These Are the Most Fashion-Forward Dresses to Wear to a Wedding This Summer

According to three retail fashion directors.

Updated 05/04/19
Product Disclosure

Courtesy of Shopbop

For style driven women, the first thought to cross your mind after receiving a save the date for a wedding is, “what will I wear?” whether you’re an accessory junkie, color fanatic, or print enthusiast. During the spring and summer wedding season, everything from pastel dresses to floral prints are seasonal favorites, but if you’re the type who takes cues from the runway and wants to stand out with a bold silhouette, vibrant hue, or unexpected accessories, then you’re surely keen to hear what retail fashion directors think are the most fashion-forward dresses to wear to a wedding this year.

Ahead, read on for the expert opinions of Shannon Schafer, the senior fashion director at Nordstrom, Caroline Maguire, the fashion director at Shopbop, and Erica Russo, the fashion director for accessories at Bloomingdale’s. Not only do these women spend every working hour attending fashion shows and showrooms, deciphering trends, and working closely with the coolest brands out there for the most stylish buys, they themselves are insanely chic and know the exact type of silhouettes, colors, and prints to try for a stand-out look this season. Plus, they’ve noted the freshest and most complementary accessory trends to pair with each dress trend.

If best-dressed wedding guest is your goal this wedding season, your ultimate shopping list awaits.

01 of 42

J.Crew Faux Wrap Cotton Poplin Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

“Impact color is a must-have trend this season. Customers should look for dresses in intense, vibrant colors, and not be afraid to wear color head to toe. We recommend hot pinks, bright blues, sunny yellows, and oranges, which all look fantastic in silk or sheer fabrics. And since monochromatic dressing is also in right now, why not pair an outfit with high-impact accessories and footwear too?” —Shannon Schafer, Senior Fashion Director, Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $76.80, was $128

02 of 42

Cinq à Sept Corinne One-Shoulder Silk Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $495

03 of 42

Marée Pour Toi Silk Slipdress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $150

04 of 42

A.L.C. Sorrento Midi Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $795

05 of 42

Kate Spade New York Tiered Poplin Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $498

06 of 42

ASTR THE LABEL Floral Ruched Front Maxi Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

“Multi-color floral dresses are a staple this season and the more colorful, the better. Vibrant blooms and bold botanicals are an ideal print for almost any type of event. They can be dressed up or casual depending on the footwear and accessories. We recommend wearing a neutral heel for a dressier event and a flat sandal for a more relaxed vibe.” —Shannon Schafer, Senior Fashion Director, Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $85

07 of 42

Rixo Juliet Floral & Polka Dot Print Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $430

08 of 42

Saloni Anita Ruffle Trim Silk Burnout Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, now $380.98, was $635

09 of 42

Self-Portrait Floral Print Twist Neck Long Sleeve Maxi Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $485

10 of 42

AMUR Drew Floral Print Evening Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $798

11 of 42

Topshop Plain Satin Slip Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

“The long and languid dress has emerged as the most fashion-forward silhouette this season. These loose, fluid dresses are chic and comfortable, with details like draping, wrapping, ties, and knots that help achieve the sophisticated look. They feel fresh in high-shine silks or satins.” —Shannon Schafer, Senior Fashion Director, Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $68

12 of 42

Reformation Crimini Slip Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $128

13 of 42

Vince Pleated Satin Slip Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $325

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FRAME Ruffle Hem Satin Slip Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, now $225, was $450

15 of 42

Cushnie One-Shoulder Silk Slip Dress

Courtesy of Nordstrom

SHOP NOW: Nordstrom, $1,695

16 of 42

Maddy Slip Dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

“I love the idea of a minimal slip dress in a bold, vibrant colorway. It works for any dress code, it’s breathable for the warmer months, and you can dress it up with a great pair of statement earrings and a strappy heel.” —Caroline Maguire, Fashion Director, Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $62

17 of 42

alice + olivia Diana Racerback Slip Maxi Gown

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $440

18 of 42

Walk of Shame Slip Dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $525

19 of 42

Michelle Mason Gathered Slip Dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $770

20 of 42

Rosetta Getty Strap Front Slip Dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $890

21 of 42

C/Meo Collective Come Across Dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

“We’re seeing a lot of brands take on the uber-feminine trend with princess-style dresses. Sleeves are getting puffier and sweet prom-like silhouettes are becoming more common. The hair accessory trend perfectly complements these styles lending itself to the era.” —Caroline Maguire, Fashion Director, Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $195

22 of 42

Marc Jacobs Scalloped Crystal Barrette

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $85

23 of 42

Zac Posen Zac Zac Posen Leanne Dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $595

24 of 42

Kitsch Justine Marjan x Kitsch Classic Rhinestone Bobby Pin Set

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $49

25 of 42

Ulla Johnson Maya Dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $625

26 of 42

LELET NY Mattar Pearl Barrete

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $148

27 of 42

Cinq à Sept Penelope Gown

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $695

28 of 42

Jennifer Behr Gigi Bobby Pins

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $98 for four

29 of 42

Isa Arfen Beach Party Dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

“I’m ditching anything all-black this season. It’s time to embrace bold colors, even for formal events.” —Caroline Maguire, Fashion Director, Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, now $429, was $660

30 of 42

By Far Thalia Mules

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $380

31 of 42

Jonathan Simkhai Guipure Lace Mini Dress

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $895

32 of 42

Tibi Gavin Sandals

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $425

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Retrofete Gabrielle Robe

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $615

34 of 42

Maryam Nassir Zadeh Olympia Wedges

Courtesy of Shopbop

SHOP NOW: Shopbop, $443

35 of 42

Likely Tiered Floral-Print Dress

Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

“After the Oscar’s, shades of pink were crowned the hottest hues of the season. I love the tone-on-tone look of this printed floral dress from Likely — the midi length and slit keeps the look demure yet sexy. PVC shoes melt away on the foot making them the perfect styling solution to pair back to any bold print. As a finishing touch, add a must-have pearl beaded mini bag.” —Erica Russo, Fashion Director for Accessories, Bloomingdale’s

SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $228

36 of 42

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker Women's Lively Clear High-Heel Sandals

Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $395

37 of 42

AQUA Samira Faux Pearl Beaded Tote

Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $48

38 of 42

Ronny Kobo Torrey Draped Python Print Dress

Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

“This Ronny Kobo dress combines two of the hottest trends of the season: the puffed sleeve and snake print. The '80s are back, and this mini dress is the perfect way to dance the night away. For the shoe, I would add another one of the season’s biggest footwear trends, the barely-there sandal.” —Erica Russo, Fashion Director for Accessories, Bloomingdale’s

SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $388

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Sergio Rossi Women's Crystal-Embellished High-Heel Slingback Sandals

Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $850

40 of 42

Rebecca Vallance Holiday Halter Dress

Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

“For a more formal event, black never goes out of style. I love this Rebeca Vallance dress for its flattering halter top and ruffle detail. The open back ensures that your exit will be just as fashionable as your entrance. To finish off the look, I’d add silver stilettos and bold [drop] earrings.” —Erica Russo, Fashion Director for Accessories, Bloomingdale’s

SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $425

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Oscar de la Renta Mixed Stone Drop Earrings

Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $350

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Jimmy Choo Women's Lang 100 High-Heel Sandals

Courtesy of Bloomingdale's

SHOP NOW: Bloomingdale's, $850

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