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Wedding Guest 101: The Right Attire for Every Dress Code

Wedding guest outfit ideas from the experts.

How Formal Should I Go?

While many weddings do call for formal wedding guest attire, "formal" can be ambiguous, especially when "black-tie" isn't specified. To decide what level of formality you choose, the easiest way is to consider the venue, which is essentially what sets the tone and aesthetic of the wedding.

Common Wedding Guest Dress Attire

Here, we’ve de-coded the appropriate attire for 6 common wedding guest dress codes so you don’t have to stress.


This is the most formal wedding guest attire you can wear. We suggest a floor-length evening gown, stunning jewelry and an iconic clutch.


This is almost as formal as white-tie and usually signals that the wedding will take place in the evening. As for white-tie, we suggest a formal floor-length gown. If the vibe feels slightly less formal, a sophisticated cocktail dress is also appropriate for wedding guest attire.

Wedding guest attire for black tie dress codes

Cocktail Attire

A step above "semi-formal" but not as fancy as black- or white-tie. In this situation, it's hard to go wrong with a chic cocktail dress. As far as length, we suggest an elegant tea- or midi-length. Wedding guest cocktail attire is all about striking a balance between elegance and comfort, inside and out.

Wedding guest attire for cocktail dress code

Semi-Formal/Dressy Casual

As a wedding guest, choosing a dress to wear to a semi-formal or dressy casual wedding is all about time of day. We suggest darker, richer colors for evening wedding attire, and lighter, softer colors for daytime weddings. A chic below-the-knee dress, iconic LBD, or striking jumpsuit would each work beautifully with a semi-formal dress code. (If the ceremony is outdoors, avoid spiky heels that could get stuck in the grass.) We love wedges or a gorgeous pair of formal flats.


This can also be a confusing dress code for wedding guest attire. In short, you have the freedom to play up your look, express your style, go for playful accessories, and have fun with color!

Wedding guest attire for festive dress codes


This usually means an outdoor, garden or beach wedding, so your wedding guest attire will be quite laid-back, but not jeans-and-tees laid-back. We suggest a breezy sundress or a simple sheath and chic sandals. If the wedding is indoors, you can still keep your look laid back, but you might want to consider a cover-up depending on the season.

Wedding Guest Attire Guidance

Looking for more style guidance on wedding guest attire? We're happy to help. Just email us: and one of our stylists will get right back to you!

Alternatively, check out our other blog(s) about wedding guest attire:

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