Best Dressed Guest: The Perfect Outfit for Every Wedding This Season

May 18, 2022

Wedding season is in full swing, and there is no challenge quite like finding the perfect outfit. Does “cocktail” mean the same thing as “semi-formal”? Do you need a tuxedo, or is that a suggestion? What are you supposed to wear when the invitation says “festive”?  And is it rude to wear black to a wedding? In order: no, depends, we’ll explain, and surprisingly, not at all. Here are the hottest looks for wedding season, broken down by category, so you can show up looking your very (dress code-appropriate) best.

Black Tie (or Black Tie Optional)

When you see “black tie” on a wedding invitation, you know it’s going to be fancy. Black tie is differentiated from formalwear by tuxedos and floor-length gowns, but appropriate attire doesn’t need to be stuffy. Subtle color, daring slits and exposed shoulders dazzle without flouting dress code or pulling focus.

  1. ZEGNA Microsphere Wool Tuxedo – Nordstrom
  2. Mac Duggal Bow Shoulder V-Neck Gown – Nordstrom
  3. Lovely Imogen Twist Halter Trumpet Gown – Nordstrom
  4. Navy Washington Tuxedo Suit – Suitsupply
  5. XScape Plus-Size Off-The-Shoulder Gown – Macy’s


Black tie’s slightly more relaxed sibling, formalwear continues to be a classy medium for self-expression. Extreme pops of color can be challenging in a formal setting, but subtler shades of cerulean, French blue and blush are not to be missed. Any skirt that hits higher than tea-length is a no-no, but a creative cut is a great work-around.

  1. Mid Blue Lazio Suit– Suitsupply
  2. Dessy Collection A-Line Charmeuse Gown – Nordstrom
  3. Slim-Fit Checked Suit – Ted Baker London
  4. Shona Joy Luxe One-Shoulder Gown – Nordstrom
  5. Lulus Waiting for Tonight Lace Halter Gown – Nordstrom


There’s a reason it’s called a cocktail party. Cocktail attire is an invitation to dress up in sparkles, embellishments, and patterns. Whether you prefer something slinky or something ‘60s, knee- and tea-length dresses with chic heels are thoroughly en vogue. Menswear is roughly along the same lines as with a formal dress code, but bolder pocket squares, patterned ties, and fun footwear are all welcome.

  1. Katie May Come On Home Floral Cocktail Dress – Nordstrom
  2. Adrianna Papell Embroidered A-Line Dress – Macy’s
  3. Maciver Multi Sequin Short Sleeve Dress – Ted Baker London
  4. Floral Medley Brocade Dress – kate spade new york
  5. DKNY Sheath with ¾ Sleeves – Macy’s

Semi-Formal/Dressy Casual

While the name may seem counterintuitive, a semi-formal or dressy casual wedding is the perfect place to rock a shorter hemline, show off bold sleeves, or embrace a pop of color. Feel free to have fun with your accessories, including footwear. Men don’t need a full suit but should wear slacks and have the option to forgo wearing a tie.

  1. Tulipi Paneled Midi Tea Dress – Ted Baker London
  2. Jacquard Asymmetric Jumpsuit – ZARA
  3. Chain Strap Pleated Dress – ZARA
  4. Ramie Open-Back Dress – Banana Republic
  5. Ponte Flutter-Sleeve Dress – kate spade new york


A “festive” dress code often applies to a holiday party or cultural celebration, to let guests know to dress up and on-theme.  When this dress code appears on a wedding invitation, it’s the hosts’ way of alerting you to the party vibes ahead of time. It’s not a call to wear a costume by any means, but you should prepare to wear a bold and unique outfit that moves well on the dance floor. Fit and flare dresses, lightweight suits, and carefully curated accessories are just the thing.

  1. Carolina Herrera Floral Print Fit & Flare Dress – Nordstrom
  2. Betsy & Adam High-Low Ruffle Dress – Macy’s
  3. Blazer with Tuxedo Collar & Fluid Flare Pants – ZARA
  4. Francj Debonair Slim-Fit Suit– Ted Baker London
  5. Cucumber Floral Flounce Dress – kate spade new york


Trade heels for sandals (not flip-flops) and suits for button-ups and khakis (not t-shirts and jeans) for a casual wedding. Casual dress usually implies that you’ll be outdoors, so skip any shoes that might sink in the grass and bring a wrap or jacket in case it gets chilly once the sun sets. This is the perfect chance to debut a sundress or jumpsuit fit for dancing the night away.

  1. Grande Grove Short Dress – Tommy Bahama
  2. Cutout Dress – Banana Republic
  3. Tie Waist Jumpsuit—Chico’s
  4. Chelsea Garden Tiered Tea Length Dress – Johnny Was
  5. One Shoulder Midi Dress – Anthropologie


What do you think? Shop The Bellevue Collection and tag us in your wedding guest best on social media:  @bellevuecollection on Instagram and @bellecollection on Twitter. Stay tuned for more wedding season tips.

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