Dressing for a wedding involves uncompromising rules. Complying often requires great expense and real discomfort (stilettos, shaping underwear, trousers that no longer accommodate your girth, and so on).
Forefront in the rulebook, though, is the commandment that a woman must not upstage the bride. And this weekend, it was contravened in spectacular style by six women who turned up to a wedding in Sydney all wearing the same £95 lace dress. A picture of the sextet, predictably, went viral at high velocity.
The women were not bridesmaids, nor was it planned. “We all saw the funny side of it,” insisted one of the group, although despite the affected nonchalance, this was undeniably toe-curling for all involved (of course, men seem to be fine with wearing identical navy or grey suits, but that is a discussion for another day).
In this spirit, here is a guide to styling out wedding fashion mishaps.
The Australian women did have the right idea: the first thing you must do is note this mishap publicly, probably with an Instagram post (#TwinningIsWinning). Skirting around your doppelganger all evening will make you look as ashamed as you really care about your pedestrian taste in clothing. Then, modify your outfit: borrow a floral centerpiece from the table, or fashion a crude badge from confetti.
NB: as the evening progresses, ensure your drunk significant other does not accidentally grope the wrong person.
Kate Moss in her Dior dress, pre-customisation.
Kate Moss in her Dior dress, pre-customisation. Photograph: Dave M. Benett/Getty
Wear and tear
If you rip something, make like Kate Moss: the supermodel’s quick customisation of a damaged champagne-colored Dior dress at a 2007 party is the stuff of lore. If you’re bold and carry a pair of scissors (who doesn’t?), you could try some slashing, otherwise, do some tucking and trying to conceal the hole.
Life is pain
You swore you would not wear shoes that left your feet lacerated, but have, obviously, done so. To have any fun, you must do that bobbing dancing that puts great pressure on the knees but limits the movement of the feet and toes you can no longer feel. When forced to go anywhere, walk at the glacial pace of a visiting, elderly dignitary.
Thrills and spills
Less than a minute into the reception and you have sluiced a glass of red wine all down your front, or smeared soap on your trousers. You look grubby and must act, lest someone adds a picture of you to Facebook with a mean-spirited caption.
Obviously, attempt stain removal in the bathrooms – you might look like you’ve soiled yourself for 15 minutes, but dance vigorously and you will quickly dry. Otherwise, hold the order of service in front of the stain for the rest of the reception.
The first Instagram photo of the big day reveals your dress to be entirely see-through when exposed to even the anemic flash of an iPhone camera. Save yourself in the group photo by standing almost entirely obscured behind an usher.