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If you’ve been invited to a wedding and you’re not sure what to wear, you should first start your search by checking the dress code on the invitation. A range of silhouettes are appropriate for cocktail, semi-formal, and formal attire, but if you’re looking for something that will undoubtedly satisfy any dress code, a tea-length dress is a surefire winner.
Tea-length pieces typically stop right (or just a few inches) above the ankle, and oftentimes fall under the category of midi-length dresses—which is how modern retailers like Revolve and Shopbop might label this style. It’s also a timeless silhouette that’s flattering on a wide variety of body types, from petite to plus-sized.
The best part? Tea-length dresses are appropriate to wear in all four seasons. A fall or winter wedding is the perfect opportunity to wear a tea-length ensemble in dark or jewel tones. For spring or summer nuptials, feel free to go bold with bright colors or fun patterns. If you’re on the shorter side, you might find that a tea-length dress with a slit helps elongate your small frame, along with high heels. And guests who are tall may choose to pair this ankle-bearing silhouette with strappy sandals, especially if attending a beachy or more casual summertime affair.
Whether you’re headed to a semi-formal summer wedding or a black-tie optional winter event, a tea-length dress is always a solid choice to satisfy almost any wedding fashion requirement. Continue to read on for our top choices we're sure you'll love.
Best Slip: BHLDN Cali Satin Charmeuse Midi Dress
Size: 0-16 | Materials: Satin Polyester | Return Policy: 30 days after delivery for a full refund
This chic satin slip dress is dying to be worn to an early fall wedding. The double slits are perfect for showing off a pair of statement shoes, to boot.
Best for a Spring Wedding: BHLDN Isadora Organza Midi Dress
Size: 0-18 | Materials: Organza | Return Policy: 30 days after delivery for a full refund
Fall in love with this empire waist organza gown. Its sweetheart neckline, defined waist, and flowing skirt give this sophisticated silhouette a decidedly romantic feel.
Best One-Shoulder: Sachin & Babi Ambra Dress
Size: 0-16 | Materials: Satin Polyester | Return Policy: 30 days after delivery for a full refund
With a flattering and modern fit, this one-shoulder dress provides an effortlessly chic look for an autumn wedding. Style it with a pair of sky-high stiletto heels and a box clutch for a more dressy affair.
For a Countryside Wedding: Alexander McQueen Off-the-Shoulder Pleated A-Line Dress
Size: 2-14 | Materials: Polyester | Return Policy: 30 days after delivery for a full refund
If you're attending a wedding in the spring or summer, this playful frock is for you. The off-the-shoulder puff sleeves and structured pleated skirt make for a sweet and sophisticated combination that will stun at any wedding.
Best Silk Option: Reformation Zya Silk Dress
Size: 0-12 | Materials: Silk | Return Policy: 30 days after delivery for a full refund
Turn heads in this Reformation silk dress featuring an A-line silhouette and bateau neckline. The defined waistline gives this impeccably tailored dress a light, airy, and feminine feel.
Best Puff Sleeves: Aje Cloud Burst Midi Dress
Size: AU 4-14 | Materials: Rayon, linen | Return Policy: 28 days after delivery for a full refund
The classic A-line silhouette, with a back cutout and oversized puff sleeves, strikes the perfect balance between traditional and contemporary. Additionally, the airbrushed shades of yellow and pink are a joyful match. Pair with white flats or low heels to complete the sunny look.
Best Floral: Acler Withington Printed Linen-Blend Midi Dress
Size: 2-10 | Materials: Linen | Return Policy: 28 days after delivery for a full refund
Stun from every angle in this floral print dress. The apron silhouette is timeless and flattering on a variety of body types, and can be dressed up or down depending on the accessories.
Best Ruched Dress: Rodarte Ruched Silk Crepe Midi Dress
Size: 0-8 | Materials: Silk | Return Policy: 28 days after delivery for a full refund
This bright pink dress is all frills—in the best way. Complete with a high-leg slit and ankle-skimming silhouette, you're sure to look adorable in this dreamy dress.
Most Inclusive: GANNI Pleated Georgette Dress
Size: 12-22 | Materials: Polyester | Return Policy: 30 days after delivery for a full refund
We love the whimsical blue floral print on this pleated dress from 11 Honoré. Plus, the feminine puff-sleeves and a classic A-line silhouette will work well with sandals for a beach wedding or block heels for a summery daytime event.
Best Budget: ASOS Open Back Lace Insert Midi Tea Dress
Size: 0-14 | Materials: Polyester | Return Policy: 28 days after delivery for a full refund
This floral-printed frock with a sweetheart neckline is giving us serious Bridgerton vibes. We love the statement sleeves, suggestive leg slit, and lovely lace details on this charming dress. Plus, it's under $100!
For a Summer Wedding: ASOS Curve Lace Trim Midi Tea Dress
Size: 12-26 | Materials: Polyester | Return Policy: 28 days after delivery for a full refund
Get ready to swoon over this fun, floral-printed dress with crochet lace from one of our favorite affordable retailers, ASOS. Style with simple jewelry and a pair of nude heels for a fool-proof summer wedding look.
