What do you wear to a mountain chic wedding?

Carolyn Brown wants to be one-upped by her wedding guests.

Brown and her fiancé, both lawyers in Austin, opted for an “upstage the bride” dress code for their October wedding. “I want people to be way more dressy than I am,” she says. “I want feathers and sequins and for people to go all out.” The sartorial decision came about in part because Brown doesn’t want to stress about what people are wearing or police their apparel.

Such a dress code might be less stress for the bride, but what about for the guests? Brown’s concept is part of a larger trend of couples opting for less traditional, more specialized dress codes, including some absolute head-scratchers. Alan David Horowitz, owner of Alan David Custom, which specializes in bespoke suits, says that work attire requests have taken a back seat to wedding apparel, and he’s constantly receiving “crazy requests” — Horowitz recently made a custom suit for one client’s marijuana-themed wedding.

Plus-size fashion influencer Sean Taylor had two wedding events with unusual dress codes: Vegas vibes (guests dressed like Elvis, Dolly Parton, and members of “The Sopranos”) and the increasingly popular “Bridgerton” (a loose interpretation of the show’s already loose interpretation of Regency-era fashion).

Taylor included a QR code on her invitations that led guests to a Pinterest board with pictures, colors, words and clothing brands to help people understand the aesthetic. For invitations with a high-concept dress code but no accompanying mood board, guests needn’t panic — a custom code doesn’t necessarily mean eccentric. Many modern dress codes are rooted in the traditional and come down to small twists like color palette, which add to the atmosphere of the event. Sometimes that wacky dress code is even giving you practical information: “Mountain chic” reminds guests that terrain is rocky (think of your footwear!) and higher elevation is cool.

There’s plenty of overlap and not necessarily a lot of hard rules around the new wedding dress codes. Let us help you decode the vibes.

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Formalwear still calls for tuxedos and evening dresses, but for an event at a winery, think of your feet first. “You’re going to be stepping on some uneven ground,” says Kerilynn Vigneau, image consultant, wardrobe stylist and owner of KLV Styling. That means low heels and wedges, not stilettos.

Guests should play with color and patterns. Instead of a black tuxedo, men can try burgundy or navy, Vigneau says. Women can incorporate florals or choose a jumpsuit with a low heel. Shades of purple, green, taupe or brown will compliment the natural scenery rather than compete with it.

See: Cate Blanchett’s suits in “Ocean’s 8,” a Monet painting

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Any dress code with “mountain” in it is a call to consider fabrics carefully and practically. In cooler months, mountain formal means heavy fabrics and accessories, like faux fur and wraps. Guests can also reach for the Black Watch plaid, velvet or florals against a darker background.

The color story should complement the environment, including shades of green, blue, brown and neutrals.

See: Half of the Reformation catalogue, “The Grand Budapest Hotel”

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Any desert apparel needs to be breathable. Vigneau says she pushes both men and women toward lighter-weight fabrics and flowy designs for women — “something lightweight that you don’t feel like you’re going to be sweating to death in.”

Even if a desert event is designated as “formal,” Horowitz recommends not going with a tuxedo or a dark suit. Instead, he suggests a short-sleeve linen suit. For a desert wedding, Horowitz once made a short sleeve suit with matching shorts.

Remember that a desert climate can change rapidly once night falls. Guests should consider a shawl, wrap or even a cape.

See: J-Lo at the 2000 Grammys, Zendaya’s “Dune: Part Two” press tour

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Similar to a desert formal, Horowitz recommends skipping the tuxedo or dark suit. Instead, guests should dress in light colors in spring or summer fabrics. That can mean cotton, silk, or a silk and wool blend. He also recommends suit jackets with either no lining or half lining.

A beach formal approach can also depend on if the wedding is taking place on the East or West coast, Vigneau said. West Coast tends to be more relaxed, with flowy dresses and perhaps a dressy sandal. East Coast leans preppier, meaning people should stay away from sandals and guys should opt for something like a loafer.

See: East Coast: Kennedy family wedding. West Coast: “Bachelorette” contestant wedding

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Think dressy prints and fun textures “that aren’t necessarily considered ball gown or eveningwear,” says Sarah Kazemburg of Sarah Kazemburg Events & Styling. It’s elevated, but guests should lean into the theme with florals and patterns. Men can go with lighter suits, brightly colored pocket squares or floral ties. The location and time of day can help inform the level of formality, though “when in doubt, err on the side of being more formal than too casual,” Kazemburg says. “You don’t want to show up underdressed and not rise to the level of all the effort they are putting in for the wedding.”

See: The other half of the Reformation catalogue, Brad Pitt’s cream suit in “Ocean’s Eleven”

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Not to be confused with “festival” clothing, a festive dress code is basically a more fun version of cocktail attire — attendees can show off parts of their personal style. Think bright colors, patterns, velvet suits, jumpsuits, shorter dresses, sequins and sparkles. The overall look may include a bold accessory like a statement necklace, cocktail ring or brightly colored tie.

See: “White Lotus” Season 2, moms at the Renaissance Tour

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This is traditional cocktail with the small distinction of being a little more colorful and relaxed. Suits and cocktail dresses are still worn, but think lighter fabrics and less-formal cuts. Color, pattern and texture are all allowed, as long as the overall look is put together.

See: Zendaya’s press tour for “Challengers”

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A barn or farmhouse wedding calls for attire on the casual side. Guests can wear long dresses or sundresses with sandals. A dressier choice can be a pattern shirt or a fun pocket square. Cowboy boots make for perfect footwear for male and female guests, but some attendees may opt for loafers. Fabrics should be on the lighter side, including cottons or satin.

See: Alexis Rose in “Schitt’s Creek”

Do you struggle to make returns? Is there a stack of boxes in your hallway waiting for return labels that will never come? Talk to The Washington Post for an upcoming story.

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