After two turbulent years of postponed nuptials, the invites are coming in thick and fast this wedding season. While some couples plumped for a smaller affair during the pandemic, thousands of others delayed until 2022, and as a guest, that means one thing: revamping your wardrobe in preparation for many summertime soirees.
While it’s important to invest in pieces that you can re-wear to different events (long gone are the days of being judged on recycling an outfit, we are in a climate crisis, after all) there are a few trends that we’re tapping into this season including subtle cut-outs, bold suits, floaty maxis, chic two-pieces and slinky slip dresses.
Importantly though, these looks are simply reinventing classic styles and can be worn year after year. We’ve sought out the outfits that can be dressed up or down, to ensure each piece is versatile enough for a range of different ceremonies and receptions.
Ultimately, comfort is key here: there’s nothing worse than feeling restricted in a dress or suit while on the dancefloor, or feeling uncomfortable in wedding photos. We’ve tested a range of styles on different body types and sizes to give you an exhaustive haul of options that will make you feel your best.
Whether you’re looking for a statement two-piece, Bridgerton-esque tulle or a puff-sleeve midi, we’re here to help you become the best-dressed guest of the season.
How we tested
We recruited three testers of varying heights and sizes to try out a range of wedding guest outfits, judging their fit, style, versatility and comfort. While keeping trends in mind, we were conscious of cost per wear when choosing these looks, favouring staple designs that can be worn time and time again across different occasions and wedding styles.
The best wedding guest outfits for 2022 are:
- Best overall – Nobody’s Child Rebecca midi dress: £47.20, Nobodyschild.com
- Best plus size suit – River Island purple flared split trousers and structured blazer: £118, Riverisland.com
- Best sustainable dress – Molby The Label Tilda dress, pink and red: £140, Molbythelabel.com
- Best slip dress – Omnes Florence midi dress in burnt orange: £55, Omnes.com
- Best print – Never Fully Dressed pink leopard floral dress: £89, Neverfullydressed.co.uk
- Best plus-size dress – Neon Rose cherry midi dress, curve: £32, Neonrosestore.com
- Best sequin dress – Asos edition neon floral embellished cami slip midi dress in light blue: £180, Asos.com
- Best floral dress – Asos design soft batwing midi dress in floral print: £48, Asos.com
- Best tulle dress – Warehouse tulle v neck maxi dress in floral: £97.30, Warehousefashion.com
- Best maxi dress – Dark Pink pink opal maxi: £110, Darkpink.co.uk
- Best pink suit – 4th + Reckless Tokyo blossom wide leg trousers and blazer: £90, 4thandreckless.com
Nobody’s Child Rebecca midi dress
We’re obsessed with this Seventies swirl print on this floaty dress. The pops of green – this season’s colour – make it bang on trend while the vintage feel of the puff sleeves and round neckline adds a classic touch. The statement cutout at the waist is surprisingly versatile to style, thanks to the adjustable bow tie that allows you to tailor the size of the cut out and tighten the waist. Perfect with either white trainers or heels, the leg slit adds to the floaty feel and gives you plenty of room to dance the night away. This is a wonderfully comfortable piece that’s versatile both in being able to dress up or down and customise the fit, making it a great option for all body types.
River Island purple flared split trousers and structured blazer
Best: Plus-size suit
While flare trousers made a big comeback last year thanks to Seventies-inspired fashion hitting the catwalks, the resurgence of Y2K culture in 2022 means that they are truly here to stay. While flared jeans might be one step too far for most of us, a flared suit trouser is seriously flattering on all body types, and our plus-size tester found this two-piece from River Island a real winner for comfort, style and perfect tailoring for curvier bodies.
The elasticated waistband at the back of the trousers is perfect for those who have a smaller waist but a larger behind, as it offers stretch without disrupting the silhouette. The luxe fabric feels weighty but floaty all at once and glides across your body for a flattering fit. Do note that the cropped blazer is on the smaller side for bigger busts, so you’ll need to size up if you want an airy fit. But the pastel purple colourway is perfect for summertime weddings, and the split trousers look great with both heels and chunky trainers, making this a versatile option for casual or dressier venues.
