Best-dressed guest alert: 15 under-$300 dresses for wedding season

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Sophie Ross is an In The Know shopping contributor. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter for more.

Good news (or bad news, depending on how you look at it): Weddings are back in full swing. 

With a substantial portion of the U.S. population officially vaccinated and CDC guidelines allowing social gatherings again, many of those who had to postpone their 2020 nuptials due to the pandemic are finally getting their big day. Personally, I have several save-the-new-dates on my fridge, which means I’m already starting to meticulously plan my outfits. (Don’t judge — we didn’t get to dress up for a year.)

As a smart shopper, I prefer not to spend over $300 on a dress as a wedding guest. That said, check out these under-$300 dresses for breaking back onto the wedding scene.

  1. Norma Kamali Diana Gown, $215
Credit: Norma Kamali

Norma Kamali’s signature ruched-jersey designs are a masterclass in understated elegance. Not only is this one-shoulder dress ultra-chic, but it’s also 100% comfy enough to sit, sip, eat and dance in for 8 hours straight.

  1. ASTR The Label Gaia Midi Dress, $98
Credit: ASTR

Sometimes, you just have to keep things simple. This sleek slip silhouette gives Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy vibes in all the best ways — with a side of sexy, thanks to the high front slit. Plus, you can’t beat the Barbie pink hue. 

  1. Fame And Partners Borealis Dress, $279
Credit: Fame and Partners

The best thing about this sexy, slitted Fame and Partners gown? You can customize the color and cut. Choose between “train” or “no train” and 34 unique hues — all available in matte satin — like cobalt, charcoal, dusty rose and more.

  1. Reformation Emersyn Dress, $278
Credit: Reformation

Florals? For weddings? Groundbreaking, I know. But actually — Reformation’s popular Emersyn silhouette has a snug fitted bodice and adjustable straps so you can serve all the looks (comfortably) at your next nuptials. All you need is a strappy sandal and some simple gold jewelry

  1. City Chic Ahanna Dress, $107.40 (orig. $179)
Credit: Avenue

You’d be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t look incredible in an inky midnight-blue. This sleek, satin dress has a pleated skirt and its supportive, wired bodice includes padding in case you want some extra va-va-voom. 

  1. ASOS Curve Fallen Shoulder Midi Pencil Dress, $64
Credit: ASOS

An elegant emerald green is a great choice year-round. This draped design has a sexy off-the-shoulder silhouette and back slit — so you can stay cool (and hot). Wear it with nude heels. 

  1. Ganni Gathered Metallic Jacquard Midi Dress, $245
Credit: Net-a-Porter

If you’re a fashion girl who likes to make a statement, try an avant-garde design by Ganni. This metallic jacquard gown has a voluminous silhouette complemented by delicate spaghetti straps. Rock it with a clutch and super-simple sandals. 

  1. Andrea Iyamah Reni Knotted Dress, $225 
Credit: Revolve

We’ve been taught to never wear something “loud” to weddings for fear of outshining the bride or groom. And while that’s certainly true (to an extent), that doesn’t mean you can’t show up in something sexy. This cutout design will have all eyes — that aren’t on the happy couple — on you. Just pair it with gold drop earrings and a simple sandal. 

  1. Adrianna Papell One-Shoulder Jumpsuit, $199 
Credit: Macy’s

Who even said you need to wear a dress? As far as I’m concerned, there’s just about nothing cooler than wearing an elevated jumpsuit to a wedding — and this red, asymmetrical design will have you feeling high-fashion and comfortable all night long. 

  1. House Of CB Mistress Rocks Vixen Black Ruched Dress, $75
Credit: House of CB

You can’t go wrong with an LBD (a.k.a. little black dress). With ruched mesh, this frock will keep you feeling fab on the dance floor.

  1. Boohoo Plus Off-the-Shoulder Wrap Midi Dress, $24 (orig. $60)
Credit: Boohoo

Cold shoulder, but warm arms. We love these long sleeves offset by an off-the-shoulder design — and the cinched wrap silhouette and chic champagne hue are just the cherry on top. 

  1. Dress The Population Sophia Dress, $171.60 (orig. $286)
Credit: Verishop

If sleeves are more your thing, this dress has you (and your arms) covered with sheer floral embroidery. With an attached slip dress underneath, this sheath design is perfect if you have a more conservative style but still want to show off that bod. 

  1. Shona Joy Knot Draped Dress, $279
Credit: Revolve

A halter design will be on-brand for you if you like showing off your arm-and-shoulder area. Complement the scarlet hue (and exposed back zipper featuring gold hardware) with gold hoops and metallic sandals. 

  1. BHLDN Hutch Alden Dress, $275
Credit: BHLDN

When in doubt, go for a breezy silhouette you know you’ll stay comfortable in. This rust-hued maxi dress has a wrap silhouette and cool, abstract print that makes a statement — no bold jewelry or accessories necessary. 

  1. Forever 21 Plus Ruffled Wrap Dress, $29.99
Credit: Forever 21

Sweetness overload. A periwinkle hue combined with romantic ruffles makes for an ultra-feminine, flirty frock you’ll feel absolutely adorable in. 

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