Unlike wedding invitations, bridal shower invites don't always make the dress code crystal clear. That can leave your BFFs and other guests wondering, "What the heck do I wear!?" Well, we're here to help. We talked to national etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, owner of The Protocol School of Texas, to score her top tips on how to dress to impress at your next bridal shower.
1. Steer Clear of White
Obviously, you don't want to upstage or outshine the bride on one of her special days (duh!). So definitely steer clear of white, and although black is acceptable when it's a festive look, getting the style right can be tricky, warns Gottsman. "For example, I was recently at a bridal shower where everyone was dressed in fun party clothes and the host's sister wore a black terry romper that could easily be worn to wash her car! Rule number one, the cut and style have to fit the occasion."
2. Consider the Season
In the cooler months, wearing something that can transition from indoors to outdoors would be a good idea, advises Gottsman. "Dress in layers if you know you'll be going in and out during the shower." Not sure? Layers are still smart just in case.
3. Think About the Bride's Tastes
Take her personality into consideration when selecting your shower outfit. "Does she appreciate the latest trends or is she more conservative? Does she prefer you cover up or will she be wearing something off the shoulder and prefer you join her?" When in doubt, Gottsman recommends calling or texting the bride, who is obviously your friend, and asking her what she suggests you wear. Give her choice A and B and let her decide.
4. Location Is Key
Where will the shower be held? If it's a fancy restaurant, of course, you'll want to dress accordingly, notes Gottsman. "If it's in someone's super cool, renovated barn that's decorated with all the shower frills, a casual but stylish and pretty ensemble that can weather the elements would be better for the occasion. A warm sweater, knee-high boots and a great pair of skinny jeans may be the perfect choice for a chilly afternoon shower, which includes a bonfire, warm soup, and s'mores, of course."
5. Let the Invitation Be Your Guide
If there isn't a dress clue or code on the invite, dress "up" rather than "down" and don't be shy, says Gottsman. Give the host a ring and ask what she suggests. "Always think happy, stylish, celebratory and fun! You can't go wrong when you bring your best outfit to the party."
6. Avoid Anything That's "Too"...
"Too short, too tight, too revealing, or too over the top is not a shower guest style option." You want all eyes on the bride for the right reasons and not on you for the wrong ones!