelline Super Stay Matte Ink Lip Color is life changing.
Splurge: Emily introduced me to Laura Mercier's Velour Extreme Matte Lipsticks, and I've gotten both Fire and It Girl that stay on *literally* all day (even through meals!). I also purchased a custom shade from Bite Beauty that's really similar to their Beetroot Bold Berry and I can't get enough of it.
Save: I'm going to stick to black, navy, or subtle prints since I don't want something too recognizable. I fully support this ruched polka dot halter dress (I'd wear a bright pink lip in the summer and punchy red in the winter) and you also can't go wrong with a classic black slip dress (the rounded neck feels different than all the deep V cuts I've seen).
Splurge: When it comes to reception dresses, straps are a nonnegotiable (I definitely don't want to be pulling it up as it slips all night). I've had this Likely dress in my Shopbop cart forever, and it would be perfect for any black tie weddings in my future (and it recently went on sale!). The Reformation Cabernet dress comes in both patterns and solids that are all flattering and can be reworn to every wedding with different accessories.
Headband: I'm on board for headbands, but they need to be truly special and a bit more timeless to make them worth it in my book. This simple gold headband and these brown and green thin velvet and gem headbands are a bit pricey, but truly special.
Splurge: I purchased these Stuart Weitzman sandals last year during a major Shopbop sale because I think they're the perfect heel, and after a night of dancing I was convinced to also get them in black. Now I never need to buy another nude or black stiletto again.
Save: Emily loves a flowy, white blouse for a reason–you look ethereal and chic even when you pair it with jeans. I love this cotton blouse with puff sleeves from & Other Stories and this waffle square neck top from ASOS would be pretty with a black miniskirt or wide leg denim.
Splurge: I'm looking for something breathable and forgiving, and if you can get away with going braless, this linen Reformation blouse would be super flattering and easy to throw on if you're not feeling your best the next morning. I'm also crushing on this cotton Staud blouse that's lightweight but would add a pop of color to a simple outfit of jeans and sneakers.
Splurge: Hi, my name is Jess, and I'm addicted to the AGOLDE Pinch Waist jeans. I recently purchased these in white and can't wait to get my hands on the new wash that's coming to the Shop soon. They're snug in the right places and loose where you need it and I can't recommend them enough.
Save: I prefer a sneaker or a slide to your typical flats, and these Jen Patch Pointed Mules from Target caught my eye. I'm also planning on bringing the Birch Levianas because they's beyond comfortable and elevate everything I'm wearing.
Splurge: While Birkenstocks are certainly not appropriate for a wedding brunch, I found these Ancient Greek sandals that still get the Birks vibe across but with a bit more sophistication. And I truly don't travel without my Common Projects white sneakers, so I'd find a way to fit them in my suitcase.
Save: I've been using Bareminerals Barepro Concealer and have zero complaints. It hides any dark circles under my eyes and evens out any redness or flush I might have after a long night.
Splurge: The reviews for Clé De Peau Beauté Concealer SPF 25 are off the charts, but I'm not sure I could justify spending $70 on any item of makeup. Perhaps if Emily lets me test hers out...
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