These Black-Tie Wedding Guest Dresses Are Guaranteed To Turn Heads

Guaranteed to earn you the title of best dressed guest.

black-tie wedding guest dresses

by Renee Washington |
Updated on

Been invited as a guest to a black-tie wedding and don't know where to start? Worry not, for deciphering the black-tie dress code is a lot simpler than it may seem (and, to be honest, it's not hugely different to the kind of wedding guest dresses you'd normally wear).

Contrary to popular belief, black tie doesn't mean wearing a ball gown fit for the Oscars (or exclusively rocking the colour black, unless otherwise indicated). Instead, picture floor-length gowns and elevated cocktail dresses. Interested? Let us walk you through the principles of buying black-tie wedding guest dresses, once and for all.

As a black tie dress code simply indicates that you should dress formally, the only real rule is that your dress should be eveningwear. While this would usually mean a floor-length gown, a lot of brides would probably be comfortable with cocktail dresses (i.e. dresses that stop shorter than the ankle) so it's worth checking what your friend is envisaging. Either way, black-tie wedding guest dresses are a golden opportunity to dress up. Like, really up. Everything from luxe fabrics to extra embroidery goes. And as for colours? Nothing is off limits except white, oyster and cream, which could clash with the bride.

If you're still struggling, we've curated the perfect round-up of black tie wedding guest dresses to wear all year round, with picks from Karen Millen, House of CB, French Connection and more. Scroll to peruse our edit of the best floor-sweeping gowns fit any black tie event, guaranteed to earn you the title of best-dressed wedding guest. Ready to accessorise? Shop our favourite wedding bags and shoes once you're done.

Wolf & Badger, Seville Satin Maxi Dress In YellowWold & Badger

Envision this yellow dress on a pretty summer afternoon, cocktail in hand.

Brown is a very underrated colour and with this dress, we're not exactly sure why.

Club L London, Elene Black Pleated Split Fishtail Maxi DressClub L London

You can't go wrong with a black number and this silhouette is super flattering.

This dress combines satin, a bandeau design, and the colour blue, what's not to love? Love this vibe? Head over to our dedicated blue wedding guest dress guide for more inspiration.

A slip dress will always be a good option, this blue colour nods to summer.

Coast, Bandeau A-line Twill Bridesmaids Maxi DressCoast

Bridesmaids gowns can also double up as the perfect wedding guest dresses.

Galvan, Evelyn Cut-Out Satin Halter-Neck Maxi DressGalvan

Galvan's halter-neck maxi dress is the ultimate when it comes to black-tie wedding guest dresses. Cut from satin, this super soft fabric is blended with 80% triacetate from a certified mill.

Ganni, Blue Shiny Taffeta Strap DressGanni

This midnight blue dress isn't quite floor-skimming but it would almost certainly be smart enough for a black tie wedding.

Reformation, Poppies Silk DressReformation

Who said black-tie wedding guest dresses couldn't contain florals? This hot-house print would be perfect for a high-summer wedding.

Where did the black-tie dress code originate?

A semi-formal dress code, the origins of black tie can be traced back to King Edward VII, who came to prefer a short evening jacket for events as opposed to more formal eveningwear. For men, this often translates to a dinner jacket, waistcoat, dress shirt and tie (think tuxedo), and for women, a floor-length evening gown.

Main image credit: Instagram/@thesevynsinclair

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