A show of hands if you're tired of defaulting to the same little black dress or floral midi number for all of your wedding invites. Lack of funds for semi-formal or formalwear aside, it's hard to feel inspired by wedding attire limitations, especially when you hit the age where the summer wedding season becomes a legitimate affair. With a myriad of "I dos" to sit through over these next few months, I'm already burnt out on what to wear. A typical pre-wedding event usually finds me standing in front of my closet hoping a new look will magically manifest itself before my eyes. When it inevitably doesn't, I'm left wishing I had taken some time to consider a proper outfit. My Facebook timeline will tell you I've worn the same dress to my last three shindigs.
But the good news is we don't have to come up with an outfit all on our own. I've discovered some of the best wedding guest outfit inspo from a simple scroll through my Instagram feed. Some of the most creative looks come from formal events that aren't weddings, and I'm not too proud to steal styling tips or re-create an entire ensemble when my own imagination is lacking.
So I give you six chic-to-death looks that aren't an LBD (woo!) in my Instagram "Copycat" folder. And since I'm in my mid-20s banking on using up my miles to get to all of the destination invites, I'm throwing in cheaper alternatives for good financial measure. If I have to dance to "Y.M.C.A." this many times until October, at least I'm going to look good doing it.
Green is a color I've failed to add to my wedding guest dress lexicon—I'm remedying that ASAP. I'm inspired by how this semi-formal minidress is quickly dressed down with a western-inspired belt. I'll be copying this styling trick for my next mid-day wedding invite.
Rotate Birger Christensen Gathered Matte-Satin Mini Dress ($320)
Reformation Bowie Dress ($218)
B-Low The Belt Stevie Heart Buckle Belt ($194)
Zara Embossed Leather Belt ($40)
Wandler Isa Leather Mules ($470)
Urban Outfitters Chrissy Clear Mule Sandal ($39)
I don't know why I typically steer clear of long-sleeve dresses when it comes to cocktail attire. Maybe it's the fact that strapless and spaghetti strap options are so rampant. Regardless, Nicolette Mason's get-up immediately caught my eye. I've never been so quick to save an Instagram post. The added white woven lace-up heels help to create a summer-friendly feel that I'll be imitating at my next wedding.
Cushnie Long Sleeve Dress ($598)
ASOS Design Midi Satin Shirt Dress with Tie Waist ($72)
Christian Louboutin x Roland Mouret Cage and Curry 85 Mesh and Woven Leather Pumps ($1095)
Raid Olena White Woven Ankle Tie Heeled Shoes ($64)
Jacquemus Le Grand Chiquito ($744)
Topshop Mason Tortoiseshell Ball Mini Bag ($40)
Laura Lombardi Gold-Tone Hoop Earrings ($100)
H&M Hoop Earrings ($7)
Maybe it's a reflection of the industry I work in, but invites calling for "creative" attire have become increasingly common. It's a great opportunity for guests to display their personal sense of style without specific limitations. Sadly this stunning Ganni number was from the F/W 18 collection and is no longer available (here's to hoping they bring back a similar style), but you can be sure I'll be testing out both the trapeze dress silhouette along with a puffy sleeve.
Ganni Organza Floral Dress ($675)
C/meo Collective Come Across Long Puff Sleeve Mini Dress ($210)
Edie Parker Lara Clutch ($795)
Charles & Keith Glitter Boxy Clutch ($49)
Sania D'Mina Elena ($780)
Charles & Keith Geometric Cut Kitten Heel Slide Sandals ($39)
Black Tie Optional
Any invitation that lists "black tie optional" at the bottom typically makes me groan. The optional aspect, especially when it's an afternoon affair, often results in a big gray area where, depending on the other guests, you'll find yourself either underdressed or overdressed. That's why I'm opting for a suit à la this stunning pastel combo. Where a gown or a cocktail dress can land you looking like the odd man out, a well-tailored suit toes the line flawlessly. And those orange strappy sandals? Genius.
SuiStudio Cameron Jacket ($329)
Zara Tailored Blazer ($50)
SuiStudio Ally Trousers ($199)
Mango Straight Suit Trousers ($80)
Jacquemus Le Chiquito ($470)
Staud Kenny Bag ($275)
The Row Bare Sandals ($790)
& Other Stories Leather Stilettos ($99)
Three words: Monochrome done right. This red on red (on red) look is the perfect inspiration for adding some newfound energy into an otherwise ho-hum formal look. Typically, this is when I default to a floor-length black gown, but I'm ready to introduce a pair of colored tights into my rotation.
Alexis Cadiz Dress ($524)
Topshop Bardot Dip Hem Midi Dress ($100)
Gucci Red Plain Logo Tights ($100)
Stine Goya Glitter Tights ($44)
Paul Andrew Rhea Knot 55 Slingback Pumps ($487)
Mango Heel Leather Shoes ($80)
Oscar de la Renta Tro Flower Leather Crossbody Bag ($2290)
New Look Beaded Occasion Clutch ($32)
While my bank account doesn't exactly love it, I live for a white tie wedding. How often do you get an excuse to wear the princess inspired dress of your dreams? This summer, I'm taking notes from this bodice-hugging, off-the-shoulder midi gown. I love that the rest of the look is kept simple with a round clutch and basic slingback pumps.
Keepsake The Label Admire Gown ($295)
Rosie Assoulin Off-the-Shoulder Cotton Dress ($2295)
reTH London Bag ($57)
Mango Methacrylate Round Bag ($50)
Reike Nen Eeon ($220)
Mango Geometric Heeled Leather Shoe ($80)
This article originally appeared on Who What Wear
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