What to Wear to a Wedding: A Woman's Guide (2022)

Maina Ndung'u is a fashion enthusiast and has been a fashion consultant and blogger since February 2015.

What to Wear to a Wedding: A Woman's Guide (1)

Wedding Outfits for Women

If you have received a wedding invite and you’re wondering what to wear, here are the best style tips. Selecting the best wedding attire as a guest can be difficult. Some wedding invitations will specify a dress code. But if the invitation doesn't mention a dress code, knowing the basic rules will help you feel confident while also not standing out in the crowd.

Wedding guest attire should be formal but also appropriate. Any clothing that might attract too much attention is not a good idea. This is not your day to shine. It belongs to somebody else. The idea is to be elegant and charming and not detract from the bride.

What to Wear to a Wedding: A Woman's Guide (2)

Types of Dresses to Wear to a Wedding

There is a wide range of dresses to wear to weddings. Your selection depends on the type of invitation, the time of day, venue and season. At most weddings, a dress that is knee-length or longer is perfect.

Floral Dresses

These are ideal for summer and spring weddings. Many women pair them with flower adornments or accessories. For daytime weddings, this is the ultimate dress. Soft floral colors are also stylish for the bridal party.

Pastel Dresses

Pastel dresses are elegant and ultra-feminine. They are especially appropriate for daytime weddings. Pastel dresses are cute and versatile for many occasions.

Maxi Dresses

The maxi dress is a good preference for an outdoor wedding. A maxi dress made with chiffon or silk in brilliant colors will make you feel confident no matter how formal or casual the event is. These dresses are perfect for summer as well as winter weddings. In case it’s very cold, you can layer a sophisticated coat or jacket over the dress. You’ll keep warm and still look amazing.

What to Wear to a Wedding: A Woman's Guide (3)
What to Wear to a Wedding: A Woman's Guide (4)

Little Black Dresses

A little black dress is perfectly acceptable for the majority of weddings. It is especially appropriate to wear for evening weddings. If you feel like black is too dark for the occasion, you can accessorize it with lighter colored shoes, jackets or jewelry.

Sheath Dresses

The sheath dress is one dress that never goes out of fashion. It is suitable for all women and enhances the feminine figure. For a day wedding, choose cotton or linen floral print. You can also opt for a bright color with matching shoes. For evening weddings, satin or chiffon fabrics look chic and polished.

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Skater Dresses

A skater dress is flexible for a wedding occasion. You can choose from a wide range of colors, materials and lengths, depending on the type of wedding. For an evening wedding, you may choose one in chiffon and your favorite color. For a day wedding, choose cotton in a bright color or print.

Evening Gowns

Long gowns are ideal for black-tie weddings. Choose appropriate accessories and jewelry to create a fabulous and feminine appearance.

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Cocktail Dresses

This is ideal for black tie and semi-formal weddings, which are usually held in the evenings. You can wear a cocktail dress that is either sleeveless or short-sleeved.

How to Wear a Skirt to a Wedding

Wearing a skirt to a wedding is appropriate as long as it isn't too casual. A skirt can be a good option for semi-formal weddings. If you want to wear a skirt, choose one that is an appropriate length and go for something that is stylish and graceful. As a rule of thumb, if you can't wear it for an evening event, you should not wear it to a wedding. Try avoiding skirts that are:

  • Too revealing
  • Too casual
  • Too business-like

Pencil Skirts

A pencil midi-skirt is simple, cute and fashionable if styled the correct way. The wrong choices can make this outfit look office-like. If you choose a black or neutral skirt, go for a top with simple decorations like ruffles. Avoid pairing a skirt with a button shirt, especially if it is white.

Pencil skirts can make walking difficult, so they usually have slits to help with movement. When buying a skirt with slits, make sure the slits aren't too high.

What to Wear to a Wedding: A Woman's Guide (13)
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Maxi and Midi-Skirts

Maxi and midi-skirts can easily be paired with more formal tops. For instance, a neutral maxi skirt will go well with a lace blouse.

Best Tops for Skirts

The best tops to pair with skirts for a wedding are feminine blouses. These include lace blouses, peplum tops and ruffled tops. Masculine tops like men’s shirts or blazers pair well with ultra-feminine outfits like floral printed satin or chiffon skirts. If you must add layers for warmth, something like a tweed or velvet jacket will look sophisticated.

Shoes and Accessories

If your skirt is neutral, choose brightly colored shoes to add zing to the look. Neutral and dark shoes go with bright and printed skirts. Try to match or closely blend your shoes with the blouse.

