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How To Wear Pants To A Wedding With Confidence

Summer wedding season is in full swing and some of you may be wondering what to wear. Can you wear pants to a wedding? Yes, you absolutely can. If you don’t like dresses or your legs are not your best feature, pants are totally acceptable, so long as you keep the time of day and venue in mind. Here are some ways to wear pants to a wedding with confidence.

The invitation may spell out the wedding dress code, but if you’re unsure, check with the bride, mother of the bride, or a member of the wedding party for some guidelines. In a pinch, it’s always safer to be overdressed than underdressed as a wedding guest.

What type of pants can you wear to a wedding?

Dress pants in silk, soft crepe, or overlaid with chiffon have a nice flowy look that is elegant enough to work for a black-tie optional wedding.

flowy pants and twins set outfit for wedding guest
FOIL PRINT TWINSET / STRAIGHT LEG PANTS / SLING BACK SANDAL / SATIN CLUTCH WITH CHAIN STRAP / PEARL EARRINGS / PEARL BRACELET

These Alex Evening pants are a popular option. They come in 18 color and fabric options, with or without an overlay in regular, petite, and plus sizes. There’s also a wide-leg option here. These low-heeled sandals come in narrow, medium, and wide sizes 5-13. A matte shoe is dressier than shiny leather so opt for fabric or suede to up the level of formality. Unless you want your feet to grab the spotlight, match your shoes to your pants.

This sophisticated twin set has clean lines and a subtle shimmer so you could actually wear these pieces after the wedding. Picture the tank under a denim jacket with a pair of casual pants or the cardigan over a cotton tee and a pair of dark wash jeans. The pearls are a forever classic and the clutch has a chain strap you can stow inside.

blazer and pants outfit for casual wedding
TWILL BLAZER  /  SHIMMER SHELL   /  REFINED BI-STRETCH PANTS  /  EARRINGS  /  QUILTED SHOULDER BAG  /  AEROSOLE FLATS

Pants with a blazer jacket have a classic vibe that works for many venues including country club weddings, city hall weddings, nice restaurants, or church weddings. These are pieces you can wear again and again so your cost per wear will be low.

pants outfit for beach wedding
LACK OF COLOR HAT / GAUZE CLASSIC SHIRTWIDE LEG PANTSSANDALSCAT EYE SUNGLASSES  / MINI FRINGE CLUTCH / RAFFIA EARRINGS

A beach wedding calls out for loose and lightweight pants with natural accessories. Flat sandals you can shake the sand out of, are a must.

Jeans would only be accepted at the most casual ceremony, with the full knowledge and agreement of the bride. Opt for dark wash denim with no distressing and dress them up with a pretty blouse, feminine footwear, and nice accessories. Jumpsuits have also become popular options in either print or solid colors in a flowy fabric that elevates the look.

Benefits of wearing pants as a wedding guest

Pants give you the option to wear flat shoes which many ladies find the most comfortable for long days on their feet and dancing at the reception. You don’t have to worry about wearing pantyhose, which are outdated looking and uncomfortable, at best. Pants also often have pockets which can be super handy.

Color etiquette

Hints of white are acceptable so long as it’s in small touches in part of a pattern or in your accessories. Black is acceptable, especially for an evening wedding. Very pale colors can photograph as white, so avoid it if you’ll be in photos with the bride.

Other tips for what to wear to a wedding

Small handbags are a must. The most practical ones can be carried as a clutch or a shoulder bag. They look most elegant as a clutch and don’t interfere with your outfit during the ceremony. They then transform to go over your shoulder at the reception when you need to keep one hand free to shake hands, hold a champagne flute or hold a plate with hors d’oeuvres.

Do you have any upcoming weddings to attend?

Thanks for reading and remember to wear what makes you feel confident.

 

 

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28 Comments

  1. I like the Black Tie outfit. Nice option instead of a dress. I have a wedding next May and already wondering what to wear.

