Consciously Wedded to Style

A curated selection of ethical wedding wear that you’ll want to wear for the wedding season and beyond.

Thanks to William and Kate, what the British wear to a wedding is getting a lot of attention as of late. One thing is for sure – we love a good hat. Deservedly considered an art form across the pond, master milliners Stephen Jones and Philip Treacy are household names, (we dare say institutions). Treacy’s fame has now reached epic proportions since he created this notorious hat.

But beyond the battle for the best topper— and that’s what’s really going on in the pews as Mendelssohn in C major strikes up—the dress code at a wedding has become more formal and restrictive. What this means is, in spite of your best green efforts, you might be considering a rather starchy-looking outfit that will sit in your closet unworn forever. While British weddings have some old time charm, if I had my druthers I’d be an American wedding guest every time.

We have it easy here in comparison. On this side of the pond, we don’t have to consider the hullabaloo of hat wearing nor the sleek coiffure they demand. The look is a little less tailored, a little more casual. You can even get away with wearing smart separates thanks in part to the many weddings here that are outdoor and often in the evening. In the U.K., you still can’t get legally wedded outside and while weddings can be set at any hour, many like the recent royal nuptials, begin mid-morning (the better to drink all day).

My favorite thing of all about American weddings is that you can wear black. As the color of mourning, it is strictly out of order in the U.K. As someone who dresses like they are permanently on the way to a funeral, it’s exciting I might actually be able to wear what I buy again, let alone incorporate the piece into my regular wardrobe.

With wedding season soon to be in full swing, deciding what to wear is a great excuse to spruce our tee-and-jean-clad selves up, an opportunity to marry color and luxe fabrics, and to leave a single ply, mono-hued wardrobe behind for an evening.

Naturally you’d want to avoid anything too flowy or romantic looking, but this is the time for wearing dresses with feminine details like draping, pleating and ruffles that while in ordinary life seem a little cloying, are perfectly pitched to the ceremony of the occasion.

In the spirit of wardrobe conservation, nix the conventional idea of having to find a bolero, wrap, or some such frippery for your shoulders once it gets chilly. Instead, temper the girlish flounces of your wedding guest look with a mannish vintage jacket—which is such an easy piece to find at a thrift store—and once home will help carry the look into everyday.

Take a look at my sustainable picks, a curated selection of ethical wedding wear that you’ll want to wear for the wedding season and beyond.

From left to right: Shutter Dress in taupe by Linda Loudermilk, organic cotton denim

Colette Dress in Seal Gray by Koch, organic cotton.

Goddess Dress by Fin Oslo, 100% fair trade, organic bamboo.

Top: Scalloped Dress by Mociun, 100% Silk Georgette



Rowena Ritchie

Rowena is EcoSalon’s West Coast Fashion Editor and currently resides in San Francisco, CA.