Like it or not, wedding season is coming fast. Whether you're staying local and only attending one wedding or criss-crossing the country all summer to celebrate, chances are you're struggling with wedding dress codes. One of the most confusing out there? The beach formal wedding dress code. It seems pretty simple, but then you look at it a second time. Beach? And formal? Isn't that kind of an oxymoron? Well, it's actually a legit wedding dress code, and if you're heading to Nantucket or Florida for a warm-weather wedding sometime soon, chances are good it's the dress code you've been given.
So what do the experts say? The Knot is always great at deciphering cryptic dress codes, and its advice is solid: "This suggests an elegant beach wedding — so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand, and water)," it writes. "Think tropical and elegant," wrote Wall Street Journal columnist Teri Agins in a 2015 column about the dress code.
Both are right, and reading "beach formal" on an invitation doesn't need to unnecessarily freak you out. Choose a dress or jumpsuit that's breathable, comfortable and won't show sweat in case it's hot out (aka no grey suede). Here are 11 of my favorite options.
1. Muted Floral
Like the idea of florals but don't love the bright colors that normal accompany a flower-printed dress? This muted floral maxi dress from Anthro is perfect for you.
I love all of Mara Hoffman's gorgeous prints, and this breezy jumpsuit is made for a beach wedding.
The flowy sleeves of this faux wrap dress are so gorgeous, and they're perfect for a beach wedding.
Another Mara Hoffman option (I can't help it), but I love the shape of this one shoulder shift dress.
5. Tiered Tassel Dress
This solid-colored dress from Anthropologie is perfect if you typically don't wear prints but still want to look festive.
I love the color of this sky blue dress, and it's perfect if you want a more fitted option.
I love the shape of this kimono-style printed dress, which is a perfect option if you want sleeves.
8. Blush Wrap Dress
This blush option looks so flowy and comfortable, and I think it'd look gorgeous blowing in the breeze at a beach wedding.
I absolutely love the shape of this midi dress, and it comes in a bevy of color options.
I love the shape of this black and floral dress, which has flattering front pleats.
This striped dress will blend perfectly with the water, and the side slits keep it breezy.