Get ready, ladies — it’s wedding season! So while you’re out shopping for the must-have gravy boat for the bride- and groom-to-be, save some time to say yes to your own dress: the perfect wedding guest outfit.
Depending on the type of shindig the couple is throwing, the fashion rules change. Follow our guide below to find the perfect dress for your fall 2017 nuptials—and always remember rule #1. Never wear white.
Daytime I Do’s
In terms of fashion, formal weddings during the day are a little more flexible. You want to dress nice, but you don’t have to throw on that black gown you’ve been harboring since last year’s gala season. To look appropriate for a daytime fête, you have two rules: pick a dress that’s short or knee-length and don’t wear black. Even in the fall, bright colors will work. This Givenchy Lace and Mohair Dress totally fits the bill!
Just because a wedding is casual, doesn’t mean you can just throw on whatever you have hanging around. Use this as an excuse to shop! This layered and fringed number from Alice + Olivia is effortless, comfortable and chic, and since every wedding needs “that something blue,” it’s just the right shade.
Cocktail wedding fashion can be tricky. Do you wear a long or a short dress? Are fancy wedges acceptable, or do you have to break out those stilettos? Can you go with an LBD, or is black too depressing for a wedding? To make sure you hit that sweet spot, opt for a dress with a little drama. Take this bold red Max Mara stunner, for example. It’s conservative, hits just below the knee, and has a demure, but dramatic “V” that will make you stand out in a sophisticated way.
Wedding on the Water
Going to a beach or a boat wedding? Take a hint from the sea—keep it casual-chic and play with those obvious nautical vibes. The always-fashionable Cos has the perfect dress for such an occasion; it’s light, has that ”something blue,” and with its low back, adds a little edge to this typically conservative style.
It might not be your day, but when it comes to the dress, that doesn’t mean you can’t be a standout wedding guest. Back-tie and halter dresses are all the rage this fall, so in a formal wedding, find one that reaches the floor. This Tom Ford dress makes us go a little googly-eyed—with that Grecian goddess style and perfectly-blush pink, you’ll strike the perfect balance between classy and fabulous.