What to Wear to a Bridal Shower as a Guest (2024)

Bridal showers may not garner as much attention as the actual wedding, but this intimate gathering leading up to the big day is among the most sentimental. That's because, for many brides, these showers are an event where childhood memories are retold, advice is passed on from older generations, and plenty of tears and laughter are shared.

If you’ve been invited to a bridal shower, your presence is truly important and, as such, putting thought and effort into your outfit is something you want to highly consider. While you don't necessarily have to splurge on a new outfit, you should select a style that adheres to the dress code, location, and season of the event, no matter your role in the upcoming wedding.

Ahead, we consulted with style expert Sarah Abbasi for the best bridal shower fashion tips for guests (including bridesmaids!), in order to ensure that you're able to help bring the bride's vision to life.

Meet the Expert

Sarah Abbasi is the founder of Sahroo, an environmentally-conscious bridal brand that offers hand-crafted, bejeweled heirloom pieces. She launched the collection in New York City in 2018 and has quickly garnered attention for her assortment of unique, exquisitely-made garments.

The Ultimate Guide to Bridal Showers

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower as a Guest

When choosing your outfit for a bridal shower, your first approach should be to follow standard wedding fashion etiquette rules.“Nothing too risqué, nothing to overshadow the bride in any way, and nothing too formal,” says Abbasi. “Go with fun, comfortable, and whatever makes you feel your best self.” Simply put, no white ensembles, no outfits with extravagant silhouettes, like ball gowns, and no skin-barring getups.

How to Choose a Bridal Shower Wedding Guest Outfit

Once you're able to narrow down your options, your next course of action is to hone in on the dress code, locale, and season of the event. It's these three elements that will help dictate your final look and ensure you are appropriately dressed for this momentous affair.

Pay Attention to the Dress Code

If there's a dress code indicated on the invitation, be sure to stick to it as a sign of respect. Therefore, for a casual dress code, Abbasi suggests a sundress, a matching set, or a blouse worn with a skirt or trousers. For more formal affairs, she advises guests to lean into fancy styles, like midi dresses and pantsuits, without going over the top.

For guests who don't have a specified dress code to follow, opt for pieces that you would wear to a nice brunch or an elegant social gathering. What's more, since bridal showers are more informal than most wedding events, don't be afraid to embrace your personal style but with a slightly formal twist. Lastly, you can also take into consideration the bride and their preferences. “Gauge whether they lean more toward serious or casual with their events,” Abbasi says. "One person’s ‘casual' might be another person’s ‘slightly dressy’ and it should be fairly obvious given your previous experience of the bride’s tastes. But, if in doubt, text someone else who’s going and compare notes.”

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower as a Guest (2)

Factor in the Venue and Locale

It’s highly encouraged to take the shower’s destination into consideration when planning your outfit. For instance, if you are attending an outdoor event, be sure to wear something that you'll be comfortable in while sitting outside. Is the shower being held at a casual locale? Lean into the casual vibes, and don't wear anything that would make you stand out or detract attention from the bride.

Additionally, footwear is a primary factor to consider when looking at the shower’s location. “The ranking of how formal the venue is, for me personally, goes like this: backyard, country club, restaurant,” Abbasi notes. “If it’s a backyard, or if it’ll be outside at the country club, always go for flat shoes. Nothing is worse than the sinking feeling of your heels digging into the grass.”

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Consider the Weather and Season

As with any outfit you choose to wear, you should consider the weather and season when selecting your ensemble for a bridal shower. “In the winter, you can lean into long dresses, jumpsuits, and nice pants. In the summer, it is safe to lean into shorter midi skirts and dresses,” Abbasi notes.

Not only that, but seasons have the ability to dictate color palettes, which is something to keep in mind for these types of events. As Abbasi puts it, anything in a “strikingly springy or autumnal hue” might be best left to its corresponding season. Ultimately, though, you want to use the season to ensure that you're not focused on regulating your body temperature throughout the entire celebration.

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower as a Bridesmaid

While bridesmaids are typically asked to wear a unique and special outfit at most weddings, bridal showers don't require the same dress specifications. Unless the bride has specifically asked for members of the bridal party to wear a particular look, bridesmaids can assume that they are free to sport whatever they like, in accordance with the above fashion etiquette guidelines. However, for those who are unsure of what to wear, it's always a good idea to ask the bride for style preferences, in order to guarantee that you're enhancing the bridal shower vision in the best way possible.

What Is a Bridal Shower? All the Planning and Etiquette Advice You Need to Know

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower as a Guest (2024)
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