Great Britain

Wedding guest outfit guide: What to wear now receptions are back on

While initially reception parties were set to go ahead from 1 August, in a government briefing on 31 July, these plans were postponed until at least 15 August.

While this date was given as the best case scenario, the government has now confirmed that from this Saturday, receptions in the form of a sit-down meal for up to 30 guests will be permitted.

In Wales, wedding ceremonies have been allowed since 3 August, and receptions will need to be outdoors. This means you may find yourself scrambling for ideas on what to wear, especially after months of lockdown.

Finding the appropriate outfit for a wedding can be a real dilemma, as some ceremonies require rather formal attire, while others are more casual.

But, on the whole, dress codes feel rather passé. A hat seems outdated, and we have no shame in re-wearing the same outfit time and time again.

The only real rulez to abide by is that you should opt for something that is fun, versatile, and flattering – an outfit that will make you not only look good, but most importantly feel good.

Invest in hardworking, timeless pieces that you can dress up to go to a church ceremony, or down for a picnic in the park – that way you will keep the cost per wear low. Plus, it's more sustainable.

As for this season's trends, tailoring was big during the spring/summer catwalks – thanks to Victoria Beckham’s relaxed oversized fits, and Rejina Pyo’s seasonless short suits that were preppy, yet chic.

Cut out designs also shone, with Balmain, Emporio Armani and Christopher Kane leading the trend.

And there was of course the puffed sleeves at Cecilie Bahnsen's show, which is a statement sartorial look we can get on board with.

To help you on your quest to be the best dressed guest, here are the only outfits you need – from trend-led short suits to classic midi dresses and jumpsuits, all of which will see you through year on year.

You can trust our independent round-ups. We may earn commission from some of the retailers, but we never allow this to influence selections. This revenue helps us to fund journalism across The Independent.

Daily Sleeper Atlanta linen dress in azure blue: £257, Sleeper

While this is one of the most expensive items on our list, as it's made from 100 per cent linen, it is well worth the investment. For a laid-back wedding on a hot summer's day, you can't go wrong with this midi dress. Wear with a pair of delicate pearl earrings (Etsy, £9.95) and a cream wedge heeled espadrille (Asos, £25).

& Other Stories linen-blend blazer and shorts: £150, & Other Stories

You'll see plenty of linen in our round-up, as it's a real summer go-to thanks to its cooling qualities and its ability to wick away sweat, making it an ideal material for outdoor weddings in the heat. Made from a linen and cotton blend, this is the perfect suit for the warmer climes at an affordable price point. It will also see you through way beyond wedding season – pair the blazer with jeans and a white T-shirt for off-duty styling. Plus, pistachio is the colour to be wearing right now. For a summer wedding appropriate look, wear this suit with a silk white shirt loosely tucked in; this one from Mango is an absolute steal at £39.99.

Whistles micro spot button dress: £79, Whistles

Whistles is home to some of the best dresses on the high street, and this micro polka dot number is no exception. We love the bold green colour and delicate V-neck cut, while the micro polkas tap into the dotty trend nicely and are perfectly understated. A great all-rounder.

Rixo Steph psychedelic tulip white pink: £285, Rixo

Known for its boho chic designs, Rixo dresses are well worth the splurge – wear to a wedding this summer, to the beach, and for a picnic in the park. We love this bold printed number from the brand's latest resort collection. The silhouette is flattering, yet understated, and the cut out detailing on the back adds something a little special, and is bang on trend. It also comes in a bold floral print and blue and grey checks, which are equally as fun.

Topshop idol mixed print midi dress: £39, Topshop

Multi-coloured print dresses have been around for a while, thanks to Rixo's coveted collection from last year. If you're looking for a more affordable way to rock the trend, look to Topshop's offering. Team with a pair of heeled sandals for a wedding appropriate look, or this would work just as well with your favourite pair of trainers and a denim jacket for the rest of the summer – cost per wear will be low. Keep accessories to a minimum and let this dress do the talking when the nuptial bells are ringing.

Miss Selfridge midi smock dress with tiered hem in pink: £45, Asos

Nothing screams summer dressing like a tiered, puffed-sleeve dress. Miss Selfridge has clearly taken inspiration from Cecilie Bahnsen's spring/summer styles, and it has worked. While a real seasonal staple, the simple cut and pretty pale pink shade won't take anyone's eyes off the bride. Wear with a pair of tan ballet heeled pumps (Everlane, £123) in the daytime, and pop on your trainers when the dancing commences.

Ghost Lucinda dress: £169, Ghost

Daisy print and statement puff sleeves are bang on trend, making this dress a firm favourite. The wrap around belt will add flattering definition to your waistline, and the 97 per cent cotton fabric will cause no irritation. Add your favourite pair of sandals, either flats or high heels, and throw on a light beige blazer (Weekday, £55) over the top, and you’re good to go. While some might be wary of wearing white to a wedding, we think the print makes it totally acceptable.

& Other Stories fitted puff sleeve mini dress: £55, & Other Stories

The puffed sleeves and bright pink colour of this mini dress makes it a stand-out piece suitable for any summer wedding. The wrap style is flattering, and the linen blend fabric means it'll absorb any perspiration. When wearing to a ceremony, style it down with a nude pair of strappy sandals – like the St Agni olive sandal (St Agni, £160) – a gold chain necklace (Astrid & Miyu, £75), and a structured blazer for warmth.

Mango frilled long jumpsuit: £59.99, Mango

If dresses aren’t your forte, this jumpsuit is the perfect option. The subtle V-neck and frilled detailing add a feminine touch to the statement summer yellow, and the silhouette is flattering. Let the jumpsuit do the talking and wear with a pair of barely there leather strap sandals (Mango, £49.99).

Self Portrait corded lace-trimmed plissé-chiffon midi dress: £170, Net-A-Porter

For a more formal wedding, make a beeline for Self Portrait, a brand known for its designer occasion wear. This lace trimmed midi dress taps into the romanticism trend a treat. The sky-blue colour is elegant, while understated, and the plisséd bodice and underwired cup will provide just the right amount of support. Wear with gold hoop earrings (Asos, £7) and contrast the blue with a pair of purple leather sandals (& Other Stories, £85). We guarantee you’ll be the best dressed guest.

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