Let me get one thing out of the way right now: I love a dress, O.K.? When it’s summertime and it’s 473 degrees outside (before you factor in humidity), there’s nothing better in Florida than throwing on a cool, swingy dress to get your stuff done. You’re still going
sweat glow but maybe look cuter doing it — at least that’s what I tell myself. That said, if you tell me I have to (or should) wear a dress to something, I’m just stubborn enough to not want to.
I also really hate weddings … and funerals … and showers … and generally parties or get-togethers of all types where the food is small and the small talk is, well, mind-numbing. But, hey, I recognize that I’m in the minority on this one. However, I’m probably also in the minority on that whole dress thing, so I’ve put together a dress-free list to help you out for your next nuptial invite. You’ll find dressy pants, suits, skirts, jumpsuits (my personal favorite), and the blingiest tennis shoes ever. I mean, why should the bride have all the fun? Just kidding, don’t answer that.
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You Wear The Pants
You can wear the pants … to the wedding, that is. These straight-leg pants have a georgette overlay that adds a dressy element perfect for more formal occasions. Complete with a stretch lining, side slit detailing, and center back zipper, these are machine washable, which adds bonus points in my opinion. Reviewers love the fit, the quality, and the flowy material.
Here Comes The Bling
Often, I find myself discovering Amazon goodies by writing these lists and then throwing them in my cart. This time, I’m adding something I’ve already bought because I love it so much. These Sidny sneakers by Betsey Johnson are rhinestone-embellished to the most and have sparkle that just won’t quit. Whatever you’re wearing up top won’t matter when you’ve got these showstoppers on your feet.
Jumpsuits are the perfect all-in-one option for when you can’t decide what to wear. Top? Check. Bottoms? Check. This one has a wide-leg design and a blousy top that helps balance out your frame. Pair with these heels or flats for a completely put-together look. Choose from nearly 30 color options (plus a few patterns) in sizes from small to 3X.
If you’re looking for something beyond the ordinary, this formal pants suit might be it. Complete with a sparkling angled poncho, this is a glamorous option that’s also subdued (as subdued as sequins can be anyway). This is available in navy or mocha in sizes up to 22. One reviewer was dressing to impress: “I’m wearing this for the Marine Corp Ball. The navy color is perfect. Can’t wait to be the belle of the ball.”
Locked And Laced
One shopper’s review titled, “Elegance with grace,” says all you need to know about this particular outfit. A lace tank with matching duster and coordinating pants, this three-piece set is giving me all the “mother of the bride” vibes. This buyer purchased the set in navy: “Loved this outfit! So flattering and beautiful color. Very comfortable.” The duster could easily be paired with other outfits, too.
The best deals selected by the 22 Words team for you.
The best deals selected by the 22 Words team for you.
Off The Shoulder
This might be my favorite outfit on the list because it looks oh-so-comfortable but also well-planned and styled. Believe it or not, this is actually a jumpsuit but it’s so well designed that it looks like two pieces — a pair of stretchy pants (because wedding cake) and a long, off-shoulder top that has an irregular hem. If you shun champagne, black, and navy hues, you’ll be pleased with the color selection here.
Just because it’s not your wedding doesn’t mean you can’t shine, too. This plus-size sequin top and coordinating pants set is “comfort meets glam” in a dressed-up, single-color design. Available in sizes up to 44, you can choose from traditional black, navy, and silver as well as red, purple, and teal. The version pictured above would be great for Christmas parties as well.
If it looks like a skirt and wears like a skirt, it must be … a pair of pants. No, seriously, these are pants but they have a skirt-like overlay that amps up the dressy level from “these were the first pants I grabbed” to “wow, girl, you look amazing.” The tie-waist silhouette, high split front, and loose-fitted pants have style and comfort on lock.
When a standard jumpsuit just won’t do, reach for one with just enough “extra” to be just right. This off-shoulder jumpsuit features wide-leg pants and a detailed crocheted top that’s so effortlessly beautiful that you don’t even need jewelry. This jumpsuit comes in black, blue, and white, but white’s going to be off-limits unless the bride at the wedding you’re attending is non-traditional.
Pencil Me In
A good pencil skirt has unlimited potential and if you’re a thrifty fashionista or don’t attend many weddings, it may be just the right piece for you. Made from soft, stretchy material, this skirt features an elastic waist, self-tie bow, side slit, and zip closure that’ll look as good at the office as it does in a wedding reception line.
