The wedding invitation has arrived. You’ve sent in your RSVP and are patiently awaiting the big day. Now starts the daunting task of finding the perfect outfit. Is the invite requesting a semi-formal dress code? Not sure what that means? Weddings are joyous occasions, so let’s take the guesswork out of discovering your women’s semi-formal wedding attire. Read on to learn what semi-formal wedding attire is, what you should wear and stylish nuptial day looks. Pop the bubbly, both for the happy couple and your stylish outfit.
What Is Semi-Formal Wedding Attire for Women?
If you are wondering what semi-formal wedding attire for women actually is, the answer isn’t so cut and dry. Think of the semi-formal wedding dress code as business wear, but with a fun and flirty twist. Over the past few years, we’ve seen a relaxed shift in fashion. Styles that lean more casually have seeped into traditionally semi-formal aesthetics to create a modern definition. This semi-formal request is a way for the honorary couple to ask you to dress up. There’s no need for heavy gowns, although floor-sweeping, breezy maxi dresses are a winning choice. Also on the wedding guest semi-formal outfit list: shorter hemlines, bright and beautiful colors and prints and smart two-piece options. Your wedding guest ensemble should be playful, yet dress-code-appropriate and reflect your personality. After all, love is in the air and you’re allowed to crush on your look.
Stun in Semi-Formal Dresses for Wedding Guests
If there’s one standout staple to reach for, it’s dresses. They’re synonymous with women’s wedding guest attire. If you are unsure which silhouette to incorporate into your semi-formal wedding attire, start with trending styles and fits. Midi and maxi dresses with delicate detailing like smocking, ruching and ruffles offer an on-trend, off-the-runway feel. The best part? These longer styles are great fits for all body shapes. Prefer to flaunt your neckline or decolletage? Choose a frock with a fitted, smocked bodice or sweeping v- or scoop neck. If keeping your arms covered boosts your confidence, pick a midi with a loose statement sleeve. Instantly elevate your look (literally) with timeless nude-hued heels or strappy platform sandals. Wrap up your ‘fit with striking earrings or a fringed clutch to add a polished pop of texture. Similar to the soon-to-be-married couple, your outfit is a match made in heaven.
Just because the wedding dress code is semi-formal, doesn’t mean your short dresses have to sit on the sidelines. On the contrary, short dresses offer an equally illustrious wedding aesthetic. Plus, they are must-wears if you are petite or want to highlight your legs. Keep your dresses at or slightly above the knee and choose an a-line or fit and flare silhouette. Create balance by selecting a short length with a high neckline or long sleeves. Also, consider fabrication. Since mini dresses err on the side of casual, pick a structured or luxury fabric like velvet, silk or lightweight satin. These stately fabrics convey an enhanced feel. Pair your dress with wedge shoes that are particularly helpful for outdoor weddings. No need to worry about sinking in grass or dirt. Choose a seat, not a side, and you’ll be ready to wear your outfit with pride.
No Dress? No Problem: Alternative Semi-Formal Wedding Attire
We know that style preferences are not fluid from one person to another. After all, that’s what makes us unique individuals. If dresses are on your avoid list, there are a myriad of women’s semi-formal wedding attire options to choose from. If you don’t know where to start, consider well-tailored pants, skirts, jumpsuits and chic separates. Do any of these suggestions make your heart flutter? With well-thought-out accessories and stunning shoes, you are sure to dress to impress. You’ll want to say I do to these stylish wedding guest outfit alternatives. No cold feet here.
Perfectly Polished Pants
Dress pants are an ideal pick for women’s semi-formal wedding attire. This simple staple really wows the crowd and is figure-flattering to boot. Are pants your pick for a wedding guest look? Choose a pair of slim-fit ankle trousers or make a statement in wide-leg slacks. Neutrals are always a safe bet, but we dare you to wear striking colors to stand out. Go for pants in sunny shades like grassy greens or lovely lavender. Pair them with a tailored blouse and square-toe heels. Wondering how to wear wide-leg pants? Inseam should be top of mind. The hem should barely graze the floor when worn with your favorite wedding-day shoes. A crisp blazer or textured teddy bear coat adds a special finishing touch. Plus, these lucky layers keep you covered for chilly outdoor affairs.
