What to Wear to a Semi-Formal Wedding, According to Fashion Stylists

The dress code de-coded.

Semi-formal wedding attire includes tea length dresses

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Aside from absolutely, under no circumstances, never, ever, ever wearing white, the rules of what to wear as a wedding guest can be tricky. That trickiness is multiplied when a seemingly nebulous dress code like semi-formal or cocktail attire comes into play. Thankfully, the question, "what is semi-formal wedding attire?" has very chic answers that are likely already sitting in your wardrobe.

According to fashion stylist and Pretty Connected founder Lara Eurdolian King (who recently had a semi-formal wedding of her own, complete with seven outfit changes), the sky is the limit when it comes to putting together a semi-formal wedding 'fit. "A 'semi-formal' outfit takes some of the pressure off," she says. "Semi-formal wedding attire could be designer (or not), vintage, and have lux fabrics and details, but often is more casual and playful, featuring lighter fabrics, and in a mix of hemlines."

What does that mean exactly? Steer clear of anything that might double as a beach cover-up or that you'd toss in the wash on a regular cycle, along with jeans and yoga pants. In other words, semi-formal can be comfortable, but it should also be elevated. According to Eurdolian King, you can wear "anything from a long slip dress to an over-the-knee situation, two-piece or even pants." For further demystification, check out these semi-formal wedding attire outfit ideas for seasonal nuptial inspiration.

A Statement Jumpsuit

semi-formal wedding attire includes statement jumpsuits

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Wondering where to wear the killer jumpsuit that's been languishing in the back of your closet? The answer is definitely a wedding that calls for semi-formal wedding attire. The few exceptions to this styling option would be if the jumpsuit is particularly revealing (in which case save it for a night out on the town), pale enough to read as white in certain lighting or photographs, or if it features lots of denim.

Shop Similar: Retrofête Graciane Wide Leg Jumpsuit, $595

Look For Luxe Details

semi-formal wedding attire includes dresses made from luxe fabrics like velvet.

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A semi-formal wedding outfit doesn't have to be overly complicated or uncomfortable, but it should be elegant. Eurdolian King recommends picking pieces that are fun to wear while still containing luxurious details. Think rich fabrics, bold prints, and visually exciting design elements. Velvet, pleating, and tasteful lace are all good options.

Shop Similar: Jenny Yoo Issa Velvet Dress, $295

A Flirty, Romantic Dress

Semi-formal wedding attire includes fun, flirty dresses

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Have a dress that's too much for brunch but too casual for a black-tie event? The light, playful details on a romantic dress, like ribbons and ruffles, make it the perfect option for a semi-formal wedding.

Shop Similar: Reformation Shayla Dress, $348

Opt for Sharp Suiting

semi-formal wedding attire includes well-tailored suits

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Suits are totally fair game for a semi-formal wedding, but be sure that the tailoring is top-notch. Semi-formal is light on the formal but does call for immaculate vibes. If you skip an ensemble starring a dress or skirt, you'll want it to fit like a glove so as not to read too casual.

Shop Similar: Frederick Anderson The Garden Party Tiger-Jacquard Jacket, $1,875

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