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There are a few moments more wonderful than watching your child say “I do” to the love of their life. And a celebration so special calls for a look that’s just as exquisite. While shopping for the perfect mother of the bride or mother of the groom dress, however, you might feel overwhelmed by the choices. With so many styles out there, it can be hard to narrow down your options. That’s why starting with your ideal neckline—such as a halter—is a stress-free way to find your best occasion look.
The classic halter neckline boasts a strap that runs from the front of the garment and around the neck, generally leaving the upper back bare. While this style works for most body types, it’s especially flattering for those with broad shoulders and straight or hourglass figures, since the point at the neck draws the eye in.
What’s especially great about halter necklines is the style comes in a variety of fabrics, gown options, and formalities to fit any event. Whether you’re attending a casual daytime wedding or an evening, black-tie affair, there’s a halter gown out there just waiting to wow.
Ahead, these 22 options—all sourced from the most reputable brands with the best reviews—will make you feel like the guest of honor you are at your child's celebration.
Most Romantic: Betsy & Adam Foil Knit Halter Gown
Size Range: 2-12 | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 45 days
Foil knit of wine and rose, this distinguished pink-hued halter gown from Betsy & Adam is richly romantic, while still feeling fully appropriate for one of the day's most special VIPs.
Best Subtle Shine: Oleg Cassini High-Neck Glitter A-Line Gown With Keyholes
Size Range: 2-18 | Shipping: $15 | Colors: Blush, light blue, silver | Return policy: Refund 7 days after delivered date minus $12.50 shipping fee
Sparkle without feeling like you’re stealing the show with this stunning Oleg Cassini A-line. The high halter neckline is elevated while the keyhole details and the all-over glitter add the right amount of shine for the special day.
Ruffled Favorite: Jovani Flounce-Tiered Glitter Halter Dress
Size Range: 0-14 | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days; $9.95 shipping fee if returned after 15 days
Fun and flattering, Jovani checks off all the boxes with this wine-hued flounce gown. The glittery fit-and-flare silhouette keeps the look festive while the elongating, halter V-neckline compliments every shape.
For a Spring Wedding: Marchesa Notte Frilled Halter-Neck Gown
Size Range: 0-18 | Shipping: $5 | Return policy: Full refund within 14 days
Spring weddings were made for floaty fabrics and floral-inspired hues, which is why we adore this mauve halter gown from Marchesa Notte. The tied waist defines your silhouette while the flowing skirt and frilled details keep the seasonal look fresh.
Best Arm Coverage: Azazie Harrieta MBD
Size Range: 0-30 or custom | Shipping: $9.95 | Colors: Burgundy, navy, deep pink, plum, black | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days; Custom sizes are final sale
Arm coverage with a halter? It’s not only possible but perfectly executed with Azazie’s Harrieta gown. The form-flattering column silhouette will keep you comfy, while the cold shoulder details and beaded neckline add a special touch to your day-of ensemble.
Suit Inspired: After Six Halter Tuxedo Gown W/ Front Slit
Size Range: 0-18 | Colors: Black, ivory | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days; $9.95 shipping fee if returned after 15 days
Whether you’re the mother of the groom or just love the style of a suit, this smart After Six halter gown exudes the sleek sophistication of a top-of-the-line tuxedo.
For a Fall Wedding: Oleg Cassini Embellished Velvet Sheath Dress With Keyholes
Size Range: 2-16 | Shipping: $15 | Colors: Wine, emerald, navy | Return policy: Refund 7 days after delivered date minus $12.50 shipping fee
Velvet and autumn go hand-in-hand, but we love how Oleg Cassini’s take on this classic fall gown keeps things modern with a stylish side slit and keyhole detail.
For a Destination Wedding: Carolina Herrera Halter Neck Twill Gown
Size Range: 0-22 | Shipping: $7.50 | Return policy: Full refund within 28 days
Tropical celebrations call for a gown as spectacular as the scenery, and this special Carolina Herrera halter gown—with its bright floral pattern and criss-cross neckline—pairs perfectly with some "I dos" in paradise.
For a Winter Wedding: Betsy & Adam Mock Neck Long Illusion Sleeve Ruffle Slit Leg Stretch Gown
Size Range: 4-14 | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days of purchase minus $9.95 shipping charge
Winter wonderland weddings give you the option of a more covered-up look, like this Betsy & Adam scuba crepe gown. The thick fabric and mesh illusion sleeves will fight any chill while the halter neckline and ruffled slit keep this look style celebration-ready.
For a Black-Tie Wedding: Naeem Khan Floral Ribbon Embroidered Halter Gown
Size Range: 4-12 | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days; $9.95 shipping fee if returned after 15 days
The most formal celebrations require show-stopping styles like this art-inspired, A-line Naeem Khan gown. The sweeping, embroidered skirt is balanced by a sleeveless halter neckline creating a cohesive and captivating appearance.
For a Glitzy Wedding: Adrianna Papell Mock Neck Beaded Column Dress With T-Back In Biscotti
Size Range: 0-26 | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days minus $9.95; Store credit for 30-60 day returns
Look like a star from the Gilded Age with this spellbinding Adrianna Papell stunner. The artfully placed beading, halter neckline, and T-back work together to skillfully accentuate your natural shape.
