Showers & Parties
Best Dress Options for Bridal Shower Guests 2019
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Navigating a bridal registry can be tricky enough, but the guest’s path to a bridal shower dress is littered with sartorial minefields. This fancy fête’s dress code can be a head-scratcher and it comes with some rules for the road. Two to remember: As a guest, you shouldn’t wear black or white. You want to look festive, so black is out and cheery colors are in. White’s a no-no because that tone is traditionally reserved for the bride-to-be. Beyond those two warnings, don’t fret, because our recommendations for what to wear will save you from bridal shower side eye. Read on, then choose your dress accordingly.
Finding the Best Dress for a Bridal Shower
Bridal showers are typically semi-formal gatherings held in a well-appointed home, country club, brunch restaurant or rooftop bar. It’s a fête like no other and, as a guest, you should rise to the occasion with your girliest dress and finest accessories. If the location is on the formal side, you can ramp up your look with lace, silk and ruffles paired with stunning stilettos. Some bridal showers are more informal, held in a garden or by a pool. In this case, you can wear more casual fabrics, including combed cotton, which features a sheen finish (rather than the spun cotton of a t-shirt). As for style, a sundress, maxi dress or shift dress might be appropriate for an outdoor affair. Stylish sandals are appropriate accessories, as well.
How to Decide on a Bridal Shower Dress
Let’s face it: If you’re a card-carrying member of the bridal party, you’ve already spent a bundle on a fanciful bridesmaid gown that you might not wear again. So for the bridal shower, choose a dress that can be worn over and over for semi-formal and formal events. Such a frock falls into the category of “investment clothing.” Since women come armed with a variety of budgets, our list has included dresses that start at $36 and go to $279 (and one splurge-worthy frock thrown in for $498). In the end, don’t sweat it. As long as you’ve made the effort to dress appropriately for the nature of the event, the bride will remember what really matters: You celebrated her upcoming commitment with her as a gesture of love. That’s more important than going into debt over a dress.
Think light and bright. Pastels are your friend for spring and summer and jewel tones will win them over in winter. If ever there was a time to eschew black, this is it. You’re supposed to look celebratory and ornamental, not as though you’re in Victorian mourning. White is also on the nixed list, as that shade is reserved for the bride-to-be. And check this out: On rare occasions, the shower hostess will specify a guest color palette, so keep that in mind when choosing a bridal shower dress.
It’s hard to overstate the importance of looking genteel and ladylike at this traditionally female event for close friends and family. Err on the side of conservatism, for starters, and look for classic styles such as wraps, midi lengths, sheaths or fit-and-flare styles. An above-the-knee dress is fine if it isn’t too truncated and is well-tailored (i.e., not a tight knit dress meant for the dance floor). Floral prints are bridal shower perennials and can be worn for any season, depending on the colors (pastels for spring and summer, deeper tones for fall and winter). And don’t wear anything harsh, not for love or money: Leave the black leather, studded accessories and overtly sexy heels at home.
Material & Other Features:
A bridal shower is the setting for all things feminine. It’s the time to choose floaty or drapey fabrics such as silk and chiffon. Lace or ruffles are heartily welcomed in bridal shower attire. And bring on the bling: A bridal shower demands your best-dressed self, so add your finest baubles or get dramatic with costume jewelry. It’s your time to sparkle.
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