A show of hands if you're tired of defaulting to the same little black dress or floral 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 once you've hit the age where the summer wedding season becomes a legitimate affair. With a myriad of "I dos" to sit through over the upcoming few months, I'm already feeling burnt out on what to wear. My Facebook timeline will tell you I've worn the same dress to the last three black-tie optional shindigs.
But the good news is I don't have to come up with an outfit all on my own. I've discovered some of the best wedding guest outfit inspo via 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 wedding guest looks sitting 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'll look good doing it.
Ballerina pink is a color I've failed to add to my wedding guest dress lexicon—the hue has always felt a tad too bridesmaid-y to me—but I'm remedying that ASAP thanks to this look. This pretty puff-sleeve ankle-length dress looks put-together enough to be appropriate for a mid-day wedding, yet casual enough that I could wear it on a weekday dressed down with sneakers.
I typically steer clear of sleeved dresses when it comes to cocktail attire, usually opting for a strapless or spaghetti strap dress. But Ali Tate Cutler's floral bodycon dress is convincing me that I need to give sleeves a try. Between the cat-eye sunglasses and the diamante adorned strappy sandals, I already know I'll be testing this look out for an LA-based wedding come summer.
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 vintage housecoat isn't mass-produced, but trust that I've set up alerts on eBay and Etsy in hopes of finding a similar jade green version. In the meantime, I'll be dreaming up alternate ways to channel this brilliant ensemble.
Black Tie Optional
Any invitation that lists "black tie optional" at the bottom is, in my book, a sin that causes nothing but confusion. The optional aspect, especially when it's an afternoon event, results in a big gray area where you'll find yourself either underdressed or overdressed. That's why I'm opting for a mini dress, but one that can easily look more dressed up with the right added accessories. If I start to feel too overdressed the minute I arrive, I can easily remove the tights and statement earrings and voila. In two easy steps, my look has gone from full-blown formal to a more cocktail appropriate affair.
I'll always abide by a dress code, but I'm not one to sacrifice my personal sense of style in lieu of it. And while a traditional gown may not be my cup of tea, I still enjoy dressing up in a maxi length dress whenever I get the chance. This bold blue dress is just the energy I'm looking for as an alternative to another ho-hum formal look. The gold chain belt and square-toe heels only add to this outfit's playful edge.
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 ball-appropriate get-up of your dreams? This summer, I'm taking notes from this two-piece silk set. I love that the rest of the black and white look is kept clean with a simple pair of mesh-toe heels.