What to Wear to a Bridal Shower: Navigating Bridal Shower Etiquette

  • Publication date: 01/03/2024
  • Updated: 01/04/2024

Heading to a bridal shower often comes with the excitement of celebration, mixed with the puzzle of choosing the right outfit. This event, marking the joy of an upcoming wedding, naturally leads to the question, "What do you wear to a bridal shower?" Picking the right dress or ensemble is key, as it needs to be in sync with the shower's theme and the overall etiquette of such gatherings.

How to Dress for a Bridal Shower

Photo by @anthropologieweddings

When it comes to dressing for a bridal shower, it's all about blending into the celebratory spirit, while keeping comfort and style in mind. The choice of your outfit will largely depend on the theme and location of the shower, which can vary from a laid-back affair to a more formal event. 

Venue and Theme Considerations

The art of selecting the ideal outfit starts with understanding the bridal shower's venue and theme. If the event is at a chic restaurant, you might lean towards a more formal attire. Conversely, a backyard gathering is the perfect occasion for a sundress or a tasteful combination of a skirt and blouse.

It is critical to take note of any specific themes indicated on the invitation, such as 'garden party' or 'vintage tea party.' These themes can help you narrow down your options to flowery dresses, retro designs, or other theme-appropriate clothing. The idea is to blend in with the setting and theme of the bridal shower.

Seasonal Attire Choices

The season plays a significant role in your clothing selection. Light fabrics such as chiffon or linen, bright colors, and floral patterns are ideal for spring and summer showers, echoing the season's vibrancy. On the other hand, autumn and winter showers might call for darker hues or jewel tones and warmer fabrics like velvet or wool.

Layering is a smart approach for cooler seasons, offering versatility and warmth, especially in locations with a mix of indoor and outdoor settings. Always consider seasonal elements like the need for a coat or an umbrella to stay prepared for any weather.

Comfort and Practicality

While looking stylish is key, comfort is equally important. Select an outfit that fits you well and allows freedom of movement, bearing in mind that bridal showers often involve games, mingling, and perhaps a lot of standing.

Shoe choice is crucial – opt for something you can comfortably wear for a long duration. For outdoor events, think about the terrain: high heels might not be the best for a garden setting, while wedges or flats could be more suitable. Additionally, consider the event's duration and choose clothes that will remain comfortable throughout, avoiding overly tight or elaborate pieces that might lead to discomfort as the day goes on.

Bridal Shower Guest Outfit Ideas for Different Types of Bridal Showers

Photo by @oliviaivey

When it comes to picking outfits for different types of gatherings, the choices can feel overwhelming. We’ve put together some bridal shower dress code ideas that cater to various themes, each with its own unique touch.

Photo by @thehouseontheclouds

Garden Party

Garden party bridal showers are an opportunity to mirror the natural setting in your attire:

  1. For a classic garden aesthetic, pair a floral pattern midi dress with strappy sandals.
  2. Consider wearing a light, pastel-colored skirt with a lace top, and finishing with a sunhat and ballet flats for a touch of elegance.
  3. A breezy sleeveless maxi dress with a striking necklace and wedge shoes may be both comfy and elegant.

These outfit choices are not just in tune with the garden theme but also offer a blend of comfort and style, ideal for an outdoor celebration.

Beachside Celebration

Choose fashionable yet beach-appropriate attire for a wedding shower on the beach:

  1. A flowing maxi dress in a bold print teamed with sandals, is perfect for the beach vibe.
  2. Pair a high-waisted skirt with an off-the-shoulder top, adding a wide-brimmed hat and sunglasses for sun protection and style.
  3. A tropical-patterned, lightweight jumpsuit matched with open-toed flats and simple jewelry captures the essence of a beachside event.

These choices reflect the relaxed, sunny atmosphere of a coastal wedding shower.

Photo by @shylahmay

High-Tea Sophistication

For high-tea bridal showers, elegance is key:

  1. A knee-length A-line dress in a subtle pastel hue, coupled with kitten heels and pearls, exudes classic tea-time elegance.
  2. A well-fitted blouse and pleated midi skirt accessorized with a compact clutch and stud earrings, offer a refined look.
  3. Choose a modest lace dress and match it with a cardigan or shawl and comfortable heels for a touch of charm.