Most Classic: Show Me Your Mumu Jasmine Halter Maxi Dress
Size Range: XXS-XXL | Shipping: Standard domestic shipping rates apply | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days of the delivery date
Black is one of the most classic formal wedding hues, and Show Me Your Mumu elevates the aesthetic with this sleeveless maxi. Pair with some bold accessories and shoes to really make your look pop.
Best High Low: Azeez Lucas Dress
Size Range: XL-XXXL | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund 30 days from ship date minus $9.99 shipping fee
High-low gowns are ideal for those who gravitate toward the dance floor, and the Lucas dress from Azeez will make you want to bust a move with its supple silky feel and flirty double-tiered hem.
For a Colorful Wedding: Fame and Partners Appleby Sleeveless Ruffled Gown
Size Range: 0-14 | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund 14 days from delivery date; Full refund 14-30 days from delivery date minus $9.95 return charge
Bright bold days call for colorful numbers like the wondrous watermelon-hued gown. The cheery look is further heightened by a fashionable shoulder-to-floor ruffle detail and low-cut, lace-up back.
For a Modern Wedding: Tadashi Shoji Altman Flounce Halter Gown
Size Range: XXS-XL | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Free returns 15 days from delivery
Make way for a modern mother of the bride or groom look like no other. Tadashi Shoji's form-fitting stretch gown is made utterly remarkable by the striking contrast shoulder flounce that turns a sophisticated classic into a class of its own.
Best Beading: Adrianna Papell Art Deco Beaded Blouson Dress With Halter Neckline In Dusty Blue
Size Range: 0-26 | Colors: Black, dusty blue, navy, nude, silver | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days minus $9.95; Store credit for 30-60 day returns
Coming in a wide variety of hues, Adrianna Papell’s renowned beaded blouson dresses are beloved for a reason. The intricate detailing, cinched waist, and straight flowing skirt flatters and delights for any formal occasion. Pair with some statement earrings to really elevate your ensemble.
Most Versatile: Revelry Rosalie Tulle Convertible Dress
Size Range: 0-36 | Shipping: $13 | Colors: 28+ | Return policy: Final sale
Revelry’s famous Rosalie tulle gown has it all from fluffy layers of the lightest tulle to tons of color options. The best part is the style comes with removable shoulder straps and three long sashes that can instantly transform your neckline creating 10+ looks in one.
For a Garden Wedding: Monique Lhuillier Citrus Floral Halter Silk Ball Gown
Size Range: 6-12 | Shipping: Free shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days of purchase
Feel one amongst the blooms of a garden celebration with this floral print frock from Monique Lhuillier. The pleated bodice and waist seam make this gown at once sexy and sophisticated.
For a Formal Wedding: Oleg Cassini Sequin Floor Length Halter Dress With Shawl
Size Range: 2-16 | Shipping: Free | Return policy: Refund 7 days after delivered date minus $12.50 shipping fee
A defined sheath silhouette, belted waist, and all-over sequins make this fetching halter dress from Oleg Cassini a formal wedding favorite. Wear it with the included matching shawl to instantly up the elegance of your aesthetic.
Best Cold Shoulder: Aidan Mattox Cold-Shoulder Beaded Halter Gown
Size Range: 2-18 | Shipping: Free standard shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days; $9.95 shipping fee if returned after 15 days
The clear water hue of this Aidan Mattox halter gown feels fashionably fresh for a formal occasion. Our favorite part of this beaded beauty is the draped cold-shoulder sleeves that provide comfortable-yet-classy coverage.
For a Whimsical Wedding: Marchesa Notte High-Low Printed Tulle Halter Gown
Size Range: 0-10 | Shipping: Free shipping | Return policy: Full refund within 30 days of purchase
Eclectic and unique, this Marchesa Notte halter gown is ideal for an outside-the-box celebration, or for anyone who likes to branch out from the standard style. The fluffy tulle embroidery, vibrant colors, and high-low hemline will certainly stand out in all the right ways.
What to Look for in a Halter Dress
Halters are one of the more popular formal dress necklines, so if you’re in search of this style, you should come across a wide variety of options in your price range. However, to start, you’ll want to pay attention to the support of the halter. Thicker straps provide more support which can help you avoid aching shoulders or uncomfortable necklines. Additionally, while some halters have sewn-in busts, others do not, so it's important to consider what type of bra will work with your chosen look.
What season are halter gowns good for?
Since most halter gowns are sleeveless, they tend to be ideal for warm weather celebrations. That said, halters work well in chillier seasons as long as you bring a shawl, or jacket, to keep warm during any outdoor events or if the venue remains cold.
Are halter gowns appropriate for all formalities?
Halter gowns range from casual to extremely formal, so whatever the event type, there’s going to be a halter dress that fits the bill. Pay attention to the types of fabric, embellishments, and colors to further determine the formality.
How do you accessorize a halter gown?
Since halter gowns have a high neckline, you’ll want to focus on balancing the style with your accessories. Skip the necklace and instead, opt for some dangly earrings or a statement bracelet to pull your event look together.
About the Author
Contributing writer Rachel Varina is a social media, digital marketing, and editorial expert with over seven years of professional writing experience. Her work has appeared on sites such as Betches and Elite Daily.