4 Fashion Stylists on Their Tips for Being the Best-Dressed Wedding Guest

From stunning silhouettes to stylish dress alternatives and the chicest accessories

Updated 04/27/19
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CHRIS JACKSON

For fashion-focused wedding guests, the thought of what to wear is typically the first to strike after receiving a save the date. From unique silhouettes to modern prints and eye-catching accessories, there are a lot of ways to make a statement with wedding guest attire, though, earning the title of best-dressed doesn’t always equate to an outfit full of flashy pieces. Oftentimes, it’s the way in which you pair pieces together, even if they skew minimalist or classic. And no one knows the ins and outs of assembling extraordinary ensembles better than fashion stylists. They’re pros at putting together eye-catching wedding guest outfits with a twist — there’s always something about a stylist-made look that you would have never thought of yourself whether it involves a mix of unexpected colors, distinctive accessories to set off a classic silhouette, or unique proportions you might not have considered for yourself.

For a fashion insider approach to piecing together sartorially winning wedding guests outfits, we tapped four fashions stylists — Sissy Sainte-Marie, Rachael Wang, Rebecca Dennett, and Doria Santlofer — for their tips and tricks. From their favorite labels for wedding guest dresses to the coolest dress alternatives and chicest accessories, scroll on for their expert advice and shop their picks for your next wedding — there's something for every style, size, and price point.

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Sissy Sainte-Marie Recommends: Ciao Lucia

Courtesy of Ciao Lucia

“When friends ask for recommendations for wedding guest attire, my go-to recommendation is this top and skirt set from Ciao Lucia," Sainte-Marie says.

Ciao Lucia Allegra Top Sea Metallic and Carlotta Skirt Sea Metallic

SHOP NOW: Ciao Lucia, $355 and Ciao Lucia, $300

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Sissy Sainte-Marie's Recommends: Cult Gaia

Courtesy of Cult Gaia

“If I were young and fabulous and attending a wedding, I would be dying to wear a dress, shoes, and bag from the current Cult Gaia collection," Sainte-Marie says.

Cult Gaia Artemisia Dress

SHOP NOW: Cult Gaia, $578

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Sissy Sainte-Marie Recommends: Prints, Ruffles and Color

Courtesy of Rachel Comey

“I know one of the rules is to not upstage the bride, but also I think your soon-to-be-married friend would appreciate her guests really bring it on her wedding day — prints, ruffles, color pops would surely be welcome," Sainte-Marie says.

Rachel Comey Orbit Top and Gyre Skirt

SHOP NOW: Rachel Comey, $345 and Rachel Comey, $595

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Sissy Sainte-Marie Recommends: Prints, Ruffles and Color

Courtesy of Christine Alcalay

Christine Alcalay Ruffle Neck Mini Dress

SHOP NOW: Christine Alcalay, $650

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Sissy Sainte-Marie Recommends: Prints, Ruffles and Color

Courtesy of Rejina Pyo

Rejina Pyo Lily Dress Linen

SHOP NOW: Rejina Pyo, $682.09

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Sissy Sainte-Marie Recommends: Prints, Ruffles and Color

Courtesy of Farfetch

Batsheva Floral Print Midi Dress

SHOP NOW: Farfetch, $413

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Sissy Sainte-Marie Recommends: Jumpsuits or Pantsuits

Courtesy of Need Supply

“If you prefer something more understated or less girly, black, jumpsuits, pants, suits, and sets are not forbidden these days," says Sainte-Marie.

Nanushka Opium Satin Wrap-Front Top and Caribe Satin Pant

SHOP NOW: Need Supply, $595 and Need Supply, $475

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Sissy Sainte-Marie Recommends: Jumpsuits or Pantsuits

Courtesy of Shaina Mote

Shaina Mote Turin Top and Rumi Trouser

SHOP NOW: Shaina Mote, $235 and Shaina Mote, $438

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Sissy Sainte-Marie Recommends: Jumpsuits or Pantsuits

Courtesy of Mara Hoffman

Mara Hoffman Nina Dress

SHOP NOW: Mara Hoffman, $595

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Sissy Sainte-Marie Recommends: Jumpsuits or Pantsuits

Courtesy of Christine Alcalay

Christine Alcalay Halter Wide Leg Jumpsuit

SHOP NOW: Christine Alcalay, $615

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Sissy Sainte-Marie Recommends: Jumpsuits or Pantsuits

Courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman

Tibi Tablier Plainweave Blazer Jumpsuit

SHOP NOW: Bergdorf Goodman, $447, was $895

12 of 47

Sissy Sainte-Marie Recommends: Detailed or Statement Sleeves

Courtesy of Modcloth

“If you're looking for something in a larger size run, ModCloth has tons of wedding guest attire that doesn't break the bank and ranges from XS to 4X," says Sainte-Marie. "If you're modest but still want to make a statement, look for details such as bell sleeves or an asymmetrical shoulder.”

