what to wear to a wedding

Are you looking for What To Wear To A Wedding? Read through for what to wear to a wedding as a guest. You will also find what to wear to a wedding with no dress code in the post.

With so many options out there, choosing what to wear to a wedding can be a challenge. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of some of the best clothes to wear to a wedding as a guest in the market today. We’ve compared different what to wear to a wedding for a man and woman and selected the best across different price ranges. Our top picks are a great place to start if you’re on the market for a wedding guest outfit ideas 2019 Keep reading to get the best options.

What To Wear To A Wedding

What to Wear to a Wedding: Wedding Outfits for Men and Women

Picking out the perfect ensemble to attend a wedding is easier than you think. Sometimes all it takes is a little guidance. To help you, we’ve compiled a list of 25 items you should not wear to a wedding. By avoiding these fashion faux-pas, you will make a tasteful fashion statement and show respect for the bride and groom.

what to wear to a wedding as a guest

1. White

One of the most obvious mistakes at a wedding is to match the bride. You should avoid wearing white at all costs. This includes ivory, off-white or even a light blue hue. The last thing you want to do is have guests coming up and congratulating you on your big day and asking about your wedding dress style instead of the actual bride. If white is your go-to, opt for light pastels so there is more of a contrast between you and the bride.

2. A Black Tuxedo

Just as ladies don’t want to upstage the bride, gentlemen don’t want to upstage the groom. Instead of an overly formal black tuxedo, men should dress in a suit or a blazer. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, but find a happy medium that won’t have you mistaken for the groom.

3. Anything Too Revealing

Skip the skimpy cocktail dress and opt for something a little more on the conservative side. Dresses and skirts should be approximately at knee-length. At a hot summer outdoor wedding, try wearing lighter fabrics rather than less of them. If the ceremony is held at a church or a temple, it is a good idea to bring a shawl or cover-up to cover your shoulders.

4. Denim Or Jeans

While you might assume that a barnyard wedding theme calls for your favorite pair of jeans, this is not the case. Unless the wedding invitation explicitly says to wear denim, opt for some well-tailored trousers instead. Remember, it is better to be overdressed than underdressed at a wedding.

5. Low-Cut Outfits

It is best to skip the plunging necklines for a wedding. Avoid wearing anything backless as well. Instead, try a sweetheart neckline with a tasteful necklace. You’re sure to turn heads for all the right reasons.

6. Sheer Material

Avoid wearing anything see-through or sheer at a wedding. Make sure you try on your outfit in a few different lighted areas (both natural and fluorescent) to ensure that nothing shows through. Try wearing more modest materials like chiffon or satin. If you still want to wear a sheer fabric, try wearing a dress that has sheer details in the sleeves, so long as it’s done tastefully.

7. All Black

While this faux-pas is a bit in the gray area of what is acceptable for wedding attire, it is better to be safe than sorry. Black is typically worn by people in mourning at more somber affairs. Celebrate the love with a brighter color scheme. If you do want something darker, choose a blue or navy color rather than black.

8. Flip Flops

Save your flip-flops for the beach. If you’re not keen on wearing high heels all day, try some dressy sandals or stylish flats. For guys, pick a pair of closed toed shoes. If you’re attending a beach wedding, check with the bride and groom to see what their expectations are.

9. A Tiara

If the bride is having a fairy-tale wedding, she should probably be the one wearing the tiara. As the guest, opt for more subtle headwear. Try a cute headband or a garden hat that keeps with the couple’s dress code.

10. Sparkly Cocktail Dresses

Avoid being overly-flashy with eye-catching metallics and sequins. It’s okay to have a little bit of sparkle on your accessories, but a bedazzled outfit will steal the spotlight.

11. Anything Too Gaudy

It’s okay to make a statement, but make sure it is done tastefully with a classy necklace, cute clutch or designer necktie. Avoid clashing colors or overly-bright neons. Remember, all eyes should be on the bridal party.

12. Animal Print

This also falls under the category of “too gaudy”. Instead of animal print, try something a little more appropriate, like some subtle stripes or polka dots. Fun and simple designs like these add personality to your outfit without being too aggressive.

13. Distressed Clothes

Don’t be the guest that shows up in ripped jeans! Although the distressed look is ‘in’ right now, this is definitely not appropriate attire for a wedding.

14. Casual Slogan T-Shirts

Slogan tees are too casual for a friend or family member’s wedding. Save your favorite tee for casual Fridays and opt for a more formal dress or suit. Take advantage of the opportunity to get dressed up in your best clothes.

15. Clubbing Shoes

Save those bold platform heels for a night out with your girls. Instead, try a classy pair of sandals or slingback heels if you want to make a statement with footwear.

16. Something That Mimics The Bridesmaids’ Dresses

As a guest, you want to make sure the bridal party gets the attention they deserve. If you are unaware of the color scheme of the wedding, reach out to one of the bridesmaids or groomsmen and ask. If you don’t want to pry, reference the colors found on the wedding invitations.

17. Bold Makeup

Try to go for a more subtle makeup look for a wedding. Use light neutral tones that highlight your natural features. Finish off your look with a light pink lip gloss for the perfect hint of shine.

