Bridal Entourage Outfit Guide: What To Wear Wedding Dress Shopping (as a Guest)
Going wedding dress shopping with a friend is a great way to make memories, show your love, and score some free champagne — a rare win-win-win scenario. You get all of the fun of ogling gorgeous dresses with none of the stress of planning a whole entire wedding. All you have to do is kick back, support the bride in whatever she likes best, and politely shut down any relatives who "aren't sure if that's really a wedding dress, is it?"
Deciding what to wear wedding dress shopping as a guest doesn't have to be a headache. If you've never been bridal shopping before, it's easy to think of all salons as pristine, library-quiet showrooms with a cocktail hour dress code. Thankfully, that's not the case.
What To Wear Wedding Dress Shopping as a Guest
Any outfit you would wear to brunch or a casual occasion should suffice for wedding dress shopping as a guest. For a bit more guidance, here are some style tips and outfit ideas.
Formal or Casual
Most neighborhood bridal salons are fairly casual, which can be a big plus! Wedding dress shopping is stressful enough without feeling like you're in a hallowed cathedral of snow-white dresses that are all silently judging you.
If you're not sure what kind of salon the bride has chosen, check out the salon's website or Instagram for pictures of what other customers are wearing. Chances are you'll see a lot of jeans and sneakers.
That said, there are some more formal, appointment-only bridal salons in major cities. These salons may lean business-casual rather than anything goes, but they're in the minority. Ask the bride or maid of honor if you're going somewhere particularly white-glove.
5 Bridal Entourage Outfit Ideas
Here are five easy outfit ideas that should cover the full spectrum of bridal salons, from cozy family-run shops to exclusive showrooms.
1. Easy All-In-One Jumpsuit
It's a good idea to keep a couple of different jumpsuits in your closet for ever-so-slightly-elevated casual situations. One way to make a jumpsuit look even more subtly stunning is to choose accessories that pop against the main jumpsuit color. Whether you're rocking a trendy oversized jumpsuit or a fitted capri version, pull in a pop of purple with a yellowish jumpsuit or orange with blue for a more interesting outfit.
2. Bridesmaid-Lite Midi Dress
If you're really getting into the wedding spirit early, a jewel- or pastel-toned midi dress is a great choice for a bridal entourage outfit. A pair of light-toned sneakers keeps the outfit from getting too precious and makes it easy to weave between wedding dress racks.
Since you'll probably be sitting on some extremely squishy couches for most of the day, choose a loose cut and a comfy fabric. This is truly the mid-length sweater dress's time to shine.
3. Simple Tee and Work Trousers
Whenever you're putting together an outfit, think of what elements you can play off of each other to boost the final look. A simple t-shirt isn't much of a style statement on its own, but this wardrobe staple expertly dresses down a pair of structured work pants. In return, the work pants subtly dress up the t-shirt.
The result? An outfit that hits right in the middle, fitting the (ideally) relaxing vibe of the occasion while still being fashionable. A metallic necklace or belt adds an extra hint of shine to finish off this simple weekend look.
4. Structured Coat and Jeans
Jeans are too often lumped together as one homogenous item of clothing. Anyone who's ever bought five to 10 pairs in one haul knows that there's a different jean style to fit any outfit. Wedding dress shopping as a guest is the ideal time to pull out your magazine cover "fancy jeans" that can seamlessly flow between occasions.
Sarah Jessica Parker went with cuffed light grey jeans for her casual look. A structured coat, such as a blazer or wool trench, adds some formality and visual heft. Paired with some sleek leather boots, this is the perfect wedding dress shopping outfit for colder months.
5. Short Sleeve Top and Flowy Skirt
A flowing, textured skirt is another great option for a casual celebration like wedding dress shopping. This look gets exciting when you start shopping the latest skirt options. Keeping the top simple lets you go all out with fun details, such as a trenchcoat-styled skirt. Match the accents on your skirt to your shoes or add a fun wide-brimmed hat to complete this warm-weather shopping look.
Tips To Keep in Mind
Simple definitely isn't the only way to be fashionable, but wedding dress shopping as a guest is one occasion to skew minimalist. While it's not a strict requirement, there will be a lot of embellishments, lace and ruffles to feast your eyes on at any bridal store. A simplified outfit will help keep your eye sharp when it comes to all the dress details.
It also might not be the ideal time to pull out a white or light-colored sundress. A crisp and new white t-shirt, on the other hand, is a great simple and smart fashion choice. Pair it with a simple dress pant, sandals and a crossbody bag for an easy outfit, like Jennifer Lawrence in New York City.
Keep your pockets or purse stocked with a new pack of tissues, hair ties, bobby pins and a small hand mirror. The bridal salon will likely have most of these things, but it never hurts to be prepared.
Find What To Wear Wedding Dress Shopping as a Guest and Shop the Latest Fashions
Wedding dress shopping can be a surprisingly intense emotional experience. The most important gift you can offer your friend on the day is your unwavering vote of fashion support, but it never hurts to look stunning at the same time. At Kate Hewko, we love finding new twists on casual pieces to wear wedding dress shopping as a guest. Browse our latest picks to find your new favorite wardrobe staples.