Best wedding guest dresses 2021

·Shopping writer

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Wedding guest dress-shopping can be tricky to navigate, and we're a little out of practice. 

With COVID restrictions lifting, and the news that bigger wedding ceremonies are back on, many of us will spend the summer debating the benefits of maxi vs midaxi and wrap dress vs tiered skirt. 

Then there's colour - no black (too gloomy), no white or ivory, as that's saved for the bride. Red might stand out too much, sparkle is too Hollywood...and never co-ordinate with the bridal party as you may be mistaken for a bridesmaid. 

Of course, it depends on what part of the wedding you're invited to, and whether you'll be attending the full ceremony, or just the reception, as that can impact on your outfit of choice, too. 

Next on the checklist to consider is the venue. Will the ceremony be held in a church as you may prefer a more modest garment and perhaps consider covering your shoulders, or wearing longer length designs. If it takes place in a quaint barn, or on a beach a lightweight breathable fabric would be preferable. Will there be dancing, or a ceilidh that requires you to be energetic? 

Finally, comfort is key. If you don't feel comfortable or like your best self, you won't enjoy yourself - and that's the most important aspect. 

Luckily, we've found a selection of styles to suit every wedding - whether it's a an elopement followed by a night in the pub, or a 200 person extravaganza at a stately home.

Shop our 12 top wedding guest dress picks

Satin Polka Dot Tie Front Midaxi Dress | £45 from Marks and Spencer

Satin Polka Dot Tie Front Midaxi Dress
Satin Polka Dot Tie Front Midaxi Dress

The M&S Satin Polka Dot Tie Front Midaxi Dress is our favourite buy at the moment, because it's elegant, simplistic, and looks ultra luxe but has an affordable price tag. 

This number is made from viscose fabric, cut to a regular fit for a floaty silhouette. It has a round neck, it's sleeveless, and has a fixed tie-front belt, which is super-flattering, and a delicate polka dot print. 

The dress comes in regular and long lengths, both available in UK dress sizes 6 to 24, and shoppers can't get enough of this design. One says: "I bought this dress to wear to a wedding; beautiful and cool and admired by several people."

Floral V-Neck Midi Tea Dress | £69 from Marks and Spencer

Floral V-Neck Midi Tea Dress
Floral V-Neck Midi Tea Dress

For those looking for a more colourful ensemble to wear to an upcoming wedding, this Ghost number is a bright and very on-trend design. 

It is a regular fit, midi in length, with short puff sleeves, and has a V-plunge neckline, and gathered detail under the bust. The contrast blue and red floral print makes it ideal for summer and spring do's, and at least one shopper agrees.

"Bought this dress for a wedding reception. It fits very well, lovely colours - not too long."

Phase Eight Iona Swirl Print Tiered Midi Dress | £130 from John Lewis & Partners

Phase Eight Iona Swirl Print Tiered Midi Dress
Phase Eight Iona Swirl Print Tiered Midi Dress

The Phase Eight Iona Swirl Print Tiered Midi Dress is a lightweight and stylish dress, perfect for all body types. 

It has on-trend short puff sleeves, a v-plunge neckline, with wrap detail and a tie-waist to flatter the silhouette, while the empire line skirt has tiered detail for an extra feminine touch. There's button fastening, and the blue, black and green swirl print, on a white background, adds that pop of colour. 

Rosaleen Dress | £145 from Ghost

Rosaleen Dress
Rosaleen Dress

The Rosaleen Dress is a sophisticated piece, ideal for any special occasion, especially weddings. 

It is made from flattering satin, with a very on-trend bias cut and elegant long sleeves. 

Ghost has paid extra attention to detail with a deep keyhole opening at the back and covered buttons, all in a timeless rose pink.  

Oapall Oversized Wrap Dress | £225 from Ted Baker

Oapall Oversized Wrap Dress
Oapall Oversized Wrap Dress

For those wanting a stylish but more comfortable number, we recommend the Oapall Oversized Wrap Dress, which can hide a multitude of sins. 

This chic style has a v-plunge neckline, as well as long puff sleeves, it's midi in length, with a drop-tiered hem, and an even more flattering tie buckle waist belt, which enhances your silhouette, without being skintight. 

