How To Be the Best Dressed Guest at Every Single Wedding This Year

Shop the best wedding guest dresses for whatever the dress code may be.

How To Be the Best Dressed Guest at Every Single Wedding This Year
Olivia Baker

Whether you’ve already said “I do” or you’d consider yourself happily single, there’s no way to distance yourself from the social obligation of other people’s weddings. Whether they’re in a local backyard, or a jet-setting destination, you’ll need a party dress fitting for the occasion. You don’t want to upstage the bride on her special day, but you still want to feel your best, so if you’re not a bridesmaid, consider this a starting place—a collection of trending dress options, carefully curated by potential occasion.

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For a black-tie wedding, you want to opt for a formal dress that’s sleek and elegant. But for a summer wedding at the beach, the dress code calls for something a bit breezier, like a halter neck style cocktail dress or a puff sleeve, v-neck wrap dress. If you’re looking for a style that you can rewear throughout the season, you’ll want to keep versatility top of mind—a bold color or fun print in a midi silhouette will work as well as black dresses for many occasions, especially if you can mix and match with your accessories. Ahead, shop the best wedding guest dresses for whatever the bride and groom’s dress code may be.

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Printed

Delicate florals or un-flashy prints like a soft plaid or polka dot and pleated, chiffon fabric are perfect for formal weddings where you feel like you can have some fun with your outfit choice and infuse a bit of your personality into your look. Bonus points if you add whimsical accessories, like a fun handbag, into the mix.

Long-Sleeve

For winter weddings (or simply nuptials when the temperature has the potential to dip), pick a dress that offers you a bit more coverage. Even if the mini dress hem is short, heat-tech tights can help to keep chills at bay. Long sleeve dresses, perhaps with a high neck, may also be appropriate for certain religious ceremonies, so be sure to check the invite for any specific directions regarding that possibility. 

Colorful

While wearing white is a faux-pas, bright colors stand to be considered. You may hear talk of red or sequins being off limits too, but that’s not necessarily the case for all brides. Don’t shy away from going the Pantone route and wearing a single color, boldly and with pride.

Beach

Relax—you’re heading to the beach. You don’t want a dress that’s fussy or overly formal. Opt for breathable materials and a sleeveless silhouette like a slip dress that you can move in (read: escape a wave if necessary). A tropical print, like Johanna Ortiz’s take, or a pop of color with a ruffle, flutter sleeve and unique neckline are just the thing for mai-tai sipping while you watch someone special say “I do”

Black Tie

Formal doesn’t have to mean stuffy or stiff. A maxi dress or ball gown in a high-saturation color will fit the dress code while still bringing a sense of energy and fun. If you want to go with a classic black piece, try a playful a-line silhouette like the voluminous midi dress from Toteme.

Cottagecore

Whether the locale is a field or barn, for outdoor weddings with a cozy cottage feel you’ll want something that’s a bit more casual, with a ditsy floral print, a bit of volume, smocking and perhaps a short sleeve. If the ceremony is in the sun, you can pair the dress with a chic straw hat, cat-eye sunglasses or strappy sandal to complete the look. 

City

A wedding that’s meant to embody the energy and power of a city requires a dress that’s elegant, but has a bit of cosmopolitan edge. A tweed shift dress dress or fitted black bodycon dress will toe the line quite nicely. 

How To Be the Best Dressed Guest at Every Single Wedding This Year