Collectif x Modcloth Expressive Essence Wide-Leg Jumpsuit

SHOP NOW: Modcloth, $109

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Sissy Sainte-Marie Recommends: Practical and Reusable

Courtesy of Staud

"It's also nice to buy something practical that you would want to get more wear out of that could be dressed down or dressed up for special occasions like dresses from Staud," says Sainte-Marie.

Staud Birdie Dress

SHOP NOW: Staud, $275

14 of 47

Sissy Sainte-Marie Recommends: Practical and Reusable

Courtesy of Loéil

Loéil and The Frankie Shop are two of Sainte-Marie’s favorite retailers for less pricey but very fashion-forward wedding guest attire.

Loéil Elvissa Knit and Khalifa Skirt

SHOP NOW: Loéil, $98 and Loéil, $118

15 of 47

Rachael Wang Recommends: Statement Accessories

Courtesy of SVNR

“I think the best way to approach weddings is to find something in your closet and spice it up with fresh accessories like statement earrings and colorful sandals.”

SVNR Boca Paila Earrings

SHOP NOW: SVNR, $110

16 of 47

Rachael Wang Recommends: Statement Accessories

Courtesy of SVNR

SVNR Anhui Lifesaver Earrings

SHOP NOW: SVNR, $150

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Rachael Wang Recommends: Statement Accessories

Courtesy of Rafa

Rafa The Simple Sandal

SHOP NOW: Rafa, $350

18 of 47

Rachael Wang Recommends: Matching Separates

Courtesy of Mara Hoffman

“Alternately, I love the idea of investing in a matching top and skirt that can be worn together as a dress for a more formal occasion like a wedding but can also be worn separately," says Wang. "The top can be worn casually with jeans, for example, and the skirt can be topped with a sweater for work. This way your price per wear is much more affordable, not to mention finding ways to wear things over and over again is the best way to make your closet more sustainable."

Mara Hoffman Moon Top and Roshini Skirt

SHOP NOW: Mara Hoffman, $525 and Mara Hoffman, $825

19 of 47

Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Midi-Length and Color

Courtesy of Farfetch

“My rule of thumb is, unless it’s a black-tie evening wedding, wear color,” Dennett says. “If you’re a guest, steer away of column or floor-length dresses as you don’t want to be confused for a bridesmaid or best woman.”

Rotate Pleat Detail Waist Maxi Dress

SHOP NOW: Farfetch, $213

20 of 47

Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Luxury Consignment Shops or Renting

Courtesy of The RealReal

“When I want to stick to a certain budget, I’ll search by keeping my setting to a max I"m comfortable with so I don't get downtrodden with $3,000+ Givenchy numbers I can't afford,” says Dennett.

The stylist also recommends shopping sites like The RealReal for designer wedding guest options at a lower price — it's also a more sustainable way to shop instead of buying a brand-new item.

Self-Portrait Sleeveless Lace Dress

SHOP NOW: The RealReal, $225

21 of 47

Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Luxury Consignment Shops or Renting

Courtesy of The RealReal

Prabal Gurung Sleeveless Tiered Midi Dress

SHOP NOW: The RealReal, $525

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Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Rixo

Courtesy of Shopbop

Some of Dennett’s favorite brands for fashion-forward wedding guest dresses include Saloni, Veronica Beard, Rixo, Self-Portrait, Nanushka, and Les Reveries.

Rixo Ariel Dress

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $470

23 of 47

Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Les Reveries

Courtesy of Intermix

Les Reveries Pink Sunflower Print Midi Dress

SHOP NOW: Intermix, $645

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Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Pops of Color

Courtesy of Saks Fifth Avenue

“I love this pop of color — you could also re-wear this for a smart summer work day," says Dennett.

Nanushka Kalila Satin Sleeveless Knot Front Dress

SHOP NOW: Saks Fifth Avenue, $695

25 of 47

Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Printed Dresses and Defined Waists

Courtesy of Eloquii

For curvy women, Dennett recommends printed dresses, styles that are full of color, and silhouettes that nip in at the wait for a defined shape.

Eloquii Fringe Midi Dress

SHOP NOW: Eloquii, $159.95

26 of 47

Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Printed Dresses and Defined Waists

Courtesy of 11 Honoré

Parker Reina Combo Dress

SHOP NOW: 11 Honoré, $398

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Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Mary Jane Heels

Courtesy of Farfetch

“For shoes, I find the Mary Jane style super-chic and extremely comfortable for hours of standing up due to the block heel and being strapped in the front of the shoe for support,” says Dennett.

