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While your wedding gown is the most important piece in your bridal wardrobe, your after-party dress will undoubtedly be the most fun. That's because after-party outfits are all about sparkly fabrics, shorter hemlines, and carefree silhouettes. Plus, these party-ready dresses are the perfect way to showcase your personal style while hitting that dance-floor.
"The most important thing to keep in mind is to have fun with this after party look," says Stitch Fix stylist Alicia Lloyd. "It's a time to celebrate and your look should reflect exactly how you feel."
Meet the Expert
We spoke to Lloyd on how to pick this frock and researched the best options based on her advice. When selecting an after-party dress, think about the setting of the festivities and what will take place. You don't want to wear anything that will make you too cold or hot as you enjoy yourself. If you know you'll be tearing it up on the dance floor, opt for a style that won't restrict movement. Now you can showoff your legs in a sparkly mini like Retrofete Mich Dress. Or you can opt for a jumpsuit like ML Monique Lhuillier Doutzen V-Neck Jumpsuit so you can pop a squat without flashing anyone. The styles we found allow for optimal fun while still being stylish and coming in range of sizes and prices.
Whether your after-party is being held at your favorite local bar or under the stars at an outdoor venue, we've found the best after-party dresses for every style and budget.
Best Jumpsuit: ML Monique Lhuillier Doutzen V-Neck Jumpsuit
Size Range: 0-18 | Length: Floor-length | Material: Charmeuse
Every bride-to-be needs a jumpsuit in their wedding wardrobe. They're versatile, chic, and incredibly easy to dance in. This particular style features thigh-high slits and a deep-v neckline for a super sultry vibe
Best Mini: Retrofête Mich Sequin Dress
Size Range: XXS-XXL | Length: Mini | Material: Nylon
No dress is more party-ready than a sparkly mini dress. All eyes will be on you as you hit the dancefloor in this silverly leg-baring number.
Best with Feathers: ELLIATT Harley Feather Trim Dress
Size Range: XS-L | Length: Midi | Material: Polyester
Looking for an after-party ensemble that feels sophisticated and fun? This feather-trimmed dress should do just the trick. Delicate gold hoops and barely-there sandals make for chic finishing touches.
Best for Dancing: ASOS DESIGN Embellished Fringed Mini Dress
Size Range: 0-14 | Length: Mini | Material: Blend
There is perhaps no better dress to dance in than one that's made entirely from cascading fringe. That's because a swishy fringe frock not only screams after-party, it also moves when you move.
Best Budget: Lulus Always Celebrating Ivory Satin Off-the-Shoulder Mini Dress
Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Mini | Material: Polyester
This satin dress looks way more expensive than it is. As customers say, it makes them feel like a greek goddess.
Best Backless: Michael Costello x REVOLVE Zola Mini Dress
Size Range: XXS-XL | Length: Mini | Material: Rayon
Channel Hailey Bieber in this backless number. Slick back your hair in a ponytail or bun to show off your backside.
Most Dazzling: Paco Rabanne Sequin Chain-Disc Mini Dress
Size Range: 34 FR-38 FR | Length: Mini | Material: Plastic, Brass
Shine bright in this jaw-dropping dress, featuring mirror-like, sequins that are sure to reflect (pun intended!) your playful and statement-making style.
Best Plus-Size: ASOS LUXE Curve Bubble Bardot Mini Dress
Size Range: 12-26 | Length: Mini | Material: Polyester
Turn up the volume with this adorable, bubble sleeve mini dress. The sheer pink shade and zebra-like jacquard makes it extra fierce.
Best Petite: Vesper Petite One Shoulder Maxi Dress
Size Range: 0-10 | Length: Maxi | Material: Viscose
Finding a floor-length gown that isn't too long can be hard when you're petite. But this one is made specially for shorter frames. The thigh-high slit and one shoulder design make it extra flattering.
Most Eye-Catching: Self-Portrait Crystal-Embellished Ruched Taffeta Halterneck Mini Dress
Size Range: UK 4-14 | Length: Mini | Material: Taffeta
Sophisticated crystal embellishments frame this structured cupcake dress, for a look that's at once glamorous and architectural. The eye-catching lilac color is perfect for the bride who wants to inject some color into their after-party look.
Best Long Sleeve: Zimmermann Silk-Charmeuse Wrap Mini Dress
Size Range: 2-10 | Length: Mini | Material: Silk
We love this softy and swingy Zimmermann dress for the bride whose aesthetic leans classic with a twist. Pair with your favorite block heels or mules for a perfectly polished party look.
Best Off-the-Shoulder: Likely Paz Dress
Size Range: 00-14 | Length: Mini | Material: Heavyweight, non-stretch crepe
This off-the-shoulder midi dress is the perfect piece to switch into at the end of the night. The pleated chiffon sleeves give the dress an elegant bridal touch.
Best Splurge: Naeem Khan Gatsby Embellished Chiffon Mini Dress
Size Range: 2-12 | Length: Mini | Material: Chiffon
For a truly show-stopping after-party dress, look no further than this Naeem Khan number. It's definitely a splurge piece, but it will certainly be a memorable and glamorous look.
