The 19 Best Black-Tie Wedding Guest Dresses of 2024

Attending a black-tie wedding is perfect for breaking out your glitz and glam. After all, a black-tie wedding is one of the fanciest occasions a couple can have, which begs the question, “What am I going to wear?” A black-tie dress code calls for swanky attire, from tuxedos to red carpet-worthy gowns. When browsing options, you’ll want to consider the season and wedding venue. Then, look for fancier materials like silk, satin, velvet, chiffon, or organza. “Satin and silk are great for both winter and summer black-tie events. Jersey, velvet, and taffeta can all be great options and can read very luxe and expensive in a gown that doesn’t have to cost thousands,” says Ashlyn Greer, a professional stylist and the co-founder and CEO of Fashivly.

Pay attention to the silhouette and other details, such as the neckline and bodice. “If you don’t have a classic black gown in your closet and this is your first black-tie event, focus on finding that piece as it’s something that can be re-worn for lots of black-tie events in the future, and it will never go out of style,” Greer adds. To help narrow your search, we’ve researched the best black-tie wedding dresses for every style, size, body type, budget, and season.

Woman wearing Amanda Uprichard Queen Gown
PHOTO:

Revolve


No matter the occasion, you can never go wrong with a classic black dress. We love this one in particular for its body-hugging silhouette and halter neckline. You can wear it with statement earrings to highlight the shoulder-baring silhouette.

Size Range: XS-XL | Colors: Black | Material: Polyester

Woman wearing Sachin & Babi Makayla One-Shoulder Gown
PHOTO:

Anthropologie


Look like a colorful Greek goddess in this undeniably gorgeous gown from Sachin & Babi. The luxurious chiffon fabric drapes like flowing water across your body, while the one-shoulder balloon sleeve, thigh-high slit, and flattering waistband give the design structure.

Size Range: 0–15 | Colors: Blue | Material: Chiffon

Woman wearing Sabina Musayev Ray Dress
PHOTO:

Revolve


Are you attending a holiday wedding this year? These events call for festive outfits, so bring on the sparkle and bows! Keep accessories simple, and let this stunning dress do all the talking.

Size Range: XS–XL | Colors: Gold | Material: Polyester

Woman wearing the Hutch Bow Tie Dress
PHOTO:

Anthropologie


Equal parts eye-catching and sophisticated, this two-tone dress is a show-stopping option for a black-tie wedding. Combining classic neutral and bold color options makes it perfect for any time of the year. Bonus: This gown is made from cotton and spandex, making it breathable and stretchy.

Size Range: 00P–26W | Colors: 4 | Material: Cotton, spandex, polyester

Woman wearing Sachin & Babi Stretch Satin Strapless Side-Slit Maxi Dress

We can’t think of a better dress for a black-tie wedding in a tropical locale than this vibrant number. It features comfortable stretch satin, a strapless neckline, a slim-fitting silhouette, and a sexy high slit—not to mention the stunning light blue shade and colorful floral pattern perfect for a destination wedding.

Size Range: 0–16 | Colors: Light blue | Material: Stretch satin

Woman wearing Maria Lucia Hohan Klair Gown
PHOTO:

Revolve


Pretty pink hues are always a good idea for spring and summer weddings. We love this floral pink dress for guests drawn to romantic, feminine silhouettes. The dreamy neckline and layered hem add a whimsical touch.

Size Range: 2-8 | Colors: Pink | Material: Silk blend

Woman wearing Mac Duggal Illusion Long Sleeve A-Line Gown
PHOTO:

Nordstrom


Regal and elegant, this Victorian-inspired gown would be perfect for a vineyard venue or a holiday wedding. The sheer billowed sleeves, plunging V-neckline, wrapped bodice, and flowing floor-length skirt make this Mac Duggal gown a standout ensemble.

Size Range: 4-14 | Colors: Garnet | Material: 100% polyester

Woman wearing Danielle Frankel Harper Crepe Satin Slip Gown
PHOTO:

Saks Fifth Avenue


Special occasions call for a unique dress—and this crepe satin slip is just that. The asymmetrical neck, luxuriously smooth fabric, and rich peacock color make this head-turning designer gown by Danielle Frankel worth the splurge.

Size Range: 0–12 | Colors: Peakcock | Material: Silk

Woman wearing Michael Costello x REVOLVE Briggs Gown
PHOTO:

Revolve


Attending a wedding is an investment, so it’s best to choose a dress you’ll wear repeatedly. This elegant strapless gown would make a timeless addition to any formal wardrobe. From a designer who has dressed Beyoncé, Cardi B, Kim Kardashian, and Lady Gaga, this gown will surely impress.

Size Range: XXS–XL | Colors: 3 | Material: Rayon, nylon, spandex

Woman wearing Lulus Constantine Burgundy Satin Maxi Dress
PHOTO:

Lulus


Nothing exudes effortless elegance like a flowing maxi dress. This satin style in a rich burgundy is a chic choice for fall or winter weddings. At an affordable price, it makes for a budget-friendly option you can wear again for any other formal occasions to come.

Size Range: XS–XL | Colors: 6 | Material: Polyester

Woman wearing Mac Duggal Sparkle A-Line Gown
PHOTO:

Nordstrom


Look (and feel) like Cinderella in this dazzling Mac Duggal gown. With a plunging V-neckline, supportive waistband, and classic empire waist silhouette, this shimmering number will surely bring out your confidence. Plus, it comes available in three sparkling shades.

