Best Dressed at Any Wedding: You.


These little cuties haven’t a care in the world when it comes to bridal fashion. Photo courtesy of

It’s that season, ladies, and there are so many fresh styles that work for wedding attire. We all know that wearing white is unacceptable, but what are the other guidelines to follow? What’s too sexy, what’s too boring? And what, pray tell, is black tie-optional? As a bride myself, I can tell you not only what I’d love to see my guests in but what I’ve been seeing from some super-fashionable friends. Let’s dive in!

Your close friend just got engaged and you are not sure if you (or your children) will be included in the bridal party. What do you wear to the engagement party?
Whether you are going to be forced into purple taffeta for the big day or not, you should not feel compelled to dress any fancier for the engagement party than other guests. For a lobster bake, outdoor cocktails, or any other affair that is on the more casual side, a breezy summer sundress and great heels are best. Adults-only events held at a hot restaurant or a formal caterer tend to be slightly dressier. In these cases, you should consider a jewel-tone silk number, black or colored lace, or a great peplum. Heels are a must.


This sweet little number from the Milly/Banana Republic collaboration looks fabulous the way they’ve styled it with a bubble necklace. Rock this frock and the bride-to-be will love your choice! $140,


For a less formal engagement party, this Karen Kane contrast hem maxi is perfect. Wedges and some gold jewelry make it cocktail hour-ready. $118,

You are headed to a wedding that cites “black tie-optional” on the invite. And it’s summer. How do you handle this one?
Your man will definitely need to wear a jacket and tie, but a full-on tux is not necessary. As long as he sticks to darker colors and a classic tie, he’ll be fine. And there’s no worry about whether or not he can lose the tie during dinner; most guests will. For you, this is even more fun! Black tie does not even have to mean long anymore, so there’s plenty of room to play with a black tie-optional dress code. Reach for a festive maxi dress in a luxe fabric and pair it with great heels. Or, go classic glam in a black cocktail dress with a surprising detail like a plunging back. If you decide to take the short approach, reach for dramatic jewelry and a great clutch to add polish. Bold colors are great for this type of wedding, too. As long as you steer clear of anything too preppy or anything that could double as a sundress, you’re in great shape. And bright red lips or another fun cosmetic statement makes a fantastic addition to your black tie-optional look.


A striking peplum flatters every body type and this sleek black number from Nanette Lepore is lovely for black tie-optional. Now on sale for $220 from


A bold metallic works swimmingly for black tie-optional. Pair this one with red lips and you’ve got a winning look. Adrianna Papell dress, $180, Available in sizes 2-16.


The back-knotted waist on this dress lets it show your form without being uncomfortable for a night of revelry. A maxi this gorgeous works great for weddings and doubles as an excellent choice for a dinner date with your hubby any time! BCBGMAXAZRIA, $338,

It’s hotter than you-know-where … and the ceremony and/or reception takes place outside.
This is a toughie, but we’ve got solutions! Reach for a light, breathable fabric like cotton. Outdoor summer weddings are more often than not of a more relaxed dress code, so you should be able to get away with something in the J. Crew vein. Think seersucker, a soft floral, or a great solid hue that really pops. Avoid linen, which seems great in theory but crumples instantly and will look terrible in photos. Here are some cute ideas that will keep you looking–and feeling–cool:


Sparkle Dot dress from J. Crew, perfect for high temps, is now on sale for only $139.99. From, sizes 00-14.


A fab blend of viscose and silk, this airy dress breathes and makes you shine. A lavender Peter Pan collar and bright floral print are brilliant. $398,

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About Jenny

Jenny Studenroth is a cosmetics junkie and bridal blogger from New York City. After graduating from Middlebury College in 2007 with a creative writing degree, she went on to the beauty departments at Elle and the Wall Street Journal magazines, before becoming a freelance writer. Her wedding blog is Jenny and her husband Josh split their time between Brooklyn and Washington, DC along with their cat Dolce and pup Harry. The family is expecting their first human baby in the fall.


  1. All very pretty but my fav is the strapless green maxi!