After a year of weddings put on pause (or changed to elopements), couples are playing catch-up, which means, for you, wedding season is on overdrive. If you’ve rotated through your current roster of event-appropriate looks — perhaps, more than once — it’s time to look ahead at the fall wedding guest dresses that can do the heavy lifting whether you’re checking into a destination resort or simply stepping into a friend’s backyard for the ceremony.
While some of your favorite summer styles can easily translate into fall, you may want to factor in both the trends and the temperature when buying something new. If you aren’t a bridesmaid, don’t invest in a dress that is so specifically designed for bridal celebrations that you won’t be able to break it out for other occasions. Midi silhouettes with delicate and romantic details are generally a smart choice since they can be styled for black tie affairs (add strappy sandals and a sequin clutch) or for a more casual daytime event (with mules, a woven bag, and sunglasses). And, while you don’t want to take attention away from the bride, you also don’t have to fall back onto something you’d consider boring. Sequins, cutouts, pants at a wedding and yes even red can work if you respect the dress code and consider the bride-to-be.
Below, find six trendy takes on fall wedding guest dresses that will make your outfit the easiest part of prepping for the wedding. Take the extra time and polish up your small talking skills — after the last year, navigating chit chat will be the real challenge.
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Colorful florals may be more tied to spring and summer, but this fall, try ditching the standard dark hues of the season for something a bit brighter. Blue and green tones are a bit more subdued than pink or orange, so if you’re looking for a pretty but laid-back look, they’re the way to go. Finish with a white sandal or silver pump to tie the look together.
Go For Bold
Red may not be the best choice for every wedding — know the bride you’re celebrating and go off of her lead — but, for those where it fits the program, it’s a choice that will instantly energize you. While jewel tones may be most closely associated with fall and winter months, try a cherry red or even rich burgundy. Since the color stands out all on its own, keep your silhouette simple.
Keep It Simple
You can never go wrong with a classic LBD, especially since fall months allow you to get creative with your styling choices. (Yes, you can wear black to a wedding.) Skip a pashmina for a matching cardigan you can layer over the top, and consider swapping heels for a cool pair of boots if the wedding has a more informal vibe.
Yes, you can elevate an everyday sweater dress. If you want to be comfortable (and warm) during the ceremony, a soft knit option is the way to go. Try a chunky chain necklace and sleek heels to add a touch of sleekness to the look.
Glitter & Glamour
For a wedding that skews more party, a sequin or shiny number is the way to go. If you want to keep things understated, try a satin slip dress with high sheen. Otherwise, try something that makes you feel more like a disco ball — you’ve waited long enough to celebrate, after all.
Cutouts have risen to the top of 2021’s heap of trends, and you’ll only see more of them come fall. Since you’re trying to find the sweet spot with skin-bearing dresses, try to choose one area of your body to highlight — it could be an open back, cool hip cutouts, or something subtle under the bra-line.