Wedding guest dresses can be a nightmare to shop for, so we've edited the best styles for you to shop now.
With wedding season right around the corner, the quest for the perfect guest dress has begun. Do you go long? Short? Floaty or fitted? This season, sophisticated prints, florals and rich velvets are filling the rails, meaning there are plenty of wedding guest dresses in the shops to choose from. Read our guide below for the best guest dresses to buy now. We promise there is something here for everyone.
Winter wedding guest dresses
You might argue that wedding guest dressing in autumn and winter is a bit more of a challenge. Wind is bitterly cold and heels on an icy path are never a good idea. Plus, it doesn’t seem ideal if you have to sit through the church service or reception wrapped up in a coat and scarf either. Long-sleeved lace dresses are always a safe choice for winter weddings, and as always, Reiss, L.K.Bennett and Coast have a great selection. But for the more fashion-forward of you, AW17’s crushed velvet trend – as seen on the catwalk at Tibi, Jason Wu and Max Mara – is one worth embracing.
Reserved, the Polish brand fronted by Kate Moss and freshly launched in the UK, has a beautiful khaki ombre pleated dress with black lace detailing, that you can pair with metallic ankle boots or a velvet 70s platform shoe.
And if you think a black cocktail dress is your only option, think again. Millennial pink shows no sign of dying out, and long-sleeved pink dresses (preferably with OTT sleeves) are the hero pieces you need to be seen in – as seen at Emilia Wickstead and H&M – and if you dare, with a splash of red à la Valentino.
But if you really want to go all out, then bold trends like Dynasty-esque metallic dresses, 80s sequin suits and bold ruffles are all trends that will easily make you stand out on that dance floor (and promise to keep you gloriously warm during the winter wedding).
Summer wedding guest dresses
I’ll be honest, for me, spring and summer are the best seasons to dress for a wedding. There are more dress options, and you can be a bit more daring with your sartorial choices.
Think slinky Ghost slip dresses, Rosie Assoulin ruffle dresses or Dolce & Gabbana fruity prints – that lemon dress was THE dress to be seen in for SS17, especially if it was a destination wedding.
The point is, the more fun the better. Ditch dark colours and long sleeves in favour of floatier fabrics and more colourful prints.
Going to a boho wedding? Opt for an embroidered Needle & Thread dress or a retro blouse and skirt from the Boden Icons collection.
For a stricter dress code, a midi or maxi length dress is your safest bet. You won’t go wrong with something from Cos or & Other Stories on the high street, and if you’re splashing out, Givenchy, Lanvin and Oscar de la Renta all have great smart options.
Of course, there’s still room for those pretty lace dresses, so feel free to add those into your wedding guest wardrobe too. Just pick a style that has shorter sleeves and experiment with brighter hues: lace doesn’t have to be mumsy.
With dresses like these, you don’t really need to worry about accessories. That said, a pair of elegant AW17 high heels and a new season designer handbags will pull your outfit together very nicely indeed. If you’re also looking to make your money stretch a little further, it’s worth giving our edit of the best Black Friday dresses and Black Friday clothing deals a look – you never know what you’re going to find. Our sister site InStyle UK Black Friday fashion dealsis also doing an edit of their best , so there’s endless inspiration…
So, your hunt for the perfect dress ends here. Without further ado, scroll on to shop Marie Claire’s edit of the best wedding guest dresses.
Brighten up any spring wedding with this sky-blue and fuchsia floral silk dress. Best worn with nude kitten heels for instant elevation.
This fuss-free marshmallow-pink dress is perfect for a spring wedding. Plus its quarter-length sleeves give that extra bit of added coverage.
This pretty lilac H&M dress is so charming you will never want to take it off. Best worn in the summer months without a jacket.
With a flattering v-neck line and billowing sleeves, this dress is a seriously smart must-have.
Add a delicious pop of colour to your wedding guest look with this smart Ganni wrap dress.
We’re obsessed with this vibrant striped dress and its draping, which is an ideal choice for a summer wedding.
Is there a more spring-wedding appropriate dress than this? (Oh, it’s also just £12.)
Not sure what to wear to a winter wedding? This long-sleeved striped jersey dress is guaranteed to keep you warm on chilly days.
Want to really make a statement? Get slinky with it in this spotty dress – perfect for tall girls.
Create a bold statement with this lovely lace dress (which also comes in navy if you can’t quiet decide).
Turn heads with this silk, floral Zimmerman dress. A buy you won’t regret.
The royal blue shade of this simple midi dress from Uterque speaks for itself. The unique ruffle details on the sleeves are unlike anything we’ve ever seen before – and we’re definitely feeling it.
Team this glittering dress with silver heels.
A subtle nod to the 80s.
Playing on this season’s crushed velvet trend, this pussybow dress is a sophisticated take that’ll have heads turning from ten pews down the aisle.
Buy this simple floral knee-length dress now to avoid disappointment.
While you might not be able to see it quite so clearly, this dress has a plunge V neck front if you’re keen on showing a bit of skin. Who knows who’s going to be in the bridal party?
The classic shift dress has been reinvented with a swishy asymmetric detail. Elevate with a court heel and you’ll be the best-dressed guest.
Accessorise this brilliant pink dress with a classic black hat and a pair of kitten heels.
Ticking all the autumnal shade boxes.
Get this Topshop dress for a spring wedding and then wear it right throughout the summer.
Sarah Jessica Parker just revisited the Sex and the City feud
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have just confirmed their wedding music
The latest (limited edition) Byredo collection is here and we’re SERIOUSLY into it.
Priyanka Chopra just opened up about her friendship with Meghan Markle
Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Lauren Hashian have welcomed a baby girl
Here’s how the world (and the royal family) reacted to the arrival of the royal baby
Sign up for our daily bulletin and get the latest fashion & beauty news, competitions and exclusive Marie Claire offers direct to your inbox