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Here are our top picks from retailers like ASTR The Label, Mac Duggal, and Theia.
Dressing for a cocktail attire wedding in the fall is easier than you might think. While this popular dress code can sometimes be ambiguous, if you lean into the rich color palettes and textured fabrics of autumn, you’ll easily create a stylish and seasonally appropriate ensemble for this type of affair.
As a general rule of thumb, avoid any full-length gowns or garments that are overly fancy, and instead, opt for a midi, knee-length, or tea-length dress for an elegant and sophisticated look. More specifically, for an outdoor autumn wedding, consider a midi or knee-length dress in a jewel tone or dark floral print. If you’re searching for a more classic vibe, though, a maxi getup in black would be perfect, especially for cooler locations. Attending a modern museum celebration? A sophisticated tea-length dress in a rich hue, like burgundy or navy with lace detailing, would be an ideal choice.
From floral midis to long-sleeve frocks, we’ve rounded up a collection of dresses to satisfy all style preferences. Ahead, featuring looks from ASTR The Label, Mac Duggal, and Theia, here are the best fall cocktail attire dresses for wedding guests to shop.
Learn More: Every Wedding Guest Dress Code, Explained
Best Strapless: Theia Ellie A-Line Midi Dress
Size: 0-16 | Length: Tea-length | Return Policy: Return within 14 days of the purchase date
Crafted from embossed organza, you’ll make a subtle statement at a fall wedding in Theia’s Ellie dress. It features a tea-length hem, a pointed sweetheart neckline, and side pockets, all of which make for a sleek yet modern silhouette. Complement the unique design by accessorizing with pearl drop earrings and silver strappy heels.
Price at time of publish: $645
Best High Neckline: Misha Dreamscape Robbia Draped Midi-Dress
Size: XS-XL | Length: Midi | Return Policy: Free returns within 14 days of delivery
We’re obsessed with the rich berry hue of this satin midi dress by Misha, in addition to its high neckline, draped bodice, and thigh-high slit. Add even more drama to the look by styling yours with gold ankle-strap heels and matching drop earrings.
Price at time of publish: $358
Best Long Sleeves: Astr The Label Quinn Floral Cutout Midi Dress
Size: XS-XL | Length: Midi | Return Policy: Free returns within 28 days of the shipment date
If you’re searching for a sweet yet bold ensemble, we recommend this teal midi by ASTR The Label. The blouson sleeves and high neckline make this look perfect for autumn nuptials, while the side cut-outs and orange floral pattern bring a modern flair to the otherwise modest silhouette.
Price at time of publish: $148
Related: 10 Modest Wedding Guest Dresses for Every Type of Wedding
Best Beading: Mac Duggal Beaded Sleeveless Midi Sheath Dress
Size: 0-16 | Length: Midi | Return Policy: Return within 14 days of the shipment date
This midi dress from Mac Duggal is covered in eye-catching details, from the bright orange hue to the art deco-inspired beaded embellishments. With such a glamorous design, you’ll want to keep your accessories simple with silver ankle-strap heels and small hoop earrings.
Price at time of publish: $298
Best Wrap Dress: Lulus Serene Sight Emerald Green Midi Wrap Dress
Size: XS-XL | Length: Midi | Return Policy: Return within 30 days of delivery
If you’re attending a wedding in early fall, keep cool in this emerald green midi with short flutter sleeves, a surplice bodice, and a ruffled skirt. This versatile option will suit any venue and pairs beautifully with gold accessories, such as platform heels and a dainty necklace.
Price at time of publish: $92
Best Slip Dress: A.L.C. Soleil Satin Lace Asymmetric Maxi Dress
Size: 00-14 | Length: Calf-length | Return Policy: Return within 30 days of delivery
You can never go wrong with a slip dress, and this one from A.L.C. puts a modern spin on the classic silhouette. Complete with an asymmetrical hem and lace details, this navy dress is a timeless yet trendy pick that is ideal for an evening wedding.
