How to Dress for a Fall Wedding + 12 Dresses You Can Wear

Blue Floral Dress + Navy Cardigan + Gold Clutch + Gold Earrings + Maroon Pumps
Navy Cardigan + Navy and Floral Dress + Maroon Pumps + Gold Earrings + Gold Clutch
Gold Clutch + Navy Floral Dress + Navy Cardigan + Gold Earrings + Nude Pumps
Gold Earrings + Navy Cardigan + Navy Floral Dress + Maroon Pumps + Gold Clutch
Navy Cardigan + Gold Earrings + Navy and Floral Dress
I get asked quite a bit for help with what to wear to a fall wedding, so let’s talk!  All of the fall weddings I’ve been to have been outdoors, including one in upstate New York where unlike in Southern California where I live, fall is a true fall.  It was 46 degrees and the ceremony was outside!  (I wore THIS–the leggings version–in case you’re wondering.)  While the scenery is beautiful, being outdoors during fall evenings is much chillier than spring and summer which makes it tricker to dress for.

Today I want to share a few tips as well as go-to combos to keep in mind that will help you add layers while still looking chic and sharp for a wedding.  Today’s post is also in partnership with ModCloth as I believe they have the best selection of wedding guest attire, spanning from semi-casual to semi-formal to fancier dresses.  They’ve got it all!

I’ve been to over 40 weddings (!!!), and I can safely say that guests’ attire is all over the map, even at the same wedding.  Unless a dress code is explicitly stated, usually a safe bet is a semiformal dress, or in some more casual settings a semi casual dress.  (The 12 dress options at the bottom of this post fall into one of those categories.)  As for fall, below are the things I look for in dresses and how I style them.

Shop for the Look:
Dress: c/o ModCloth (exact–wearing M)
Cardigan: c/o ModCloth (exact–wearing M)
Earrings: c/o Nickel & Suede (exact)
Clutch: Amazon (similar
Shoes: c/o Naturalizer (exact–wearing 8.5, similarsimilar)

Characteristics to Look For
  • Colors – In the fall I lean towards jewel tones or darker hues like navy, maroon, and forest green.  
  • Fabric – I also look for dresses with thicker or weightier fabrics than the airy material summer dresses are made of.  Lace is very versatile and works well in multiple seasons, but there are plenty of non-lace dresses with medium weight material out there.  (See examples at the bottom this post.)  A weightier fabric feels like a more appropriate match for the season of boots, plaid, chunky scarves and other thicker textures, but it’s also practical because it keeps you warmer.
  • Bonus – A dress with long sleeves!  
  • Can pair with tights + booties or heels + a blazer or cardigan or faux leather jacket.  Layering might be necessary in fall temps, especially if it’s an outdoor wedding.  When considering a dress for a fall wedding I always make sure I can pair it with the list bolded above.  

Go-To Combos for Layering Fall Wedding Guest Dresses
  • Black fleece lined tights + black booties + black blazer or black faux leather jacket.  Most of the time I prefer blazers and faux leather jackets to cardigans because they keep the look sharp.  If I know I’ll need to wear tights, I default to this combo and try to choose a dress that works with all this black.  This is my default partially because I only own fleece lined tights in black (and fleece lined tights are way warmer!) and it’s easier to think through black than varying shades of brown/cognac/tan.  Options 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 and 9 below would work with this combo.  (Example HERE–2nd photo down, sans black moto jacket.)
  • Tan/Brown suede pumps + cognac faux leather jacket + bare legs.  If I can go bare legs, I opt for this one which works again with Options 1, 2, 4, 6, and 9 but also opens possibilities up to 7, 8, 10, and 11.  You can totally wear brown tights with this, but I find that it doesn’t always work as seamlessly as the all black combo above with tights.  (Example HERE that I wore to a wedding in January, which for where I live is more like fall weather everywhere else.)
  • Mixing and matching with color play.  The two go-to’s listed above work without fail and with very little thought while this third one shouldn’t really be a go-to.  (I just included it to name it as an option.)  It requires much more playing around with color for all the variables: tights, shoes, and completer pieces.  (Example is outfit I’m wearing in the pics at the top of this post.)

