What to wear to a wedding if dresses aren't your thing

What to wear to a wedding if dresses aren’t your thing

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If you want to stand out at the next wedding you attend, keep scrolling for six outfits ideas that don’t include dresses. 

Wedding season is on its way. And with postponements, reschedules and date changes as a result of the pandemic, this year many of us have more invites than ever before. Whether it’s a destination wedding in a far-flung location or countryside soirées on home soil, as a wedding guest there’s always a lot to think about. Hen dos, gifts and transport logistics aside, figuring out what to wear can often take up the most time. 

The tried-and-tested midi-length dress is one of the most popular options around, sported by wedding guests everywhere in an array of prints and silhouettes. And while that may be a true classic and the most obvious option, what happens if you don’t want to wear a dress? 

Well, dear reader, you have come to the right place because below we’re outlining several equally chic (if not chicer) options for those who happen to be on a dress hiatus or are simply in need of some alternative inspiration. Between suits, co-ord sets, jumpsuits and wide-leg trousers, there are so many options for those hoping to forgo the trusty dress and transcend typical wedding attire.  With inspo courtesy of some of the most stylish women on Instagram, keep scrolling for six wedding guest outfit ideas if dresses aren’t your thing. 

Try wide-leg trousers and a flowy top 

Aimee Song’s full-look Valentino ensemble above might not be the most attainable outfit, but the elements of it can certainly be replicated. A wide-leg palazzo trouser is a comfortable option that offers all the volume and drama of a flowing skirt without having to actually wear one. Pair the trousers with an equally fluid top, as Aimee has done above, and you have yourself a wedding guest look that is guaranteed to draw attention (not too much attention, of course – it is the bride’s day after all). 

If you’re wanting to channel this ensemble, & Other Stories’ pink wide-leg trousers are a great alternative and would work perfectly when tucked into this cape top available at Wolf and Badger

Opt for a bold suit

While suits have historically been a wedding guest go-to for men, you can level up the idea this wedding season by opting for a two-piece in a striking shade. Karina of Stylist Idealist has the right idea, seen here in a peachy hue just perfect for a summer soirée. It is important to note that accessories become key when wearing a suit to a wedding, as the addition of some embellishments like drop earrings or a statement necklace will help to make the outfit feel like party wear rather than workwear. Wearing an open-toe heel and carrying a cute clutch bag will also soften the outfit. 

If you’re looking for a wedding-appropriate suit, Asos has a number of options available, including petite and curve size ranges.  

Give a patterned jumpsuit a go

This Free People jumpsuit has been dubbed the “vibe check” – appropriate considering the vibe is perfect for an outdoor summer wedding. The beauty of a jumpsuit is that the item can often be dressed up or down depending on the occasion, and you would be surprised just how far a pair of strappy heels can go to make an outfit look polished. 

If the wedding you’re attending is slightly more formal, dressier jumpsuit options aren’t too difficult to find online, and this strapless Reformation number is just one such example.  

A skirt set co-ord is a perfect alternative

If you don’t want to wear a dress but are still interested in an option featuring a skirt, a co-ord might just be the thing you’re looking for. Camille Charriere (above) opted for this green number by Australian designer Christoper Esber while attending a wedding last year. It is offering serious Gwyneth Paltrow in Great Expectations vibes, which just adds to its appeal. 

While a slinky set like this can err on the side of casual or even (gasp) sleepwear, the look can be elevated with the use of accessories. A dressier bag, pointed toe heel and some jewellery will help to keep this ensemble wedding appropriate. 

Try tailored trousers and a statement blouse

Besides the fact that these trousers are a dangerously stark shade of white (a wedding faux pas by most people’s standards), this outfit in any other colour would make for perfect wedding guest attire. It is fashion-forward without being too showy and makes a statement while still feeling subtle. 

Tailored trousers are a great alternative if you’d rather not wear a skirt, and pairing them with a blouse rather than a suit jacket or blazer feels a little more fun. If you’re looking for a blouse to pair against an existing set of trousers, this lime silk-chiffon confection by Costarellos will offer the same feminine silhouette as the one shown above. 

Or finally, opt for matching separates

Matching separates are another iteration of the co-ord and can be relied upon for wedding wear while avoiding dresses. The coordinating look will automatically make your outfit feel put together, allowing you to experiment a little more with styling. Nanushka is championing the outfit idea this season, debuting a satin camisole and flared trouser set that would look equally perfect for a wedding at home or a beach wedding abroad. 

Often here, the outfit will do the talking, so keep accessories refined with a subtle shoe choice and timeless bag. 

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Images: Getty