Since it's wedding season, I thought it would be fun (and helpful) to have all the Budget Babe writers round up their favorite wedding guest dress picks. Lauren kicked off the series with her vintage romantic picks, and now I'm sharing my modern classic favorites. My picks are pretty and practical...and start at just $30 because I get it - as much as I love dressing up, I hate spending a ton on something I'll just wear a handful of times (if that). If you feel me, keep reading to see what I'm recommending to friends right now...
Dianna's Picks: Wedding Guest Dresses Under $100
Cupro Maxi Skirt ($69.99, hm.com)
Let's say you're heading to the mall last minute to pick up a dress for an upcoming summer wedding. Before you check the usual suspects (department stores), check H&M. Yes, H&M! Buried on the racks are some real gems, unique dresses that look way more expensive than they really are. This season I've seen laser cut outs, lace, floor length maxis, scuba fabric cocktail dresses, and amazing skirt and top sets (especially helpful if you have trouble finding a good fit or you're nursing and need access to the girls). That's why my first pick is this elastic waist maxi skirt that you can dress up with gorgeous jewelry and shoes. I'd pair it with this chiffon top ($34.99) for a slimming monochrome look. Best part: You can wear this skirt after the wedding for so many other occasions.
Lace Shift ($69.90, zara.com)
If you're lucky enough to live near Zara, this would be my next stop for a runway-inspired dress that won't break the bank. This lovely lace number looks so J.Crew but is priced well under $100. I love the bright pop of yellow. Don't think you can wear yellow? Add a bright lip and it'll counteract that sallow look. In this Zara sheath, you won't outshine the bride (faux pas times ten) but you won't blend in with the bridesmaids either. I'd wear this dress with nude accessories and modern metal jewelry. The lace is just so chic and on-point right now. Love.
Striped Dress ($49.99, tjmaxx.com)
When I'm shopping for a dress, my first stop is usually T.J.Maxx. Then Marshalls. In that order. You never know what you'll find, but I almost always get lucky, especially this time of year when both stores have lots of dresses in stock. When you compare the prices to department stores, you'll feel silly paying more. And did you know they have an online store now, too? Yes, tjmaxx.com makes it easy to find a formal wedding guest dress with tons of options under $50 or $100. The site is easy to navigate and dresses are sorted by style, occasion, size and more. Check it out, ladies. But can we talk about this striped number for a moment? I love the preppy nautical vibe. Fun for summer and outdoor weddings or more casual fetes!
Strapless Chiffon Maxi Dress ($29.90, forever21.com)
Let's not forget about Forever 21. I have found so many great dresses at this store over the year. If you're well past 21 (like me) just try to shop on off-peak hours (Tuesday at 10 a.m. is great) and you'll be the only person in the store, so you can browse at your leisure. No one will give you weird looks, I promise. If you want to shop online, search for the word "contemporary" to find pieces that are cut a bit more modestly. The sizing is better, the styles more sophisticated. I love this strapless chiffon maxi because the nuanced color makes it look richer and you can dress it up with different accessories. It also comes in a sweet minty blue green if you're feeling pastels for summer.
Bonus: Finally, don't forget renttherunway.com. As I mentioned earlier, I'm going to a wedding next weekend and decided to rent rather than buy since I'm nursing and between sizes. I'll post a pic on Instagram to let you know how it goes! Fingers crossed the dress fits - I ordered two sizes just in case, for no additional charge.
Don't forget to check out Lauren's picks and stay tuned for more ideas still to come!