What to Wear to a Formal Wedding
Stumped on what to wear to a formal wedding? Unsure of what "formal wedding attire" even means? We've got the answers plus some outfit examples you can shop right on the spot.
First things first: Formal isn't the same as black tie. It's actually synonymous with "black tie optional," which is one step above cocktail attire on the dress code spectrum. In other words, if black tie attire, cocktail attire and formal attire appeared on a Venn diagram, formal would fall right in the middle.
Okay, so what's formal attire for a wedding more specifically? We've broken down formal wedding guest attire for men and women below. Check out the looks for inspiration, but keep the event's other details in mind too. The season and venue will also help you decide what to wear to a formal wedding.
Formal Wedding Attire for Men
Formal weddings are great because the dress code is fancy (it's fun to get dressed up) but flexible. Men can wear a tuxedo, but they don't have to—a dark suit and tie are also appropriate. Dress shoes fit the bill when it comes to footwear. Consider patent leather loafers for a tux or laced oxfords for a suit.
This bold black and blue tux is fresh but still formal.
Ted Baker London Josh trim fit navy shawl lapel tuxedo, $1,098, Nordstrom.com
Charcoal is another foolproof color choice. We like this slim, suave suit.
ASOS DESIGN Plus skinny suit in Charcoal, $127 for a suit jacket and matching pants, ASOS.com
If you're comfortable wearing a more modern hue, try a deep green suit.
Of course, you can't go wrong with a timeless black tuxedo.
Theory Chambers tuxedo jacket, $695, and wool Mayer pants, $345, Theory.com
Ditto for a simple navy suit.
Formal Wedding Attire for Women
Formal dresses to wear to a wedding include both evening gowns and elegant cocktail frocks, so pick the hemline you feel best in. That being said, you don't have to wear a dress at all. We're big fans of suits and other dressy separates. Accessorize with heels or fancy flats and jewelry as you see fit.
How smart is this stylish navy women's tux?
ASOS DESIGN premium tux exaggerated suit, $183, ASOS.com
This red formal midi dress features a hybrid of two big trends: the one-shoulder neckline and the off-the-shoulder neckline.
Jay Godfrey red Lasse dress, from $30 for a 4-day rental, RenttheRunway.com
We love the beautiful pattern on this long, plus-size formal wedding guest dress.
JS Collections two-tone embroidered leaf gown, $358, Nordstrom.com
Now's the perfect time for a dramatic short dress like this ruffled one.
Lavish Alice asymmetric draped high neck frill midi scuba dress in Navy, $103, ASOS.com
Meanwhile, this gorgeous gathered plus-size dress makes a more subtle statement.
Vince Camuto side-ruched off-the-shoulder gown, $208, Nordstrom.com