In a world where designers are continuing to push the boundaries when it comes to skin-barring silhouettes, it can be hard to find a dress that aligns with your comfort level, or possibly your personal values, especially as it pertains to formalwear. For wedding guests, in particular, finding a conservative ensemble in a sea of risk-taking looks can be extremely hard—but that doesn't mean it's entirely impossible.
While modesty can mean different things for different types of people, individuals shopping for a modest wedding guest dress are usually searching for a look that allows them to feel bold, confident, and absolutely comfortable in their own skin. And whether that's wearing a conservative gown that completely covers your arms and legs, or donning a vibrant long sleeve mini dress, there's no right or wrong way to dress modestly for a wedding, as long as you're adhering to the couple's overall theme and dress code.
So, for those searching for a modest wedding guest dress to wear to an upcoming celebration, we've rounded the top styles available to shop now. Read on for more.
For a Winter Wedding
Norma Kamali Ribbon Sleeve Gown
Size: XXS - XL | Length: Floor | Return Policy: Free returns
For guests planning to attend a winter wedding, this ribbon sleeve Norma Kamali gown is one to consider. While modest and demure in the front, it does boast an open-back design and side leg cut out for those who are okay with showing a little skin.
Best Jewel-Tone Option
Caroline Constas Allonia Gown
Size: XS - L | Length: Floor | Return Policy: Free returns
For lovers of jewel-tone ensembles, look no further than Caroline Constas's Allonia gown. A perfect choice for fall and winter nuptials, this beautiful dress would effortlessly fit in at a celebration with a black-tie or formal dress code.
Nookie Farrah Gown
Size: XS - XXL | Length: Floor | Return Policy: Free returns
This long sleeve gown takes a modern approach to a modest style as it features a plunging neckline, a bright fuchsia hue, and a small side slit. If this dress fits your aesthetic, take a cue from the styling lead and pair yours with strappy black sandals and chandelier earrings.
For a Festive Wedding
Eywasouls Malibu Damnia Printed Stretch Jersey Maxi Dress
Size: XS/S & M/L | Length: Floor | Return Policy: Free returns with 28 days of receipt
Attending a wedding with a festive theme? This ‘70s-inspired Eywasouls Malibu dress would be the life of the party. Keep in mind, however, that it does have an open-back design which shows a bit of skin.
Rixo Liza Dress
Size: UK 2 - 20 | Length: Ankle | Return Policy: Free returns with 14 days of receipt
There are so many details to love about this one-shoulder dress. Made with a floaty georgette fabric in a paisley print, we can absolutely see it being worn at a summer, destination wedding.
Lanvin Cape-Effect Belted Charmeuse Mini Dress
Size: FR 34 - 46 | Length: Mini | Return Policy: Free returns with 28 days of receipt
If you're open to sporting bare legs, we absolutely recommend this stunning Lavin cape mini. Style yours with strappy heels and a statement purse for a one-of-a-kind wedding guest look. You can even pair it with tights if you'd prefer a more conservative look.
Best Metallic Option
Dima Ayad Belted Two-Tone Brocade Gown
Size: XS - XXXXL | Length: Midi | Return Policy: Free returns with 28 days of receipt
For a fashion-forward look, try this metallic brocade dress from Dima Ayad. It boasts a loose silhouette with a boat neck for a comfortable fit, and wide short sleeves to keep you cool during the warmer months.
Zimmermann Wonderland Printed Silk Satin Maxi Dress
Size: 00 - 4 | Length: Floor | Return Policy: Free returns with 28 days of receipt
First showcased during Zimmermann's Spring '23 'Wonderland' show, this maxi dress is ideal for guests with unique tastes. Pair it with strappy heels for a formal touch or black boots for an edgy aesthetic.
Payal Khandwala Handwoven Silk Jumpsuit
Size: S - XL | Length: Floor | Return Policy: Varies on a case-by-case basis
If you want a full-coverage design but prefer to wear pants, consider this jumpsuit from Payal Khandwala. It's beautifully made with handwoven silk, and specifically tailored to fit a range of sizes and body silhouettes.
ASOS High Cowl Neck Satin Maxi Dress
Size: 0 - 14 | Length: Floor | Return Policy: Free returns with 28 days of receipt
Bold and dynamic, this ASOS maxi features tons of personality from the lilac hue to the cowl neck and animal print design. The best part? Guests can purchase this dress for under $100.
What to Look for in a Modest Wedding Guest Dress
As mentioned above, modesty varies from person to person, so when shopping for this style of dress, it's important to hone in on your personal style and opt for looks that feel most comfortable for you. Looking to show a little skin? A long sleeve gown with a slightly open back might be a great option to consider. Interested in a more conservative design? Select a long sleeve gown that features a bold hue or pattern to truly make a statement. No matter the approach you choose to take, as long as you're in alignment with your personal beliefs and the wedding dress code, you'll be the best-dressed guest at every celebration.
Is it required to dress modestly to a wedding?
While guests should avoid wearing outfits that are too revealing, it's not required to wear modest attire, unless specifically requested by the couple.
What type of dresses are appropriate to wear to a wedding?
Wedding guests should base their attire on the dress code designated by the couple. For instance, if attending a black-tie wedding, long formal gowns are an appropriate choice for this type of celebration. Attending a casual backyard affair? Feel free to don a floral maxi dress to match the occasion.
What type of attire is inappropriate to wear as a wedding guest?
While this can vary from wedding to wedding, generally speaking, wedding guests should avoid donning hues that match the bridal party, attire that is too casual, pieces that are overly flashy and overly revealing, and, most importantly, anything white.