When invited to a wedding, one of the first things you likely do — after RSVPing and congratulating the soon-to-be betrothed, of course — is consult the internet for style guidance. Is it a destination ceremony in the tropics? Some fashion editor somewhere has already curated a niche edit of insouciant, beachy casual looks for your consideration. But for the many other wedding-related activities — rehearsal dinners, bachelorette parties, etc. — well, there’s noticeably less insight available. You’ve already secured the perfect subtle-meets-sultry gown for the big day, but what do you wear to the bridal shower, for instance? TZR decided to specifically tackle the latter occasion by investigating the fashion etiquette for the sentimental soirée so you’re not left scrambling when you have one approaching on the docket.
The primary aspect of a bridal shower guest outfit is sticking to the romantic aesthetic, obviously. You’ll want to opt for pieces with a soft, perhaps even coquettish spirit — like a bubblegum pink-hued ruffle gown or a flirty two-piece set done in a floral print. Lia Kes, founder of the eco-conscious and luxury label KES, says the particular materials of your outfit can help with exuding an on-theme vibe, too. Silk, she notes, evokes a connotation of sophistication and romance, making it an ideal fabric to wear to a bridal shower. “The history of silk dates back nearly 6,000 years, worn by a lineage of emperors,” Kes describes. “Silk’s timeless elegance and refined, regal essence are apparent in its luxuriant feel, and the history of the fabric is a testament to the romantic longevity of its exquisite beauty,” she remarks, saying it’s inherently perfect for an occasion as love-centric as a bridal shower.
In terms of certain items or styles that are off-limits, Shopbop’s Fashion Director Caroline Maguire says the style etiquette for a bridal shower mirror that of a wedding. “It’s a day for the bride to shine, so try and stay away from your traditional white, ivory palette,” she explains. “I think a print with a white background is okay, but overall stay clear and opt for something more colorful!”
Ahead, discover a few different bridal shower outfit ideas, with more input from Maguire and Kes and a selection of garments ideal for your next event celebrating love.
We at TZR only include products that have been independently selected by our editors. We may receive a portion of sales if you purchase a product through a link in this article.
A Floral Frock, Of Course
Surprise, surprise — Maguire highlights florals as being an apt choice for a bridal shower. In particular, though, she says a butterfly green color palette is a trending hue for spring 2022’s flower-patterned options. “It’s not a shocking neon or a heavy green that may be too dark for the spring season, but instead the perfect mix of refreshing and eye-catching,” she explains.
A Coquettish Mini Dress
For those not particularly fond of a midi or maxi silhouette, a flirty mini dress might be the style to consider. “We’ve seen so many minis on the market this spring and I am loving how designers are experimenting with high volume sleeves and feminine silhouettes,” explains Maguire. “They’re short and sweet and let your legs shine.”
Consider teaming your thigh-grazing frock with vibrant, strappy heels and a showy handbag in a coordinating color for a playful matchy-matchy moment. Then, for some added pizazz, try a cute heart-shaped ring and statement dangling earrings.
A Statement Jumpsuit
“Try experimenting with different fits and styles,” implores Maguire. “You don’t always have to wear a dress!” This wedding season, forego a free-flowing dress or skirt and consider wearing a playful jumpsuit to a bridal shower, instead. Haitian-inspired Fanm Mon, for one, offers a one-piece number that mimics the effect of a billowing skirt, making it an ideal choice for someone first dabbling with anti-dress formalwear. As for styling the jumpsuit, opt for a heeled sandal in a punchy shade — like Loeffler Randall’s ruby red bow shoes — and a neutral handbag.
Simple & Silky
“Several of our signature garments are ideal for wearing to a bridal shower,” offers KES’ eponymous founder. In particular, she shouts out the brand’s Venus Dress. “You’ll never feel as though you’re underdressed or overdressed with [this garment.] The refined minimalism of the garment offers styling versatility for any season or setting,” describes Kes.
“Depending on the location and the time of year, I would style each with a strappy heel, high boot, or flat sandal,” she explains. “You can pair them with either a fresh, natural makeup look with a slightly undone bun and large hoop earrings or a more flirtatious look with a dash of lipstick.”
High-volume ruffles are another choice detail you’ll want to keep front of mind when hunting for a bridal shower look. The rippled frills allude to an undeniably feminine spirit and if you choose a garment in a romantic color palette — think ruby reds, bright pinks, and dusty purples — the look will be even more on-the-nose.
Since a ruffle dress creates an impactful silhouette, you’ll want to adopt a minimal approach when accessorizing. A strappy kitten heel, simple hoops, a sculptural cuff, and a neutral handbag are all you’ll need.
A Two-Piece Set
Matching sets have a put-together feel while maintaining a cool-girl sense of “Oh, this? I just threw this on.” And they’re ideal for bridal showers, too, because they’re a touch unconventional and perfect for those who identify as sartorially adventurous. “I always find a coordinated set to be a no-brainer [for a bridal shower],” offers Maguire. “With three looks in one outfit, you can mix and match the pieces for various future occasions,” she explains.
And if you choose a co-ord that boasts a fresh floral print, perhaps even a ruffle or two, it makes for a prime bridal shower outfit. Zimmermann’s idyllic matching pleated top and skirt will deliver a luxurious effect with a down-to-earth appeal.
One foolproof approach to event dressing is to consult what’s currently dominating the trend cycle and then choose a piece that hones in on the buzzy detail. In 2022 (and likely many more years to come), cutouts are leading the charge. Consider a cutout dress — like Jonathan Simkhai’s baby blue shirtdress — that pays homage to the skin-revealing trend yet in an undeniably subtle and sophisticated manner.