Sure, weddings are technically about the two people getting married, but as guests of the happy couple, we also see it as a chance to get a little fancy ourselves. Throughout the summer, we reached for sundresses and heeled sandals for such occasions — AKA an easy, no-fail option. But now that things have cooled down a bit? We’re stumped. What the heck do we wear to a fall or winter wedding? How do we stay warm, but still look cute at the same time?
The answer, it seems, lies in a few key tricks: lot of layering, adding suits and pants to the mix, and remembering trusty cold-weather staples, such as a decent pair of tights.
Aside from an elegant, long-sleeved maxi dress, we’ve rounded up 22 wedding guest outfit ideas that will work for any type of reception, be it black tie or dressy-casual. If you don’t own the exact pieces, hopefully these looks can serve as inspiration, and you can probably create something similar from what's in your closet.
Never Underestimate the Basics
Don't overthink it — sometimes a printed, long-sleeve dress and a pair of heels is all you need.
Focus on Those Details
Puff sleeves and shiny earrings will help take things up a notch.
Make It Monochromatic
Want to wear a suit? Style a turtleneck of the same color underneath to create something sleek and on-trend.
Stick With Sleeves
And it doesn't have to be a simple shift. A blazer or tuxedo dress is another sexy, polished option.
Add a Jacket
Any dress becomes fall-appropriate with the help of a blazer.
Invest in a long-sleeve, sheer top to wear underneath all your fancy (and casual) outfits.
Think Outside the Box
Not only is putting pants underneath your dress unexpected and cool, it's also warm.
Reach for a Leather Look
If you're looking for the perfect time to break out faux leather pants, this is it.
Opt for Something Metallic
Then balance it out by toning down your accessories and going with classic footwear.
Amp Up a Skirt
Add a blazer of the same color in order to dress it up.
Break Out Your Boots
They're fit for frigid temps and also bring a whole new vibe to those typical go-tos.
Your jacket doesn't have to be neutral — a bright option adds some oomph.
Swap Stuff Out
Rather than styling your suit with the jacket it came with, trade it in for something longer and a different color.
Go With a Jumpsuit
It's the easiest outfit and works for nearly every event.
Try a Going-Out Top
Trusty black pants get a whole new life with the help of a corset or sequined top.
Pull on Some Tights
Sheer, sweater, black, or colored, they're all out there, waiting to keep your legs nice and toasty.
Remember to Match
Perhaps you never thought to wear a dress with matching, colored, patterned tights...but you should!
Style Around a Statement Top
Dare yourself to go big and bold as long as the bottom half of your outfit is neutral.
Keep It Cropped
For in-between temps, culottes can take the place of full-length pants.
Stick With Something Simple
A pleated skirt, a velvet top, and heels. Boom — you're done.
Combine Your Staples
Everyday pieces like a jumpsuit and blazer suddenly become dressy when styled together.
Don't Forget Flats
Who say you have to wear heels to a wedding? Loafers — especially ones that create a contrast with the rest of your outfit — work just as well.