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What to Wear to a Wedding: The Best Wedding Guest Looks of 2021

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With the new season of summer bringing with it warm weather, bright skies, and cheerful dispositions all around, it’s no surprise that the next few shiny months will be filled with weddings and everyone you know dressed to the nines. With all of that to look forward to, you might be feeling overwhelmed or stumped when it comes to deciding what the perfect wedding guest dresses or wedding guest outfits are to rock up in. 

Thankfully, the beginning of the new decade has brought along with it interesting new trends and equally fresh takes on classic looks. So whether you’re looking for something a little more modern and daring or something a little more subdued and classic, there are thousands of options you can take inspiration from.

From what’s on-trend to all things classy, we’ve got a couple of suggestions for the best wedding guest dresses and wedding guest outfits women and men can wear to look their best for those upcoming nuptials. Read on to find some wedding guest fashion inspiration.

How Should a Guest Dress for a Wedding?

There are a couple of things everyone knows not to wear for a wedding — as long as you don’t wear white, anything too informal, or anything that will distract from the bride or groom, you’ve got endless options to pick from. 

If you’re running empty on ideas for wedding guest dresses or general wedding guest outfit ideas, knowing the theme or location of the wedding should guide your hand alongside the established dress code. 

This is definitely an essential tip in mind as you wouldn’t want to show up at a beachside destination wedding wearing high heels and a maxi dress on the sand when you could have gone for a more sensible pair of strappy sandals and less obstructive wedding guest dress length, or be that summer wedding guest that wears a three-piece suit and sweats under the sun throughout the whole wedding. 

To avoid other stories or experiences like these, we highly recommend you match your look to the season and the setting and prioritise your own comfort throughout the wedding day.

How Can a Guest Stand Out at a Wedding?

While every wedding guest wants to look good on their loved one’s special day, it’s important that you don’t wear anything too flashy or revealing that will negatively detract attention from the happy bride and groom. 

However, no matter what the theme or dress code, every wedding guest should prioritise pieces that evoke timeless elegance, that feature a tailored and sophisticated silhouette, that flatters your body well, that you carry confidently, and most importantly, that makes you feel comfortable throughout the day. All of these combined make any wedding guest stand out immediately, so keep these pointers in mind when finding the perfect outfit.

Wedding Guest Dress Ideas: What Should a Female Guest Wear to a Wedding?

Women have more than a handful of choices — outside of wearing white — when it comes to wedding guest dresses and outfits. From a midi dress to maxi dress, a long sleeves dress to an off-shoulder dress, an asymmetric neckline to a sweetheart neckline, or a puff sleeves pantsuit to a two-piece with a floral print, wedding guest dresses and outfits have really come a long way. 

Here are some of the best wedding guest dresses to don this year with a mix of classic and fresh styles to consider for your loved one’s big day.

Slip Dress

Slip dresses are a simple yet romantic trend that we love to see both on the high street and at weddings, and this slip dress from Rouje is a wonderful example of how easily the satin midi dress can blend in yet stand out at a wedding. 

This midi dress, thanks to its simplicity, can be partnered with anything you see fit, from small hoops to statement chandelier earrings or nude heels to metallic shoes, so consider this dress silhouette for the next wedding in your calendar.

Separates

Separates a relatively new trend popping in weddings, and we love seeing this trendy look in the seats as the bride walks down the aisle. This two-piece set from Reformation is the perfect getup for destination weddings in the tropics or an intimate garden gathering, with its puffed sleeves, thigh split, earthy yellow colour, and cotton material — all very summery details that make this go-to outdoor attire that can easily be dressed up or down. 

Thanks to its puff sleeve and midi dress length, it can easily be turned from a casual look to a down-to-earth wedding guest dress.

Maxi Dress

The maxi dress is an absolute classic for wedding guests and is one of those dresses that are safe to go for no matter the wedding theme. There are a ton of different maxi length styles to pick from, but we love this chiffon Boohoo wedding guest dress that’s flattering for all, thanks to its A-line silhouette with a tie belt, short batwing sleeve, and deep V-neck. 

The floor length wrap dress is one of the best wedding guest dresses one could opt for, and its soft mint colour is perfectly romantic, so pair it with your favourite statement earrings and clutch purse for an effortlessly classic look.