If your skirt is medium length, you can wear closed shoes. For long skirts, opt for strappy or open footwear. Accessorize with a statement necklace to make the outfit look more formal.

Acceptable Colors to Wear to a Wedding

While almost all colors are acceptable for weddings, some might make you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Your attire should make you blend in with the other guests. You should feel confident without demanding attention. Some outfits may be fine for a guest but be inappropriate because of the color.

Can You Wear White to a Wedding?

The colors white and ivory are frowned upon by many wedding guests. Wearing these colors makes you look like you are trying to compete with the bride. If you wear white to a wedding, some people might get the impression that you are jealous. If you really want to wear white, wear accessories in other colors. Prints with white as the background are also welcome. Also, be careful with the design of your white dress. If it looks like a bridal gown, it is not appropriate for a wedding guest. Better yet, just choose a different color.

Can You Wear Black to a Wedding?

Many people argue about whether it is appropriate to wear black to a wedding. Some parties argue that you should wear black only if it is an evening wedding. But a little black dress is appropriate for almost any occasion, including weddings.

Can You Wear Black and White to a Wedding?

Black and white when worn alone can be considered inappropriate by some people at weddings. But wearing them together is not inappropriate. They can be mixed in any form including checked, stripped or other patterns and combinations.

What Not to Wear to a Wedding

Though some weddings have a specific dress code, many don't, and there are outfits that you should not wear. As you ponder on what to wear, always remember that the impression you make is important. Below are some outfits that you should not wear to a wedding.

  • Top with an extra-low neckline, especially if you have no bra. This may be particularly improper if it shows too much of your bust.
  • A white dress that can be confused with the bride’s gown.
  • Micro-mini skirt.
  • Transparent dresses or skirts, especially if it shows your underwear.
  • Office or business wear, although an elegant pantsuit with heels works if you don't like dresses.
  • T-shirts.
  • Jeans.
  • Backless dresses that show your bra band. If you want to wear a backless dress, make sure it has a built-in bra.
  • A dress or skirt that shows your bike shorts underneath.
  • Flip-flops, unless it’s a casual, flip-flop wedding.
  • Plastic footwear.
  • Sportswear like a jogging suit.
  • Sneakers or tennis shoes.

If you avoid these types of clothing, you will have a clearer picture of what you can wear to the occasion. Avoid clothing that screams, “Look at me!” This can be seen as desperate and disrespectful to the bride.

What to Wear to a Wedding: A Woman's Guide (14)

Feel Confident and Look Radiant

With these styling tips, you will feel confident as you leave for the wedding celebration. Always make sure to check yourself in the mirror before venturing out. If you’re unsure of your clothes, opt for another style.

If the wedding is at night, you can select richer and bolder shades. Also, be sure to familiarize yourself with the norms of your locale. When the event is over, you’ll be glad that your wedding attire paid off.

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FAQs

What should I wear to a wedding as a guest female? ›

Women should wear a formal floor-length gown that does not reveal the ankles at the hem of the dress, but if the wedding seems a bit less formal, a sophisticated cocktail dress may also be acceptable. Women may also wear elegant pantsuits. Men must wear a tuxedo.

What should I wear to a wedding answer? ›

3. What should I wear?
  • “The wedding is casual, so please feel free to wear whatever you'd feel best in!”
  • “The wedding is semi-formal, so we encourage you to wear cocktail attire [for evening events] / Sunday best [for daytime events].”
  • “The wedding is formal, so we encourage you to wear black tie attire.
2 Oct 2019

What do you wear to a wedding if you don't know the dress code? ›

Your best bet is cocktail attire. Sure, you might be overdressed if it ends up being a more relaxed affair, but you'll fit right in at a cocktail attire party, and (with the right accessories) can easily dress up for something on the more formal side. Women should opt for a dress in a luxe fabric, such as silk.

What are the three levels of dress codes? ›

There are three common levels of professional dress: Business professional, business casual and smart casual.

What should a female guest wear to a wedding in 2021? ›

In general, daytime weddings are more casual, so lighter fabrics, festive colors, and less-formal attire are the rule. For women, a nice daytime dress, skirt, top, or jumpsuit are good choices.

What shouldn't a guest wear to a wedding? ›

Steer Clear of Anything Too Casual

No one wants to quit their coziest clothing like yoga pants, slippers, and jeans. But these have no place at a wedding. Even if a wedding is casual and relaxed, still dress with respect. No flip, flops, shorts, or jeans should be on your list of options to wear.

