The Best Dresses for Summer Weddings, According to Our Style Editor
When it comes to dress codes, summertime black tie weddings are a little more relaxed than their winter counterparts, so you’ll likely see a little bit of everything at these occasions. The venue also often determines just how formal you should go, but there are a few tried-and-true rules to live by, no matter where it’s held: Stick to midi- or full-length dresses, keep fabrics in mind (a cotton maxi won’t fit the bill, but a silk or brocade tea-length dress certainly will), and remember the transformative power of dynamite accessories and a good pair of heels.
Buy it here: Nicole Miller New York Sleeveless Cutout Back Printed Hi Low Gown, $158; dillards.com
As with summertime black tie weddings, you’ll probably see a little bit of everything at cocktail-attire weddings in the warm-weather months. Depending on the venue, you can turn up the formality or take it down a notch with your accessories. Really like to break it down? A tailored tea-length jumpsuit in crepe or silk is equally appropriate for the festivities.
Buy it here: Asymmetrical Crepe Fit & Flare Dress, $92; nordstrom.com
Florals? For a garden wedding? Groundbreaking. The Devil Wears Prada’sMiranda Priestly may think it’s a little expected, but if there’s a more appropriate place to wear a vibrant floral pattern than a garden wedding, we haven’t found it. Ruffle sleeves, linen, and a red-orange + pink color pairing make this pick feel especially fresh.
Buy it here: Floral Print Linen Tunic, $69.90; zara.com
Morning weddings call for delightfully ladylike looks. Fil coupé polka dots, chiffon-covered buttons, and a fluttery skirt that hits just below the knee earn this sweet lilac swing dress a spot on the winner’s podium. Stick to fresh, dewy makeup and delicate accessories for an ensemble that really hits the mark.
Buy it here: Hillary Clip Dot Chiffon Midi Dress in Lilac, $168; nordstrom.com
Spoiler! This isn’t a dress. A beach wedding is an excuse to lighten up and have a little more fun, especially when it comes to your wedding guest wardrobe. Trade your typical maxi for a patterned jumpsuit. With statement jewelry and a woven clutch, it feels just as light-hearted, plus you can boogie on down—and catch the sea breeze—without worrying about any unexpected, or unwelcome, reveals.
Buy it here: J. Crew Striped Halter Jumpsuit in Tushar Stripe Lighthouse, $148; jcrew.com
Afternoon weddings, especially those held beneath sprawling mossy oaks or on a farm, allow for more casual ensembles. A sundress with fun accessories and wedges is appropriate, as is a pretty blouse paired with a midi skirt. The color-blocked tiers on this fun-loving party pick dial up the festive vibes.
Buy it here: Tiered Halter Dress, $89.50; loft.com