Help! Accessorize An Afternoon Wedding

My delightful nephew is marrying his gorgeous fiancee in a few weeks (on my own wedding anniversary, it so happens!). The wedding will be in the late afternoon at his parents’ waterfront home. So priorities: love, marriage, celebration, family . . . and how to dress the middle-aged auntie.

Ah, my husband has no challenge. His handsome dark gray suit, white shirt, and a colorful silk tie. Black shoes, black socks, done.

I’m more complicated. So, I bought this dress. Love it. It’s a Calvin Klein, medium gray, fits like a dream, simple and elegant.

It’s hard to see the ruffle detail in this pic, but it’s very flattering.
The necklace here is an old prop from my eBay selling days.

I have a colorful, large silk scarf that I am going to use as a shawl, in case it gets chilly. But I am pondering the rest of the accessories. Shall I go with classic black patent pumps or something more “wedding-y” like these:

Caparros Satin Pumps, Zappos

I think the neckline of the dress is enough of a statement, so I’ll skip a necklace and probably wear vintage rhinestone earrings like these:

I have a pair similar to these.

And maybe a simple cuff:

A classic Tiffany. Always good on a wedding day.

But I am open to all suggestions. I am not a dressy woman, as you’ve probably noticed via Visible Monday. “Dressed up” is an uncommon event in our social life, although I am still awaiting an invitation to the Inaugural Ball in Washington  : >  I appreciate your feedback, and have a happy Tuesday!

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  1. Oh really, the wedding dress you choose is beautiful enough having nice fabric and well knitted, the pair of shoes and the small nice beautiful hand clutch are all exciting things, you rightly have choosen the auspicious things for a gorgeous and lovely bride. bridal clutch purse

  2. Darling, sorry I have been MIA to your blog since Monday. Love your new CK Dress. You can't go wrong with CK. I think the accessories you paired with it are perfect. I particularly love the cuff and shoes. I do think nude shoes or something with a detail like the bow peep-toes above, would go better than black pumps, especially since it's an outdoors afternoon wedding. Congratulations to your nephew and you will look beautiful Patti – I am sure of it.

    <3 Ada.

  3. This will be lovely on  you no matter how you choose to accessorize it.  Just go and enjoy yourself.  :-))  I do so love this dress.!!

  4. I think what you have in mind is perfect  Since you are not doing a necklace, I would do a statement earrings.  Depending on the color of your shawl, I would try to pull a color from that to wear as shoes or purse.  I am sure you will look fab!


  5. you so need to buy a pair of classy red heels.  nothing sky scraper–you will undoubtedly be standin-moving around-dancing.  A pop of color is needed –so do it either with a clutch or preferably with the shoes.  I've thought  quite a few times with some of the outfits you've shared with us–how much more fun this would be with a pair of red shoes.  And your grey dress, vintage jewelry cries out for it. 

    Your blog is so much fun.  And I hope you have just as much fun @ the Wedding!

  6. I adore Calvin Klein dresses. They are so well made and flattering. This one is very beautiful. I think you're right to keep your accessories simple. I can't wait to see pics of you wearing this!

  7. I like the metallic accents you've selected to go with your solid dress.  I like the idea of shoes in a similar color.  Black shoes would be fine but something a little fancier would be nice. 

    If there will be dancing or a lot of standing/mingling you may do better to go with a pair of shoes that are broken-in and known to be comfortable. I"m always having bad luck with "new" shoes so I might vote for those open-toed sandals you've worn in a couple of recent posts. You can keep the focus on the interesting neckline and drape of the dress and treat your feet to a happy evening.

  8. Patti, I would go with a navy or burgundy shoe that could be worn with any other outfit after the wedding. Those shoes are beautiful, but would be to dressy for most everyday outfits. If you want to jazz up the shoes, try shoe clips that can be used to dress them up or down.

  9. Hi Patti!

    The dress is very pretty, me i would wear red accents, but it is me, colorful
    I love your choices – totally you dear Patti

    Ariane xxxx

  10. I love what you've chosen!  My only thought is to do something with some color.  Maybe a fun clutch?

  11. I like the way you have it – however, what I would change is pair it with some burgundy pumps to liven it up and make it fun!! and some simple earrings would work well.  but I think you did fantastic

  12. definitely not those shoes, rather something elegant and simple, earrings are great,


  13. Patti, I would go very simple with the accessories.  The dress is so striking on its own…let the dress do the talking!

  14. Well I can see there are varied ideas here! I would  go for a simple  pendant or necklace because it would be flattering in photos (which might not show the entire dress) and, as someone else mentioned, because I am a necklace person (and doesn't that always influence us!  It is a wedding so I adore the Wedding Shoes…. more so than pumps.  I do agree a bit with the commenter who mentioned color, even a blush color somewhere would create a bit of contrast and again flatter the skin.  I know your style is not frou frou and the dress is so perfect!  Now of course we must see pictures!

