What to Wear to a Bridal Shower, According to Experts (2024)

Engagement season is in full swing, and while we often wonderwhat to wear to a wedding, figuring out how to dress for a bridal shower can be pretty confusing, too. As a guest, we know to stay clear of shades of white (unless told otherwise), but are other colors off-limits? Would it be too extra to incorporatesparkleinto our outfit? Should we dress down in jeans or go fancy with a ruffled dress?

Some bridal shower hosts will specify a dress policy on the invitation, but most of the time, the dress code is up to interpretation. Rather than struggling to read between the lines, we reached out to a slew of fashion stylists for a few bridal shower guest dress and outfit ideas, solving this dilemma once and for all.

Here are some pro-approved dos and don'ts to keep in mind while choosing your bridal shower guest outfit.

Formal vs. Casual

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower, According to Experts (1)

StylistNaina SinglatoldInStylethat the second step to figuring out what to wear to a bridal shower is honing in on just how formal or casual the party is. If it's a more formal event, for example, Singla said a good rule of thumb is for attendees to wear something like "a pantsuit, skirt-suit, or a high-neck sheath dress."

Factor in Games

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower, According to Experts (2)

"Some of the activities or games you can expect at a bridal shower might require you to wear something more comfortable and be easy to move in," noted New York City-based wardrobe stylistMorgan Bienvenue. "If you're a close family member or friend to the couple, I might also anticipate the probability of sitting on the floor at some point to collect wrapping paper from opening gifts."

In other words, if you'll be playing an active role in the bridal shower, factor practicality into your final outfit.

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Plan for Photos

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower, According to Experts (3)

If the event is more casual, Singla said guests "could pair a blouse and trousers, a flowy dress, or ajumpsuit."

Whatever you decide to wear, aim for something photo-friendly. According to Young, this is especially key if you're family or close friends with the future bride and groom.

Bienvenue recommended reading the invitation closely for clues about the type of soiree you'll be attending. Ask yourself: Is the bridal shower during the day or at night? Does the invite reflect the couple's personalities and seem low-key? The answers to these questions may inform your decision about what to wear.

Subtle vs. Showy

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower, According to Experts (4)

Unless encouraged by a theme, Bay Area stylistAbby Youngsaid elaborate rhinestone details, statement jewelry, neon colors, and/or loud logo prints are out.

"It's definitely a good time to look nice, but it's not the day to call attention to yourself and what you're wearing," added Young.

Bring Backup Footwear

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower, According to Experts (5)

Young warned that if you plan on wearing dressier shoes like platform heels, it's a good idea to bring along a pair of clean,comfy sneakers, too.

"Unless you ask the host beforehand, you never know if there'll be games/challenges that require that you be on your feet!"

Wear a Flowy Dress or Skirt

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower, According to Experts (6)

Looking for specific ideas when it comes to bridal shower guest dresses? StylistJodie Filogomosaid to pull out a floral maxi dress, especially if the celebration is taking place in the spring or summer.

"If you don't want to wear a dress, then a slip skirt and camisole would be just as appropriate," she toldInStyle."If it's wintertime, you could easily wear atulle skirtand sweater with boots to stay warm yet look stylish."

Try a Jeans and Blouse Combo

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"When I think of dressier blouses, I think of shiny ones, ruffle details, or ones that have a pretty print, something like a colorful floral," explained Filogomo. "[For a more casual bridal shower], I would opt for a dressier blouse and nix the T-shirt unless that's what the invitation suggests."

Opt for Traditional — with a Twist

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Bienvenue told us that if you're going to a bridal shower that leans more traditional, opt for a sweet yet dramatic silhouette that gives your outfit a hint of surprise or edge.

"An A-line dress or circle skirt with a knit top combination comes to mind, especially in a bold color or with interesting embellishments," Bienvenue said. "Another route you can take is asweater dresswith kitten heels and cute accessories, like '90s-style square frame sunglasses and campy hair clips."

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Keep It Simple (and Seasonal!)

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower, According to Experts (9)

According to Singla, a timeless, silk midislip dressis the perfect bridal shower guest outfit, complete with a black blazer and heels or knee boots.

"This is a great seasonal look you can dress up or down that is both simple and feminine," Singla toldInStyle. "You can’t go wrong with wearing a slip dress to a bridal shower. Just add a glass of champs, and you are set to go!"

