When it rains, it pours, and when one wedding invitation arrives, it is invariably followed by a deluge.
Finding the perfect wedding guest outfit can be especially challenging if you find yourself bogged down by eco-anxiety.
There are four approaches you can take to dressing in as sustainable way as possible: Shopping your wardrobe, borrowing from friends or family members, renting an outfit or buying second-hand.
Shopping and borrowing
“Shopping” your own wardrobe has a number of benefits, as no one knows your personal style better than you do. The clothes (should be) in your size and that styles (should be) to your taste. If either of those statements are incorrect, then it’s time to pass on or donate those garments in question.
Irish wedding planner Martina O’Riordan has said that colour is back and why should all the fun be left to the bridal party? Don’t be afraid to experiment with colour and textiles for more impact in photographs.
Remember that weddings are a long day, so comfort should go hand-in-hand with style. Consider the fact that you will be eating a three-course meal, and may be imbibing too, in addition to dancing the night away.
If you want to wear a pair of killer stilettoes with your dress for the photographs, pack a comfortable back up for when things grow merry.
When it comes to borrowing, a test run is key, as clothing can fall differently on varying body shapes and proportions. If you’re under time pressure and won’t get a chance to try anything on in advance of the big day, try to keep your options open and pack neutral shoes and accessories.
Renting is the ideal option for someone who wants to mix up their look without ending up with a load of expensive barely-worn outfits taking up real estate in their wardrobe.
Happy Days (@happy.days.style) is a fashion rental shop based in Leopardstown. It offers you the option of having an item delivered straight to your door or else you can drop into the shop to try out the stock before you rent, no appointment necessary.
The Designer Room (@designerroom.ie) makes designer pieces more accessible to the average consumer. this rental service also offers the choice of direct to door delivery or in-house try-on but advanced booked is needed.
Since the closure of its colourful pop-up on the Royal Hibernian Way in the city centre, greens are good for you (@greeensaregoodforyou) is currently offering an entirely online rental model.
This option is currently limited to Instagram while the website undergoes a revamp. Renters are advised that, if they’ve found the dress of their dreams on the website and it says unavailable, don’t despair, DM instead!
Buying second-hand for a wedding can be a particular challenge. Fortunately, both Happy Days and the Designer Room also have outlets, where they sell old stock at discounted prices.
If you’re in the city centre, Jenny Vander Antiques, Drury Street, and Lou’s Lot, George’s Street Arcade, are worth a look. If you don’t find your wedding outfit there, you’re guaranteed to find a unique accessory.
With the best will in the world, sometimes you know what you want and you just can’t find it second-hand.
If all of else fails and you need to buy new, there are a number of sustainable brands that are worth the investment if you buy something you (and your friends) can wear again and again.
TAMGA Designs work from an ethical and transparent supply chain in Indonesia. Their and bohemian-inspired garments would make a bright infusion to any wardrobe. These designs are produced from what the brand claims are the world’s most progressive, sustainable fabrics and eco dyes.
The clothing brand Reformation likes to claim that being naked is the number one most sustainable option but they come in second place. While that may not be strictly true, the American brand has grown in popularity for its easy to wear wedding guest styles and sustainable ethos.
Conscious shoppers can reach for this option without the associated carbon emissions from US shipping, as it is now stocked in Brown Thomas.
If you’re in the position whereby the only look you want to wear is stocked in a store that doesn’t align with your sustainable aspirations, there are a few factors to consider before you add to cart.
The founder of Eco-Age, Livia Firth, recommends never to buy a piece unless you can see yourself wearing it at least 30 times. If you factor in your social calendar and the likelihood of friends borrowing the item, this piece might be worth the investment. However, if you are averse to being seen in the same outfit twice, then this might not be the right option for you.
Another key consideration is whether you are buying to your taste and style or if you are being led by a trend. The important difference to note is that style doesn’t have an expiry date.
Sometimes your personal style will coincide with a trend, which is fine, but try to avoid being influenced by trends or else you will find yourself with an outdated wardrobe by next Autumn.
Whatever you decide to wear for a wedding, please don’t reach for white, ivory, beige or meringue without full permission from the people getting married.
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