5 Totally Unexpected Fall Wedding Guest Outfits You'll Love

Fresh, fashion-forward formulas to appropriately stand out at any venue

Bride and Groom with Guests

Photo by Olivia Rae James

May to June might commonly be considered “wedding season”, but truthfully, nuptials occur year-round with many taking place in September and October. On the heels of summer, it can be a challenge to switch gears from carefree ensembles grounded in wispy dresses, floaty skirts and swingy separates to a fall sensibility in one fell swoop. Early Autumn can still see warm temperatures while later into the season the chill starts to set in. Venues run the gamut from woodsy retreats to country clubs to vineyards to city settings, making the question of how to dress an important one.

Fall is a prime opportunity to challenge yourself and go outside your comfort zone in terms of style. Lest we forget September ushers in the newest fashions, making the prospect of incorporating a fresh crop of trends entirely thrilling. This season, we’re of the mind to play with proportion by mixing up go-to silhouettes and befriending bold colors and prints for a renewed aesthetic. What’s more, festive accessories can take it one step further—fall is filled with graphic accents across categories from handbags to footwear to jewelry, with sculptural shapes staking their claim, and high-wattage finishes creating a dazzling impact—a perfect scenario for striking up an unexpected wedding guest outfit.

Sure, it’s most definitely considered a faux pas to steal a bride’s spotlight on her big day, but wearing a fiercely stylish outfit to her wedding is a totally acceptable goal. Especially if you consider yourself a fashion girl—you’re practically expected to upgrade standard guest attire with forward-thinking pieces guaranteed to wow. On the other hand, if you’re prone to repeat formulas for special occasions, why not break the mold and go for something a bit more surprising? Even timeless pieces can be reimagined with a re-worked add-on or detail. If you’re a traditionalist, you needn’t worry of straying too far beyond your norm and feel completely unlike yourself. A skooch of newness can feel invigorating, we promise.

Ahead, witness five unexpected ways to master your fall wedding guest outfit. Whether you tend toward dresses, jumpsuits or separates, we curated striking formulas guaranteed to earn you the best-dressed guest award this season. From eccentrically sleek to prim and polished, we dare you to experiment.

01 of 05

An Evening Affair

Elizabeth Cooney

If you consistently lean on black, a satin jumpsuit with glitzy extras ups the ante. Crystal tassel earrings, a rainbow sequin pouch and golden sandals render the look unexpected, yet elegant.

One-Shoulder Bow-Embellished Satin Jumpsuit, $630, Zimmermann | Sequin Striped Pouch, $398, Attico | Crystal Tassel Earrings, $445, Oscar de la Renta | Nudistsong Ankle Strap Sandal, $398, Stuart Weitzman

02 of 05

An End-of-Summer Soirée

Elizabeth Cooney

Punch up a floral fall dress with graphic accessories. Optic white mules, a geometric shaped bag and sculptural earrings in a tonal palette bring vivid edge to the feminine frock.

Frilled Collar Dress, $145, & Other Stories | Seven Leather And Suede Mules, $460, Neous | Round Leather Shoulder Bag, $190, COS | Oli Earrings in Sterling Silver, $290, Winden

03 of 05

A Classic Autumn Palette

Elizabeth Cooney

A coordinating set in an opulent fabric is a fresh method for re-thinking separates. A simple shoe and bag allows for a contrasting statement earring to really pop. Bonus: A two-piece maximizes your ability to re-wear the look long after the 'I dos.'

Cropped Crushed-Velvet Wrap Jacket, $785, Sid Neigum | Crushed-Velvet Wrap Midi Skirt, $675, Sid Neigum | Matilda Dip Front Heeled Mules, $35, Who What Wear | Soirée Leather Shoulder Bag, $400, Diane von Furstenberg | Metal Earrings, $10, H&M

04 of 05

A Romantic Reception

Elizabeth Cooney

Unexpected color pairings are key for a standout look. Pink and red have long been complimentary hues and seeing major play this fall. Try one shade head-to-toe with your apparel and coordinate accessories in the other.

One-Shoulder Draped Satin Blouse, $790, Monse | Limited Edition Wool/Cashmere Trousers, $140, Massimo Dutti | Satin High Heel Slingback Shoes, $50, Zara | Knot Satin And Leather Shoulder Bag, $790, No.21 | Drape Earrings in Bronze, $205, FARIS

05 of 05

A Cool Fall Frock

Elizabeth Cooney

For an unforeseen dress moment, an asymmetrical silhouette in brocade will impress. Teamed with sleek stiletto boots, a geometric clutch and polished earrings, the result is edgy-chic.

Floral Devore Velvet Sleeveless Cutout Asymmetric Dress, $545, Self-Portrait | Hot Toddy Suede Pointed Boots, $110, Topshop | Compact Velvet Clutch, $895, Hunting Season | Metal Pendant Earrings, $20, Mango

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