Spectacular Semi-Formal Wedding Attire Skirts
Sleek skirts are always a good choice when deciding upon your semi-formal wedding outfit. We mentioned that the semi-formal dress code is a notch up from business wear. With that being said, we encourage you to wear a trusty pencil skirt to your next wedding. Add flair to your women’s outfit by pairing a skirt with a bold brushstroke print blouse and peep-toe booties. If your style skews more on the boho side, or you love the cottagecore trend, choose a tiered midi skirt. Wear it with a bodysuit and chunky heeled mules to give your look a lift. A floral print skirt is sure to give the bridal bouquet a run for its money.
Jovial Jumpsuits for Loving Celebrations
For the trend-forward guest looking for a semi-formal wedding attire alternative to dresses, look no further than a sleek jumpsuit. Tuck away your casual knit jumpsuits for another day and choose heavier, drape fabric that sways effortlessly as you move. A jumpsuit with substantial material also offers a dressier feel that aligns with the semi-formal wedding dress code. Pick a jumpsuit with a wide-leg silhouette and a fitted or belted top. This helps balance your frame and highlight your waistline. Black is a classic choice for semi-formal weddings or choose something that adds a pop of color to your look. Curious what shoes to wear with a jumpsuit? Anything with a heel will elongate your leg line—specifically pumps that match your skin tone.
Trendy Two-Piece Picks for the Big Day
Matching two-piece looks have been stars in the style spotlight recently. If you are thinking about trying a matching set for your semi-formal wedding outfit, we say give it a go. Try a pleated midi-length skirt paired with a coordinating, slightly cropped top and dazzling drop earrings. Since the dress code is semi-formal, avoid showing off major midriff and opt for just a peek of skin instead. Are skirts not your vibe? Go for a powerful pantsuit pairing. Modernize this staple set by layering an oversized blazer over a lacy silk cami and skinny ankle pants. Keep it simple with your shoe choice. Strappy heeled sandals are the sartorial soulmates to this gorgeous get-up.
Create a Color Story in Semi-Formal Wedding Attire Appropriate Hues and Prints
Ladies, now that you’ve picked your semi-formal wedding attire, let’s welcome prints and colors to the chat. There’s no reason to shy away from fun and perky patterns. Summertime weddings call for big tropical blooms, a bold color display and a plethora of textures. For something subdued, pick gingham checks or micro florals. These pretty prints get the green light for romantic garden wedding parties as well. When the weather cools down, opt for moody hues like forest greens, wines and navy blue. Mixed with rich fabrics like velvet, you’ll have fresh fall or wondrous winter wedding looks. It’s official—prints have the power to inspire and take you from the ceremony to the dance floor for the Cupid Shuffle. Now let’s focus on color.
Are There Any Colors I Should Avoid With My Wedding Guest Outfit?
Unless noted by the happy couple, bridal white should always be avoided. It’s their day, and you won’t want to take away from their big moment. However, it doesn’t mean that you can’t incorporate white into your semi-formal wedding outfit. If you are wearing a bold print, choose white shoes or a white cross-body bag to accessorize your look. You might also want to avoid colors that coordinate with the bridal party. It’s not a hard and fast rule, so use your own discretion.
Otherwise, curate a color story with your favorite hues or experiment with a new color you’ve never worn before. Create a spark with sunny yellow, uplifting orange or brilliant blue. Prefer neutrals? Rely on earthy tones like toasted almond, clay red or classic black. After all, a perfect little black dress is suited for any semi-formal affair. One caveat: steer clear of black for beach wedding attire as it’s too harsh against sun-washed beachy tones. We now pronounce you masters of semi-formal wedding do’s and don’ts.
Seeking out semi-formal wedding attire? Our style experts are ready to lend a hand. Take your style quiz, order a Fix and ask your stylist for picture-perfect semi-formal wedding outfits. Relax and receive five items that you can try on in the comfort of your home. Shipping and returns are always free.