Dresses

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower As A Guest

Did I tell you about the time I went to a bridal shower for my friend’s daughter? One of the guests 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 a good example of what not to wear to a bridal shower. A bridal shower is a proper ladylike celebration, and the way you dress should reflect that. It is important to look nice for the bride and yourself, so take the time to dress up.

Here are some guidelines for what to wear to a bridal shower to look lovely and appropriate.

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What to Wear to Casual Bridal Shower

Bridal showers have become more casual over the years, but that doesn’t mean you should show up in 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.

In summer, a bridal shower is often held in someone’s backyard, by the garden or pool, so that you could wear a pretty sundress, a maxi dress, pants, a jumpsuit, or even capris and a pretty top.

A casual wedding shower is usually held in someone’s home or at a local community hall in the fall or winter.  In this case, you could wear a casual day dress,  dress pants and a nice sweater or top would be fine.

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What to Wear to a Dressy Bridal Shower

Most of the time, bridal showers are fancier semi-formal gatherings. We’ve all been to those. They’re typically held in someone’s home, a country club, or a chic restaurant. This type of shower calls for a dressier day dress or fancy separates. If the shower is very dressy, then a cocktail dress may be in order.

Regardless of where the bridal shower is taking place and how formal it is, here are some things you should keep in mind when planning a bridal shower guest outfit.

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1. Wear Something Pretty and Feminine

Bridal showers celebrate the bride’s upcoming wedding and have a romantic vibe, so the perfect way to dress is to wear something pretty and feminine like this pretty blue ruffle dress.

Leave your power clothes for work or your sexy evening favorites at home. This is a time for a little softness and sweetness – light fabrics like chiffon dresses, cheery colors, figure-flattering styles, and girly details.

Bridal Shower guest - Blue Polka Dot

2. Pastels & Happy Colors are a Natural Choice

Light soft neutrals and pastels in light, pink, blue, yellow, green, and blush are perfect for a bridal shower.  If these colors make you feel too washed out, then bright, cheery colors work well also.  Stay away from heavy, serious colors like brown, gray, dark navy, dark green, and black. They’re not uplifting enough for a bridal shower.

3. You Can’t Go Wrong in a Dress

When in doubt, wear a dress. It’s the ultimate in femininity and the most popular way to dress for a bridal shower.  Classic styles like the wraps sheaths, shifts, or fit and flare dresses are ideal because they’re on the conservative side.  A pair of cute pants are beautiful, too, but stay away from jeans or cords, which are just too casual to look right.

Bridal Shower Guest outfit- White Floral Tie

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. Too small of a floral can be aging. Too large can overwhelm a small frame. Look for a medium-size print in a modern color combo.

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. Don’t  Get Edgy

Bridal showers are not the time or place for edgy 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.

Bridal Shower Guest outfit- Lilac Top, white pants styled by Fabulous After 40

8. Pants and a Blouse Can Be Pretty

Some of you don’t like dresses, and pants can be beautiful 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. White pants also look fabulous in summer with a lavender top.

Bridal Shower guest outfit- Coral Jumpsuit

9. Think 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 and not look desperate for attention.

10. Kick Up Your Accessories

Carry a chic clutch, don a silk scarf, or maybe even buy that fancy hat you’ve fantasized about wearing. It’s a party. Have fun.

Final note:

One final note: If you are on the fence about buying something new for a bridal shower, keep this in 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.

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14 thoughts on “What to Wear to a Bridal Shower As A Guest

  1. Hello,

    I am along with another friend hosting a bridal shower for my friend and I am wondering if a soft purple lapel collar crop blouse and pants with a white strapless tube top is appropriate. I think it looks nice and elegant but I know guests shouldn’t wear white but it’s just the under shirt not the outfit…help!

    Thanks

    1. Hi Bianca,
      Yes, that’s fine. It’s only when you are wearing an all-white outfit that it seems like you are stealing the bride’s thunder. What you have chosen sounds lovely. Have a nice time!

  2. Help! I will be going to a brunch & bubbly bridal shower at a local country club in July. Would white pants be appropriate? Thanks

  3. Hi Deborah,
    Would an animal print dress, similar style to the first dress be appropriate for me as the mother of the groom to wear? The bridal shower is being held in a party room in an apartment complex , it’s a wine and cheese get together. Thanks in advance for your input, greatly appreciated.

    1. Hi Grace,
      I love animal print dresses, but I wouldn’t recommend one for a bridal shower.
      Animal prints have an edgy, sexy vibe, and that’s not in sync with a bridal shower.
      I would suggest something pretty, on the romantic side, like a lovely dress or a nice blouse and a pair of dress pants.
      Hope that helps.

  4. Oh that is a funny story! Glad it was not my shower, or my nipple! Thank you for creating the pretty outfits, I always appreciate your suggestions.

  5. Hi Deborah
    I have been reading your posts for a while, and you are doing an excellent job. The way you dress is classy and will never be out of fashion. (Miladyvault)
    Cheers Deborah

  6. Hi Deborah, Love this article. Being a lady is so often overlooked in this day and age. Gorgeous dresses and accessories you chose. Cheers!

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