Did I tell you about the time I went to a bridal shower for my friend’s daughter? One of the women there was wearing a dress cut so low that when she reached across the buffet table for a cup of tea and an egg salad finger sandwich, out popped her nipple!
That’s no joke, and it’s a great example of what not to wear to a bridal shower. Bridal showers are respectful, ladylike events and the way you dress should reflect that. I think it is important to look nice for the bride and yourself. After all, how often do you get the chance to dress up anymore?
Here are some guidelines for what to wear to a bridal shower.
1. Look Special
A bridal shower can be informal – held in someone’s backyard by the garden or pool, or at a local community hall. In this case, you might wear a pretty sundress or a maxi, dress pants or even capris and a pretty top.
Most of the time bridal showers are fancier semi-formal gatherings. We’ve all been to those. They’re typically held in an upscale home, a country club or a chic restaurant. A lovely dress or dressy separates are perfect for that.
Just because the world has gotten super casual doesn’t mean you should show up in your boring, everyday clothes. No matter where the shower is held, the dress code for what to wear to a bridal shower calls for something a little special.
2. Pastels and Happy Colors are a Natural Choice
Soft neutrals, soft blues, pinks, peaches, pastels, and blush colors fit the mood of a bridal shower and happen to very chic for Spring. If you feel too washed out in these shades, go for a slightly deeper color but choose happy shades. Browns grays, dark navy, dark green and all black don’t feel light and joyous at a bridal shower.
3. You Can’t Go Wrong in a Dress
When in doubt a dress is always feminine and appropriate. Classic styles like a sheath, shift or a fit and flare dress are good because they are more on the conservative side. A pair of nice pants are fine too but stay away from jeans or cords which are just too casual to look right.
4. Florals Fit the Vibe
Beautiful floral prints always look right at a bridal shower whether you are wearing a floral dress or blouse. Flowers are synonymous with love and romance.
5. Don’t Underestimate the Power of Pretty Shoes
A delicate, feminine shoe may be all you need to turn a plain dress you already have in your closet into a Cinderella-like outfit.
6. Think Soft, Not Tough
Bridal showers are not the time or place for black leather, over the knee boots, and studded accessories. These elements are too rough and tough for a genteel wedding shower. Stick to soft, floaty or drapey fabrics. Silk and jersey, and chiffon are feminine. If you ever wanted to wear lace or ruffles, this is the perfect occasion.
7. Get Jeweled Up
Bring on the bling at a bridal shower. You can wear your fine, expensive things or some fun costume jewelry. It doesn’t matter. A little sparkle adds a lot of glam to a special celebration like this.
8. Pants and Blouse Can Be Pretty
Some of you don’t like dresses and pants can be fine too provided they don’t look too casual or too stiff. The best pants are soft and fluid such as a pair of wider leg or palazzo pants. They give a relaxed, but chic vibe. If you decide on black pants ( because we do love our black pants), be sure to go with a feminine top to soften and lighten the entire look.
One of my readers asked specifically for plus size outfits for a bridal shower that included pants. You can see those suggestions here.
9. Go Sweet, Not Sexy
This gets back to my little story at the beginning of this post. Forget plunging necklines and thigh-high skirts. Save those for the cocktail bar. They’re too showy and hard for an afternoon ladies tea party. Of course, you don’t want to look sappy-sweet either, but it’s better to err on this side rather than look desperate for attention.
10. Kick Up Your Accessories
Carry a chic clutch, don silk scarf, or maybe even buy that fancy hat you’ve fantasized about wearing. It’s a party. Have fun.
One final note: If you are on the fence about buying something new for the bridal shower, keep this mind. The same dressy outfit you wear to a bridal shower you can also wear to a baby shower, high school reunion, church, date night, christening, your child’s college graduation, a special birthday party and more. So go ahead and treat yourself to something fresh and new. When you look good, you feel good, and life is so much more fun.
Do you have other ideas about what is appropriate to wear to a bridal shower? Let me know.