By Kieran Kern

It seems that as soon as the engagement ring is slipped on your finger, your calendar begins to fill with occasions your closet may not be ready for. Take heart brides-to-be; we won’t send you into the retail jungle without a guide. “There are so many rules out there and we’ve thrown them out the window!” explains bhldn stylist supervisor Anne White. A sister to popular brand Anthropologie, bhldn opened its very first store in Houston – and it’s the perfect place to start putting together your wedding-season wardrobe.

While getting engaged is a definite license for retail therapy, the best place to start is your own closet. Take stock of your style. Are your go-tos sleek and body conscious, crisp and preppy, flowy and romantic, sporty and active, classic and elegant, or casual and laid back? What silhouettes feel great when you wear them and what colors inspire you?

One of the first important decisions involves wardrobe for the engagement photos. You want to love these pictures because they’ll follow you all throughout your wedding season and beyond. Since these pictures are as eternal as your love, there are some couture qualifications to consider. First, beauty isn’t a number printed on the back of your jeans. Ensure that your outfits fit well and aren’t too revealing. A good rule of thumb is to choose an outfit as revealing as you’re comfortable wearing in front of your future in-laws. Take the destination and time of year for the session into consideration. White advises brides-to-be to take cues from the styles they already love. “You want to wear something that reflects your everyday style. Choose a no-fuss silhouette that shows your sense of style and makes you feel gorgeous.” This is your first real opportunity to wear bridal white, but you can also go for a bold, eye-catching print to pop against a neutral or stark background. Accessory queens may explore an elegant neutral ensemble with a strong necklace or statement shoe, keeping in mind they don’t steal the ring’s thunder. The happy couple’s outfits should coordinate without being overly matched. Remember – we threw out the rules and this is about you feeling fabulous.

You and your sweetheart will get your first real taste of being the center of attention at the engagement party. “The engagement party is your time to shine, so don’t shy away from a little sparkle or embellishment,” advises White. The destination can run the gamut from backyard barbecues to chic bistros, so a sweet white sundress or classic A-line is always a hit. Embrace your curves in an elegant maxi dress.

The bridal shower brings together women from all parts of your life. Everyone from the girlfriends to the grandmas will be in attendance. Your look should exude romance, elegance and just a whisper of demureness. According to White,” Something sweet and feminine like a short lace frock is key.”

We’ve all seen the bachelorette pictures where the bride looks like she was walked through a tornado of glitter, candy necklaces and... Well, you get the idea. The ensemble for your last big night out as a single lady should be as bold and memorable as the event itself. This party is all about you and a sequin cocktail dress is fully within the scope for the evening’s shenanigans. If subtle is more your style, a chic jumpsuit or little black dress are never out of the question.

The rehearsal dinner is your first chance to welcome the out-of-town guests who have traveled to celebrate your love and to thank the friends and family who have worked with you to make all this happen. This night is all about color; be electric in lime green or powerful in a bright pink. Make a statement in Capri pants for a more casual setting or a chic cutout dress for the country club or elegant eatery.

The most important thing to remember is that curating clothing for your wedding season is about dressing the way you feel beautiful.

Visit the IDoHou Wedding Fashion directory to find your special look at bhldn or one of Houston’s other stylish shops.