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You've RSVP'd, you've sorted your transport and hotel, but you've still not decided what to wear. You know it's going to be a dress, but you don't know much else. Luckily, we've done the leg work for you. Whether you're after a maxi or a midi, a plus size or a petite, here's our pick of beautiful wedding guest dresses for the big occasion.
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"Being only five feet tall, anything longer than just below the knee looks ridiculous on me."
While there are no strict rules when it comes to petite dresses, it does help to be aware of your proportions. We're certainly not guilty of making a beeline for petite ranges, but this rose print Precis Petite number is the ideal dress for shorter women. Not only will the higher waistline suit a number of different body types, but the knee length cut will elongate those legs. We're also in love with this midi dress from Coast, particularly for its classic, '50s-style shape and its unusual, asymmetrical neckline with short sleeves. This dress isn't petite, but it is available in a shorter size.
1. Go for a higher waistline to make you look taller.
2. Look for 'short' sizes, not just petite.
Left: Petite enchanted rose dress, £79, Precis Petite.
Right: Print midi dress, £169, Coast.
"You don't have to be skinny to wear a frock."
The trick to finding a beautiful special occasion dress for a plus size figure is to know what works for you, but there are a few fail-safe features that suit plus size older women down to a tee. All great things come in threes and it's V-necklines, empire lines and three-quarter length sleeves for us! Yours Clothing are our go-to when it comes to plus size dresses (they offer a gorgeous range of styles that go up to a size 36!) as are JD Williams - their exclusive Joanna Hope range features dresses that burst with colour and go up to a size 32. Pair with a beautiful occasion hat or fascinator.
1. Empire lines are your best friend.
2. V-necklines are flattering for women who are top-heavy.
Left: Lace overlay dress, £49.99, Yours.
Right: Joanna Hope print prom dress, £130, JD Williams.
"I am not keen on dresses that sit above the knee."
Midi dresses are chic, feminine and the perfect length for a wedding. If you get the length right, they will graze the very top part of your calf just enough to show off your legs without making them look stumpy. This is why we love these designs from Dorothy Perkins and Coast - not only are they the ideal length, but they also have belts and a higher waistline to accentuate your curves.
1. Get the length right - the dress should sit just below the knee.
2. Keep things streamlined.
Left: Navy printed bow dress, £50, Dorothy Perkins.
Right: Drake full midi dress, £159, Coast.
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"Try looking at John Lewis' dresses. They have some lovely ones and the price range is good too."
Nothing quite beats a dress that fits you just right (think Goldilocks), which is why a tailored dress is the ideal wedding guest outfit. Yes, we love an asymmetrical neckline, and this pink bodycon cap sleeve dress - with added stretch, may we add - is just the ticket. Stretch fabrics are a boon if you're curvy, and our second choice, a navy Ted Baker dress, is no different. With a V-neckline and an elasticated waist belt, it's flattering and comfy at the same time. Win win.
1. Opt for an elasticated waist or a dress with a bit of give.
2. Dare to be different with an asymmetrical neckline.
Left: Cap sleeve bodycon dress, £49.50, M&S.
Right: Navy Ted Baker dress, £179, John Lewis.
"I love wrap dresses!"
Struggling to find a dress that flatters your bust and waist? Hello, wrap dresses! What's not to love about them, really. They cinch at the waist enough to give you a defined shape without clinging to those wobbly bits and they work a treat on older women who are larger up top. Both dresses below feature flattering necklines and fabrics that allow a bit of give. We love the Phase Eight wrap dress for its vibrant emerald colour and the Joanna Hope number for its print and stretch waist.
1. Choose a style that doesn't dip too low at the neck.
2. Don't be afraid to show off those curves.
Left: Phase Eight emerald wrap dress with frill neckline, £120, Phase Eight.
Right: Joanna Hope print dress, £50, JD Williams.
"My mum has just bought a maxi dress for a wedding - she's 85! - and looks fabulous in it."
Maxi dresses might seem a bit daring, but trust us when we say that they could well be your staple from now on. A spring or summer wedding is the perfect opportunity to go for a longer style - and an elegant maxi dress will ensure you feel more bridal party than beach. Not only are they a comfortable option, but they suit all shapes and sizes and really do make a statement. Whether you fancy dressing to the nines or simply want a style that is formal enough without being 'too formal', we think these dresses will do just the trick.
1. Avoid dresses that scream beachwear.
2. Be mindful of length so that you don't trip on the hem.
Left: Studio 8 floral maxi dress, £140, JD Williams.
Right: Annalise maxi dress, £159, Hobbs.
Who can resist an outfit with a bit of je ne sais quoi? These dresses feature vibrant colours, unique and interesting patterns, and are comfy to boot. The floral-printed dress from Reiss has a flattering V-neck neckline and a fit-and-flare silhouette, which means it'll sit nicely on the bust and hips and show off a pleasing, flowy skirt. Next up is a Phase Eight twist front dress, which has sleeves, bold florals and sits comfortably at the waist. Our third pick is this beautiful shift dress from Curvissa, a simple, but statement, number boasting a round neckline and floral motif, with splashes of yellow for added effect. Our absolute favourite, however, is the knee-length lace dress from Monsoon featuring embroidered flowers and sheer sleeves. Simply stunning.
Left: Magnolia floral-printed dress, £225, Reiss.
Right: Phase Eight twist front dress, £130, Debenhams.
Left: Placement print shift dress, £32.50, Curvissa.
Right: Embroidered lace dress, £139, Monsoon.
Prices correct as of 13/04/18
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