  15. I agree on the necklace – skip it and do those cute little earrings! You might have to find a cute little silver clutch to go with!

    XOXO-Daisy Nguyen from PS BANANAS fashion blog:

  16. What a gorgeous dress! It just so happens that I spent a few hours at the dreaded mall today shopping for something to wear to a wedding this weekend. It's that time of year! 
    I would wear the earrings and no necklace or cuff. Keep it simple and let those beautiful details show through on the dress. Not sure about the shoes. Both would be fine but I would probably pick the black patent. 

    Have fun! I'll be doing a post about what I wear to the wedding in time for your Visible Monday 🙂

  17. LOVE that dress. Here's my two cents worth. Minimal jewellery…like, a pair of really nice-looking studs or 10mm black pearls or something of that ilk…the ones in the photo are perfect. No necklace, as the draped cowl neckline and diagonal ruffle speaks for itself, and cobalt, lemon, or fuchsia heels for a pop of colour. Definitely that cuff, and a clutch in either a pewter, patent black, or some such fun permutation. Oh, and a smile, naturally 🙂

  18. Patti, what a lovely task you have given us, to consider accessories for your new dress! The cut of the dress is terrific and because the neckline looks fairly low in your photo I would go for a necklace, but then I am a necklace rather than an earring person. It does depend on how you plan to wear your hair – up or down. I think that a grey dress gives lots of opportunity for different colours and would definitely choose a coloured shoe with heels. (I team my grey dress with  dusky pink, a rose quartz necklace  with shoes in a matching colour.) I like the necklace that you have in the photo. Can we have a peek of you in the outfit?

  19. I love the dress and I vote for the weddingy shoes.   It's a celebration so I think some bling rather than classic pumps is in order.

  20. I think you're right on the money. I like the fancier shoes, but you could easily get away with black pumps. Keep the jewelry to those simple pieces and add a splash of color with a pink lipstick. You'll pull it off with elegance and grace.

  21. Love this dress!  Absolutely appropriate.  The fabric of the dress seems to want a less delicate or formal shoe, but only a little less.  Perhaps a plain silver or gray pump, or a non-embellished sandal? The earrings and bracelet will dazzle just the way you've planned.  Oh, I really hope you have fun and get to celebrate your own anniversary as well!
    Jan at

  22. Hi Patti, I love love that dress!!! You know I adore Calvin 🙂 So pretty! Since most weddings have a color scheme maybe you could get pumps and a matching clutch in one of the wedding colors. That always makes for nice pictures for the couple :o) I got married on Valentine's Day and mostly everyone wore red or black and everyone looks so great in the pictures when I look back at them wearing my wedding colors. I'm sure you will look marvelous! 

  23. Because its an afternoon wedding, I would go with the silver pumps.
    I would wear the earrings but I would restrict what was on my neck to the bear minimum( a small diamond pendant)  if anything.  IF you scarf is wide, wear it as a shawl as opposed to something around your neck. The neckline to this dress is gorgeous.  enjoy!

  24. Love the dress Patti … I think the accessories you have chosen are super elegant and I'd not choose anything differently.

    Hope its a wonderful time.  Weddings are so lovely and you'll be the talk of the event in this gorgeous outfit.

  25. What a gorgeous dress!  I think you're right about earrings vs. necklace, but I'd probably stick with simple pumps. Even a black or navy patent leather would look dressy but not compete with the dress. 

  26. your dress is awesome and very special and deserve some extra shoes. the silk pumps are chic and not too flashy i would prefer them. you will be the most pretty auntie ever!

  27. I don't think you should do earrings, bracelet and necklace. I'd suggest only 2 out of the three. Also if there is lots of bling on your accessories I'd go lower key on the shoes. The dress is lovely and I'm sure you'll look great in it.


  28. Patti, I think a classic black pump would work just fine.  Since there is so much detail to this lovely dress I don't think you would necessarily need a necklace.  If you opt to wear one it can be a necklace with a simple pendant, something like your earrings.  Really dressy shoes may be a bit "too dressed up" for your style along with your accessories.

  29. I love your dress Patti.  I think a simple strand of pearls would look very chic and elegant.  The seaming on your dress is perfect!!  Hope all goes well with the wedding.  I would also carry a classic clutch bag.

  30. I'd wear the earrings…no necklace as that neckline is sumptuous on it's own and a simple pair of shoes either kitten heels or heels. 
    Wow you are going to look stunning!

  31. The dress is really gorgeous on it's own.  The accessories you picked out are classic and pretty.  The heels are a nice accent to the gray dress.  Sometimes keeping things simple always ends up looking the best.  You will look great! Please show pictures 🙂

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