Summer Wedding Guest Dress: How to Pick the Best

If you’re looking for the summer wedding guest dress that is both suitable and totally you, well…isn’t that what we all end up doing when wedding season rolls around? And we also want to beat the heat while looking neat…so bearing all this in mind, how do you pick out the perfect dress? Based on personal experience which has so far served me well, I’ve put together these tips. And they revolve around…


It will most likely be warm or even hot on the day. The last thing you want is to be sweating through your dress and covertly checking armpit stains, while your mind can’t switch off from the fact that you are…sweaty. Sure, some of that will be unavoidable, but you want to feel as fresh as possible and not think about it all the time.

There are tons of tips on materials that are good to you in summer weather, but usually it’s enough to just think back a little and have a look through your closet. Which summer items of clothing are your favourite? Which feel best on your skin? What kind of material are they made of? Take note and look for something similar. Some dresses have a thin underlayer of cotton or jersey sewn to the material on top, which is a blessing for those hot days.


Obviously this one depends on the type of wedding you’re going to and whether there is a dresscode of some kind, a theme or certain preferences voiced by the bride. But in general, in this case you can also cast your mind back to the dresses in which you felt both comfortable and festive.

When looking for a summer wedding guest dress, my tips regarding the cut would be to opt for something not too clingy. In terms of shoulder and arm coverage, go for either sleeveless dresses, or dresses with capped or floaty sleeves. Dresses that are low-cut in front or have an open back might be tempting in hot weather, but keep in mind the more skin you have exposed, the more sunscreen you might have to put on. And then there’s the unattractive matter of cleavage sweat or gaping guests…nooooo.


Unless you’re petite, stay away from short dresses. You never know when something might ride up, and you might be uncomfortable when sitting down, especially in hot weather. Peeling the backs of your thighs off a chair is not a goal that needs to be pursued. Anything from knee-length is your best bet. Maxi dresses work well also, as long as they are not cut too loosely, and they bring the added advantage of not needing to put sunscreen on your legs!


Bright or lighter colors and patterns work well in the summer. It’s hues we might already feel naturally drawn to. If you still feel like a darker color, look for fabric that doesn’t look thick or heavy – basically one that doesn’t make you sweat just by glancing at it. Search for a color that doesn’t seem to wash out your skin tone and make your eyes look dull when you try on the dress. Rule of thumb I read somewhere once, anything that makes your skin glow and your eyes sparkle when you look in the mirror is always a good choice.

And before you buy or pick the dress…

As much as you can, place yourself mentally in the location. What will it feel like when you bend over, sit down, get up, stretch your arms, walk? Is everything you want covered remaining covered? Is anything slipping? Is anything too tight? Too loose? Do you have a suitable jacket, cardigan or wrap if it gets chilly in the evening? Do you feel amazing? You do? Great, then have a wonderful time in your fantastic dress!