18. Sweats

Save your sweats for Sunday mornings. If your main concern is being comfortable at the wedding, try on your outfit and shoes in advance to make sure you will be comfortable for the whole duration of the celebration.

19. Rompers

Save your cute romper for the beach this summer. If you still want to mimic the look of a romper while being wedding-appropriate, opt for a fancier jumpsuit with cap sleeves and a cute belt. Pair with some summer wedges for the perfect outdoor summer wedding look.

20. Too Much Skin

Odds are that there will be a lot of the couple’s family at the wedding. In order to appear respectful, avoid showing a lot of skin and go for a more modest look.

21. Something That Reveals Your Undergarments

Although bralettes and bareback dresses may be trendy, embrace a more conservative look for a wedding. Try on your dress in advance to make sure your bra straps are covered, or purchase a strapless bra.

22. A Ball Gown Or Prom Dress

For a more formal wedding, it is typically expected that female guests wear a long dress. But instead of breaking out the gown you wore to prom, try wearing a more appropriate evening gown. If the wedding is during the day, a pretty maxi dress should do the trick.

23. Shorts

Even if the wedding is super casual, it is best to ditch your shorts. Ladies, try a skirt that falls right above the knee and pair it with a flattering blouse. For men, a nice pair of khakis will give you a more refined look.

24. Sneakers

If the wedding happens to take place in a location that requires some extra walking (or maybe even hiking), consider wearing more sturdy shoes. For women, this might mean flats instead of heels. Although sneakers may seem like the ideal choice at the time, you want to show respect for the bride and groom by putting your best foot forward (literally!).

25. Anything Against The Dress Code

The happy couple is most likely going to list their dress code on the invitation. Make note of this and dress accordingly as a sign of respect towards this unique moment in their lives. Even if the event is ‘semi-casual’ it is still better to show up in a suit and tie or a flattering dress than to appear underdressed.

what to wear to a wedding with no dress code

What Not to Wear to a Wedding

Some are obvious and others can best be described as subjective. Using your best judgement sometimes isn’t enough, so we’ve outlined exactly what you should not wear to a wedding.

Want to avoid an awkward wedding guest attire situation? Read on for seven rules that always apply.What to Wear to a Wedding This Summer

White, Duh

This should be a given, but we’ve seen a lot of pale pinks, metallics, and even actual white dresses on wedding guests. Simple rule, unless the dress code calls for an all white wedding, rule out anything that could remotely be confused with a wedding dress (even if it’s a short white dress, don’t do it).

Anything That Outshines the Bride (Read: Sparkly, Vegas-y)

The last thing you want to do is literally outshine the bride. If the dress code is formal and you want a little sparkle, keep it minimal. Anything that is too bright/shiny/metallic will literally take eyes off the bride and put them on you. Don’t be that kind of guest.

Nothing Too Sexy

And this, too. We’re all for showing a little skin, but a wedding is not the place to wear your shortest or lowest cut look. Plus many weddings take place in a house of worship, where covering up is more appropriate. Keep that sexiest look for any other night out on the town.


We don’t care how casual the dress code is, wearing jeans to a wedding is absolutely unacceptable. Even if the wedding is in a barn/beach/movie theater, your mom would never be okay with you wearing jeans to someone else’s wedding—aka, it’s just bad manners. Instead, go for an oh-so chic and wedding-guest-appropriate jumpsuit.

The Same Color as the Bridesmaids

This one can be tough to avoid, but if you know what color the bridesmaids are wearing in advance it would be fairly tacky to show up in the same hue. You don’t want it to look like you’re upset you didn’t make the bridal party, do you? That being said, if you’re not that close to the bride this can be an impossible one to sidestep. Good luck.


While we’ve heard tales of brides forbidding their guests from wearing any bright colors at all (say goodbye to that gorgeous hot pink dress you’ve been eyeing), it seems red is a particular tone that can offend certain brides. A polling of Brides staffers showed that not wearing red to a wedding is a standard rule most of us have heard of and also practiced. While this one can go either way, really, err on the safe side and avoid being the lady in the red. Especially at a Chinese wedding where the bride herself wears a red dress.


Hear us out: Black is a very sophisticated color choice. But some associate it with “what you wear to a funeral.” Don’t bring any sadness with you to your friend’s happiest day. If you must wear black, try a dress or separates with a moody floral print on a black background.

How To Wear Boots With Jeans

Chelsea Boots

Brunello Cucinelli

One of the smartest boots of all, the slim round-toe and elegant cut of this London classic was originally designed in the late 1800s for Queen Victoria, no less. Her bootmaker added the functional elasticated sides to the boot, with a pull-on tab at the back, designed to make them easy to slip on or off. Today Chelsea boots have barely changed; two plain pieces of leather form the upper for a clean minimalist look, and combined with its low heel you have one of the most iconic, adaptable styles of boot.

