One of the most special events which precedes a wedding is the bridal shower. A lovely afternoon of gift giving, snacking, and chatting, no wedding would be complete without one. Not as formal as a wedding, but by definition a special occasion, a bridal shower attire should always be pretty. This is your guide to what to wear to a bridal shower.
If you are the bride, you should definitely plan to wear a beautiful dress for your bridal shower. When there are multiple showers on the schedule, you would be well within your rights to splurge on a new dress for each one. Showers are generally afternoon affairs, and the attire should reflect that. A sparkly cocktail dress would be over-the-top and a very low cut one would just seem inappropriate for the genteel nature of the occasion.
Your dress should reflect both the season and the location of the party. Summer bridal showers will typically be less formal than winter ones, and outdoor locations may be a bit more low-key than, say, a tea in the most elegant hotel in town. The bride can get away with something a bit dressier than what everyone else is wearing. For instance, if the bride were to wear an embroidered cotton strapless sundress to her summer bridal shower, her friends could wear pretty skirts with blouses or sweaters (t-shirts are too casual). In this scenario, the mother of the bride could wear an elegant linen shift with a matching jacket, and a few pieces of her wedding jewelry, such as a pearl earring and necklace set.
A bridal shower calls for your most feminine attire. Flowery dresses, pearls, strappy sandals with flowers or bows, all these things are wonderful for a ladies' party. If the shower is to take place in a beautiful garden, pretty hats would make a nice addition. In many circles, women don't often wear hats, so the host of the party should be sure to spread the word if garden hats are desired. It can make for a wonderful atmosphere, not to mention, the hats will make for great photos.
For an indoor bridal shower in a fancy location like a grand hotel or private club, everyone should plan to dress up a bit more. Daytime apparel is still best, just the fanciest daywear available, more along the lines of what one would wear to an elegant afternoon wedding as a guest. A beautiful silk wrap dress with high heels and a fair amount of jewelry would be a lovely style for a wedding shower in an upscale setting.
In the winter, dress for a bridal shower as you might a festive holiday open house (minus the reindeer sweater of course!). Think velvet separates, such as pencil skirts or trousers in black or jewel tones. A cashmere sweater or silk blouse will complete the look beautifully. If that all sounds a bit too fancy for your group, an alternative would be a tweed skirt in a feminine color like pink with an elegant Merino wool sweater and knee high suede boots.
Take the time to put together a very special outfit for any bridal shower to which you are invited, whether you are the bride or one of the guests. Such a special occasion deserves a fantastic outfit, and it will add to the festive feeling of the party.