Best Ballet-Core Look: Watters Cleo Dress
Size Range: 0-16 | Length: Mini | Material: Mikado
Ballet-core is all the rage in bridal fashion right now, so embrace the look with trend with with this Watters mini dress. The bubble hem and the lace-up back are a unique after-party touch.
For a Post Black-Tie Wedding: Bernadette Sacha Dress
Size Range: FR 34-44 | Length: Mini | Material: Taffeta
While this midi dress is a bit more formal, it's a great option if you are looking to switch into a look that's dressy and fun after your black-tie wedding. You're guests will likely still be dressed to the nines, so this piece will continue to match the vibe.
Best Separates: Reformation Madrid Silk Set
Size Range: 0-12 | Length: Floor Length | Material: Silk
As Lloyd says, some brides are stepping into pajama sets for the after party and this silk set gives the same effortless vibe as your favorite PJs. For the unfussy bride who wants a laidback after-party ensemble, this two-piece set is a decidedly chic choice. Since these casual separates don't feel overly bridal, you'll get a lot of mileage out of them long after you say "I do."
Best Two-Piece Look: LoveShackFancy Vima Top & Roisen Skirt
Size Range: 0-12 | Length: Mini | Material: Taffeta
Go bold with this flirty two-piece set from LoveShackFancy. You'll be twirling on the dance night all night long.
Most Glam: ASOS DESIGN Midi Dress with Batwing Sleeve and Wrap Waist in Scatter Sequin
Size Range: 0-14 | Length: Midi | Material: Polyester
This dazzling long-sleeve gown feels very Old Hollywood glamour. Accessorize with a sparkly clutch and a pair of statement-making earrings, and a bold red lip for added drama.
For a Destination Wedding: Maygel Coronel Blanca Reversible Ruffled Cutout Maxi Dress
Size Range: One size, Petite Extended | Length: Maxi | Material: 78% polyamide, 22% elastane
Not all party dresses have to be covered in sequins and embellishments. If you're throwing a destination wedding, this lightweight dress, featuring an alluring cut-out, feels especially fitting for a warm-weather affair.
Best Cutout: MACH & MACH Cutout Little Mini Dress with Crystal Bows
Size Range: 34-44 | Length: Mini | Material: Cotton
Cutouts are all the rage and this one keeps it classy with modest holes on the sides embellished with crystal bows. Made from cotton, this mini dress is a great option to stay cool, especially for a summer wedding, if you know you're going to dancing the night away.
Best Romper: Elliatt Jimena Set
Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Mini | Material: Polyester
When it comes to your after-party look, you'll want to make sure you choose an option that's not only stylish but functional, too. Enter: the bridal romper. They're fashionable, fun, and perfect for cutting loose on the dancefloor.
Best for the Beach: Farm Rio White Cut Out Midi Dress
Size Range: XS-XL | Length: Midi | Material: Viscose
"For a beach wedding, this breezy Farm Rio frock is the ideal after party dress, allowing you to feel comfortable yet elegant into the late night hours," says Lloyd. The brand says it runs big, so consider sizing down for the best fit.
What to Look for in an After-Party Dress
As you dance the night away, you don't want to be too cold or hot. For warmer temps, go for shorter silhouettes and breathable materials like cotton. If your party is taking place outside where it might be chilly, go for a jumpsuit or a longer dress.
"Envision how you want to look and feel in this moment, and select your styles based on that," says Lloyd.
Shimmering mini dresses in allover sequins and beading are a classic choice for late-night celebrations. Not only are they eye-catching, but they offer the chance to highlight your playful side, especially if you wore a simple or more conservative wedding dress. If pared-back minimalism is more your speed, ultra-chic slip dresses in bridal white and glimmering gold feel polished and timeless. For a bolder after-party moment, go for dresses in bright, poppy colors or jumpsuits with daring necklines.
The after-party is all about dancing and letting loose, which can be hard to do if your dress is constricting in any way. So, it might be best to avoid stiff off-the-shoulder dresses that prevent you from raising your arms or tight floor-length gowns that make dancing difficult.
What are some popular outfits to wear for an after-party?
While you should wear whatever makes you look and feel your best, sparkly mini dresses, simple slip dresses, and little white dresses feel especially fitting for after-party attire.
"Brides are opting for less conventional styles, such as shorter dresses or skirt sets that they pair with a platform sneaker after being on their feet all day," says Lloyd. "For those late night after parties, some clients even request pajama sets so that they continue to dance all night in comfort."
What shoes should I wear with my after-party outfit?
Why Trust Brides
Contributing writer Sophie Moore is a former fashion editor at Brides and is an expert in all things bridal attire, from couture wedding gowns to the perfect "something blue" accessory. She researches and sources the best fashion items for brides, grooms, wedding guests, bridal parties, and more. For this article, we interviewed Stitch Fix stylist Alicia Lloyd for tips on how to select and style an after-party dress.