15 best places to buy wedding guest dresses
Earn some serious style points in these swoon-worthy selections
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Shopping for wedding guest dresses can be tricky. Apart from a nudge in the right direction—casual, formal, or black-tie—guests are pretty much on their own. With thousands of dresses floating around the Internet, it's difficult to know what to wear to the big celebration.
With that in mind, we've rounded up 15 of the best places to shop, whether you’re looking for straight or plus sizes, casual or black-tie options. Here's where to buy guest dresses for spring, summer, fall, and winter weddings.
Our favorites: Dress the Population Catalina Fit & Flare Cocktail Dress—$110
Return/Exchange Policy: Accepted on a case-by-case basis
Whether you’re looking for short, midi, or maxi dresses, Nordstrom is a great place to look. You can sort through styles by occasion—casual, cocktail, or formal—and narrow it down by style, size, and color. Oh, and because Nordstrom sells a lot more than just dresses, you can find matching shoes and accessories there, too.
Best of all, if the dresses you order just don’t work out, Nordstrom has one of the best return policies. The retailer will take just about everything back—and that’s coming from a former employee.
Lulus makes finding the ideal dress for a wedding a breeze. Within its wedding guest shop, you'll find silhouettes broken down by category. You’ll find little black dresses, midi dresses, maxi dresses, long sleeve wedding guest dresses, off-the-shoulder dresses, and sleeveless dresses.
Not sure which you want? Instead of sorting by category, you can narrow down your search by size, color, neckline, sleeve length, dress length, and/or price.
If you’re in the market for plus-size wedding guest dresses, Eloquii is a great store to peruse. The fan-favorite store offers a variety of casual and party dresses, all in an inclusive range of plus sizes. And, if you think you might be more comfortable in a cocktail-ready jumpsuit, you can snag one of those, too.
4. Rent the Runway
Our favorites: LoveShackFancy Bexlie Halter Gown — starting at $93 and Fuzzi Tulle One-Shoulder Gown— starting at $93
Sizes: regular and extended
Return policy: On a case-by-case basis
Want an extravagant wedding guest dress without breaking the bank? Turn to Rent the Runway. The fully rentable service allows you to rent top designer dresses at a fraction of the cost. Simply type in your zip code, size, and anticipated dates of your rental (and return), and you're good to go. Chose between four to eight-day services, and consider this our little secret.
Anthropologie is all about artistic staples with a bohemian air. The brand does wedding guest dresses so well that its selection often sells out. That said, they make it easy to sort through the hundreds of dresses available. You can filter by size, color, sleeve length, dress length, price, brand, neckline, and occasion. If you have something specific in mind, you’ll be able to quickly decide if Anthropologie has what you’re looking for.
Our favorites: StyleWord Women's Off Shoulder Elegant Maxi Long Dress—$25 and Ever-Pretty Women's Off The Shoulder Ruffle Party Dress—$50
Prices: 👗 - 👗👗👗
Return/Exchange Policy: Accepted on a store-by-store basis
Amazon might be best known for its lightning-fast grocery, home goods, and tech deliveries. But it also has an impressive selection of wedding guest dresses. It's a particularly great retailer if you’re hoping to spend a little less on your party dress for the wedding season.
Most notably, you won’t have to wonder whether the lower price means sacrificing quality. Amazon is filled with reviews featuring in-depth accounts of how they work for real-life shoppers. While other retailers also have rating systems, few compare to the detail and massive quantity of reviews on Amazon.
At Macy's, you can filter between formal, cocktail, casual, work, and going out dresses. You can filter the thousands of dresses by size, dress length, sleeve length, brand, color, and price preferences. Or, to make it even easier on yourself, you can jump straight to their wedding guest category of over 800 dresses.
Our favorites: Halston Clara Jersey Cascade Dress—$595
Return/Exchange Policy: 30 days
BHLDN—Anthropologie's wedding arm—is a wonderful place to look for more formal wedding guest dress options. It's technically a bridal retailer, so many of the silhouettes most appropriate for wedding guests are bridesmaid dresses. That said, the dresses are modern, stylish, and comfortable as can be. They’re versatile options for guests and the wedding party alike.
In addition to offering straight sizes, Dillard's offers plus-size wedding guest dresses, as well as petite and maternity options. You can sort through them by one of the many categories, including cocktail, maxi, formal, and gown options. Like Nordstrom, because Dillard’s sells more than just clothing, you’re likely to find the accessories you’ll need, too.
10. Lilly Pulitzer
If you’re going to a beach wedding or a more casual affair, Lilly Pulitzer is a good place to look for dresses. In addition to its signature colorful prints, Lilly also offers an array of solid colors in silhouettes ranging from mini to maxi.
If you don’t want to sift through its entire offering, you can filter by shift, A-line, fit-and-flare, fitted, straight, swing, maxi, and set styles. The brand also carries shoes and accessories so you can do all your shopping in one place.
Our favorites: ASOS Design Cami Maxi Slip Dress in High Shine Satin—$73 and ASOS Design Pleated Cami Midi Dress—$48
Prices: 👗 - 👗👗👗
Return/Exchange Policy: 28 days
Headed to a cocktail-themed wedding? You can likely pick up a suitable wedding guest dress from ASOS. You can sort selections for style, sleeve length, dress type, and neckline. You can also filter out which dresses are responsibly made, which is certainly applaudable.
While the retailer has a wide variety of different dresses, the vast majority are best for cocktail and semi-formal occasions. On the bright side, that means you can find a dress you'll be able to wear again.
12. David’s Bridal
Our favorites: High-Neck Glitter A-Line Gown with Keyholes—$130 and Off-The-Shoulder Crepe Sweetheart Jumpsuit—$120
Return/Exchange Policy: 7 days for returns; 60 days for exchanges
Shopping for a semi-formal, formal, or black-tie wedding? David’s Bridal has hundreds of dresses to choose from, no matter the dress code. While they do have designated wedding guest dresses, you can also check out the bridesmaids’ dresses, as well. Plenty of the silhouettes can easily work for a guest.
One of the best parts about David’s Bridal is that in addition to the typical categories, you can sort dresses by fabric. So, if you’re uncomfortable in polyester, you can filter it out. Genius, don’t you think?
13. Free People
Our favorites: Santa Maria Maxi Dress—$128 and Deep Sea Maxi Dress—$118
Return/Exchange Policy: 30 days for a full refund; anytime thereafter will be met with a merchandise card
Another great place to shop for casual and beach weddings is Free People. While it has tons of different everyday dresses to choose from, your best bet is to focus primarily on their party category.
The dresses are casual yet elevated, making them the most worthy of a wedding. Keep in mind that Free People's styles are so trendy and well-liked that they often sell out. It’s best to shop ahead if you’re shopping here.
Hoping to look as stylish as possible at the wedding? Revolve should be on your radar. The retailer is home to dozens and dozens of high-end brands just waiting to help you make your appearance.
It has a wide variety of casual, cocktail, and semi-formal dresses that you can choose from. And, to make it as easy as possible, it has a designated category specifically for special events like, you know, a wedding.
15. Farm Rio
Farm Rio is the place to go if you believe the more color, the better. Farm Rio’s sustainable silhouettes are great for beach wedding guest dresses, or other more casual wedding situations. You can choose between mini, midi, and maxi styles, as well as flowy or more form-fitting silhouettes. If you don’t end up liking what you order, no worries—returns and refunds at the retailer are a cinch.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.