What does dress to impress mean for a wedding? ›

What Does Dress To Impress Mean? The saying “dress to impress” suggests that women wear dresses: cocktail dresses, floor-length gowns, formal dresses, party dresses, black tie dresses, black tie optional dresses and more!

Is it OK to wear black to a wedding? ›

As a general rule, "wearing black is totally acceptable, as the hue is very versatile," Sabatino affirms. However, you should avoid wearing white unless you are told otherwise. That shade, she says, is reserved exclusively for the bride.

What do you like to wear on special occasion answer? ›

Ans. I prefer getting dressed up in casual wear like jeans and a T-shirt daily, but I like to stick to formal wear like a saree or salwar suit for special occasions. I believe that it's imperative to wear clothes according to the event and mood to be a part of your social community.

Is it better to be overdressed or underdressed for a wedding? ›

Being overdressed is more appropriate AND, to be honest, it will draw people to you making it easy to make new friends, allowing you to feel a little more comfortable whereas being underdressed would do the opposite. So, in general, it's a good rule of thumb!

What Colour dont you wear to a wedding? ›

It turns out that white is still the main color you can't wear to a wedding. Eighty percent of brides wear white to their wedding, and it's important that a bride stands out at her wedding. Even if it isn't the intent, a guest wearing white can be seen as an attempt to upstage the bride—and that's definitely a no-no.

What is smart dress code for ladies? ›

What is a smart casual dress code for women? A smart casual dress code is an attire that combines well-fitting, polished business wear with elements of casual attire like blouses, shirts, button-downs, dress pants, dark-wash jeans, and polished, practical footwear.

What is the most strict dress code? ›

The Muslim nation of Saudi Arabia has some of the strictest dress codes in the world, especially for women. The new female dress code passed in 2019 is just as strict — even if it no longer requires female tourists to wear an abaya (essentially a cloak) and headscarf.

What is considered inappropriate dress? ›

Some example of the types of attire that would be inappropriate for our business environment include: tank, halter, tube, midriff, and spaghetti-strap tops or camisoles; strapless dresses; revealing attire; T-shirts; spandex or other form fitting pants (i.e. stretch pants or leggings); skorts or shorts; blue denim ...

What wedding trends are out for 2022? ›

  • Bouquet and garter tosses may appear outdated. ...
  • Flower arches may be more popular than balloon ones in 2022. ...
  • Table service can be pretty common. ...
  • Sparkler tunnels are considered timeless by some. ...
  • Some jewels, like Moissanite, are becoming popular. ...
  • Couples may switch up the order of traditional wedding events.
15 Apr 2022

What do you wear to a summer 2022 wedding? ›

The Top Summer Wedding Guest Trends for 2022:
  • Cut-Outs. Showing some skin is in. ...
  • Bold Colors. Leave your demure pastels and muted florals for another year and instead opt for brighter options like hot pink, sunshine yellow or Kelly green. ...
  • Slip Dresses. The simple '90s silhouette is having another major moment in 2022.
25 Jul 2022

How can a wedding guest look elegant? ›

The 10 top fashion rules for wedding guests
  1. Don't wear white. ...
  2. Don't upstage the bride. ...
  3. Invest in accessories. ...
  4. Don't wear anything too skimpy. ...
  5. Don't dress too casually. ...
  6. Wear colour in summer. ...
  7. Bring a pair of flats. ...
  8. Avoid wearing black.

Is it rude to wear black to a wedding as a guest? ›

Can You Wear Black to a Wedding? Generally, wearing black to a wedding is appropriate. "Guests can absolutely wear black to a wedding," says Shawne Jacobs, President and Creative Director of Anne Barge. "In the past, black was a color typically worn for mourning.

Is it OK to wear a long dress to a wedding? ›

For a more formal wedding, it is typically expected that female guests wear a long dress. But instead of breaking out the gown you wore to prom, try wearing a more appropriate evening gown. If the wedding is during the day, a pretty maxi dress should do the trick.

