Celebrating the bride-to-be comes in a number of forms: fun excursions, champagne toasts and nights on the town. Among the most popular pre-wedding events is the bridal shower. Figuring out what to wear to a bridal shower can be challenging. From prints and patterns to colors and cuts, the endless possibilities women’s fashion may leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Deciphering an undefined dress code can be tricky, especially when no two bridal showers are the same. Having freedom over your bridal shower ensemble leaves the stylistic decisions up to you—but don’t let that scare you. We’re here to help you choose an outfit you can look and feel good in as you indulge in all of the fancy finger foods and gift-giving festivities.
The Staples: Bridal Shower Attire Must-Haves
Bridal showers tend to err on the side of formal attire, so in most cases, a pair of jeans won’t likely match the vibe of the event. While it’s true that bridal showers are typically far more casual than the actual wedding, curating your bridal shower outfit should still be handled with care and consideration.
Whether you’re piecing together an outfit from your closet or planning on shopping, these key clothing staples are some of the most popular items to wear to a bridal shower.
What to Wear to a Bridal Shower: The Dress
Elegant, easy and effortlessly refined, the dress is a bridal shower staple that can do no wrong. Dresses have a certain whimsical nature to them that perfectly parallels the light cheerfulness of a bridal shower. Channel that breezy, beautiful character by selecting a dress that complements the event and your unique taste.
Consider these styles:
- A-Line dress: The A-line dress cinches at the waist and gradually flares out, giving it that signature “A” shape.
- Bardot dress: Named after 1950s bombshell Brigitte Bardot, the Bardot dress is a sophisticated take on the off-shoulder cut.
- Shift dress: Bring the ‘60s back in this simple, sleeveless (or short-sleeved) boxy-shaped dress that falls straight from the shoulders and offers plenty of breathing room at the bust, hips and waist.
- Kimono dress: Inspired by the traditional Japanese gown, the modern kimono dress is a standout. Characterized by its exquisite long sleeves, signature wrap closure and sleek leg slit, this dress is a winner in every department.
- Sheath dress: Featuring a striking silhouette that hugs the body and accentuates the waist, the sheath dress is a timeless classic that delivers minimalist charm while maintaining a formal feel.
The true beauty of the dress lies in the sheer number of shapes and styles you can play around with. Experimenting with different necklines, hemlines and lengths helps to diversify your bridal shower outfits while building on your existing style.
What to Wear to a Bridal Shower: The Skirt
Skirts are feminine, polished and pretty bridal shower attire pieces. Much like dresses, they come in a wide variety of shapes and styles that offer plenty of wiggle room (or none at all!). When choosing the most suitable skirt for your bridal shower affair, be sure to choose one that promises all-day comfort—we’re talking hours of sitting and standing. Anything too tight, too short, or impractical will have you readjusting all day long.
Consider these skirt styles for your upcoming bridal shower:
- Wrap skirt: The wrap skirt forgoes the necessity of buttons or zippers in favor of a more flattering front or side tie.
- Tulip skirt: Characterized by overlapping panels, the tulip skirt is the draped sister of the wrap skirt. Incredibly easy to dress up, tulip skirts are sophisticated and put-together, no matter how you pair them.
- A-Line skirt: Fitted at the waist and flared out toward the hemline, A-line skirts are versatile, chic pieces that look great in all lengths.
- Accordion skirt: The accordion skirt is designed with evenly spaced vertical folds pressed into the fabric that grow wider toward the hemline. This creates a stylish flared shape that looks equal parts modern and timeless.
Wondering about what lengths are appropriate for a bridal shower? Try these out:
- Street skirt: Just above the knee.
- Midi: Between the knee and mid-calf.
- Tea-length: Mid-calf area, six to seven inches from the floor.
- Ballerina: Just above the ankle.
- Maxi: Grazes the ground.
What to Wear to a Bridal Shower: The Jumpsuit
This one-piece bridal shower ensemble functions a lot like a dress, but removes the risk of a gust of wind exposing you. Offering the same comfort and elegance, jumpsuits have become one of the most popular womenswear choices for formal events. They pair well with all of your footwear favorites—from pointed toe flats to platform espadrilles.
Consider these statement sleeve styles to elevate your one-piece game:
- Ruffle sleeves: When it doubt, ruffle it out. Ruffles are a fun way to add a feminine touch to any jumpsuit.
