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50 elegant outfits for wedding guests & dresses that wow for 2024

50 elegant outfits for wedding guests & dresses that wow for 2024

elegant outfits for wedding guests dresses

Last Updated on October 15, 2023 by Eve Dawes

Chic and classy wedding guest dresses & outfits for the stylish guest

Elegant outfits for wedding guests for a sophisticated look for the next wedding you’re attending. Choosing an elegant wedding guest dress doesn’t mean sticking to neutrals or basic cuts, they can still be fashion forward, stylish and have a modern twist. Although you can never go wrong with classic style classy wedding guest outfits. As a fashion editor I’ve covered everything you could possibly need for all seasons and dress codes in past articles but not by genre e.g. elegant wedding outfits. So in this article you’ll find lots of designer to luxe for less, short cocktail dresses to tea length dresses, maxis and gowns for a chic look. These are some of the best wedding guest dresses I came across after hours of extensive searching for the most elegant outfits for wedding guests. Take a peek to find your perfect dress!

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elegant outfits for wedding guests pink dress

What makes an elegant outfit for wedding guests

A lot of what makes or breaks an elegant outfit for wedding guests is the fit, material, coverage and how you style it. Yes, more expensive fabrics do tend to look more elegant but you can find lots of chic affordable styles and the price tag isn’t everything.

Although I’d recommend staying away from cheap fabrics and go for breathable fabrics in the Summer or warm weather. It’s hard to look elegant with pit stains and fabric clinging in all of the wrong places.

If I shared only one tip, it’d be that fit is everything. If it’s too tight or too big it’s going to look cheap, unflattering and inelegant. Because I’m petite I tend to have most of my clothes tailored. It makes an outfit look custom made and more expensive.

How to accessorize elegant outfits for wedding guests

Another thing to consider is what shoes, bag and accessories you style it with and how you style your hair and makeup. For a more classy wedding guest outfit, less tends to be more.

Classic style bags and heels or strappy sandals rather than platforms or wedges tend to look more elegant. As much as I love my platforms, I tend to save them for more trendy looks.

winter wedding guest dresses red mini Glamour Gains
Red wedding guest dress mini dress under $110 on sale | Bag: Tom Ford | Black strappy heels

Bag wise, I personally love a structured bag or clutch for making the look more polished. Either in a color that matches your shoes, creates a monochromatic head to toe look or in a complimentary neutral color.

Fun color eyeliners and sparkly eyeshadows are great and can work for a fun, fashion wedding look but don’t really work if you’re trying to go for an elegant look. Stick to neutrals, golden, bronze tones and if you want to add a pop of color, do it with your lipstick or gloss.

winter wedding guest dress black cocktail satin midiBlack satin dress on sale under $100 | Balmain black heels | Black evening gloves

For formal events, opera gloves are in style and look ever so chic go well with a black tie wedding guest dress.

What colors are good to wear to a wedding

Don’t feel limited to a neutral color palette. Bright colors and rich jewel tones like ruby red, sage green and emerald green can look just as good. Bold prints can be harder to make elegant besides a houndstooth so be wary with bold or bright patterns if you’re trying to create a classy wedding guest outfit. Just don’t upstage the bride or bridal party, that’s a total faux pas as is wearing white.

I’ve also added some stunning navy blue, floral print, neutral styles and little black dresses if you prefer more muted colors or minimalistic looks for your wedding guest outfit. As well as some black-tie wedding guest dresses in case the wedding dress code calls for it.

Just don’t wear black to a wedding in Great Britain, it’s a faux pas and people will think you’re going to a funeral. I personally don’t like it as a wedding guest color period. It’s too dull and morbid. I’ve added them as I know it’s a lot of peoples preference and you need to wear what makes you feel beautifully confident not what someone else likes or dislikes.

elegant outfit for wedding guest black dress
Long sleeves black midi dress

Your choice of elegant outfit will depend on the kind of wedding, dress code and season too. So definitely consider the weather and location as much as personal style.

Elegant outfits for wedding guests under $250

These elegant outfits for wedding guests outfits from some of my favorite high street and online stores look more expensive than they are. A lot of these styles are versatile enough to wear more than once, for holiday parties and date night, etc.

elegant wedding guest dress blue one shoulder
Blue one shoulder midi dress under $250 (comes in lots more colors).

