Two-Piece Wedding Outfits to Try This Summer

Tired of dresses and jumpsuits? We've got some ideas for you.
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Tired of dresses and jumpsuits? We've got some ideas for you.
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In our latest column, "Ask a Fashionista," you can solicit our strongly held opinions on everything from how to wear a midi skirt without looking like a tree stump to whether a certain retail CEO should go ahead and resign already.

For this wedding-themed inquiry, we turned to Shane Clark, senior fashion and accessories at Brides, for advice.

Q: I have a bunch of weddings this summer, but I’m sick of wearing dresses and jumpsuits. What are some alternatives?

A: I hear you on dress burnout, and while I still love jumpsuits, they are approaching saturation. Plus, you sort of have to get naked every time you go to the bathroom. Because the dress-code rules are out the window — thanks to people like Jenna Lyons and Solange Knowles, who wore pants at her own wedding — here are a few appropriately dressy ideas for a summer or fall ceremony.

MATCHING PRINT TOP + SKIRT

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Zara printed crop top, now $35.99, available at Zara; Zara pleated skirt, now $49.99, available at Zara.  

Crop tops are everywhere and feel so modern and right, so to me, this is a great wedding look when the invitation calls for cocktail attire. Just find separates in a coordinating print you love — since matchy-matchy is no longer a bad thing — and you have a modern, updated 'dress.' Easy peasy.

CULOTTES + CROP TOP

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Sea embroidered top, $295, available at Barneys; Roksanda culottes, now $530, available at Net-a-Porter

The comfort of pants with the dressiness of a skirt? Sold! Culottes are the perfect cheat for a cocktail wedding. Choose a more formal fabric (satin, lace or silk), and find a silhouette that works for your shape — leaner for ample hips, exaggerated if you need the curves. Match with a crop top that’s boxy, not snug, and you’ve just nailed the way to look grown-up and elegant in 2015.

STRAPLESS TOP + SKIRT/PANT

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Tibi windowpane strapless top, $295, available at Tibi; Tibi windowpane jacquard skirt, $450, available at Tibi

I would swap this in for a strapless gown. The silhouette is so brand new! And if your abs aren’t where you want them to be, the top’s underlay means you get a cropped look without having to bare your midriff. It’s a pretty minimal look, so I’d add a statement necklace or earrings (not both!). And, I’d mix and match the blush and white or do all blush. Just don’t go for all white and compete with the bride.

ONE-SHOULDERED TOP + PENCIL SKIRT

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Vika Gazinskaya cropped wool top, $1,440, available at Net-a-Porter; A.L.C. pencil skirt, $495, available at Barneys.

Totally surprising and lovely, this top shows some skin without being overtly sexy. Pair it with cropped jacquard or silk skinnies or a printed below-the-knee pencil skirt. (The longer hem feels less officey.)

PEPLUM TOP + SKIRT

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Iro peplum top, $235, available at Saks Fifth Avenue; 3.1 Phillip Lim mixed lace skirt, $625, available at 3.1 Phillip Lim

Yes, the peplum is still around. This is a new, less aggressively ladylike version, thanks to the frayed edges. I’d pair it with a narrow skirt in a contrasting texture (mixed textures are the new mixed prints!), but you can also try a wide-leg pant. Just watch your proportions; volume on volume is tricky.

WHITE BUTTON-DOWN + PRINTED MAXI SKIRT

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MSGM shirt with bow, now $165.60, available at Moda Operandi; Milly skirt, $595, available at Nordstrom

Going to a black-tie wedding? This is a great way to wear separates in the evening. Start with a floor-length maxi in lace brocade or silk. A floral print works as long as the color is rich and bold. Tie a crisp white cotton shirt at the waist, and add big chandelier or tassel earrings. And undo a couple buttons and show some skin since everything else is covering you up. It’s a party, after all!