If your itinerary of weddings to attend shows no sign of slowing down this summer, you might feel like you’re going through wedding guest looks faster than swimsuits. With every occasion a direct reflection of the couple and their tastes, no two affairs — or dress codes — are the same. But while venues may range from an indoor ballroom to a beach wedding within a single month, and clothing suggestions from black-tie to tropical cocktail to match, there’s no need to shop for a new look every time an invitation lands in the mail. Instead, invest in a few good dresses that you can see staying in your closet for a while, and give them a second (and 10th and 20th) life by rotating the accessories.
To answer the question “can I wear the same dress to different weddings,” I styled three popular wedding guest looks — a bodycon dress from eco-conscious brand Mara Hoffman, a silk-and-lace slip gown from Australian label Sir (which is also a bridesmaid favorite!), and a floral high-low dress from Hill House Home (the brand’s beloved Nap Dress would also work here) — for casual and formal scenarios. Ahead, how to wear the same dress for every occasion.
Mara Hoffman Sloan Dress: Casual Wedding Look
For a beach wedding, play up the fun factor of the Mara Hoffman bodycon popcorn midi by adding thematically appropriate accessories. Think: a raffia bag and platform flip-flops, both from the Mango x Simon Miller collaboration, maritime-inspired jewelry, and summertime extras like printed bandanas, anklets, and sunnies.
Mara Hoffman Sloan Dress: Formal Wedding Look
To elevate the look for a more formal affair, keep the dress the sole color focal point and round out with solid-colored pieces. To keep the all-black accessories from looking boring, I went for ones with interesting details, like a tuxedo-style blazer with silky lapels (see top photo), a handbag with crystal fringe, and heeled sandals featuring a taxi-shaped heel.
Sir Aries Gown: Casual Wedding Look
To tone down a silk dress like Sir’s popular Aries gown for, say, a barn wedding, enlist casual-leaning accessories like a straw hat, flat sandals, and sunglasses. Rather than reaching for a clutch, opt for a more laidback style like a shoulder or bucket bag. I lined mine with a scarf to both match my hat and be used in case of a night chill.
Sir Aries Gown: Formal Wedding Look
Metallic accessories instantly glam up a look. In this case, I opted for on-trend silver metallics in the form of crystal sandals and clutch, though gold or bronze would complement the brown hue of the dress just as well. For extra wow factor, opt for a pair of dramatic opera gloves.
Hill House Home Matilda Dress: Casual Wedding Look
Embrace the sweetness of a floral dress for an outdoor wedding venue and double down with unabashedly feminine accessories like the trendy ballet flat, a cutesy bag, and pastel-hued sunnies. While the exact colorway of my Hill House Home dress is currently sold out, the other two botanical-inspired prints would work just as well.
Hill House Home Matilda Dress: Formal Wedding Look
To dress up a floral look, opt for luxe materials like satin and jewel tones in the form of stilettos and a clutch. To finish the look, take a cue from Bridgerton fashion and accessorize with ribbon bows, a silky shawl, and, should the weather allow, sheer gloves. Added bonus: This dress can be worn sleeveless, which creates plenty of room to add pearl jewelry.
At Refinery29, we’re here to help you navigate this overwhelming world of stuff. All of our market picks are independently selected and curated by us. All product details reflect the price and availability at the time of publication. If you buy or click on something we link to on our site, we may earn a commission.
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?