The Many Faces of a Great Wedding Guest Dress
5 Things that take you from prairie chic to black tie optional
I couldn’t help but laugh when I heard the new trend in dress code mandates were sent in the form of photo mood boards. As if festive isn’t cryptic enough! So today, five very different dresses (one top) that can morph into just about any dress code the hosts are requesting.
A disclaimer, the dresses you will see today are all investment worthy - no flimsy fabrics, no budget versions. Because the point here is to buy one or two dresses that can be worn over and over, season after season. And lets face it, an event-worthy dress is just going to be more expensive than your everyday clothes (usually). We are talking specialty fabric, more of it and a much more attuned detail to fit.
Also, I chose an edit that would address different body types and areas of sensitivity. But take these silhouettes shown today as a guide when shopping for your own festive attire too! It’s not the end all, be all of course. Just 5 great things! Lots of tips to shop by below.
A final declaration, that I must mention, is that when you find YOUR dress, occasion on the horizon or not, please just buy it!!! (Yes, I’m talking to you Elissa.) There are very few things more stressful than shopping for an occasion dress when the clock is ticking. And even though you have “nothing to wear it to now,” you will! And what is better than just saying, oh I’m going to wear that blueish silver metallic dress tomorrow night without even having to think about it.
Ok, onto it.
The Metallic Mini
While a mini might be restrictive for some dress codes, if you happen to load up your mini with lace AND shine, the world opens up a bit. This dress is by Coperni. It’s THE fancy dress I will commit to this year, and already plan to wear it multiple times. In fact, I wore it last night to a 40th birthday party (HBD Danielle!)
The designers balanced ALL the elements well here. It is full coverage on the neck, which I appreciate when doing a short hemline. The silver somehow toughens up the lace, and the shape is actually pretty simple. Disclosure, it did NOT come with a lining, so good thing we talked about slips two weeks ago.
Also, I bought my normal size (36, and its definitely snug in the hips or “perfect” so consider this if and when ordering, it is French after all.)
The LBD to end all LBDs
This dress by Sportmax alludes boundaries! It is a heavy cady fabric which will hold its shape, not wrinkle terribly and read slightly slinky. It’s black tie friendly but not so shiny it will look out of place on a farm (with the right accessories.) Other things that make this work for ten BILLION events: the hemline hits perfectly to fit in when everyone is wearing short or everyone is wearing long. So you don’t need to text every single other guest to ask what they are wearing. The high neckline means you can jump around all evening in your most comfortable bra. I mean…what CAN’T this dress do!
The Toteme Top
This top somehow works with every single pant and skirt I own. I couldn’t stop putting outfits together. The green is lovely with black (will be great in the winter too!), it livened up florals, primary colors, pastel knits, etc. etc. etc. Its stylish with a tshirt underneath (which I would also do during the day with a grey trouser and loafers BTW!) and is a great canvas for jewelry. Since you probably have a black skirt or black pants in your closet already, its a lot less of an investment than a full length dress and delivers just as much, if not more impact.
A unique and flattering voluminous floral dress
Love this dress by Kika Vargas, and it just happened to get extremely marked down half way through writing this, lucky you! The floral print is graphic and bold, and on a black base so the ruffle works. The strapless element ensures that you aren’t swallowed in volume, the cinched waist and tea length give you the best possible proportions. I also just think this is something you won’t get sick of. You can wear it twice. Put it in your closet for three years and it will look just as great when the next cousin gets engaged.
The Power Player
This dress is formed from so many elements that help it’s malleability, it can basically do anything. It’s sequined, so will do well in a ballroom. But its also knit and has this undercurrent of sand running through it, taking it down for the beach. When I look at it with these traditional accessories, I can literally see it at any party. It would even be cute with a little cardigan or jacket come fall.
As you continue your dress hunt, I hope you’ll keep all these shapes, fabrics and general styling ideas in mind. Again, this is a guide and meant to inspire. Happy hunting, and happy wedding season!
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I purchased the Kika Vargas per your recommendation, it is so fab!! I will say, it’s very voluminous in person, and probably best suited for a black-tie wedding or very formal event :) you’re right, I plan to wear and then wear again and again over the years!
Any idea if Atersee restocks product? I've never worked with them before The pants shown here are my dream magic pant, but they are sold out in my size (m).