Carel Soraya Pumps

SHOP NOW: Farfetch, $289

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Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Mary Jane Heels

Courtesy of Bergdorf Goodman

Loeffler Randall Juliette Low-Heel Metallic Mary Jane Bow Pumps

SHOP NOW: Bergdorf Goodman, $350

29 of 47

Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Mary Jane Heels

Courtesy of Ssense

Repetto Black Glitter Electra Mary-Jane Heels

SHOP NOW: Ssense, $545

30 of 47

Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Feminine Flats

Courtesy of Shopbop

“In the evening for dancing I switch to my Miu Miu silver flats,” says Dennett. “I’ve worn them for dancing at weddings multiple times, but they are also great with jeans and a pretty blouse for a smart-casual work event.”

Polly Plume Bonnie Bow Mary Jane Flats

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $374

31 of 47

Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Feminine Flats

Courtesy of Farfetch

Malone Souliers Robyn Flats Ballerinas

SHOP NOW: Farfetch, $512

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Rebecca Dennett Recommends: Feminine Flats

Courtesy of Barneys New York

Miu Miu Double-Buckle Cap-Toe Vinyl Flats

SHOP NOW: Barneys New York, $690

33 of 47

Doria Santlofer Recommends: Matching Sets

Courtesy of Red Dress

"For a summer wedding, it's fun and unexpected to wear matched sets. Pairing a skirt or pant with a little top in the same print looks super fresh,” says Santlofer.

Red Dress Wayward Fun Navy Gingham Two Piece Set

SHOP NOW: Red Dress, $70

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Doria Santlofer Recommends: Matching Sets

Courtesy of Zara

Zara Tie-Dye Printed Top and Tie-Dye Printed Skirt

SHOP NOW: Zara, $39.90 and Zara, $69.90

35 of 47

Doria Santlofer Recommends: Matching Sets

Courtesy of Urban Outfitters

Urban Outfitters Victoria Smocked Cropped Top and Victoria Smocked Mini Skirt

SHOP NOW: Urban Outfitters, $59 and Urban Outfitters, $69

36 of 47

Doria Santlofer Recommends: Matching Sets

Courtesy of Reformation

Reformation Reign Top

SHOP NOW: Reformation, $148

37 of 47

Doria Santlofer Recommends: Matching Sets

Courtesy of Reformation

Reformation Bea Skirt

SHOP NOW: Reformation, $148

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Doria Santlofer Recommends: Matching Sets

Courtesy of Anthropologie

Faithfull Lucy Wrap Top and Valois Midi Skirt

SHOP NOW: Anthropologie, $87.20 was $109 and Anthropologie, $149

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Doria Santlofer Recommends: Matching Sets

Courtesy of Free People

Free People Go For Drama Set

SHOP NOW: Free People, $108

40 of 47

Doria Santlofer Recommends: Matching Sets

Courtesy of Tanya Taylor

Tanya Taylor Emilia Top and Evelyn Pant

SHOP NOW: Tanya Taylor, $245 and Tanya Taylor, $295

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Doria Santlofer Recommends: Colored Heel Sandals

Courtesy of Amazon

“Prints like gingham or plaid look very cute for spring and can be dressed up with a heeled sandal in a fun color,” Santlofer says. “I love Maryam Nassir Zadeh's block heeled sandals in mesh!"

Kenneth Cole Bryanna Strappy Dress Sandal

SHOP NOW: Amazon, $150

42 of 47

Doria Santlofer Recommends: Colored Heel Sandals

Courtesy of Shopbop

Stella Luna Cigarette 85 Sandals

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $365

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Doria Santlofer Recommends: Colored Heel Sandals

Courtesy of Stuart Weitzman

Stuart Weitzman The Nudist Sandal

SHOP NOW: Stuart Weitzman, $398

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Doria Santlofer Recommends: Colored Heel Sandals

Courtesy of Need Supply

Maryam Nassir Zadeh Martina Mesh Slide in Moon Crinkle

SHOP NOW: Need Supply, $437

45 of 47

Doria Santlofer Recommends: Colored Heel Sandals

Courtesy of By Far

By Far Brigette Orange Patent Leather Sandals

SHOP NOW: By Far, $472.31

46 of 47

Doria Santlofer Recommends: Colored Heel Sandals

Courtesy of Gray Matters

Gray Matters Neon Sandals Lavanda

SHOP NOW: Gray Matters, $495

47 of 47

Doria Santlofer Recommends: Colored Heel Sandals

Courtesy of Shopbop

Zimmermann Sculptural Bow Heel Sandals

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $495

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