A show of hands if you’re tired of defaulting to the same little black dress or floral midi number for all of your wedding invites. Lack of funds for semi-formal or formalwear aside, it’s hard to feel inspired by wedding attire limitations, especially when you hit the age where the summer wedding season becomes a legitimate affair. With a myriad of “I dos” to sit through over these next few months, I’m already burnt out on what to wear. A typical pre-wedding event usually finds me standing in front of my closet hoping a new look will magically manifest itself before my eyes. When it inevitably doesn’t, I’m left wishing I had taken some time to consider a proper outfit. My Facebook timeline will tell you I’ve worn the same dress to my last three shindigs.
But the good news is we don’t have to come up with an outfit all on our own. I’ve discovered some of the best wedding guest outfit inspo from a simple scroll through my Instagram feed. Some of the most creative looks come from formal events that aren’t weddings, and I’m not too proud to steal styling tips or re-create an entire ensemble when my own imagination is lacking.
So I give you six chic-to-death looks that aren’t an LBD (woo!) in my Instagram “Copycat” folder. And since I’m in my mid-20s banking on using up my miles to get to all of the destination invites, I’m throwing in cheaper alternatives for good financial measure. If I have to dance to “Y.M.C.A.” this many times until October, at least I’m going to look good doing it.
Green is a color I’ve failed to add to my wedding guest dress lexicon—I’m remedying that ASAP. I’m inspired by how this semi-formal minidress is quickly dressed down with a western-inspired belt. I’ll be copying this styling trick for my next mid-day wedding invite.
I don’t know why I typically steer clear of long-sleeve dresses when it comes to cocktail attire. Maybe it’s the fact that strapless and spaghetti strap options are so rampant. Regardless, Nicolette Mason’s get-up immediately caught my eye. I’ve never been so quick to save an Instagram post. The added white woven lace-up heels help to create a summer-friendly feel that I’ll be imitating at my next wedding.
Maybe it’s a reflection of the industry I work in, but invites calling for “creative” attire have become increasingly common. It’s a great opportunity for guests to display their personal sense of style without specific limitations. Sadly this stunning Ganni number was from the F/W 18 collection and is no longer available (here’s to hoping they bring back a similar style), but you can be sure I’ll be testing out both the trapeze dress silhouette along with a puffy sleeve.
Any invitation that lists “black tie optional” at the bottom typically makes me groan. The optional aspect, especially when it’s an afternoon affair, often results in a big gray area where, depending on the other guests, you’ll find yourself either underdressed or overdressed. That’s why I’m opting for a suit à la this stunning pastel combo. Where a gown or a cocktail dress can land you looking like the odd man out, a well-tailored suit toes the line flawlessly. And those orange strappy sandals? Genius.
Three words: Monochrome done right. This red on red (on red) look is the perfect inspiration for adding some newfound energy into an otherwise ho-hum formal look. Typically, this is when I default to a floor-length black gown, but I’m ready to introduce a pair of colored tights into my rotation.
While my bank account doesn’t exactly love it, I live for a white tie wedding. How often do you get an excuse to wear the princess inspired dress of your dreams? This summer, I’m taking notes from this bodice-hugging, off-the-shoulder midi gown. I love that the rest of the look is kept simple with a round clutch and basic slingback pumps.