Jumpsuit

If you’ve looked far and wide for the perfect wedding guest dress but nothing speaks to you, maybe look away from the dresses and give jumpsuits a try. Jumpsuits make anyone in them look effortlessly chic, so it’s a great wedding guest dress alternative that works for any setting. 

While it is true that anything too distracting like loud animal print or large cut-outs are a little too head-turning, we think this jumpsuit from Boden is a perfect example of something wedding-appropriate that can still turn heads without raising eyebrows. 

Its colours and pattern are bright and cheery without being overbearing, its shape is flattering and great for different seasons, and its stretch fabric makes it more than comfortable enough for a whole day affair, making it the ultimate transitional piece to have for weddings.

Floral Dress

Dresses like this one from Reformation are perfect for either a spring wedding or summer nuptials thanks to its fresh floral print. The blooming and colourful floral design on the midi dress reminds us of new beginnings, a great symbol of the wedding season and the day you’re attending, and is also a nice way of turning a black dress into something a lot more festive. 

Its midi length makes it perfect for walking around without any hassle, and thanks to its silhouette’s simplicity, this wedding guest dress can easily be worn on casual days even when the big day is over.

Mini Dress

While the mini dress isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of the best wedding guest dresses to wear in general, mini dresses have been making their way into the occasion in recent years, and for good reason. 

This dress from Réalisation Par is a great example of why, featuring a soft colour with a pleasing pattern, classic shape, and overall elegant appearance. While some people might not think the shorter length is appropriate, we definitely think dresses such this one prove them wrong.

Black Tie Wedding: What Should a Male Guest Wear to a Wedding?

Just because it’s a “black tie wedding” doesn’t mean men automatically have to wear black suits and ties and not consider anything more fashion-forward and interesting. 

With men’s fashion shifting a lot more in recent years to give better and more daring formal options, there’s no excuse for dressing like there are none. Here are a couple of suggestions we think you should consider for the next wedding you find yourself at.

Bold Print

Bold prints on your suit jacket is a great way to stand out from the crowd while still keeping an appropriate and classy appearance. We think this floral jacquard suit jacket from ASOS is a standout wedding guest look without being garish like animal print, with its more muted mix of colours and floral print that would serve as a great backdrop at a colourfully themed or garden wedding.

Checkered Suit

Check suits add an automatic air of class to a wedding guest look, and this Cavani suit gives us a lot of Swinging Sixties inspiration. We think a check suit is a great way to dress up for the wedding guest that wants something understated but more interesting than your typical suit. 

This looks good no matter how you dress it up, whether its worn with a matching inner vest or over a more cocktail style, so any wedding guest that dresses themselves up in this is sure to look like the most dapper in the room — aside from the groom, of course.

Pastel Colour

Going pastel might sound intimidating for more traditional gentlemen, but we assure it’s one of the most complementary choices a wedding guest could dress in, especially for summer weddings set outdoors. 

This sky blue suit from Moss Bros. is a solid example of what you should go for, as it’s fresh, bright, and fun to look at for those around you. We also think pastel suits would look fantastic if you and your date decide to match, easily making both of you some of the best dressed of the night.

Smart Casual Top

When thinking of what to wear as a wedding guest, you definitely don’t think about wearing a t-shirt underneath your suit. However, when done right, this style can look really high fashion and make you stand out. 

There are many different shirts one can go for, but our best bets are a classic turtleneck or a shirt with a high neckline as seen above. Dress this look up with a double-breasted suit like this one from Burton, as the casual and more formal elements of the top and suit cohere quite nicely.

Final Note

This year has brought with it a lot of new trends to dress up in and play around with, and that includes what wedding guests should dress in. We love seeing the variety in what everyone is wearing for these celebrations of love, and how the way everyone dresses doesn’t just have to reflect the event itself, but can also reflect your own personal style and taste.

From wedding guest dresses, jumpsuits, and two-piece ensembles for women and pastels, bold prints, and casual tops for men, we’re excited to see how the wedding guests of 2021 and beyond are going to dress for those special days.

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Tina Li

Tina Li is a part-time writer and full-time mum from London. Despite living a somewhat hectic life, Tina always finds time between taking care of her young kids and keeping up with what’s in vogue. She loves to visit the high street when she can and pick up anything that’s both simple yet statement.

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