How can I be attractive in a wedding? ›

Whether it is a friend's or cousin's or siblings' wedding party, looking pretty is the Choice of every girl.
...
Here are the tips to look pin-drop gorgeous for any wedding party:
  1. Wear What Is In: ...
  2. For Glowing Skin: ...
  3. Toned Glowing Skin: ...
  4. Bright Eye Makeup Touch: ...
  5. Blazing Lips: ...
  6. Jewelry:
27 Aug 2018

How can I look special in a wedding? ›

Pick light, pretty colors but don't wear white, being mistaken for the bride is awkward. Light blue, beige, peach, sunset orange, and lavender are good colors. Wear a tuxedo or a suit, depending on how formal the wedding is. If it's a small, outdoor wedding, wear a smart suit.

What are smart casual clothes? ›

What Is Smart Casual Attire? Smart casual attire is a dress code that combines well-fitting, polished business wear with elements of casual attire—think blouses, polo shirts, button-downs, chinos, dress pants, dark-wash jeans, and polished, practical footwear.

What is the average cash gift for a wedding? ›

We're seeing the same general amount to give for a wedding gift of cash: anywhere within the $75 to $200 range is the norm. On average, most wedding guests give a gift of around $150 to $160 as a wedding present. According to etiquette experts, though, the minimum amount is around $75.

Can I wear black to a wedding in 2022? ›

But we've got good news for fans of coal-colored ensembles: “It is absolutely acceptable for a female to wear a black dress to a wedding,” says Swann. However, there are a few things all good guests should keep in mind. “Always avoid wearing anything that's too low cut, too short, or too tight,” advises Swann.

Is it rude to wear red to a wedding? ›

Conclusion. If you are attending a wedding, just be mindful of choosing a red dress, in case you might come across as disrespectful to the couple. A bright and loud hue of red could be too distracting at a wedding. Instead, if you want to wear red, opt to wear darker shades of red instead.

What should I wear to impress someone? ›

Make A Good Impression, Dress to Impress
  • Professional looking suit, tailored dress or pantsuit. Lean toward the conservative side with skirted suits and use the gray or black. ...
  • Polished and comfortable shoes. Shoes should be conservative; low to medium heels are best.
  • Accessories. Make-up should enhance your appearance.

Are clothes important to you answer? ›

Answer: Clothes and fashion are very important to me primarily because it makes me look good and feel good about myself. Besides, they are very important to me because, in my culture, people do tend to judge others by the clothes or fashion styles they use, and I always like to be “judged” favourably.

What kind of clothes do you like wear when you visit any event? ›

The type of dress I wear on different special occasions mostly depends on the occasion types and the conventional dress codes on those events. However, for the majority of these special occasions, I like to wear formal pants, shirts, suits and formal shoes.

Do you wear short or long dress to a wedding? ›

If the attire is cocktail attire or business casual, then your short dress is more than likely okay. If it's evening wear or semi-formal, you might want to go with something a bit dressier. If you can find out what the bridesmaids are wearing ahead of time, that might be an excellent way to gauge your outfit.

Is it OK to show cleavage at a wedding? ›

Remember, you're going to a wedding, not a club. Anything too short, with too much cleavage or see-through, is a straight-up no. You can wear those sorts of dresses on any other event but a sacred event that should be treated with the utmost respect.

Can I wear a knee length dress to a formal wedding? ›

"A knee-length dress, midi dress, or even a flowy maxi dress are all appropriate; I also love the idea of a jumpsuit, suit or a patterned suit or a tuxedo with a standard necktie rather than a bow tie." As for accessories, a "colorful shoe, patterned tie, statement piece of jewelry or a fun pair of sunglasses (if the ...

What is the best colour to wear to a wedding? ›

Some safe colors include formal cool colors like gray, brown, tan, or muted shades of green and blue. These are classic colors that are typically worn to formal events like weddings. So unless the bride or groom has specified that any of these colors should not be worn, you should be fine wearing these.

Can you wear floral to a wedding? ›

Can I wear a floral pattern to a wedding? Yes! A floral print outfit is an appropriate and stylish choice for all seasons and types of weddings.

Can you wear makeup to a wedding? ›

Brides Often Ask

You can wear makeup as a wedding guest but it is not an absolute requirement. However, it's a good idea not to overdo it or outshine the bride. If you feel good in natural wedding guest makeup of just lipstick and concealer, that is alright too.

How do you wear thin hair to a wedding? ›

A twisted-down hairstyle is an excellent option for brides with thin hair. It gives the volume that an updo would, but at the nape of your neck. Instead of a simple bun, have create a twisted effect with your hair and then have it loop at the bottom, giving an illusion of a low chignon.

Which type of hair is more attractive? ›

A general observation across experiments was that straight hair was perceived as younger, healthier, and more attractive than wavy hair and darker shades (medium copper and brown) were perceived more positively than blonde hair.

