I Always Buy My Wedding Guest Dresses in Advance—Here Are 32 I'm Considering

There's no denying that the best dresses always come out to play in autumn/winter. With, dare we say it, party season only a couple of months away, we're already starting to see excellent frock options hand in new-in sections. In other words, you're more likely to find a wedding guest dress that's really special—one you'll be really excited to wear—once the likes of linen and cotton are ushered out in favour of satin, velvet and sequins. From high-shine to embellishment, the dresses currently on offer are as tasty as the treats you'll find in a box of Quality Street chocolates—and the colour palette isn't too dissimilar, either. So what makes for a great autumnal wedding guest dress? Really, it's down to two things: silhouette and styling.

Initially, you'll think that shorter hemlines are a no-go, but that isn't necessarily the case. Tights have made a big comeback on the street style scene this season, and they can actually make a lot of dresses look cooler, too. Take Florrie Thomas, for example. Her floral asymmetric-hem dress looks more directional yet no less fancy with her sheer polka-dot tights. This extra layer will keep you cosy for nuptials later on in the season, but will also work for September ceremonies in the city. 

Another dress feature that's ideal for winter weddings is high necklines. Seeing as most of your body heat escapes from your torso, high collars mean you'll retain it more effectively. Throw in a midi hemline and closed-toed shoes and you shouldn't feel the chill, be it at the service or in the airy reception.

Other design details of note are no-brainers: Long sleeves will keep you toasty, while fitted skirts will minimise the risk of any draughts. If you can tick off both in one dress, even better. These might sound like difficult frock traits to find, but don't stress, as we've already done the hard work for you. Below you'll find an expert edit of beautiful wedding guest dresses that work for the season ahead, accompanied with handy tips on just how to wear them.