Wedding season is just around the corner and with that, sales of pink L plates and ‘bride-to-be’ sashes go through the roof. Hen parties are an important rite of passage for every bride (after all, a girl’s got to celebrate her last moments of singledom in style!), but there’s always lots of planning involved – and not just for the maid of honour. Today, hen parties aren’t just about big nights out and novelty merch either; they tend to be experience-led, but really, anything goes.
This, of course, raises questions about the dress code; knowing what to wear to hen parties these days can be tricky. And if you’re the one who’s been tasked with the planning, you probably haven’t had much time to think about your outfit on top of everything else.
To make things a little easier, we’ve come up with a guide to hen do dressing. Whether you’ll be setting off for a spa day or getting away for the weekend, here’s how to dress for any eventuality where hen parties are concerned.
The Weekend Getaway
From city breaks to staycations, weekend getaways are becoming an increasingly popular option for hen parties. Avoid over packing by keeping your key pieces lightweight. Dresses and jumpsuits are a great choice, since they’re versatile and not too bulky; look out for multipurpose styles that’ll work for the day or night.
However you plan to travel, an easy, breezy jumpsuit will keep you comfortable for the journey; choose something that you can dress up later if needs be.
Smart casual day dresses are perfect for an array of events, and can be dressed up or down accordingly. If there’re some surprise activities that come up, you’ll be covered with a simple cami dress.
It’s likely that you’ll need to pack at least one show-stopper for the weekend. Look out for pieces in easy care fabrics, just in case you can’t locate an iron once you arrive. Draped dresses travel especially well; just hang it up as soon as you arrive to get rid of any creases from the journey.
The Spa Retreat
Spa retreats give the bride-to-be a chance to relax and unwind before her big day. Once you arrive, it’s likely that you’ll be spending most of your time in swimwear and a robe or cover-up; you’ll also need to wear flip flops or slippers whilst you’re there. Sometimes, spas will provide guests with robes and the appropriate footwear, but you should always check beforehand.
You should take a spare change of clothes with you too (or maybe a few changes, depending on how long you’re staying). If you’ll be going for dinner later on, either at an on-site restaurant or elsewhere, you’ll need to pack something suitable. Maxi dresses are lightweight and easy to wear, which is exactly what you’ll want after indulging in a day of spa treatments. Plus, they have a bohemian appeal, which beautifully offsets a fresh-faced complexion!
The Big Night Out
Sometimes, you can’t beat the classics. Hen parties were built on big nights out, and if this is what you’ll be doing, you’ve got permission to go all-out (just try not to upstage the bride-to-be!). Make a statement in head to toe sequins, and don your favourite heels for a night of drinks and dancing.
The Fine Dining Experience
From bottomless brunches to three-course feasts, dining experiences are a staple of hen do’s. As a general rule, sit-down dinners call for classic elegance. Avoid OTT details and a bodycon silhouette; they’re better suited to dance floors. Instead, look to iridescent, lightweight fabrics and longer lengths; if you’re heading to a posh restaurant, you should err on the conservative side. Midi dresses are sultry and sophisticated, without revealing too much.
If you’re not a fan of dresses or just want to switch up your evening look, opt for a pair of wide leg trousers instead; complete your ensemble with a cami top, heels and a blazer. And if the event starts with a boozy brunch and ends up with an activity, swap out your heels for some fancy flats; it’ll stop your feet from aching before the night’s over.
Afternoon tea has become a popular choice for hen parties in recent years. For this type of luncheon, frou-frou dresses in dainty fabrics work especially well. Floral details are seasonally-appropriate and will almost certainly co-ordinate with the décor (which is perfect for getting some ‘gram-worthy snaps!). Basically, take inspiration from the frosting, florals and fondant fancies that come with classic afternoon teas.
The Girls’ Night In
It’s no secret that some of the best times you have with your friends happen when you stay in. Whether you’ll be enjoying pizza and Prosecco at your bestie’s house or at a rented one, get a stylish pair of pyjamas for your girls’ night in – and be sure to check out our girls’ night in ideas to sort out your entertainment for the evening.