The Chelsea boot still works best in dark colours, as recommended by Tony Gaziano of British shoemaker Gaziano & Girling, who notes that “an elegant pair of boots are these days more important than shoes” and that “a simple black Chelsea is a perfect alternative [to shoes], as it sits neatly under a trouser or jean cuff.” With its more formal roots, we recommend going for black leather, but suede and chestnut brown are also great alternatives that won’t date.

As they’re traditionally a narrower boot with a slightly longer toe, Chelsea boots are ideal with slim-cut jeans in black, grey or navy. They double as perfect office attire, working well with the elevated look of a jacket, shirt and tie while also going smart casual as a weekend city boot to lift more casual jeans. Work the leather regularly with polish or treat them with a suede-protector spray before wearing and you’ll have these boots for a lifetime.

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Desert Boots


Another supremely cool and practical style that has remained unchanged since its inception is the desert boot. Steve McQueen riding one-handed on a Triumph motorcycle in some, with only a pair of raw denim jeans, white T-shirt and white socks is testament to just how good they can look.

Like all great designs, this boot was born out of functionality. During the Second World War, soldiers fighting in the western desert campaigns sought out an alternative to their heavier military-issue offerings, which were impractical on sandy terrains.

The desert boot was the answer. It was made from two pieces of light, supple suede and featured just two eyelets – much fewer than most other boots of the time – which when tightly laced were designed to keep the sand out. And of course there were its flexible crepe soles, which gave better grip and movement on the go.

Today, a desert boot in a light sand-brown suede with its contrast crepe sole looks best worn with the nonchalance of a vintage casual look; think dark selvedge denim jeans, a cable-knit jumper and a casual Harrington jacket or light raincoat thrown over the top. Oh, and if you have a Triumph bike, even better. Embrace the suppleness of the suede and the relaxed look of these boots as they mould to your feet and soften completely.

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Chukka Boots


The desert boot’s smarter cousin, the chukka boot is perhaps the perfect all-rounder. In dark brown suede or leather, it’s a little dressier than the desert style, but it’s an absolute wardrobe staple.

Neutrality and versatility is the key to this boot style. In chestnut suede, they smarten up dark jeans with more casual shirt and blazer or a lightweight jumper and coat. Then, at the weekend for a chilly walk to the pub, wear them with a light-wash pair of jeans, a relaxed bomber jacket or rain mac and a classic plain tee – you could always add in a check scarf to keep things interesting.

If you tend to opt for black jeans, then a black suede version is well worth the effort, especially as an evening style and they always look more considered than basic black leather shoes.

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Work Boots

River Island

As the temperatures really drop and you plan long walks in the park, or a day watching the football or rugby, you’ll soon realise that as cool as your trainers look, after a couple of hours standing in one spot on freezing concrete, they just aren’t going cut it. What you need is a pair of heavy-duty, thick-soled work boots – without any compromise on comfort.

Classic work-wear bootmakers Red Wing nailed the design, comfort, durability conundrum some time ago. Originally designed as industrial work boots, the functionality element is felt in every stitch of their construction, in the tough waterproof leather and the flat-supportive soles. The softer tan leather boots with light rubber soles and mountaineering style laces would look great with heavy selvedge denim, an overshirt and a shearling-lined jacket. For a more dressed up look they’re great with slimmer jeans, a Oxford shirt and a mid-length camel wool coat.

For black denim, celebrity stylist, Christopher Brown recommends, “a black Derby boot worn with biker-style black jeans, a leather jacket or a long black wool top coat and baker boy tweed cap”.

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Hiking Boots


Since time immemorial man has braved the elements and scaled the highest mountains. That performance-driven style has filtered into everyday clothing is testament to the fact that quality has permeated every corner of menswear, and we’ve seen hiking boots take hold of men’s winter wardrobes across the board.

One of the early adopters was Berluti which introduced a luxury version perhaps more suited to the Champs Elysée than the north face of K2. But for the metropolis, a lightweight hiking style is your best option. Military boot makers, Danner offer up one of the season’s best sports hiking boots in a multitude of colours all with lightweight rubber soles. Comfort is paramount here, but paired with the functional elements of the outdoors, they’re ideal to wear with mid-wash jeans, and a complementary puffer or parka jacket. And of course don’t forget the requisite wool beanie à la Edmund Hillary and co.

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Smart Boots

Massimo Dutti

They say you can’t wear brown in town, but we all know such stifling rules are disappearing into the style abyss, and fortunately so. A smart brogue boot with all the elegant stitched detailing can really add something to a traditional flannel suit, or a smart blazer worn with dark denim jeans.

You should follow a couple of simple rules though, as George Glasgow, CEO of British shoemakers, George Cleverley decrees: “Smart winter boots can be both elegant and stylish but also durable. Ideally a solid winter boot should have a Dainite rubber sole for the pavement and the upper should be a grained calf or deerskin.”

This elegant style has a similar shape to a workwear boot but is generally much sleeker, built on sharper lasts with less rounded toes – the key difference between the Oxford and the Derby being the closed lacing system. A dark tan or full chestnut brown brogue boot is a more traditional look than say a plain Derby, and so offers a more mature, classic style, perfect for a Sunday gastro-pub lunch.

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