27 Long-Sleeve Wedding Guest Dresses to Look Chic While Warding Off the Chill
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You’ve RSVP-ed to the invite and got your date lined up, but wondering what to wear to a fall or winter wedding? No worries, there’s a long-sleeve wedding guest dress that’ll be as fun as any strappy summer look, but suitably covered up for the season. Especially appropriate for evening weddings, most long-sleeve wedding guest dresses skew toward the more formal, but even the most basic black look can be jazzed up with colorful accessories and dare we say it, a feathered evening bag. Here’s our 27 picks for the dresses that will get you noticed as a guest of stye and distinction.
How to Choose a Long-Sleeve Wedding Guest Dress
Does the invitation call for formal attire? Or does it stipulate casual outfits are preferred? Are you looking for a dress that’s a bit dressy, but not so bare that you’ll be shivering through a wintertime weddings? There are all kinds of considerations when you’re dressing for someone’s big day, but first and foremost is to be comfortable in the dress. This means you need to adhere to the dress code, or if you’re stumped as to what “creative formal” or “festive” or any of the other more opaque new wedding dress code directives mean, look for clues. Is there a theme, a la the Bridgerton wedding trend? What about “elevated cowboy,” which only sounds like a sex position btw. If so, create your whole look or add an accessory that speaks to that theme—the happy couple will be elated at your thoughtfulness. And think of where the venue is being held—if it’s a destination wedding on a tropical beach, you’ll want something flowing and cool, while nuptials at a church in a snowy clime will call for a slinky sweater knit. And whatever you do, don’t leave your wedding guest footwear choice until the last minute, since a gorgeous metallic or kitten heel will really make you feel like dancing. Which is the whole point of showing up, correct? Start shopping your perfect long-sleeve wedding dress now.
Best Long-Sleeve Wedding Guest Dresses At A Glance
According to Ohio-based Engaged With Nora owner and creative director Nora Culley, “black is always formal and black is always appropriate," she says. "I have some couples who are requesting that all of their guests wear black to their wedding." This finely knit rayon-nylon sweater dress has blouson sleeves and a textured bodice, making it as versatile as it is iconic. A change of shoes and lipstick, and this can be a daytime work look as easily as a wedding guest dress. The crewneck is the perfect backdrop to overlay with a statement necklace, and the maxi length gives you a satisfying swish when you walk.
The 42.5-inch length of this dress classes up what’s basically a clingy sequin sheath—for a bit of the sassy showgirl in you. The jewel neck keeps you tastefully covered up, and the mostly nylon, with a bit of spandex fabric is lightweight as well as stretchy. Because something tells us that any lady that’s wearing this is the same lady who knows her way around a dance floor.
Unlike many heavy and hot velvet dresses, this maxi’s polyester fabric keeps it lightweight, but still luxe looking. This gown stays put thanks to the illusion panel on the bodice, so that V-neck front-and-back doesn’t risk sliding off your shoulders.
Modal-spandex fabric and a pull-on design is both flattering and incredibly easy to wear. And in a bright aqua blue rib knit, you’re doubly sure to get noticed.
All polyester lining and outer make this dress, available in seven jewel tones, drape beautifully without wrinkling. The plunging V-neck at front is elegant and a touch sexy, while the backless tie design is distinctive.
It’s a toss-up, which you’ll enjoy more: The admiring looks you’ll get when you roll up in this long dress made of pure silk charmeuse, or the soothing feel of it stroking your body while you drift off during those long, long wedding toasts. Bonus: The covered-up top is bra-friendly and the long puff sleeves feel as comfy as your favorite robe.
Made in India, this 100 percent viscose dress is wholly covered in hand-stitched rows of sequins. There’s a big velvet sash to set off your legs and long blouson sleeves that keep you covered. Best of all, this dress comes in 23 colors, so you can get exactly the right shade (or stripes) to flatter you most.
Embroidered polka dots and a bold crochet lace trim in the center of the bodice and along the hem jazz up this chiffon mini dress. And the A-line skirt is long enough to do a twirl on the dance floor, but short enough to show off your legs.