  2. Maribeth Conklin says:

    Yes , I have two weddings this Fall. My nephew is getting married labor day weekend! My son is getting married mid October. I have my dress for mother of the groom. Working on the other. I do like that first outfit! I’m a dress girl though.
    Have a blessed day.

  3. Wonderful post! Fabulous ideas! The wheels are turning…for 2 future weddings! Thanks Jennifer.

    1. Yay! So glad this helped

  4. Love, love, love the first outfit! Since I never wear skirts or dresses because of my veined “cankles” it’s nice to see that you can look lovely and feminine in pants. Thanks, Jennifer!

  5. My niece had a beach wedding in the am with reception at night — very inconvenient as two different outfits were needed. Wearing pants would have helped because I can see the second outfit with a lacy sweater for the beach and with a sparkling ruana or shawl — as well as bling — for the evening. I love your tips, especially because beach wedding doesn’t necessarily mean casual. Adding the shimmer shell (outfit 2) to outfit 3 and leaving the Eileen Fisher guaze shirt loose would be lovely, I think.

    1. I love your ideas, Maeve

  6. I just love the components of the Black Tie Wedding Guest ensemble. This outfit looks comfortable and perfect for a wedding guest. I will need to try those pants. Being plus size, I wonder how they will look.

    1. I think they will look quite elegant

  7. I picked out the Alex Evenings top you have in the first picture, to wear with a chiffon skirt for my son’s wedding. I had had recent surgery and knew I would need a top that was knitted and would be flexible. The top had paint and glitter on it that shed every time I moved my arm. I exchanged it for another AE top without the bling and it was fine. Just check it out and make sure yours doesn’t do that, or maybe pass on any of them that are glittery. They are a great brand for dressy separates.

    1. Oh no! That’s good feedback. Thanks, Linda

  8. Really love all these pant options. Sometimes it’s just easier.

  9. Elizabeth S. says:

    Jennifer, you were spot on in every aspect of wedding attire. Thanks for the great tips!

    1. I’m so glad you liked this.

  10. I like the first outfit. Alex Evening has a lot of choices. I wear pants and dressy tops to weddings , because I can find shoes that are comfortable to wear with it. My feet don’t like dressy shoes ,because there is no support or padding in dressy shoes. When we go on cruises I wear pants and tops for formal evenings, and add bling.

    1. My feet are the same so pants are a great option

  11. Thank you for this timely post, spot-on advice and perfect outfits. I’d never considered a style like the Alex Evening pants and would not have known where to find them.

  12. I have an upcoming wedding in September and I have been trying to decide what to wear. These tips are so helpful and I am going to order the pants to try. Thanks Jennifer!

    1. Let me know how they work out

      1. I received the Alex Evenings wide leg pants on Saturday. Unfortunately the sheer overlay dragged on the floor, heels helped some, but I still felt they were too long. I could have shortened them but I decided to return them.

  13. Yes, I have been trying to figure out what to wear and I love the first outfit. Going to give it a try and see if it works out better than a dress. Thanks for this post!

  14. We will be going to a wedding in September and I’ve been considering wearing fancy pants. Now I have a clearer idea of how to do so. Thanks for the timely suggestions.

    1. I’m glad these were helpful.

  15. Laurie B in Bartlett Il says:

    So many wedding this year! I thought about wearing pants to a wedding I attended in May, but had such a hard time finding any that I thought would look nice enough. I ended up wearing a long dress, but the pants would have looked just as nice. Thank you for the post.

  16. I attended my niece’s evening wedding in April at a lovely resort on the Florida gulf coast in Naples. The wedding was outdoors at sunset adjacent to the beach and the reception was indoors. What to wear to a “beach cocktail” wedding nagged at me for months. A friend suggested the Alex Evenings pants (chiffon over a slim knit pant) to me, which I wore and felt great in. They were slimming and very comfortable! On top I wore a black tank with a beige and black eyelet jacket from Chico’s. I felt appropriately dressed and comfortable with black shoes and clutch, pearl and black tassel earrings and a four strand pearl bracelet with black accents.

    1. Your outfit sounds fabulous Bobbie