It's made from polyester with lining, and comes in UK dress sizes 6 to 18. We love the bold blue shade, which is set off against the white print. 

SAIDIE Vanilla Bodycon Bardot Dress | £60 (Was £159) from Ted Baker

SAIDIE Vanilla bodycon bardot dress
SAIDIE Vanilla bodycon bardot dress

For those looking for a more figure-hugging look, Ted Baker has delivered. 

Tailored to flatter the figure, the dress has a Bardot sleeve, and falls between mini and midi length at the knee. It has a zip fastening at the back, and a slight vent so you're not restricted when you walk (or dance). It features a timeless print of elegant pastel florals. 

Paisley Drama Sleeve Belted Kimono Dress | £134.25 (Was £179) from Karen Millen

Paisley Drama Sleeve Belted Kimono Dress
Paisley Drama Sleeve Belted Kimono Dress

For those who want to opt for a bohemian look, Karen Millen's Paisley Drama Sleeve Belted Kimono Dress delivers. 

From the delicate, blush pastel paisley print to the sheer lightweight fabric, with ruffle trims, there's everything to love about this design. It's available in UK dress sizes 6 to 16 but selling out fast - no wonder, as it is currently on sale.

Structured Crepe Forever Pleated Midi Dress | £149.25 (Was £199) from Karen Millen

Structured Crepe Forever Pleated Midi Dress
Structured Crepe Forever Pleated Midi Dress

A structured and versatile design with an elegant hint of 1940s style, the Structured Crepe Forever Pleated Midi Dress is figure-enhancing and very smart. 

This design ticks all the boxes. It's made from crêpe fabric, which provides added stretch for your comfort and has short sleeves, a slight puff shoulder pad, a v-neck cut detail, as well as a pleated skirt, and stylish waist belt to accentuate your figure. It comes in four colours, ranging from UK dress sizes 6 to 16.

Printed Puff Sleeve Maxi Dress | £120 from & Other Stories

Printed Puff Sleeve Maxi Dress
Printed Puff Sleeve Maxi Dress

For those in need of a feminine, summery ensemble, look no further. This & Other Stories design ticks all the boxes. 

This creation has floaty, batwing sleeves and a delicate round neck, as well as tiered detailing down the body of the dress, while the back has a cut out section, and button fastening. It comes in a dainty pink floral print, as well as a deep blue and white version. 

Belted Floral Print Midi Dress | £95 from & Other Stories

Belted Floral Print Midi Dress
Belted Floral Print Midi Dress

For those looking for a floaty, lightweight, design that will keep you cool, but provide enough coverage for a summer wedding, it's right here. 

This cotton design is sleeveless and midi length, and features a flattering V-neck and back cut, as well as a tie waist belt, while the skirt flares out to add a touch of volume to the shape. 

We love the vibrant floral pattern, which is a blend of pale pink, red, coral and maroon. 

Diane Von Furstenberg Verona floral-print satin midi wrap dress | £198 (Was £302) From The Outnet

Diane Von Furstenberg Verona floral-print satin midi wrap dress
Diane Von Furstenberg Verona floral-print satin midi wrap dress

Diane Von Furstenberg's Verona floral-print satin midi wrap dress is giving us Seventies vibes, and we love it. 

The stand-out floral print in bold blue, teal, orange, red and brown is a huge talking point - better still, the dress is currently in the sale. 

This design is super-flattering, and works at events and occasions. It's a wrap dress, with tie detail around the waist, and v neckline, long sleeves and is midi in length, falling just to the knees.  

Belted Smocked Back Midi Dress | £95 from & Other Stories 

Belted Smocked Back Midi Dress
Belted Smocked Back Midi Dress

This & Other Stories number is a sleek, classic, and timeless dress to see you through all occasions, all year long.  

This midi dress has relaxed mid-length sleeves and falls below the knee It features a smocked back, button fastening, and a wide tonal belt around the waist. 

The design is available in three colours, and, in our opinion, is the versatile wardrobe staple to match with anything. 

Watch: How to organise your wardrobe

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