What color should a female guest wear to a wedding? ›

You may choose to wear any color except black or white. The guest's goal should be to blend in with the surroundings and let the bride shine. As her guest, you should avoid attire that could be considered informal or in bad taste. Pastels, jewel tones and earth tones are excellent choices, as are most primary colors.

How can a girl look attractive to a wedding? ›

Tips To Look Gorgeous and Beautiful as a Bride
  1. To get a bright and radiant skin on your wedding day – De-stress Yourself. ...
  2. Eat healthy. ...
  3. Exercise daily. ...
  4. Meet dermatologist (If needed) ...
  5. Find an aesthetician for regular facials. ...
  6. Exfoliate your skin on regular intervals. ...
  7. Follow a skin care regime. ...
  8. Nourish your skin.
11 Nov 2019

What color should you not wear to a wedding as a guest? ›

Traditionally, the only off-limits color for wedding guests has been white, for obvious reasons—no one wants to take attention away from the bride. But times are a-changin'. Now, many people simply don't see wearing white as a big deal. Some brides and grooms are totally cool with it.

What do you wear when invited to a wedding? ›

White shirts and neutral colored ties are appropriate. Ladies can choose a full-length gown, a dressy cocktail dress, or a dressy suit in neutral tones like black, grey or navy.

What is the most popular color to wear to a wedding? ›

You may already know the most popular color for wedding guests. It's blue. And navy blue beats all other shades combined.

How can a guest look classy at a wedding? ›

The 10 top fashion rules for wedding guests
  1. Don't wear white. ...
  2. Don't upstage the bride. ...
  3. Invest in accessories. ...
  4. Don't wear anything too skimpy. ...
  5. Don't dress too casually. ...
  6. Wear colour in summer. ...
  7. Bring a pair of flats. ...
  8. Avoid wearing black.

Can you wear black to a wedding woman? ›

But we've got good news for fans of coal-colored ensembles: “It is absolutely acceptable for a female to wear a black dress to a wedding,” says Swann. However, there are a few things all good guests should keep in mind. “Always avoid wearing anything that's too low cut, too short, or too tight,” advises Swann.

How can I look slim in a wedding? ›

Best Tips to Look Slimmer on your Wedding Day
  1. Pick a darker colour for the blouse. ...
  2. Opt for solid colours over Prints. ...
  3. Pick flowy and breezy fabrics. ...
  4. Get the right kind of jewels. ...
  5. Stick to one colour family. ...
  6. Go for simple necklines. ...
  7. Be particular about the embroidery & work you choose. ...
  8. Show minimal skin.

How can I look special in a wedding? ›

Pick light, pretty colors but don't wear white, being mistaken for the bride is awkward. Light blue, beige, peach, sunset orange, and lavender are good colors. Wear a tuxedo or a suit, depending on how formal the wedding is. If it's a small, outdoor wedding, wear a smart suit.

Is it rude to wear black to a wedding as a guest? ›

Can You Wear Black to a Wedding? Generally, wearing black to a wedding is appropriate. "Guests can absolutely wear black to a wedding," says Shawne Jacobs, President and Creative Director of Anne Barge. "In the past, black was a color typically worn for mourning.

What colour is unlucky at a wedding? ›

Whilst coloured wedding dresses, from vibrant shades to pastel colours, are one trend brides of today experiment with, there's one colour you should avoid completely according to superstition. An ancient rhyme once stated that brides should never marry in red as it is a very bad omen indeed.

Can you wear floral to a wedding? ›

Can I wear a floral pattern to a wedding? Yes! A floral print outfit is an appropriate and stylish choice for all seasons and types of weddings.

What does dress to impress mean for a wedding? ›

What Does Dress To Impress Mean? The saying “dress to impress” suggests that women wear dresses: cocktail dresses, floor-length gowns, formal dresses, party dresses, black tie dresses, black tie optional dresses and more!

What is dressy casual wear? ›

Dressy casual attire (also called smart casual) is a combination of relaxed and refined pieces—think blouses, dress shirts, button-downs, dress pants, dark jeans, and clean shoes.

Can you wear jeans to a wedding as a guest? ›

"Unless its a Denim and Diamonds dress code, denim is pretty much an unwelcome guest at a wedding," Jacobs said. "This doesn't mean that pants or a jumpsuit are off the table, but it's best to leave your jeans at home."

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