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower, According to Experts (2024)


What to Wear to a Bridal Shower, According to Experts? ›

Wear a Flowy Dress or Skirt

What do I wear as a guest to a bridal shower? ›

Bridal showers are usually a more formal than a bachelorette party or a bridal brunch. Choose a bridal shower dress for guest that is elegant and feminine, and that makes you feel comfortable and confident. You can opt for a midi or maxi dress, a jumpsuit, or a skirt and blouse combination.

What not to wear to a bridal shower? ›

Avoid wearing white, black, or anything that may detract from the wedding festivities. Bridal showers can range from formality, location, and season, so be sure to dress to fit the occasion.

Does it matter what color you wear to a bridal shower? ›

Choose Any Color You Love

As for color and pattern, wear any hue or print you love. Many brides choose to wear white to all of their pre-wedding events. That includes their bridal shower, bachelorette party, and rehearsal dinner.

How do you say dress code for bridal shower? ›

Shower Invitation Wording about Dress Codes

To make things easy for your guests, you might want to include something like “Dress Code: Casual” or “Dress Code: Formal.” Some other dress code wording for invitations might be: A formal dress code is requested. Please dress in your best! Dress to impress!

Is it appropriate to wear jeans to a bridal shower? ›

Jeans might be appropriate for a very casual bridal shower, especially if it's a relaxed gathering at someone's home. If you decide to wear jeans, choose a pair that's well-fitting and in good condition. Elevate your look by pairing them with a chic blouse or a smart blazer, and add some classy accessories.

How much money should you give at a bridal shower? ›

"Many people spend around $50 to $75, whereas closer friends and family may spend upwards of $100," she says. "However, the amount you want to spend is up to you."

Is black ok to wear to a bridal shower? ›

Black is often a darker color or associated with mourning and while it is definitely one of my go-to colors, I think it is best saved for other events, like the bachelorette party or even a rehearsal dinner.

What is protocol for bridal showers? ›

Since showers are intended for the bride's nearest and dearest, every shower guest must already be on the wedding guest list. Because it's understood that guests should bring a present to a shower, it's not appropriate to invite people whom you don't plan to include in the wedding.

Who should not be invited to bridal shower? ›

The short answer is, you should not invite anyone to your shower who will not be invited to the wedding. Your shower is an intimate gathering of some of the closest women (and men if you choose) in your life, and if anyone makes the cut for your shower, they should also be close enough to you to get a wedding invite.

What is the color code for the bridal shower? ›

It's traditional for the bride, or the couple, to wear white at the bridal shower. This also includes pastel shades, like blush or soft blue, that can be photographed as looking white. All other colors—like bold, bright colors and prints—are fair game.

Do you bring a gift to a bridal shower? ›

In short, yes. If you're attending a bridal shower, you should always bring a gift with you to congratulate the bride. This is considered good bridal shower etiquette. Even if you're a part of the bridal party or wedding party, a gift is still necessary.

What should an older woman wear to a bridal shower? ›

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.

Who pays for the bridal shower etiquette? ›

Nowadays, the person (or people) hosting the bridal shower are responsible for covering the costs associated with the shower.

What does smart casual look like? ›

Smart casual is an approach to dressing professionally that mixes trendier pieces in with classic staples. The goal is an appearance that's clean and professional but doesn't look too formal. You want to look pulled together but a bit interesting and approachable.

How long is a bridal shower? ›

Bridal showers typically last 2-4 hours and are not considered an all-day event. Although, depending on the type of shower you are hosting the time can vary. Most showers will either take place in the morning and serve as a brunch, or in the afternoon served with lunch or finger foods.

What is customary to bring to a bridal shower? ›

For a Traditional Bridal Shower

Common gift ideas include vases, cookware, champagne glasses, sleepwear, fine linens, picture frames, and home decor items.

Do you bring anything to a bridal shower? ›

Yes, if you are invited to a shower in addition to the wedding, you're expected to bring a gift to the shower as well as send a wedding gift. You shouldn't spend more than you're comfortable with, however (see the next answer), and can split your budget between both gifts.

Who should attend a bridal shower? ›

The bridal party, including the maid of honor and bridesmaids generally make the top of the guest list, followed by immediate family members from both sides of the aisle. If the bride welcomes children at her shower, guests may also include nieces, the flower girl and junior bridesmaids.

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