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It’s officially nuptials season, which is why this guide to the best wedding guest outfits for 2022 is a must read now. Picking the right look can be challenging, especially since there are so many wedding dress codes to decipher. Not sure where to begin? Below, find the top 5 shoppable looks for this season—including wedding guest jewelry, bridal party shoes and the perfect clutches.
Even better? Each outfit is categorized by level of formality, making it easy to find the right look for this year’s beachy, casual, semi-formal and black-tie weddings.
The Key to Wedding Guest Outfits 2022: A Quick Note
Before diving into specific looks, it’s important to note that most invitations will detail the wedding’s dress code. Yet sometimes, the guidelines are vague, so here’s a helpful guide.
1. Look at the Start Time
If the affair begins before 4 p.m., it’s probably a more casual event. That means shorter hemlines, effortless fabrics such as chiffons and pretty floral fabrics are welcome. In some cases, a skirt and blouse combo or even a cute jumpsuit could replace the traditional dress choice.
Heading to events that begin after that 4 p.m. cutoff? The later start time automatically implies more formality. That means longer dresses, heavier fabrics like satin and more dramatic silhouettes will be in order.
2. Read the Verbal Cues
Most wedding invitations include at least some nod to dress code. They may say casual or beach attire. Some suggest cocktail or semi-formal dressing. Finally, many will request that guests come in formal or black-tie attire—often, these terms are interchangeable, especially for women. In order to respect the happy couple, try to stick to these guidelines as closely as possible. And begin by shopping the best wedding guest outfits 2022 for casual, beach, semi-formal, formal and black-tie weddings!
Casual Wedding Guest Outfits
For many wedding guests, the words “casual attire” are fear inspiring. It’s just so hard to find the right blend of respectfully elegant and appropriately understated. As mentioned earlier, weddings with casual attire are usually scheduled for the day time hours, so consider elevated garden party looks to be the inspiration here—a pretty skirt with a cute, casual tank top, a floaty sundress or an elegant romper would all be appropriate.
Regardless of the ceremony time of day, or even stated formality level, beach weddings need a style all their own. Aside from dress code considerations, the elements also play a role in putting outfits together. Beach appropriate fabrics are a must—this is probably not the time to wear a silk dress, or any fabric that shouldn’t get wet.
Bridal party shoes also have to be given careful consideration. Stilettos will only sink in the sand, or create balance challenges on slippery water-front services. Either choose shoes that are easy to slip off and tote through the ceremony, or shoot for embellished sandals that look pretty but remain practical.
And don’t forget about the clutch bag for weddings by the shore—while a big straw bag won’t work here, choosing a roomier bag with space for sunscreen and Chapstick will go a long way towards a comfortable experience.
This wedding outfit mandate is often set for afternoon into evening weddings at more formal venues, such as hotels or banquet halls. To strike the right balance here, choose cocktail length hemlines, with formal silhouettes, materials or embellishments<. Save sparkles for heels or a clutch bag for a wedding with a semi-formal dress code. And jewelry is in a gray area here, so while an over-the-top diamond necklace may not be appropriate, a bit of bling is certainly welcome here.
Next to semi-formal, black tie optional is the most confusing wedding guest dress code. For men, it means go ahead and wear a tux…or don’t. But for women? Nail this dressing mandate with long skirt and top combinations, cocktail length dresses with lots of pizzazz, or a very sleek full-length gown that’s low on embellishment.
4. Striking Black Tie Optional Attire
Start with this this sexy-yet-elegant La Femme Ruched Jersey Gown: the flirty details set against the full-length hemline sends all the right vibes for a black-tie optional affair. Mix in a wedding guest jewelry-like clutch—this pearl encrusted EOS box clutch strikes just the right note—and complete with simple but eye-catching diamond studs for an extra bit of sparkle.
Formal Wedding Attire: Black Tie’s Undercover Cousin
Female wedding guests can make the same wardrobe choices for formal and black-tie dress codes. Basically, both demand dresses that are full length, or cocktail length with heavy embellishment or extra volume—think ball gown styled skirts. These two event types are also the place to step up that wedding guest jewelry game, making these events the most formal wedding guest outfits for 2022 and beyond.