Best Animal Print: French Connection Midi Tea Dress
Size: 2-12 | Materials: Polyester | Return Policy: 28 days after delivery for a full refund
If you're looking for a versatile print that could easily work for any season, this ASOS animal print dress has you covered. It has fluted sleeves and a tie waist for a fun and flattering fit.
Best Long-Sleeve: ASOS Whistles Long Sleeve Midi Dress
Size: 00-12 | Materials: Viscose | Return Policy: 28 days after delivery for a full refund
Floral prints aren't just for the summer months. This long-sleeved floral dress feels fresh and easy for an autumn affair. The lightweight woven fabric will help keep you comfortable through all the wedding festivities.
Best Pattern: Topshop Mix and Match Satin Occasion Midi Dress
Size: 0-14 | Materials: Viscose | Return Policy: 28 days after delivery for a full refund
If you love florals but also want a little bit of edge, this silky-smooth Topshop dress offers a bit of both. The V-neck and flutter sleeves add a delightfully feminine touch to this dark and darling ensemble.
For a Winter Wedding: LIKELY Cameron Midi Dress
Size: 00-14 | Materials: Polyester, rayon, and spandex | Return Policy: 60 days for a full refund
Feather trimmed sleeves lend a glamorous appeal to this modern little black dress from LIKELY, featuring crystal appliques throughout. Style with silver heels and a sleek bedazzled clutch for an elevated look.
Best Pattern: Norma Kamali Turtleneck Fishtail Midi Dress
Size: XS-XL | Materials: Polyester, rayon | Return Policy: 60 days for a full refund
For a moody and sophisticated semi-formal wedding ensemble, don’t miss this abstract printed long-sleeved dress from Norma Kamali. A turtleneck is always chic, especially when paired with a shiny, clean low bun or ponytail.
Best Pop of Color: AMUR Viola Dress
Size: 00-12 | Materials: Recycled polyester | Return Policy: 60 days for a full refund
Another Revolve pick, this tiered tea-length dress comes in a poppy pink color that is undeniably eye-catching. The pleated detailing throughout adds an interesting texture that pairs well with the fun party-ready color.
For a Fall Wedding: RIXO Barrette Asymmetric Tiered Metallic Fil Coupé Chiffon Midi Dress
Size: UK 6-20 | Materials: Viscose | Return Policy: 28 days after delivery for a full refund
We love the structured fit and ruffle details of this bohemian-inspired gown. Made from chocolate-brown and gold fil coupé chiffon, this dress is effortlessly chic and will be a fit for any semi-formal wedding you have this year.
Best Cut-Out: Ronny Kobo Hedy Dress
Size: XS-L | Materials: Polyester | Return Policy: 60 days for a full refund
Heading to a semi-formal wedding this spring? This long-sleeved floral gown is the perfect transition-season piece. The ruffled neckline and cut-out waist detail are fun and flirty, while the puff sleeves add a bit of drama to the look.
Best Asymmetrical: SALONI Vida Dress
Size: 0-10 | Materials: Silk | Return Policy: 60 days for a full refund
Featuring a stunning asymmetrical hem at skirt, this chiffon dress is a showstopper with a tiered skirt and a pleated bodice. The draped sleeves add a flirty twist, balancing out the form-fitting waist to create this beautiful dress that's full of movement.
What to Look for When Shopping for a Tea-Length Dress
Tea-length dresses are an appropriate choice for weddings year-round. When searching for the perfect style, you'll want first to make sure it adheres to the dress code. During the fall or winter months, swap out vibrant colors and color-forward prints for jewel tones and more neutral prints. When it comes to fabrics, opt for dresses in winter-friendly materials like satin, velvet, and heavy-weight crepe. In the summer, go with light and airy fabrics like cotton or linen. For a more formal affair, look for dresses with beaded embellishments, dramatic sleeves, and daring open backs. Tea-length dresses come in every style, color, and silhouette, so there's bound to be one that matches your own aesthetic and the wedding dress code.
Where can I shop for a tea-length dress?
Almost every dress retailer will have a selection of tea-length dresses to shop for, including some of our favorites like Revolve and Nordstrom. For more affordable options, check out sites like ASOS and Lulus. Some sites even allow you to sort by length, and if that's the case, look up midi dresses and you'll find an assortment of tea-length options to choose from.
How should I style my tea-length dress?
Tea-length dresses are perfect for showing off a statement heel since they cut off right at the ankle. For a more classic look, pair your ensemble with simple gold or silver jewelry, and nude or black heels. If your dress is long-sleeved, we suggest wearing your hair up to showcase the sleeves and neckline.
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Contributing writer Cristina Montemayor has been writing for Brides for over two years, covering beauty, fashion, and relationships. She researches and sources the best fashion items for brides, grooms, wedding guests, wedding parties, and more.