The high neck and ruffles at the sleeves of this Edwardian style cotton dress make it look fancy; in basic black, it’s ultra-flattering.
Stretch blue velvet hugs your curves and the keyhole cutout adds an extra bit of va-va-voom in this perky little number. The skirt lands at mid-thigh, and there’s a back zipper to guarantee fit. (And it’s lined, for a smooth fit in case you want to skip the shapewear.)
Combining the sweetness of a dusty wallpaper print with the contemporary edge of a dress that’s got a cut-out torso, top and bottom connected only by an O-ring, this dress has everything. Including a durable hand-washable polyester fabrication that makes this a great destination wedding dress.
Shimmering and slinky, this polyester dress’s midsection ruching is figure-flattering, and the neckline is distinctive enough to go without statement jewelry: A metal bar holds the V-neckline at the perfect not-too-revealing angle.
A hot pink mini dress. Made of micro-sequins. With ostrich feather cuffs and hem. If there’s a more sensational way to liven up the bridal guest party, we can’t think of it.
Best Tailored Dress
This dress is dignified and stylish, what with its blazer-inspired top half that’s punctuated with a waistline belt. And the stretch-polyester skirt has a fishtail hem, which elevates the look from corporate to festive.
This 100 percent silk dress is like a study in subtly sexy engineering. The sweetheart neckline, wrap skirt design and mid-calf length are all going to look and feel great, and the mid-torso shirring in back keeps the dress reliably hugging your curves as you make your way down the bridal receiving line.
Satin-style polyester cut on the bias manages to make wearers look like a Golden Era Hollywood screen star, despite being so covered-up: There are long sleeves, a crew neck and a hemline that falls to the ankles. (We like that the tiny bit of stretch in the fabric guarantees this dress will flatter your curves.)
In a nod to 1940s styling, this V-neck dress has shoulder pads that create a strong silhouette (and your waist appears that much more nipped-in). Gentle gathers and a front slit make this a dress you’ll be comfortable in, as well as striking.
The subtly puffed sleeves and back tie of this viscose dress—along with the brown French provincial print—lend a Laura Ingalls Wilder vibe to this long dress. (Well, if Laura Ingalls Wilder looked really elegant.)
This slice of orangsicle is going to make you look really cool. Not only is it made in a distinctively bright figure-hugging knit fabric, but the back has a giant circle cutout that’s going to make you look as interesting leaving a room as when you’re entering it.
The big square shoulders on this satiny slit polyester gown are lined, so you know it’s totally supportive. And the big bow on the side is super-sexy.
Best Sheer Dress
This dress is our vote to wear to the nuptials of the one that got away—it’s sassy and lacy, yet you have plausible deniability of knowing how sexy this is, since there’s a nylon lined bodysuit. We love that there’s a snap gusset (so going to the ladies’ room is not an hour-long affair). And there’s a crystal-embellished buckle on the optional velvet belt.
The polyester charmeuse has a touch of stretch, and the jacquard pattern lends a regal air to this cocktail dress. And the cutout at the bodice that laces up the front and ties around the neck, halter-style? It’s contemporary and fresh-looking.
In a 13-shade rainbow of options, this floor-length polyester dress turns a pregnant woman into a fertility goddess. The long sleeves have cuffs (so much nicer than mere elastic) and the whole affair is double-lined so there’s no unintentional undergarment peeking.
Pair this baby with some tights and boots, plus a cowboy hat, and you’re ready for any two-stepping that ranch wedding might throw at you. The small floral print looks like the throwback cotton fabric settlers made their dresses from, except here it’s in colorfast polyester that you can just throw in the wash without ironing.
The poly-spandex material of this dress has a vivid floral print splashed all over a floor-length faux wrap style that has an elastic waist. The split front opens nicely with each step, or to billow nicely in an onshore breeze.
This chiffon dress has a keyhole neckline and flare hem, along with the no-wrinkle capability of all polyester (30 percent of the poly in the fabric is recycled, btw). We love this for weddings of professional colleagues, since it’s modest yet evokes French girl chic.