Were you asked to be in a wedding? Are you having serious wish-you’d-said-no thoughts? Bridesmaids get a raw deal if you ask me. “Spend all this money on clothes you’ll never be able to wear again.” If your bride has given you the flexibility to choose your style within a range of colors, this $32 chiffon skirt might be the ticket.
Smooth As Silk
Go simple in satin with this flowy A-line midi skirt that’s great for a wedding invite or brunch on the weekend. Made from soft, satin fabric with no stretch, this hits most below the knee and features a zipper closure. Available in nearly 20 colors, pair this with a lace top and flats or a simple button-down and strappy heels.
This double-layered mesh skirt has been on one of my Amazon wish lists for a while — not because I can’t afford it (it’s less than $40!) but because I would look pretty ridiculous wearing it sitting in my house. If a skirt can be an entire outfit, this is the one. Pair it with a simple black top and flats.
Skating On Thin Ice
Nothing makes a waist look more snatched than a high-waisted, flared midi skirt like this skater-style version. Paired with a tucked-in top, you’re going to be giving major Jessica Rabbit energy in a comfortable-to-wear package. This skirt has a fixed belt, concealed zipper, and open side-seam pockets. Is there anything better than a skirt with pockets? I contend that there is not!
A Flare For The Dramatic
Some events call for an entrance and this printed maxi skirt is “entrance” defined. I mean, just look at it! You could wear houseshoes under there and nobody would ever know. High-waisted with elastic on the back and pockets on both sides, this skirt comes in a variety of African-style prints as well.
Do The Splits
Sometimes, simple is best especially if you’re attending a beach wedding or a more casual soiree. This loose-fitting romper features a V-neck with spaghetti straps, side splits on the legs, and a backless design that’s all the way comfortable and all the way classy. You’ll love it for your next summer wedding but you’ll love it more for beach getaways.
This Is Not A Dress
I know we said no dresses and who am I to break a promise? This isn’t a dress, even though it looks like it. It’s actually a one-piece halter-style jumpsuit that has allllll the chiffon overlay. It’s formal in the front and ultra sexy in the back. One reviewer simply said, “This is AMAZING.” Grab it in one of nearly 30 colors for less than $40.
Who knew there were so many jumpsuit options out there?! This elegant, strapless version with a sweetheart neckline is maybe the dressiest of all of them and also the most fitted and, ahem, revealing. Made with stretchy, comfortable fabric, this actually comes with removable shoulder straps for a “choose your own adventure” style. Choose from a dozen different colors great for any occasion.
She Wears Short Shorts
Summer or destination wedding on the agenda? This short jumpsuit is the perfect blend of casual and dressy with a ruffled front that can hide problems areas like a tummy that might make you self-conscious. Read this review: “I don’t typically find nice rompers/jumpsuits that fit me the way I like but I ordered this based on the reviews I read from those who have a similar body type as mine. I’m so happy I did because I absolutely love it!”
Join The Cami Club
If you’ve found the perfect skirt or pair of pants (maybe from this list, eh?), perhaps all you need is the right shirt. This lace-trimmed cami is lightweight and slightly textured with comfortable, all-day-wear capabilities. Layer it under a blazer or pair it with an over-the-top skirt. The best part of this cami with eyelash lace trim is how often you’ll reach for it in your closet.
Two-Piece With A Side Of Slits
I love the boho vibe of this two-piece set that includes a cropped top with a plunging neckline and ruffles on the sleeves and hem and a pair of high-waisted pants with wide legs, full-length splits, and silver bead detailing on the drawstrings. Available in 15 colors and patterns, it’s the perfect choice for an outdoor wedding at home or away.
Ring My Bell Bottoms
Oh, you want bling bling? Say no more because this pair of sequined bell-bottom trousers do all the talking. At less than $50, you’ve got the wedding, the office party, and the Christmas gathering covered in one purchase. One reviewer said, “Oh y’all these pants will make you want to [sing] ‘Dancing Queen’ and jump back to the 70s. They are so much fun!!!!”
This Suits You
We’re not all dress people … or skirt people … or even jumpsuit people. Some of us are suit people and I mean straight-up slim fit blazer and dress pants kind of suit. Available in black, blue, or gray, this could be the perfect option with one of those lace-trimmed camis above. And, at less than $65, it’s a great buy for the office, too.
Take A Bow
I solemnly swear I don’t work for Grace Karin but I do promote these pants frequently because they’re adorable and versatile. These high-waisted pencil pants have the cutest bow detailing at the waist and ankles and more than 26,000 happy reviewers who buy them in every color from apricot to copper. At less than $33, you can afford to snag them in a couple of colors.
