Wedding Attire 101: The Do’s and Don’ts for Every Dress Code

Wedding Attire 101: The Do’s and Don’ts for Every Dress Code


Many brides will agree that June is one of the best months to get hitched. Besides being named after Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage, June often comes with the best weather perfect for outdoor weddings. This means you will need beautiful, summer-ready dresses to wear to all your upcoming nuptial invites.

As much as we love dressing up for such special occasions, finding the right outfit could be tricky or daunting. What’s the difference between black-tie and cocktail? Are floral prints allowed? These are some of the questions you might ask yourself once you learn that there is going to be a dress code.

Knowing the venue is a good place to start. Whether the ceremony is going to be held indoors or outdoors can affect your outfit. For example, a long chiffon dress with heavy embellishments might not be the best option for a beach wedding.

Ahead, we’ll help you interpret each dress code to make sure you are impeccably dressed for the occasion.


1. Black-Tie

Shop the Long Gown With Keyhole Cutout, Halterneck and Flowing Skirt – Petite in Burgundy, $121.95

While some people may dread black-tie dressing, this is actually a great excuse to go all out. Known as the second most formal wedding dress code, this means the ceremony is held in the evening. Floor-length gowns are the most obvious choice, but cocktail dresses are allowed if the wedding is slightly less formal (and if the couple allows them).

Prepare to get glammed up, but be careful not to overdo it. The last thing you want is to steal the spotlight from the bride, and that’s not a good look.

Do: Opt for full-length dresses that have chiffon or silk-like fabrics for a more elegant feel. Also, go for chic, classy footwear that is comfortable enough to last you through the night.

Don’t: Wear any crazy colors like neon or hot pink - and of course white. Try to avoid overly revealing dresses and platform heels.


Here are some styles you might like:

Shop the Empire Waist Gown With Sweetheart Neck and Attached Cape – Plus in Mauve, $117.95
Shop the Evening Gown With Thigh Slit and Diamante Detail, $110.95
Shop the Rhinestone Trio Waistband Long Crinkle Pleated Sleeveless Dress – Petite in Seafoam, $119.95
Shop the Sheer Insert Glitter Placement Slinky Dress, $121.95


2. Dressy Casual

Shop the Sukiso Women’s Red Fraise Jumpsuit, $84.95

It may sound contradictory at first, but this is the sweet spot between formal and casual. According to stylists, it’s a modern approach to the dress code because you can wear something trendy. You can forego wearing a gown, but you can’t be too comfortable with a dress either.

Do: For daytime weddings, a light shift dress or jumpsuit is an excellent choice. For evening ceremonies, you can elevate your style with a midi dress, chic jewelry, and dressy heels.

Don’t: Over-accessorize. Just choose one or two statement pieces that go beautifully with your ensemble. 


Here are some styles you might like:

Shop the Annie Sleeveless V-Neck Bodice Wrap Slit Leg Jumpsuit – Petite, $76.95
Shop the Cecilia Flower Tile Cotton Shift Dress, $59.95
Shop the Off the Shoulder Cocktail Dress With Fluted Sleeves, $86.95
Shop the Lindsey V-Neck Shirred Shirt Tail Jersey Maxi Dress, $66.95


3. Cocktail

Shop the Square Neck High-Low Party Dress, $110.95

A cocktail dress code is “meant to bridge the gap between day and night.” It’s similar to dressy casual attire, but you can go the extra mile with embellishments and other unique details, such as asymmetrical silhouettes. Think garden party dresses that are made from luxe fabrics like silk or velvet.

Do: Dress up with shoulder-baring styles, sequined frocks, and high-low cuts. For shoes, a wedge is ideal for both day and evening weddings.

Don’t: Wear any denim. This includes a denim jacket, skirt, or even a bag. You don’t want to look tacky or stick like a sore thumb for everyone to see.


Here are some styles you might like:

Shop the Cascading High Low Dress -Plus, $117.95
Shop the Morgan & Co. off the Shoulder Bodice, $110.95
Shop the Dora Landa Willa Dress, $74.95
Shop the Catalina Grace Jewel Pleated Neck Midi Dress, $66.95


4. Beach Formal

Shop the Carmen Wrap Maxi Dress, $138.95

Dresses, jumpsuits, and separates are all suitable for any beach wedding. Utilize breathable fabrics, fun prints, and billowy silhouettes that let you feel the ocean breeze. Opt for solid palettes or pastel hues, and don’t be afraid to try a tropical print. For footwear, mules or block heels are ideal since they are more comfortable to walk in on rough terrain.

Do: Play with subtle prints like florals and polka dots. They lend a more elegant and romantic touch to a simple dress.

Don’t: Limit yourself to neutral colors like black, white, or cream. Let the beach inspire your look!

Here are some styles you might like:

Shop the Carmen Wrap Maxi Dress in Blue Polka Dot, $138.95 
Shop the Vienna Poppy Maxi Peasant Dress – Misses, $48.95
Shop the Set Sail Puff Sleeve Wrap Midi Dress, $131.95


5. No Dress Code

Shop the Audrey Drop Shoulder Jewel Neck Elastic Waist Ruffle Dress $78.95

You’re lucky if the couple isn’t picky with their guest attire. You’re basically free to wear whatever you want, but be mindful that you’re still attending an intimate event. If the wedding takes place in the afternoon, a gorgeous sundress with some ruffles or ruching is perfect. Let your unique style peek through using accessories and makeup.

Do: Have fun with your style. You can try a maxi dress with slit details or a one-shoulder number accessorized with your favorite earrings.

Don’t: Wear a super short skirt or dress. You’re still going to a wedding, after all, so keep it classy and elegant by choosing the right silhouette.

Here are some styles you might like:

Shop the Lurex Stripe Kimono Dress, $59.95
Shop the Spaghetti Strap Flowy Dress, $49.95
Shop the Kaii Micro Chain Fringe Dress, $118.95

Always Respect the Couple’s Dress Code

It’s basic wedding etiquette to observe the proper dress code. If it’s not specified in the invitation, you can ask the couple to clarify. That way, you won’t have a hard time planning your outfit, even if the event is still a month or two away.


Discover our dress collection here.

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