Nautical in navy // What to wear to a casual wedding

spring wedding guest outfit navy flare dress

Modcloth Luck be a Lady dress sz UK4 c/o (metal zipper replaced w/ invisible one)
YSL bag, M.Gemi heels

Happy first week of Spring! I can tell wedding season is near, based on the number of requests I’ve been getting for posts on wedding guest attire! I always recommend first looking up the venue setting (ie. beach, estate, garden) and then checking the invite or couple’s wedding website for any notes on attire. For “black tie” or “formal” I usually suggest a long dress or jumpsuit, and for “festive” or “casual” a shorter dress (above-the-knee, knee, or midi length) is a safe bet. Aside from length, fabric choice can play an important role in scaling the piece from casual to dressy – for example, a shorter dress in silk, brocade or with embellishments can pass as formal, while a maxi dress in lightweight cotton or chiffon could work in a more casual setting.
what to wear to a spring or beach nautical wedding guest
For this post I’m partnering with Modcloth’s and their new wedding page – they have so many romantic, vintage-inspired dresses and accessories for wedding guests, brides, as well as bridal party members. I love browsing the party dresses for guests, and chose this darling navy fit & flare number with pockets and an ivory colorblock. I can see it with wedges and a cropped cardigan (like this one which I have and love) for a casual beach or backyard event, or with high heels, clutch and a shoulder wrap for dressier settings.
casual wedding nautical pleated dress navy white
I’m wearing a UK size 4, which feels like a US 00 and fit snugly on me with no alterations. The material is a stretchy poly blend, and the dress is unlined with two side pockets. I did have my tailor change out the gold metal zipper for an invisible-style one. This is an alteration you don’t hear about often, but is one of my favorite tips for tweaking certain pieces to your personal tastes. For a dress like this, I felt like I could get more mileage out of it personally (including wearing to more conservative occasions) if the zipper were more discreet. For a dress like my bell sleeve lace one on the other hand, I liked the exposed gold zipper against the lace fabric.
modcloth navy white nautical fit flare dress
Measurements of this dress in a UK size 4: 14.5″ across the armpits, 12″ across the waist, 33″ total length. Fabric has stretch to it.
modcloth luck be a lady dress navy white
I tried on a few other Modcloth dresses and wanted to share my favorites from the bunch which are also petite-friendly! This dusty blue lace one is a simple but flattering knit dress – a size S stretched to fit well on me. The knit material, scoopneck, and swingy silhouette makes it more on the casual side. In comparison, this teal flared number has more structure and construction to it, reminiscent of some favorite floral dresses in my closet. It bodes a striking and vibrant print on sturdily-woven fabric with a little sheen (almost like brocade), and is fully lined with a slightly longer length in the back than in the front. This one ran very small with no stretch in the fabric, so I wanted to provide some measurements: size 2 measures about 12″ across the waist and 15″ across the armpits, fitting snugly on me throughout.


Thank you to Modcloth for sponsoring this post!

36 thoughts on “Nautical in navy // What to wear to a casual wedding

  • Reply Sasa Zoe March 21, 2016 at 12:32 am

    Beautiful dress! Love it<3

    Shall We Sasa

  • Reply Avanti Gomes March 21, 2016 at 2:10 am

    Love this chic and sophisticated look! Gorgeous dress.


  • Reply Serein Wu March 21, 2016 at 2:46 am

    This is such an adorable dress! Love it and perfect for wedding season. Thank you.

  • Reply Dressed With Soul March 21, 2016 at 3:36 am

    I'm so in love with this dress! It looks like especially made for you and you found the perfect accesories <3
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  • Reply Raspberry Jam March 21, 2016 at 4:39 am

    Beautiful and chic dress!

    Raspberry Jam

  • Reply Viola Yee March 21, 2016 at 7:41 am

    Nice dress and great tip about the zipper. Do you have any advice on how to find someone who does alterations?


  • Reply affecionada March 21, 2016 at 8:48 am

    Altering the zipper is a great tip! I often find dresses or other pieces that I love, but feel like are ruined by an exposed zipper. I never thought to have it altered!

  • Reply Courtney March 21, 2016 at 9:29 am

    I love the tip about the zipper, it takes this dress to the next level! I love navy and white. the perfect wedding dress!

  • Reply Morgan England March 21, 2016 at 10:19 am

    I am loving this dress, the navy is perfect to wear to a casual wedding. I loved reading about this look and how you styled it. Thank you for sharing!