Size Range: 0–20 | Colors: 3 | Material: 100% polyester

Woman wearing Eloquii Satin Maxi Dress
PHOTO:

Eloquii


Nothing is more flattering than a wrap dress—it cinches you at the waist for a figure-flaunting look. The best part about this “faux wrap” is that you don’t have to worry about anything falling out of place. Don’t be intimated by the shoulder pads—they add just the right definition to your silhouette.

Size Range: 14–28 | Colors: 4 | Material: Polyester

Woman wearing Katie May Edgy Dress
PHOTO:

Revolve


Perfect for those with broad shoulders, this asymmetrical design balances your top half while showing off your arms. It also features a back cutout for a sliver of skin that still feels classy. A touch of spandex adds just the right amount of stretch.

Size Range: XS–XXL | Colors: 3 | Material: Polyester, spandex


If you want more coverage, this elegant design from Amsale will steal the show. There’s no slit, and the cowl neck modestly shows off your shoulder. The column skirt is slightly fitted at the waist and hips for a comfortable and stylish look.

Size Range: 0–24 | Colors: 3 | Material: Polyester

Woman wearing Jenny Yoo Logan Deep-V Velvet Column Gown on a dark background

When the invitation says black tie, velvet is an obvious choice. Jenny Yoo’s Logan Gown is stretchy, hugging your curves without constraining you. We also like how the deep V-neckline and plunging back help you show some skin without sacrificing sophistication.

Size Range: 0–19, plus sizes available | Colors: 5 | Material: Velvet, polyester

Lulus Thinking Out Loud Black Backless Jumpsuit
PHOTO:

Lulus


For those who prefer jumpsuits (they are easier to dance in!), we recommend this sexy number from Lulus. The style looks classy and chic with a plunging neckline and crisscross back. Choose from five different color options to suit your style.

Size Range: XXS–XL | Colors: 5 | Material: Polyester, spandex

Norma Kamali Halter Turtle Fishtail Gown
PHOTO:

Courtesy of Revolve


Make a dramatic entrance in this stunning turtleneck maxi with a fishtail hem. The slinky jersey fabric drapes effortlessly, and the rich chocolate hue manages to be bold yet neutral. Size down because this gown runs large.

Size Range: XXS–XL | Colors: 1 | Material: Jersey

Reformation Oren Silk Dress
PHOTO:

Courtesy of Reformation


We love how flirty and playful this is for a formal dress, thanks to the neck scarf that adds a breezy feel to the look. Made of 100 percent silk, this dress glides beautifully as you move and has a relaxed fit throughout. The straight neckline and scarf also show off your shoulders and décolletage.

Size Range: XS–XL | Colors: 3 | Material: Silk

Meshki Giselle Off Shoulder Cowl Neck Maxi Dress
PHOTO:

Courtesy of Meshki


This cowl neck dress looks sophisticated with a dramatic off-shoulder neckline and ultra-long, flared sleeves. A side slit completes the dramatic silhouette. Built-in gripping tape on the front and back of the neckline ensures the dress will stay in place all night. Better yet, this gown comes in an inclusive size range.

Size Range: XXS–3XL | Colors: 4 | Material: Viscose

What to Look for in Black-Tie Wedding Guest Dresses

  • Season: If you’re not sure where to start, it’s helpful to let the venue and season guide your decision-making process. For winter black-tie weddings, look for outfits crafted from warm and textured fabrics like lace and velvet.
  • Colors: Soft pastels, as well as pretty floral prints, are perfect for summer and spring weddings, while jewel tones like emerald, navy, and burgundy are always a fitting choice for winter or fall nuptials. “In general for black tie, I like to stick to solid fabrics versus prints as some can read too casual for the formality of the event. If you opt for a print, stick to something classic like a floral,” says Greer. If you’re looking for a foolproof black-tie wedding guest dress, you can never go wrong with a timeless black gown.
  • Details: Dramatic skirts, classic necklines, and shimmering embellishments instantly make a silhouette feel black-tie-worthy.

FAQ

  • A black-tie dress code is usually reserved for formal weddings. Floor-length gowns and tuxedos are classic examples of this type of attire.

  • Guests attending a black-tie wedding typically wear floor-length evening gowns. Formal dresses in black and navy are also a popular choice for black-tie weddings, as are gowns with allover embellishments. Men and people who choose not to wear dresses should wear a tuxedo (hence the reference to “black tie”).

  • Short dresses are typically more appropriate for less formal weddings. If unsure whether your dress fits the dress code, run your outfit by the couple or opt for a floor-length gown to err on the safe side.

  • Only if you want to! You can find black-tie wedding guest dresses that are under $100. However, a black-tie event is an occasion that’s often worth splurging for. More important than the price tag, though, is to make sure your dress is the correct length and color, is made from materials that look high quality, and suits the season and venue.

Why Trust Brides

Contributing writer Sophie Moore is a former fashion editor at Brides and is an expert in all things bridal attire, from couture wedding gowns to the perfect “something blue” accessory. She researches and sources the best fashion items for brides, grooms, wedding guests, bridal parties, and more. Theresa Holland contributed additional research.

  • Ashlyn Greer is a stylist who is the co-founder and CEO of Fashivly, a digital personal styling business.


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