Like this sexy, ruched, one shoulder bodycon dress which also comes in lots of other colors and lengths. Yes, you can still be classy and sexy. It’s all about showing the right amount of skin like a one shoulder, not too plunging neckline, backless style or side slit and the styling. A crop top probably isn’t the way to go if you’re looking for an elegant outfit as a wedding guest!

classy wedding guest dress one shoulder midi burgundy
One shoulder dress Plum midi dress | Comes on lots of different colors and 3 lengths.

Shop the best elegant outfits for wedding guests under $250

If you’re looking for more affordable prices, check out this curated list for elegant wedding guest outfit inspiration with lots of different looks in lots of different color palettes.

As much as I love glam, sparkly dresses, I’ve left heavily embellished or sequin numbers to the Christmas party dresses as no one wants their wedding guest dress to detract from the bride. However, there are still a few with some sparkly or feather embellishments that strike the right balance for my girly girls during wedding season.

As well as casual dress code and more summery wedding dresses for beach weddings, destination wedding, garden parties, romantic vineyard settings that aren’t black tie or formal gowns. You can always favorite your top picks and come back to them later if you’re not ready to shop.

This red long sleeve mini dress is pretty lightweight so it’s great for layering with and it has pockets. Which means a mini bag is actually practical for a change as you can stash everything else in the pockets. It also didn’t need ironing when I took it out of the box for those of you who avoid ironing as much as me or need to pack it.

The neckline’s tight to get over your head though so definitely dress before doing your hair and makeup. It’s also pretty short (my inseams 31″ and it’s short on me) but it’s a great option for transitional season weddings and all body type (S).

Best elegant wedding outfits and classy wedding guest dresses over $250

These dreamy, elegant and classy wedding guest outfits, dresses and gowns are trending on these sites so definitely shop now if you find something you love or find one that’s pre-order.

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Some of my personal favorites are the black fit and flare style, hot pink ultra feminine long sleeve dress, Bronx and Banco navy midi dress (midi dresses tend to always look elegant), Tom Ford velvet mini dress,and stunning green velvet maxi dress which would be perfect for a formal winter wedding guest dress.

Shop elegant outfits and dresses for wedding guests over $250

Find your perfect wedding guest dress from this curated collection of wedding guest dresses and gowns for your upcoming weddings. A beautifully draped style like this Tom Ford wedding guest dress is a timeless and elegant option if you’re looking for a designer style.

Don’t want to wear a dress? Stunning outfits, matching sets & jumpsuits

If you don’t want to wear a dress to the wedding, a pant suit or jumpsuit can look super chic if it’s dress code appropriate. Especially the more tailored versions, in luxe fabrics and styles that don’t look like you’re headed into the office.

With the right heels and beautiful accessories these suits, blazers, jumpsuits and elegant outfits for wedding guests are just as stunning and appropriate as the beautiful dresses above. There’s even the most gorgeous flowy, satin maternity suit.

What do you wear to a Fall or Winter wedding?

Don’t worry too much about being too cold or too hot as most winter wedding ceremonies and receptions are inside. The best way to dress for a wedding in the colder months is to follow the dress code. Whether it’s a formal wedding requiring floor-length gowns or a more relaxed wedding party where short dresses are appropriate.

It’s all about dressing in layers which depend on where the ceremony’s being held. A wedding in New York or England’s going to need a warmer coat, tights, shoes or boots than for a winter wedding guest on the West coast or Caribbean.

winter wedding guest outfit 2023 black satin feather blazer chanel belt

Winter wedding dresses with long sleeves are always a good idea for staying warm and also look sophisticated. They also tend to mean no worrying about what your arms look like in photos!

One of the biggest rules of dressing for a wedding is to never outshine the bride and groom. Avoid sequined ball gowns, sparkly tiaras, sky-high platform heels, or other articles of clothing that will draw attention away from the bride.

Martha Stewart

What’s an elegant outfit for Summer wedding guests

Coming back to what I said before about breathable fabrics is a good place to start. Followed by the dress code and location. Elegant summer wedding guest dresses are appropriate for both the type of wedding and location. It doesn’t matter how elegant the outfit is if it’s out of place.

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