Photo courtesy Styled by Gray

Winter wedding guest outfit ideas for every dress code

With weddings finally back in full swing, this winter is filled to the brim with nuptial events. But rather than dust off the old gowns and heels in the back of your closet, we think the excitement of these upcoming events warrants a wardrobe refresh.

Thankfully, Grayson Mann of Styled by Gray has us covered—literally! From black tie to more casual dress codes, there’s something for every wedding on your calendar. Keep scrolling for Mann’s tips, tricks and outfit inspiration.

Black Tie

Six words: Long dresses. Long dresses. Long dresses. OK fine, only two words, but we just couldn’t emphasize it enough. Evening gowns and maxi dresses are your best friend when it comes to black-tie attire. Grayson points out that longer dresses tend to be made with thicker fabric, meaning they’re perfect when dealing with the colder months.

For a black tie dress code, Grayson suggests this Norma Kamali gown. As for the accessories, this Olga Berg black clutch and these Elizabeth Cole “Vivica” earrings are both statement-making in their own ways, and great additions any wardrobe. For footwear, Grayson suggests these Stuart Weitzman black heels. Although the shoes are open-toed, the long dress should help keep your toes warm; however, when sitting or dancing, your shoes will peep through and complement your clutch.

Pair with a fur bolero or shrug for warmth and instant glamour!” Grayson adds.

Black Tie Optional

Some guests will opt for the formalwear option whereas others will go the more casual route. To ensure you feel comfortable, a midi dress is the way to go. “This is a wardrobe staple that every woman should own!” says Grayson.

For black tie optional, she recommends this Aidan Mattox gown. While this dress is a forest green, Grayson adds that other colors may work as well. “Black is almost guaranteed to go with everything, but a blush color is a pretty alternative that’s still neutral,” she says.

Since this midi dress is strapless, Grayson recommends a scarf or cashmere wrap for warmth. With that in mind, she suggests this feathered bolero jacket from BCBG.  To finish off the look, she recommends these Stella + Ruby earrings and these Steve Madden heels.


Cocktail attire means short dresses!

This tie-neck Mikado swing dress is ideal for standing out–without taking away from the bride, of course. For a purse, Grayson suggests this Zac Zac Posen “Earthette” bag because, while neutral, its details make it interesting. These Brinker & Eliza Khai earrings and Sam Edelman “Hazel” pumps are staples, with similar items likely already in your wardrobe at home.

Pair with a longer coat that is similar in length to the hem of your dress. This is a chic way to stay warm when entering or leaving the party,” adds Grayson.

Dressy Casual 

This less-common wedding dress code is still a great way to lean into the theme of the wedding or venue, says Grayson. “Think of settings like a ranch, barn or the beach.” Just because you’re casual doesn’t mean you can’t be stylish!

To stay on the safe side, Grayson suggests a dress. However, if it’s a less formal wedding, coordinating separates can work as well. Just like in real estate, with a “dressy casual” dress code, location is everything. 

If the setting is outdoors, be sure to wear appropriate shoes,” explains Grayson. “Block heels and wedges will prevent you from sinking in the grass or ground.”

This  Alice + Olivia dress is a safe choice. Its puffed sleeves help elevate its sweater material. This Mansur Gavriel clutch is also simple yet stylish, and pairs with just about anything. To accessorize, Grayson suggests these neutral-tone Shashi Mode earrings. And for shoes, this fun pair of Loeffler Randall platforms draws on the plaid trend that is taking over this fall.

For more about Styled by Gray, follow Mann on Instagram @styled_by_gray