Price at time of publish: $595
Best Splurge: Safiyaa Diane Black & Jewel Green Midi Dress
Size: 2-16 | Length: Midi | Return Policy: Free returns within 14 days of delivery
Keep it festive in this two-tone midi dress from Safiyaa. While it’s a more expensive option, the emerald green hue emphasizes the off-the-shoulder neckline and black body-hugging skirt for a sultry, yet elegant, wedding guest look you can easily wear again.
Price at time of publish: $2,055
Most Simple: Dress the Population Alicia Mixed Media Midi Dress
Size: XXS-XXL | Length: Midi | Return Policy: Free returns at any time
For those with minimalist tastes, we recommend this burgundy midi from Dress the Population. The vivid red hue is great for fall, and it’s perfectly balanced by the simple V-neckline and lace-trimmed chiffon skirt. It’s also available in several other colors, including orange and fuchsia, for guests who prefer a more vibrant look.
Price at time of publish: $198
Best Little Black Dress: Norma Kamali Tara Long-Sleeve Deep-V Ruched Midi Dress
Size: XS-XL | Length: Midi | Return Policy: Return within 30 days of the purchase date
A little black dress is a wardrobe staple, and you’ll be adding this body-hugging midi by Norma Kamali to your collection immediately for its versatile design. The deep V-neckline and ruched bodice are extremely flattering, while the long sleeves can be worn high on the shoulders or wide for a more sultry look.
Price at time of publish: $175
Best Pleating: Theia Eleanora Asymmetric Pleated Satin Midi Dress
Size: 0-12 | Length: Midi | Return Policy: Return within 28 days of delivery
A handkerchief hem, a halter neckline, and pleated detailing make up the sophisticated and eye-catching silhouette of Theia’s Eleanora dress. The beautiful emerald green hue will really stand out when paired with gold accessories, such as strappy heels and drop earrings.
Price at time of publish: $398
Best Sequins: Sabina Musayev Zarya Sequined Dress
Size: XS-XL | Length: Calf-length | Return Policy: Return within 90 days of delivery
Between the all-over sequins and strappy back, this burgundy calf-length dress from Sabina Musayev is an ultra-glamorous choice for guests attending an evening wedding. It’s designed to have a sultry appearance with its pin-thin straps, so if you need more coverage for cold locations, accessorize with a leather jacket and black pumps.
Price at time of publish: $495
Best Velvet: Marcella Manhattan Velvet Slit Gown
Size: XS-XXXL | Length: Maxi | Return Policy: Return within 30 days of delivery
You generally want to avoid long gowns for cocktail-attire weddings, but this velvet number from Marcella is too good not to consider. Complete with a thigh-high slit, a one-shoulder neckline, and a chest cut-out, this show-stopping dress would fit right in at an evening celebration in a hotel ballroom or museum. It’s also available in crimson for a subtle pop of color.
Price at time of publish: $108.80
Best Lace: Lulus Molinetto Burgundy Lace Ruffled Tiered Sleeveless Maxi Dress
Size: XXS-3X | Length: Tea-length | Return Policy: Return within 30 days of delivery
The floral lace and burgundy hue of this V-neck dress from Lulus make for a classic autumn wedding guest look. Ruffled sleeves and a tiered skirt add even more dimension to the ensemble and would be perfectly contrasted by black ankle-strap heels.
Price at time of publish: $99
Most Vibrant: By Anthropologie One-Shoulder Slim Midi Dress
Size: XXS-3X | Length: Midi | Return Policy: Return within 30 days of the purchase date
For those with bolder tastes, a midi dress in a vibrant color would be an ideal choice. This one-shoulder number by Anthropologie comes in a bright red hue and also includes a thigh-high slit and a body-hugging silhouette for an eye-catching, yet elegant, vibe.