    Morgan England

  • Reply Keri H March 21, 2016 at 10:47 am

    So beautiful. The perfect classy, nautical dress to wear <3

    Enclothed Cognition/Bloglovin

  • Reply Julie Hiller March 21, 2016 at 10:48 am

    That dress is darling! Perfect wedding attire. I love the flared shape! 🙂

    Lifestyle by Joules

  • Reply Živilė Dap March 21, 2016 at 10:49 am

    Beautiful dress! xx

  • Reply Anonymous March 21, 2016 at 12:37 pm

    You look beautiful! You got killer arms in pic #4.
    What type of arm toning exercises are you doing?
    Weight pound??

  • Reply Thuy | Dress Up, Chow Down March 21, 2016 at 12:38 pm

    Thanks for this! I've got a wedding to attend in April and May and didn't think to ask about the formality of the dress code.

  • Reply Jenn March 21, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    I enjoyed reading the tips! I didn't know that there were different dress lengths for different levels of formality in a wedding!

    a small bit | bloglovin | twitter | latest post

  • Reply Anonymous March 21, 2016 at 3:20 pm

    Would love to see a post all about your closet organization with pics. Like where and how you store shoes, boot, sandals on season and off season. And how you organize shirts, sweaters , dresses, pants etc… Also, how you decide which clothes stay even if they haven't been worn much and which ones go

  • Reply Pamela Gonzalez March 21, 2016 at 5:04 pm

    This dress is gorgeous on you! Love the semi-nautical look <3

  • Reply Elizabeth AATD March 21, 2016 at 8:54 pm

    I absolutely love this!! I only wish it came in a tall size!

    Elizabeth @ AATD

  • Reply Caroline March 21, 2016 at 9:05 pm

    Thank you for the post. This is very helpful as I never know what to wear to a wedding!

  • Reply Polly March 21, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    What a cute dress! Weddings are always a lot of fun!


  • Reply Mady T. March 22, 2016 at 4:12 am

    love the outfit! congrats on your collab.



  • Reply Evelyn Alphonse March 22, 2016 at 10:27 am

    Love the dress! The heels compliment so well with the outfit! ♡

    Evelyn | BeautyCloud9

  • Reply Jordan March 22, 2016 at 11:35 am

    Gorgeous! This definitely hits the sweet spot between casual and wedding-ready. You look stunning!

  • Reply Anonymous March 22, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    Love this dress! Wedding season has gotten much more complicated with a soon-to-be toddler. Love the pockets.

  • Reply Minau March 22, 2016 at 5:31 pm

    You loom amazing! Lovely dress!

  • Reply Olyvia March 22, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    I have turned down many cute dresses due to the exposed zipper. I find that the exposed zippers tend to shift (curve) to the side like having a crooked spine, which is annoying and not flattering. I had no idea that tailors will do this kind of alteration! Do they have to find a matching zipper color to the dress? Or is it very costly compared to a other types of alterations? Glad you brought up the exposed zipper topic! I've been so disappointed in seeing cute dresses and skirts, only to turn it around and cringe at the exposed zipper. Can't wait till retailers stop marketing this trend!

  • Reply Trang Do March 23, 2016 at 1:18 am

    Such a pretty dress! Looks so cute!
    Love from {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

  • Reply Anonymous March 23, 2016 at 9:17 am

    You look amazing! Having just moved to a new city, I would LOVE to see a post about how to go about finding a tailor you trust, since alterations end up being so important!

  • Reply Julia Mazzucato March 23, 2016 at 11:12 am

    I love the simplicity of this gorgeous navy dress. It's chic, streamlined, and looks amazing without taking attention from the bride.
    Julia // Little Miss Haute Couture

  • Reply Jessica Hard March 23, 2016 at 11:22 am

    So classy dress! Look gorgeous! 🙂

  • Reply Atlas Musings March 26, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Love the color blocking!


  • Reply Cassandra At AyeMilady April 8, 2016 at 2:56 pm

    Super chic nautical dress!!

  • Reply esther April 9, 2016 at 3:52 pm

    So cute! Love it.

  • Reply Lexi Alex May 23, 2016 at 6:01 pm

    You`re so pretty! Anything looks good on you! 🙂 Love this blog and feeling inspired!

  • Reply mrsfaber September 1, 2016 at 12:36 am

    I'm impressed. I've never bought a dress from modcloth that didn't swim on a petite frame!

  • Reply Li Zhou April 13, 2017 at 10:37 pm

    Do you mind sharing your tailor? I only found info in your 2013 posts. Is he still in the same location?

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