It’s wedding season! You’ve probably got at least a couple of wedding related events on your calendar at this point. Bridal showers are one of the first events to kick of a couple’s flow of wedding events. Regardless, I know that attending a bridal shower is another special occasion with a whole other set of style rules. Cue the overwhelm. Before you get too worried about what you’re going to wear, keep reading because I’m dishing on a few of my must know tips on knowing what to wear to a bridal shower. You know I wouldn’t leave you hanging so let’s get into the details!
Start with the Dress Code of the Bridal Shower
While most bridal showers are fairly informal, the first step to help you with what you should wear as a guest to a bridal shower has to be understanding the expected dress code. More than likely the bridal shower invitation will state the dress code, or at least the location/theme of the occasion. Once you know the dress code you can move on to deciding the best attire to a bridal shower from there.
Here’s my hot tip on the dress code front: even if it’s a casual dress code, don’t go too casual! It’s a special occasion, So, you should dress up a bit for the bride to honor her first pre-wedding event. Skip your everyday clothes and step it up a notch for the bride-to-be.
Choose Something Feminine
Bridal showers are all about the bride and the women in her life. It’s the perfect opportunity to tap into your ultra feminine style side. Most of the time you’re going to be surrounded by women at the bridal shower and enjoying a lot of woman focused games and activities so dress to the theme! Think soft colors, fabrics and silhouettes to really get into the bridal shower aesthetic for your outfit. Light and bright colors are amazing choices for a bridal shower.
Skip Black and White
While we’re on the topic of dressing to embrace the feminine nature of the bridal shower let’s talk about color a little more. I know that black and white are easy go-to colors to wear. They’re classics but when it comes to what to wear to a bridal shower I suggest opting out of these two colors. Let me elaborate a bit.
White is the brides color. I know it’s not the official wedding but the bride MAY want to wear white to her bridal shower and that color should be reserved for her on her day. Now you may be wondering what exactly is wrong with black. Well, bridal showers are happy occasions and traditionally black is a color of mourning…sadness. Feelings that you don’t want to bring into the bridal shower. So for that reason I suggest finding another color you feel good wear – sorry ladies who live in black!
Pro tip: wear the colors of the season! Here is why. It’s very likely the theme of the shower is designed with the seasonal hues in mind. If the bridal shower is in the spring or summer, you can’t go wrong with pastel or floral prints. If it is in the fall or winter, then metallic or jewel tone are hot hues of the season.
Make Sure You Don’t Show Too Much
Bridal showers are where family members gather for the bride and her day. That being said, air on the side of caution when it comes to showing skin to the bridal shower. In general, I say stick to something more modest. Even if you’re not a particularly modest woman, let the bride have her moment at her bridal shower and stay covered. This isn’t to say you have to be in a sheet. In essence skip any dress or skirt that’s VERY short, any tops or dresses that are too low cut…you get the point.
Dresses Are Your Friend
Ok, I’m just going to say it. Whether you like it or not dresses are one of the best things to wear to a bridal shower. They’re one of the easiest style staples to go to when you need something that’s feminine, flattering and in a silhouette that isn’t too revealing. Of course not all dresses are created equally but chances are you’re going to have a much easier time finding a dress that works for the bridal shower you’re attending than trying to find separates that work. Do yourself a favor, avoid the hassle and get yourself a dress to wear to the bridal shower.
In fact, for petite women, dresses should be your go-to for any social event. The reason is the continuous pattern or color of dresses forms an unbroken line, which elongates your short body frame. Read more in our post on “Best Dresses for Short Girls“. This is especially true with maxi dresses for short women. Even though maxis may sound overwhelming to petites at first thought, they can actually be very flattering! If you wear it the right way, they can totally make you look taller and not shorter.
PRO TIP: I know that buying a dress just for a bridal shower may seem silly, only wearing something once and all. This is why if you are going to buy something new to wear to a bridal shower you should choose an option that can be worn to multiple occasions. Versatility is key! Look at the dress outside of the bridal shower lenses…Can you wear it casually with different shoes? How about dressed up for another event? This will help ensure that you’re getting your money’s worth out of whatever you purchase for the bridal shower.
Style a Dainty Shoe
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The shoes can make or break your entire outfit. Make sure you aren’t ruining your bridal shower outfit with your shoes. Since you’re going to be choosing a pretty, feminine dress that’s bridal shower ready carry that theme into the shoes that you wear. Now it will depending on when and where the bridal shower is taking place, but more often than not you should stick with a light (or bright) color shoe.
Yep, leave the black shoes for another time just like the dress you wear. Black shoes tend to feel really heavy when paired with a light/bright color dress – especially when you are a petite woman. Think colors like beige, nude, pale pink, pastels….I could go on and on but you get the point. To learn more about how to pick your shoes, read our post on “The Best and Worst Shoes for Petite Women“.
Add Fuss-Free Accessories
Similar to the shoes you should keep the delicate, feminine vibe going with the accessories you wear with your bridal shower outfit. The thing I suggest keeping is mind is that you avoid any accessories that feel fussy. You’re going to be socializing and enjoying the bridal shower, you’re not going to want to feel like you’re constantly dealing with the accessories you’re wearing.
If you’re wearing a dress (well…you will be) to the bridal shower, a cute pair of gold hoops or delicately layered gold necklaces are great compliments to the dress. You should still use accessories to complete your outfit, just avoid anything that’s too overpowering.
The important thing for petite women is that you need to keep all your accessories in scale to your size. What that means is avoid chunky or bulky statement pieces that will overwhelm your small frame. Does that mean smaller is always better? Well, it all depends. If you happen to be a plus size petite girl, then wearing tiny earrings and skinny necklaces may be the opposite of flattering. Read our post on “Best Accessories for Petite Women”
Don’t Forget Your Handbag
This is an area a lot of women tend to forget about or just use their everyday bag. When you’re going to a bridal shower you want to create a complete, cohesive outfit. This includes your handbag! I suggest swapping your everyday, bulky handbag for a cute clutch or crossbody handbag. Either of these options will feel much more appropriate for the bridal shower setting and they will go with your outfit in a much more systematic manner. Play into that light + bright color theme with your handbag!
Those are the key do’s and don’t s to keep in mind as you figure out what to wear to a bridal shower. Now all that’s left to do is apply them the next time you get an invitation to a bridal shower. You will be a pro and knowing exactly what to wear to a bridal shower from now on.
Chi is 5’2″ founder of Petite Dressing, an online petite clothing store dedicated to women under 5’4″. Petite Dressing blog is here to help you understand yourself, such as your petite body type, and look your best ever. If you are new, start here. Comment below and share your thoughts about this post!