Blazer: £70, Riverisland.com
Trousers: £48, Riverisland.com
Molby The Label Tilda dress, pink and red
Best: Sustainable dress
Since spotting this brand on our Instagram feed, it’s fast become one of our favourites for joyous prints, statement collars and floaty midi dresses with a wholly sustainable approach. Priding itself on being a slow-fashion brand, each piece is handmade by the small team and Molly The Label, making it a great option for custom sizing, as you can send specific measurements and request tweaks to the sleeve or dress length, for example. The prints are glorious: think gingham, ditsy florals and lemon hued tulle adorned with stars.
We plumped for one of the brand’s signature dresses: the Tilda, as the contrasting pink and red split design is fun and flirty for summer occasions. The panelling at the waist really accentuated our silhouette while the puff sleeve added some drama to the piece. The 100 per cent cotton dress is fitted with minimal stretch, but customising your perfect fit means we had no issues.
Omnes Florence midi dress in burnt orange
Best: Slip dress
Slip dresses have had a revamp thanks to the likes of Zara’s TikTok viral dress selling out earlier this month and Victoria Beckham donning a self-designed number to her son Brooklyn Beckham’s extravagant wedding. This burnt orange slip from Omnes fits the bill for summertime nuptials, and is dopamine dressing at its finest.
Made using 100 per cent recycled, post-consumer polyester, Omnes prides itself in making designs that are composed of a single material for easy recycling, though we think this is a true forever piece. The satin fabric drapes perfectly for a body-skimming fit and we love the seam detail at the bust, but we would say that anyone with a larger chest might struggle with how high the bust sits. The quality feel transcends the £55 price-tag too.
Never Fully Dressed pink leopard floral dress
Another favourite for dopamine dressing, Never Fully Dressed’s bold prints and flirty cuts are unlike anything we’ve seen on the high street. We’re obsessed with this Seventies-style midi with a twist. Outside of the summery pink and orange print that’s layered with leopard print and Seventies florals, the subtle details made this dress a standout, including the soft framing around the bust and the floaty tiered hem.
The fabric is sheer without being completely opaque, we paired it with pink underwear laced with orange details for a monochrome look and could barely see it underneath. The high neckline and slightly puffed sleeves make for an even more flattering silhouette, and it’s incredibly comfortable thanks to the floaty fit. We’re pairing this with layered gold necklaces and chunky rings for a full statement look. The size range is excellent here, running from a UK 6 to a UK 24.
Neon Rose cherry midi dress, curve
Best: Plus-size dress
This Manchester-based brand is led by a small team of women and is transparent about its sustainability initiatives, which include making accessories entirely from leftover fabrics, pledging to move to biodegradable packaging and recycled labels once its current packaging has run out and planting a tree for every order made.
In terms of the clothes, you’ll find fun Seventies-inspired floral prints and oversized collars in its range, but we plumped for this Babrbie pink midi dress adorned with cherries. The ruched detailing on the top paired with puff sleeves make for a flattering yet comfortable fit, but the party is in the open back with cross-over straps and a bow that takes this from casual to wedding-worthy. The flouncy tiered skirt is ultra feminine but can be dressed up or down and we noted the quality feel of the fabric.
We love that this small brand goes up to size 28, a standard that should be set across all high street brands. We can’t wait to wear this with bright accessories and chunky jewellery.
Asos edition neon floral embellished cami slip midi dress in light blue
Best: Sequin dress
The new Asos Edition range has really upped the online retailer’s game when it comes to occasionwear. Case in point is this incredible sequined number. Yes, it’s more expensive than we normally see from Asos, but it’s so worth it.