Price at time of publish: $170
Best Ruffles: Mac Duggal Floral Flutter Sleeve Mesh Print Dress
Size: 2-18 | Length: Midi | Return Policy: Return within 14 days of the shipment date
Romantic and playful, this ruffled midi from Mac Duggal has an illusion high neckline, short flutter sleeves, and a floral print overlay. Emphasize the beige print by finishing off the look with light gold heels and matching stud earrings. You can also purchase this dress in yellow for a more vibrant option that still has an autumnal feel to it.
Price at time of publish: $598
For an Outdoor Wedding: Reformation Twilight Dress
Size: XS-XL | Length: Calf-length | Return Policy: Return within 30 days of delivery
If you’re attending an outdoor wedding, the Twilight dress from Reformation is the perfect pick. It features a brown floral print, a boat neckline, and tie straps for a feminine and chic look. Accessorize with gold mules and matching drop earrings.
Price at time of publish: $348
Best Mini: FORE Cutout Blazer Mini Dress
Size: XS-XL | Length: Mini | Return Policy: Free returns within 90 days of delivery
Even with a slight chill in the air, this blazer mini is a great choice for a daytime wedding. The teal hue, crossover bodice, and side cut-outs make for a bold and sultry silhouette, while the traditional blazer fit offers ample coverage for fall nuptials.
Price at time of publish: $118
Best Floral: Hope & Ivy Cowl Neck Midi Dress in Red Floral
Size: 2-12 | Length: Midi | Return Policy: Free returns within 28 days of delivery
Make a bold fashion statement in this floral-printed midi from ASOS. We love how the cowl neckline and keyhole back help create a silhouette that is equal parts sultry and sweet. Finish off the look with black strappy heels and chunky silver earrings.
Price at time of publish: $139
For a Destination Wedding: ASTR The Label Primrose Floral Strappy Back Maxi Dress
Size: XS-XL | Length: Maxi | Return Policy: Free returns within 28 days of the shipment date
This floral maxi from ASTR The Label is versatile enough to suit both tropical and European destination weddings. The brown and yellow floral print is made for fall, but we especially love the strappy back and side cut-outs for a simple yet striking look.
Price at time of publish: $123.97
Best Midi: Ronny Kobo Estelle Wrap-Effect Satin-Jacquard Midi Dress
Size: XS-XL | Length: Midi | Return Policy: Return within 28 days of delivery
This satin midi from Ronny Kobo is effortlessly chic with its blouson sleeves, wrap-style bodice, and asymmetrical hem. The thigh-high slit adds a sultry touch to the dress and would look amazing with black lace-up heels and dangly gemstone earrings.
Price at time of publish: $289
What to Look for in a Fall Cocktail Attire Dress
The best thing about cocktail attire weddings is that you can likely repurpose your dress for other events. So when shopping, you want to find something you love, but also a look that suits the dress code. As we mentioned above, you should also keep the length, color, and fabrication in mind when embarking on your search. For example, warm fabrics like velvet and heavy crepe are great options for any fall wedding, but if you prefer a lighter material, organza or satin will also work well. For a more modern look, however, consider an asymmetrical or plunging neckline and romantic embellishments, such as ruffles or sequins. And if you’d prefer to be more modest, opt for a high neckline and some sort of sleeve.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you wear a sleeveless cocktail dress to a fall wedding?
You can definitely wear a sleeveless cocktail dress to a fall wedding. This style works especially well for early fall nuptials when the weather is still on the warmer side.
How do you style a fall cocktail attire dress?
When it comes to accessories, metallics pair perfectly with jewel-tone hues and darker color palettes for an autumn wedding. So consider carrying a gold or silver clutch or donning a pair of metallic heels for this type of event.
Where can you shop for a cocktail attire dress?
A cocktail dress code falls between formal and casual, so you can find a dress at almost any major retailer. Some of our favorites include Reformation, ASTR The Label, and Mac Duggal.
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