Typically I stick with the first two combo because they’re the easiest, but I’m loving today’s outfit, which falls into the third category.  As an aside, the dress I’m wearing above is FREAKING ADORABLE!  It’s lined which is helpful since it is sleeveless and the lining makes it warmer.  It also has POCKETS, which makes every dress 1,000% better!  Not to mention the details like embroidery, gold buttons, and pink piping make it absolutely gorgeous.  Lastly, it’s button-front and great for breastfeeding mamas!  It is on the more expensive side for dresses, but with its level of details I believe it’s worth it.  I can totally imagine this dress at another store costing much, much more.  I’m wearing it in size M, and sizing goes from XXS to 4X!  See it HERE.  
Remember how I just said that I prefer blazers and moto jackets to keep the look sharp?  Well sometimes neither of those work as well as a cardigan, but I often have a hard time with cardigans making nice fitted dresses droopy or lose shape.  The solution?  A cropped cardigan!  A cropped cardigan is usually better at defining a waist with dresses and skirts and keeps the look more tailored.  They are not easy to find, but ModCloth has them in 8 colors ranging from XXS to 4X HERE.  
Dress Options for Fall Weddings
What to wear to a Fall Wedding
Shop the Items:
one  |  two  |  three
four  |  five  |  six
seven  |  eight  |  nine
ten  |  eleven  |  twelve

Huge thanks to ModCloth for sponsoring this post!


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  • Reply
    October 23, 2017 at 5:42 am

    This dress looks great on you!

  • Reply
    Diana @ Bumps Along the Way
    October 23, 2017 at 11:02 am

    Fall weddings are so hard! We had one earlier in October where it was over 80°(not typical for fall here) and I didn’t know if I should dress for the weather or the season! I like your tips here!

  • Reply
    Florentina Scusi
    October 23, 2017 at 12:01 pm

    Gorgeous dresses! You look awesome!

  • Reply
    October 23, 2017 at 5:54 pm

    So cute!! I want it! I never thought that a crop sweater would look good with dresses.

  • Reply
    October 24, 2017 at 4:08 am

    Oh that’s a beautiful dress you are wearing, adn I love how you’ve accessorised it! 🙂

    I ended up giving a similar cardigan I had to my sister when she attended an autumn wedding recently – it’s a nice layer when you’re outside and it’s great if it can coordinate with your chosen dress too!

    Hope you’re having a nice start to the week. Nice and warm here today, a welcome change from the rain last week!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  • Reply
    Yvonne Ashon
    October 24, 2017 at 5:31 am

    Love the dress

  • Reply
    Anna Wagner
    October 24, 2017 at 7:39 am

    I have dress #6 and wore it to an early September wedding, when it was still not very fall-like here yet. Worked great, and the color seemed very appropriate for September! For the later fall wedding I’ve been to, I lean towards black tights as well.

  • Reply
    November 6, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    I am presenting my daughter her college diploma on stage in December! Would this outfit be a good choice? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    • Reply
      Audrey @ Putting Me Together
      November 7, 2017 at 9:35 pm

      Yes, I think this would work well for that! Or any other dress that has tailored elements, like good structure, buttons, etc.

  • Reply
    Edith B
    November 13, 2017 at 6:09 pm

    I love this dress and cardigan. Do you think it would be a good outfit for handing my daughter her diploma on stage for her college graduation? I am at a loss of what to wear. It is an evening ceremony. Thanks!

  • Reply
    Madhu Joshi
    November 28, 2017 at 5:09 pm

    Hi Audrey, with it being 100% cotton, do you find that this dress shrinks when washed? Thanks! – Madhu

    • Reply
      Audrey @ Putting Me Together
      November 28, 2017 at 5:22 pm

      Hi Madhu! I haven’t washed it yet. But one thing I’ve found is that if I’ve shrunken garments, I can usually stretch them back out by steaming them with a clothing steamer. I honestly haven’t tried it with cotton, but I’ve done it with a few dresses and tops from Old Navy–what is up with their shrinking clothes?! Haha. You could maybe ask the Modcloth customer support.

      • Reply
        Madhu Joshi
        November 28, 2017 at 6:33 pm

        YES!! i’ve had a few tops from Old Navy shrink as well. Thanks for that tip..I didn’t know we could stretch them back out, I’ve got to try that out!! 🙂 I’ll let you know if Modcloth has anything more to add. 😉
        You continue to inspire my wardrobe choices, Audrey, as you have done for a couple of years now. Thank you so much! And, congratulations on the new little one!! 🙂

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