What to Wear to a Bridal Shower As A Guest (2024)

Spring/Summer

January 15, 2022

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.

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

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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wrap dress | earrings | sandals | pink bag

What to Wear to a Dressy Bridal Shower as a Guest

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, a co*cktail 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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sandals | floral dress | floral dress here too |green bag | earrings

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.

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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.

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pink dress | mules | bag | earrings

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.

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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 masculine for a genteel wedding shower. Stick to soft, floaty, or drapey fabrics. Silk and jersey, and chiffon are feminine. This is the perfect occasion if you ever wanted to wear lace or ruffles.

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.

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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 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.

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similar jumpsuit | similar jumpsuit 2 |similar jumpsuit 3

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 co*cktail 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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What to Wear to a Bridal Shower As A Guest (2024)

FAQs

What to Wear to a Bridal Shower As A Guest? ›

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

Can you 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.

Can I wear black to a bridal shower as a guest? ›

Don't Wear Black.

Black is often associated with funerals and can be too dark and somber for a bridal shower. You don't want to detract from the festive and celebratory atmosphere of the event.

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.

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.

What not to wear to a bridal shower as a guest? ›

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.

Do you dress up for a bridal shower? ›

Pay Attention to the Dress Code

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.

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 to bring to a bridal shower as a guest? ›

Common bridal shower gifts include kitchenware, from small appliances or utensils to towels or dishes. Shower gifts tend to stick to the event's specific theme if it has one. A cooking class shower might require a gift of your favorite cookbook, while the hostesses of a lingerie shower will ask for, well, lingerie.

What to wear to a bridal shower not a dress? ›

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

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!

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.

Who normally goes to bridal shower? ›

A bridal shower is a more intimate gathering than a wedding and the guest list usually consists of the bride-to-be's closest female friends and relatives, including close relatives of the soon-to-be-bride's spouse.

What is a good amount to give for a bridal shower? ›

According to Opperman, bridal shower gifts tend to be less expensive than wedding gifts. "Many people spend around $50 to $75, whereas closer friends and family may spend upwards of $100," she says.

What is etiquette for a bridal shower? ›

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.

What is the difference between a wedding shower and a bridal shower? ›

The bridal shower is designed for just you and the girls while the wedding shower is a co-ed party where the bride and groom both get showered with gifts and love. If you're a bride who loves to party and celebrate, then have both a wedding shower and bridal shower!

Is it OK for a woman to wear jeans to a wedding? ›

Though there are not many situations where wearing denim to a wedding would be appropriate, Lyons does note that “The only instance in which jeans are acceptable at a wedding is if the invitation specifically says 'jeans,' such as in a themed wedding.” For example, a Western or rustic-themed wedding may be an ...

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.

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