What to wear to a summer wedding

Reviews

Dressing for a summer wedding is a balancing act between looking smart and keeping cool, though many couples opt for a more relaxed dress code, so their guests are comfortable.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

What should you wear at a summer wedding?

Temperatures are rising, and wedding season is fast approaching, but what should you wear? Working out what to wear to a summer wedding can be challenging because you want to look smart without fainting from heat exhaustion. 

We’d highly recommend finding out the dress code if it isn’t listed in your invitation since summer weddings are often less formal. Even if the dress code is more traditional, choosing materials carefully makes a considerable difference to how hot you’ll feel. 

Follow the dress code

Dress codes for weddings can range from black tie, which equals tuxedos and floor-length evening gowns, to come as you are, meaning guests can show up in their street clothes or whatever they feel comfortable wearing. Summer weddings are much more likely to have semi-formal or casual dress codes. Semi-formal usually means either nice slacks, a jacket or a knee-length dress, with the option to approach colors and styles more playfully.

Casual for a wedding doesn’t mean turning up in your sweats, but rather pants and shirt combo, a sundress and other smart-casual attire. You can be more casual with Hawaiian shirts, flip-flops and sun hats on your list of summer wedding essentials for a beach wedding.

Pay attention to material

When picking your summer wedding clothes, opt for materials that will keep you cool. Natural materials like cotton and linen are more breathable than synthetics and will help you beat the heat. Seersucker is a lightweight cotton fabric that’s an excellent choice for pants and jackets in the summer months. 

Choose appropriate colors

Summer wedding colors are often on the lighter and brighter side. Think off-white pants, pale blue jackets and bold yellow dresses. Of course, it’s still acceptable to wear whatever colors you feel comfortable in, even if that means a darker color palette. Still, you shouldn’t be afraid to veer slightly away from traditional garb, especially if the dress code is casual. 

Dresses for a summer wedding

Adrianna Papell Off-the-Shoulder Chiffon Gown

Adrianna Papell Off-the-Shoulder Chiffon Gown

Summer wedding guest dresses can be bolder and less formal than something you’d choose for spring, fall or winter weddings. This dress has a gorgeous solid print with an off-the-shoulder neckline that will keep you cool.

Sold by Macy’s

Kate Spade New York Gingham One-Shoulder Dress

Kate Spade New York Gingham One-Shoulder Dress

This red and white gingham one-shoulder dress is chic yet relaxed enough for a summer wedding. It’s made from cotton, which is cool and breathable on a hot day.

Sold by Saks Fifth Avenue

Alfani Tank Fit & Flare Midi Dress

Alfani Tank Fit & Flare Midi Dress

An excellent choice for a casual summer wedding, this dress is easy to wear and plain enough that it looks great with almost any accessories of your choosing. It’s available in a range of colors.

Sold by Macy’s

Farm Rio Fresh Lemons Ruffle Midi Dress

Farm Rio Fresh Lemons Ruffle Midi Dress

Thanks to its deliciously summery lemon print, this dress is perfect for summer weddings. You can dress it up or down for semi-formal or casual looks. The strappy design is great in hot weather, while the ruffles make it more special than your average sundress.

Sold by Saks Fifth Avenue

Shirts for a summer wedding

Tasso Elba Long-Sleeve Linen Shirt

Tasso Elba Long-Sleeve Linen Shirt

Cooling linen is the perfect shirt material for a summer wedding. It might not look as crisp and formal as cotton, but it’s great for a relaxed affair.

Sold by Macy’s

Michael Kors Slim Fit Airsoft Performance Stretch Non-Iron Dress Shirt

Michael Kors Slim Fit Airsoft Performance Stretch Non-Iron Dress Shirt

Available in classic white and some summer wedding-appropriate shades, like pale pink and light blue. The non-iron design won’t leave you looking crumpled at the end of the night but is still made predominantly from breathable cotton.

Sold by Macy’s

Men's Van Heusen Air Printed Button-Down Shirt

Men’s Van Heusen Air Printed Button-Down Shirt

Are you going to a super casual beach wedding? Then this printed short sleeve shirt might be the perfect attire. It’s available in a range of prints, including classic Hawaiian and pineapple print.

Sold by Kohl’s

Hartford Sammy Slim-Fit Floral Shirt

Hartford Sammy Slim-Fit Floral Shirt

When dressing for a summer wedding, you can often experiment more with colors and prints, which is why this shirt, with its delicate floral design, is perfect. Wear it with or without a jacket, depending on the dress code.

Sold by Saks Fifth Avenue

Pants for a summer wedding

Bar III Slim-Fit Linen Suit Pants

Bar III Slim-Fit Linen Suit Pants

These linen pants feel cooler than most other pants on a summer’s day. They come in some excellent colors for summer weddings, including pink, tan and pale blue.

Sold by Macy’s

Michael Kors Striped Wide-Leg Pull-On Pants

Michael Kors Striped Wide-Leg Pull-On Pants

The wide silhouette and cropped design make these pants feel cool on a hot day. They’re made from cotton and have thin vertical stripes. You can pair them with a range of tops and accessories to go semi-formal or casual.

Sold by Macy’s

Levi's XX Tapered Chino Pants

Levi’s XX Tapered Chino Pants

Whether you dress them up with a tie and jacket or dress them down with an open-collared shirt or blouse, chinos are an excellent choice for a summer wedding. These come in a range of great colors.

Sold by Amazon and Macy’s

Jackets for a summer wedding

Robert Graham Sail On Sailor Seersucker Jacket

Robert Graham Sail On Sailor Seersucker Jacket

An excellent choice for formal or semi-formal summer weddings, as you can dress it up or down. The seersucker material has a lovely stripe and is cool on a hot day.

Sold by Saks Fifth Avenue

Bar III Slim-Fit Windowpane Plaid Sport Coat

Bar III Slim-Fit Windowpane Plaid Sport Coat

Available in tan or pink with a subtle plain check, this is a playful option for a summer wedding that you can pair with dress pants or more casual pants.

Sold by Macy’s

Weekend Max Mara Pepli Seersucker Jacket

Weekend Max Mara Pepli Seersucker Jacket

This gorgeous light blue seersucker fabric is perfect for a summer wedding. It’s tailored beautifully for an effortlessly smart look.

Sold by Saks Fifth Avenue

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Lauren Corona writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.

Latest News

More News