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
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.
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