What To Wear To Your Next Wedding If You Want To Skip The Dress

Bring out your fancy pants.

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Model Amy Julliette Lefévre wears a yellow pantsuit.
TZR Weddings
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It’s true that any wedding is really about the two people tying the knot, but everyone still wants to have their own fashion moment when attending as a guest — there’s no shame in that. After all, when there’s a professional photographer in the vicinity and the chance of running into an ex or long-forgotten friend, you want to put your best-heeled foot forward. And traditionally, a flowy, formal dress was thought of as the outfit to do so in. But why not throw tradition out the window and wear pants to a wedding instead? Opting out of a dress altogether means your outfit is guaranteed to set you apart from the pack, therefore creating a micro-style moment of your own. And as long as your pants ensemble still abides by proper wedding etiquette — aka isn’t white and it aligns with the event’s dress code — you’re golden.

Lein founder and designer Meredith Stoecklein says alternative and unconventional wedding fashion is becoming increasingly prevalent — and it’s trickling down into what guests are considering, too. “As bridal wear is evolving, so is what guests are wearing,” she tells TZR. Stoecklein credits celebrities for boosting the popularity of custom-shirking wedding ensembles, as many A-listers now opt for wedding looks that are far from customary. “Look at Cara Delevingne wearing a tuxedo to Princess Eugenie’s royal wedding,” Stoecklein cites in particular.

Stoecklein says the trend of wedding guests wearing outfits outside of the traditional box represents how attendees are prioritizing their individual aesthetics. Thus, if a guest’s personal style doesn’t include dresses or skirts, a pants outfit will often provide that particular boost of self-assurance. “People are dressing more confidently, and that starts with what they feel comfortable in. A pantsuit can be exactly that for someone,” Stoecklein adds.

Ahead, discover a few wedding guest looks that serve as alternatives to a common dress or skirt ensemble. No matter how many upcoming weekends you've allocated to celebrate the “I dos,” you'll have plenty of outfit options for whatever wedding style resonates with you most.

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Exaggerated Trousers

An exaggerated wide-leg trouser has many benefits when worn to a wedding. For one, you’ll have a full range of motion on the dance floor, which means you can “Electric Slide” your heart out. And secondly, its design mimics the flowing look of a skirt, so it’s practically dress adjacent. When you arrive to the party, do a little twirl to show off your look. Then, when you walk over to grab a cocktail at the bar — boom! — people see that your skirt is actually a pair of pants.

Matching Set

There’s something novel about a matching printed top and bottom. Fashion girls clearly agree because coordinating two-piece looks are consuming Instagram Feeds as of late. As well as being incredibly on trend right now, co-ords are equal parts effortless and dramatic, so you’ll make an impact at the wedding, but you won’t steal the bride’s spotlight. Furthermore, you can wear the separates year round once the wedding is over, which is always a bonus. (Take Julia Heuer’s psychedelic pleated set, which has a ’70s vibe, as an example.)

Statement Party Pants

What better way to signal that you’re prepared to get down than with pants that are a celebration in and of itself? Party pants — aka bottoms with a show-stopping look, whether that be flashy embellishments or a bold hue — are an excellent choice for more experimental, anti-minimalist dressers. To balance out the flamboyant nature of statement trousers, all you need to do is pair them with a demure wedding shoe like a delicate and on-trend ballet flat.


Jumpsuits are the epitome of one-and-done dressing. You can slip into them and instantly feel polished, put together, and ready to attend whatever function you may have on the docket. There’s a slew of styles and silhouettes that work for every level of dress code, from black-tie to beach casual. If you’re heading to a formal ceremony, choose a floor-length, black jumpsuit like Gauge 81’s cutout number (by the way — yes, you can wear the dark hue to a wedding). Conversely, if you’re attending a destination wedding in the tropics, Diarrablu’s rust-colored one-piece is a breezy option that will work for even the most casual of venues.


Pantsuits are a delightful clash of feminine and masculine styles, which makes for a unique departure from a typical wedding guest dress. Burberry’s two-piece set exemplifies this contrast perfectly; its soft blush color pairs well with the inherent romantic theme for a wedding, while its tailored separates give off strong, powerful energy.

If you’re not sure what to wear underneath your pantsuit, simply wear a silky camisole. Or, for a more sultry look, opt out of a base covering and show off a peek-a-boo plunge of skin. Finish off the ensemble with cool accessories like a pair of chunky drop earrings, a structured mini bag, or a pair of ‘90s-inspired strappy sandals. Voilà, off in a suit you go!

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