These outfits reflect the classy and charming atmosphere typical of a high-tea celebration.

Bohemian Rhapsody

Showers with a bohemian motif offer for imaginative and comfortable dressing:

  1. A maxi dress featuring ethnic or floral prints, matched with gladiator sandals and layered jewelry, fits the boho style.
  2. An embroidered tunic with leggings or skinny jeans, paired with ankle boots and a fringe bag, offers a relaxed yet stylish look.
  3. A wrap dress in earthy tones, accessorized with a headband and bracelets, embraces the bohemian spirit.

Boho-chic outfits are perfect for a whimsical and laid-back bridal shower.

Urban Rooftop Gathering

For a trendy urban rooftop shower, contemporary fashion is the way to go:

  1. A bold-colored jumpsuit with high heels and eye-catching jewelry makes a modern statement.
  2. A unique cocktail dress complemented by a chic clutch and stiletto pumps suits the urban rooftop scene.
  3. A sophisticated midi skirt and fitted blouse, paired with a leather jacket and boots, can add an edgy twist to your look.

These outfit selections complement a cosmopolitan rooftop environment, providing a blend of elegance and modern flair.

Cozy Home Celebration

At a casual home bridal shower, comfort meets style:

  1. A simple wrap or shirt dress paired with flats or loafers is ideal for a home setting.
  2. A cozy sweater combined with a midi skirt and ankle boots offers a stylish yet relaxed look.
  3. Tailored trousers with a soft blouse, accessorized with understated jewelry and mules, provide both comfort and elegance.

These outfits are perfect for a cozy, intimate bridal shower at home.

Winter Wonderland

Dressing for a bridal shower in colder months calls for warmth and style:

  1. A knit sweater dress with tights and knee-high boots keeps you warm and chic.
  2. A velvet or wool midi dress accessorized with a scarf, gloves, and ankle boots is both stylish and suitable for the cold.
  3. Layering a long-sleeve top under a pinafore dress, coupled with a woolen coat and closed-toe shoes, offers both warmth and fashion.

These outfit choices are ideal for staying warm and stylish during a winter bridal shower.

Bridal Shower Dress Code FAQs

Photo by @parkandfifthco

When figuring out what to wear to a bridal shower, it's common to have a few questions about the dress code. Let's tackle some of these queries to help you dress perfectly for the occasion.

Can you wear white to a bridal shower?

While white is traditionally reserved for the bride, it's generally best to avoid wearing white to a bridal shower. This practice helps the bride stand out and feel unique on her special day. If the bride has planned a white-themed party, then wearing white is appropriate. Otherwise, choosing different colors or prints is a respectful way to keep the bride as the focal point of the celebration.

Is Black Appropriate for a Bridal Shower?

Black is indeed a suitable option for a bridal shower, particularly for events held in the evening or in a formal setting. It's a timeless and sophisticated choice. To keep your look suitable for a joyous event, add a splash of color with vibrant accessories like jewelry or a scarf. But do take a moment to consider the shower's overall tone and theme, as lighter, more festive colors might be preferred.

Photo by @viccyb_

What Should You Avoid Wearing to a Bridal Shower?

When choosing your attire for a bridal shower, steer clear of overly casual items like shorts, tank tops, or flip-flops, unless they align with the event's theme. Similarly, avoid overly revealing or flashy clothing, keeping in mind that bridal showers are often family affairs. Sequined or glittery outfits might be too bold for this occasion. The key is to find a harmonious balance of style, comfort, and suitability.

Are Jeans Acceptable at a Bridal Shower?

Jeans might be appropriate for a very casual bridal shower, especially if it's a relaxed gathering at someone's home. If you decide to wear jeans, choose a pair that's well-fitting and in good condition. Elevate your look by pairing them with a chic blouse or a smart blazer, and add some classy accessories. It's a wise move to check with the host or other guests to confirm the dress code and ensure your outfit matches the event's style.

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Natali Grace Levine Editor-in-Chief

Manages The Wezoree's content strategy
Writes and edits articles for the Inspiration Blog