It has all over sequins with pansy-like flowers decorating it, in hues of blue, green and silver. It’s certainly a standout dress and we think it will look fab at a summer wedding, even better if it’s abroad. Featuring a v-neck front the fit is relaxed, so if you prefer something that looks slightly more fitted, we recommend sizing down. We went for our normal size and feel we could have gone down one, but also do like how the relaxed fit looks. It’s a nice length, and had a kick split at the back so walking in it isn’t restrictive.
Our only slight gripe is the shoulder straps are very thin and the dress is quite weighty, so they may stretch over time. But really anyone with basic sewing skills could reattach new ones, if it came to that.
Asos design soft batwing midi dress in floral print
Best: Floral dress
So florals are never groundbreaking for spring, but despite what some in the fashun world are saying (florals are out!), we can never get enough of a cute flower-inspired print. We found the fit of this dress to be true to size, and even the length was good on our 6ft 1in tester. We also liked that you could roll the sleeves up for a more casual look, or if it’s warmer. Although, as the dress is so light it’s unlikely you’d get very hot in it, unless we’re blessed with a better than usual summer.
The dusky purple with hints of red and green in the print give it more oomph than your traditional design. While adding in the batwing arms, floaty open back and v-neck, we think this is a super easy to wear and flattering dress. You could easily just throw it on and simply accessorise for an instant outfit, whether it’s a wedding, a birthday or a brunch. Plus considering the price, we think it’s a real find.
Warehouse tulle v neck maxi dress in floral
Best: Tulle dress
Ok, we know blancmange or toilet roll holder comes to mind when you’re looking at layers of pink tulle, but trust us, this couldn’t be further from it. Think more – flamenco dress. That’s pretty much how we felt while wearing this – and taking inspo for it to finish off the look. We’re wearing our hair in a sleek bun with big earrings and heels that tie around the ankle. Or you culd do beachy waves for a softer, maybe less dramatic look.
The v-neck is deep, so you might want to think about some sort of Hollywood tape action, but you might not need it. The waist is shirred around the middle which means it’s going to look flattering on everyone.
Dark Pink pink opal maxi
Best: Maxi dress
For something totally showstopping, this maxi from Dark Pink is a super fun choice. The chiffon ruffles give it a flouncy fit that will instantly make you want to dance around in it, which is particularly beneficial for weddings. The contrasting pink and red colourway is what makes this one so eyecatching, while the floral print makes it ideal for wearing summer after summer. In terms of fit, we found it to be true to size, with the tie shoulder straps meaning you can adjust how it sits on your body.
If you’re concerned about its versatility, fear not because we’d definitely wear this with sandals while out for dinner on holiday, or with trainers. As for accessorising for a wedding, let the dress do the talking and keep things simple – opt for espadrille wedges (£22, Asos.com) as footwear. Best of all, it’s available in plus sizes too.
4th + Reckless Tokyo blossom wide leg trousers and blazer
Best: Pink suit
Suiting is huge news yet again this season. And this affordable tailored two-piece offers a great wedding guest outfit solution if you want to avoid wearing a frock. The single-breasted blazer has padded shoulders and a nice oversized cut, creating the perfect “borrowed from the boys” look. As for the trousers, we found them to fit perfectly around the waist, although we did find them a little long on our leg (we’re only 5ft 5in, so we took them to the tailors for a slight tweak, which worked a treat).
With pink the colour to wear this spring/summer, you simply cannot go wrong. Plus, the great thing about investing in a co-ord is that both pieces can be worn separately, which only adds to its versatility. For example, post-wedding, wear the trousers with a crisp white T-shirt and trainers, while the blazer can be thrown on over a pair of jeans. It’s safe to say we’re obsessed.
Blazer: £55, 4thandreckless.com
Trousers: £35, 4thandreckless.com
The verdict: Wedding guest outfits for summer
For its versatility, unusual print and serious comfort, our best buy goes to the Seventies-inspired number from Nobody’s Child. It’s easy to dress up and down and the cut-out detailing is bang on trend. The customisable shape makes it a win for all body shapes, too. Our favourite suit is the wonderful pink option from 4th + Reckless and any tall shoppers looking for florals should plump for Asos’ midi.
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