- Bell sleeves: Flowy bell sleeves are among the easiest ways to take your average jumpsuit to the next level. Narrow from shoulder to the elbow and flared out to the end of the sleeve, bell sleeves bring ‘70s style into the modern age.
- Bishop sleeves: Giving you a luxe magazine-ready appeal, bishop sleeves look sleek and soft. These sleeves balloon out at the wrist for a relaxed boho-chic appeal.
- Off-shoulder sleeves: Without being too revealing, the off-shoulder neckline accentuates the collar bone. This delicate, eye-catching look is perfect for sunny days and lighthearted bridal shower fun.
What to Wear to a Bridal Shower: The Shoes
Shoes are among the most overlooked pieces to bridal shower outfits, but are incredibly important to consider when wrapping your ensemble together. No matter how you define your style, a pretty pair of shoes is the perfect complement to your polished look. Whether you’re brainstorming outfit ideas for formal flats or aligning your outfit with the bride’s pastel theme, be sure your toes are suited up in style.
Try these footwear forms on for size:
- Flats: All-day comfort and effortless sophistication are two reigning reasons why the flat has never gone out of style.
- Heels: Adding height in the form of elegant heels gives you a runway-ready leggy look that pairs beautifully with everything from dresses to pixie pants.
- Oxfords: Dress them up or dress them down, oxfords are an edgy addition to any ensemble and deliver all-day comfort that you can count on.
- Sandals: Warm weather calls for a pair of breezy, easy-wear sandals. Whether they’re lace-up gladiators or espadrille wedges, these summery shoes are great for sunshiny events.
Get Creative: Colors and Materials
Now that you’ve nailed down what to wear to a bridal shower, you need to pinpoint how you’ll make it your own. Channel your creative spirit by experimenting with colors, materials and patterns in order to come up with a bridal shower outfit that checks off two important marks: matching the vibe of the event and showcasing your unique taste. We’ll guide you through a few ideas.
Depending on the season, the colors making up your bridal shower outfit should be aligned with the shades of the season. Colors are expressive and play a huge part in setting the mood. Do your part to radiate joy and happiness by showing up in these beautiful hues.
Spring bridal shower: Pale yellow, mauve, mint green, periwinkle.
Summer bridal shower: Bright orange, mustard yellow, fuchsia, cherry red.
Autumn bridal shower: Burgundy, jade green, burnt sienna, navy blue.
Winter bridal shower: Forest green, royal blue, rich brown, light grey.
Pro-tip: If the bride has a defined color scheme, make sure you stick to it! And remember to leave the whites and creams for the lovely bride.
Exploring different materials is a way to add some feel-good fun to any bridal shower outfit. Consider these exciting garment materials for any of your ensemble pieces.
- Chiffon: Similar to gossamer, chiffon is a lightweight plain-woven sheer fabric that embodies the whimsical nature of the bridal season.
- Satin: This glossy material is a formalwear staple that never loses its natural shine.
- Jacquard: Unlike printed patterns that are sewn into the construction of the fabric, jacquard fabrics feature raised patterns that are woven into the fabric. These patterns typically feature grand details and beautiful coloring.
- Lace: A delicate fabric made from thread, lace dresses, skirts and jumpsuits are bridal shower classics that suit any formal theme.
- Silk: Regarded as the “queen of fabrics” this luxurious material sits beautifully on the body and feels just as luxe as it looks.
- Linen: This lightweight cloth woven from flax fibers is perfect for the summertime and warm climate settings.
Finishing Touches: Accessories
You’ve done it! Your bridal shower outfit has gotten the green light, and now all that’s left to do is accessorize. Use these brilliant accessory ideas to boost your fashion factor:
- Earrings: Geometric hoops, tassel earring, gemstone studs, cluster earrings
- Bags: Mini bucket bags, rattan bags, beaded clutch, solid crossbody
- Hair accessories: Jeweled barrettes, twist headwraps, floral hair clips, metallic bobby pins
- Necklaces: Bib necklace, simple jeweled choker, layered necklace, statement necklace
- Rings: Stacking rings, gemstone rings, statement rings
Voilà—your bridal shower outfit is complete. Whether you’re trying to figure out what to wear to a bridal shower brunch or coming up with bridal shower dress code ideas, this comprehensive guide is your first step to success. Time to enjoy the celebration in style!