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Royal Wedding Fashion Review 2 of 3: Pippa Middleton: A Vision in . . . White?

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As I mentioned in the post on Friday about my initial Royal wedding thoughts, I was going to try to get my friend Ashlee to write a blog post (or two) on the fashion side of things (not something anyone wants me to discuss as I have no expertise whatsoever). I had to try really hard  not hard at all to convince her to share her opinions with us. 

“Pippa Middleton: A Vision in . . . White? “

Modern wedding etiquette cautions against wearing white to avoid upstaging the bride on her special day. So it was especially surprising to see Kate Middleton’s younger sister, Philippa “Pippa” Middleton, the maid of honor, dressed in an ivory gown. Fashion faux pas? Actually, no!

Choosing a color for bridesmaids is never easy, even for commoners. You want to avoid a color that will look dated in a few years’ time. You want to choose a hue that will flatter various skin tones. You want to choose a shade that will photograph well. And you want to choose a color that is appropriate for the season.

Given these considerations, two obvious color choices emerge: white and black. Except that no one ever chooses white, because it’s the bride’s color. But black looks awfully dour and severe for an April wedding, when the spring flowers are blooming and the grasses are finally green after a long winter.

Dressing Pippa in ivory had two benefits. First, it matched the rest of the bridesmaids, who were all young enough to be flower girls. As the only adult bridesmaid in the retinue, Pippa would have stood out more in different color. Second, it did not clash with the two page boys clad in scarlet livery. Traditional spring pastels do not coordinate with red.

No doubt, it took supreme confidence on Kate’s part to dress her sister in ivory. The cut of the dress was simple — a long, cap-sleeve sheath with a cowl neck and a demure fishtail hem. The material, a heavy satin-based crepe, was impervious to wrinkles, folds, and shadows. These decisions ensured that the focus remained on Kate but gave Pippa a chance to shine as well.

Will white be the new trend in bridesmaid dresses? Not likely. Spring brides will continue to navigate the perilous waters of pastel. Summer brides have more color choices, but will risk looking trendy. My advice is to wait until at least August, when black is a viable option.

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