11 Cocktail Dresses That Are Ideal for a Semi-Formal Summer Wedding

AN OFF-THE-SHOULDER DRESS

This off-the-shoulder midi dress has dramatic bell sleeves and comes in three colors—blush, navy, and black—so pick the one that fits your mood. (Navy is always a solid choice, in our humble opinions.) Wear with red ankle-strap heels for a pop of color or beige pumps if you’d rather keep things neutral.

A YELLOW WRAP DRESS

The amazing thing about DVF floral wrap dresses is that they suit all types of occasions. This particular midi number is cut from silk, making it an elegant choice for weddings but, you can easily re-wear it for graduations, bridal showers, and date nights. The options are endless.

A TIERED FLORAL DRESS

This multi-tiered dress is made for dancing, whether you’re getting down to Beyoncé at a wedding or Calvin Harris at your friend’s birthday celebration at a fancy rooftop bar. To keep your feet from becoming blistered and sore, opt for flat sandals.

A GEOMETRIC PRINTED DRESS

Tired of floral dresses? I present to you this Alice & Olivia number featuring stripes and geometric prints. The light peach color on this fluttery creation suits a sunny, outdoor event, whether that be a wedding or bridal shower. You’ll stand out at the party in a good way.

A LACE DRESS

Usually the “something blue” applies to the bride, but go ahead and sneak the color into your wedding guest outfit, too. I love tulle dresses with lace inserts like this one because they make the dress feel a bit fancier, but you can wear this with a comfy wedge espadrille for a more casual look.

A SEQUIN DRESS

Sequins do work for daytime if done right. And this Tibi dress is a perfect example. The pre-fall 2018 look is adorned with black sequins on the bodice, while the pleated skirt contains multicolored sequined stripes. This marriage of colors gives it a playful, daytime appropriate look—especially if you style the dress with simple metallic sandals.

A RACERBACK DRESS

The pretty knotted front of this dress is as attention-grabbing as it’s shoulder-showing-off back. It also comes in black, dusty rose, red, and gray. So, what are you waiting for? Scoop it up and wear it to your BFF’s beach-side wedding.

A ONE-SHOULDER DRESS

If you’re going to wear a black dress, make it stand out with eye-catching details. This one-shoulder contemporary dress has a ruffle overlay, a built-in sash to cinch in your waist, and an asymmetrical hemline—all of which helps make it different from just any ol’ LBD.

A BRIGHT RED DRESS

You can definitely get away with a minidress for semi-formal cocktail affairs. To keep your outfit modest, however, go for a more covered neckline like this Vince Camuto halter dress. It’s slightly sexy, but instantly sweeter with the bow.

A PLEATED DRESS

Twirl around on the dance floor and watch this dress’s pleated skirt fan out as you spin in glee. The fabric is made to move even from the gentlest breeze. Find a dance partner to keep you steady on your feet (maybe your friend’s cousin’s best friend?), just in case you loose your balance after the champagne toasts.

A GRAY EYELET DRESS

What this dress lacks in color, it makes up for in details. Notice the cool eyelet designs, white leaf prints, and intricate stripes. Even the straps can be fastened into romantic bows, ensuring this dress is anything but dull.