Come Out On Top
Formal blouses that don’t look like they’re exclusively for someone’s 99-year-old grandmother are hard to come by but this flowy, double-layered chiffon top is a quick grab for events when you can’t decide what to wear. I love the loose, half-split sleeves, which mimic a sleeveless top but keep your upper arms covered. One reviewer said she loved it and was planning to buy more.
I double dog dare you to wear this off-shoulder lace blouse to a wedding with jeans. Of course, some brides are pretty laid-back while others are complete bridezillas. You’ll love the loose fit and lace detailing, as well as a length you won’t have to constantly tug on. Choose from a dozen different solid colors that’ll pair nicely with everything from dress pants to pencil skirts (or jeans, just sayin’).
That’s A Wrap
The great thing about this wrap, tie-waist top is that you won’t have to do much else. I mean, you’re going to have to wear pants, O.K.? But, they’re not the star; the shirt is the star. This reviewer appreciates its versatility: “Bought this blouse for an awards ceremony in NY. Dressed it up with a skirt for the ceremony and back down for around town. Perfect shiny red blouse to wear in the Big Apple!”
Get To The Point
You can’t forget the shoes! Sure, we talked about a pair of blingy tennis shoes earlier but most people are still going to opt for dress shoes. That doesn’t mean they have to be boring. This pair of pointed-toe flats has a delicate ankle strap and just enough gold trim on the top. If you’re going to spend much time on the dance floor, this one-inch heel is calling your name.
Having A Platform
These chunky platform heels are going to be your new favorite shoes because they’re just as fabulous with wedding attire as they are with jeans. Equipped with a heel that’s less than three inches in height, it’s just enough for the perfect height boost but all-day comfort. The ankle strap helps keep the shoe on your foot so you’re not stepping out of it accidentally in the middle of the Electric Slide.
They put the word “casual” in the description of this top and maybe it is but paired with the right bottom layer and heels, it transforms into something truly special. The one-shoulder design is enhanced with a simple bow that somehow transforms it into a dressier option. Throw your hair up in a messy bun and add a pair of statement earrings and consider your wedding wardrobe complete.
Ruffle Your Feathers
If there’s one top on this list that you could probably get away with wearing without pants, it’s this one. Of course, you don’t want to catch a public indecency charge so pants are advised. This asymmetrical high-low peplum top is a wedding winner: “I loved this. I had a wedding to attend but my personality isn’t a wedding dress vibe. I loved the way this fit, my body, and my personality.”
Shrug It Off
No matter what you’re wearing up top, there are times and locations where you want “a little something” on your shoulders. This short bolero shrug jacket features three-quarter sleeves and goes with just about everything — from a dress to a top. Choose from seven different sheer colors to match your wedding attire. This reviewer gets it: “Got it to wear over a grandmother of the bride sleeveless dress. I never wear sleeveless but loved the dress so took a chance.”
Draw A Bead On
Where are all my “extra” girls at? If the bolero directly above this flapper-style cape isn’t enough for you, then maybe this sequin-emblazoned option is. Unlike the silver or black you typically see in stores, this one is available in 20 different colors and styles. The “black colorful” version might be calling my name, especially for the tiny price tag. If “fun” is your middle name, you need one of these — wedding invite or not.
You’re All Set
Suits are great for a variety of occasions but they can be — shall I say — boring. There’s nothing boring about this two-piece suit set that includes slim-fit pants and a ruffle hem top. Available in more than a dozen colors, the pink one pictured is giving me all the Career Day Barbie vibes. You’ll get both pieces for less than $44.
If I haven’t found a jumpsuit that fits your personality or event yet, this is my last attempt. (No, seriously, we’re almost at the end of our list.) This one is adorned with a floral top and skinny, solid-colored pants. If you can get past the idea of getting completely undressed to go to the bathroom, this jumpsuit is garden party perfect.
Set It Off
I might be late to the wedding. I might not even show up. (Remember what I wrote in the opening?) But, if I show up, you should be surprised. And, I promise you, I’ll be comfortable over everything. This three-piece outfit is slightly revealing but not too much with a cropped top, wide-leg pants, and a long, coordinating jacket. This comes in five colors and I want them all.
Hem And Haw
I’m going to leave you with lace because it’s wedding season and lace is always in fashion. This top features a high-low design, long sleeves, and a crew neck in a delicious all-over lace style. It has a near-perfect five-star rating on Amazon, pairs well with leggings, slim dress pants, or jeans, and is guaranteed to help you make your own entrance wherever you are.