Fall Wedding Guest Dresses for Women Over 50: Splurge vs Steal

Are you invited to a wedding this fall? What will you wear? You already own a dress for summer weddings, but what about for fall? Well if you are in the market for a new dress, there are many gorgeous options that are ideal for women over 50. I found designer dresses in classic silhouettes in the most amazing colors and fabrics (with sleeves!). They are truly worth the investment because you can wear them for holiday parties and for many years to come. However, there are several look-alike dresses as options. In fact, I found each designer style for a steal, and also for an even bigger steal! So take your pick and decide how much you want to spend. Here are some of the best fall wedding guest dresses for women over 50.

Fall Wedding Guest Dresses: Splurge vs Steal vs Bigger Steal!

green long sleeve ruffe wedding guest dress fountainof30

Hunter Green Ruffle Dress

This lovely Zimmerman dress comes in many colors but I am partial to the hunter green. You already own black so why not go for a bit of color? It will work with either gold or silver jewelry. Splurge on the Zimmerman dress for $650, or get one from White House Black Market for only $200. But for an even bigger steal, this dress from Nordstrom is only $98!


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Zimmerman Asymmetric Ruffled Silk-satin Wrap Dress, $650


White House Black Market Long Sleeve Satin Ruffle Wrap Dress, $200

Bigger Steal

Nordstrom Kiyonna Whimsy Wrap Dress in Hunter Green, $98

silver wrap dress fountainof30

Silver Wrap Fall Wedding Guest Dress

This Isabel Marant dress is not for those who don’t like attention, but I think it is one of the most stunning dresses of the season. It is a worthwhile investment dress (for $2,030) that can cross the line from semi-formal to black tie. It would be fabulous for New Years Eve, too. Or you can get this classic sequin Halston cocktail dress for a comparable steal at $475, or for a drop in the bucket (and beware of the quality) this long sleeve metallic dress from Shein is only $21.50. Steam it well!


Isabel Marant Courtneya Wrap-effect Lamé Midi Dress, $2,030


Halston Falan Sequined Cocktail Dress, $475

Bigger Steal

Shein Lantern Sleeve Overlap Collar Belted Metallic Dress, $21.50


navy blue shirtdress wedding guest fountainof30

Navy Blue Shirtdress

What? Wear a shirtdress to a wedding? Well, when it is designed by Carolina Herrera, you bet you can! This magnificent classic dress is truly a collector’s item but $4,290 is a lot to invest. You can opt to get this beautifully made Rickie Freeman for Teri Jon dress (for what seems like a steal) at $530, or one that is not as exciting and sans the texture (but it is a bigger steal) for only $129 from Alex Marie.


Carolina Herrera Eyelet Embroidered Silk Midi Shirtdress, $4,290


Rickie Freeman for Teri Jon Metallic Jacquard Belted Shirtdress, $530

Bigger Steal

Alex Marie Kerry Satin Long Sleeve Button Down Collar Tie Waist Tiered Midi Shirt Dress, $129

Black Tuxedo Coat Dress fountainof30

Black Tuxedo Coat Dress

This impeccably tailored tuxedo style coat dress from Tadashi Shoji will live in your closet forever because you will wear it year after year! It offers understated elegance for $508. Bling it up with sparkly earrings or a necklace, or wear a pair of bright or jewel tone shoes or a handbag for a pop of color. You can get the same look for a steal from Lauren Ralph Lauren for only $245, or get an even bigger steal from Adrianna Papell for only $149.


Tadashi Shoji Peak-Lapel Crepe Satin Coat Dress, $508


Lauren Ralph Lauren Cocktail Dress, $245

Bigger Steal

Adrianna Papell Satin Lapel Long Sleeve Wrap Tuxedo Midi Dress, $149

dark floral dresses splur or steal fountainof30Dark Floral Wedding Guest Dress

A print is always a safe wedding guest dress option. For the most part, you won’t be showing up looking like you are in the wedding party. And dark florals for fall have become a seasonal staple. This Jason Wu Collection floral pleated midi dress is jaw-dropping, and at $1,595 the price may be too. For a steal you can go a little more casual with this Sugarlips dress for only $80, or for an even bigger steal this puff sleeve floral from Target for only $35! The “steal” dresses will need to be dressed up for a more formal event but they will all work for a day wedding.


Jason Wu Collection Printed Pleated Midi Dress, $1,595


Sugarlips Night Bloom Floral Midi Dress, $80

Bigger Steal

Target Women’s Puff Short Sleeve Dress – A New Day™, $35

Fall Wedding Guest Dress Styling Tips

  1. If you see a dress you like, get it now! It’s always important to have one good go-to cocktail dress on hand so you aren’t scrambling at the last minute to purchase one. That occasion to wear it will come up, no doubt.
  2. Comfort is key, so a looser-fitting, longer-length dress ideal for women over 50. You are a guest, so you want to enjoy the wedding and not have to worry about your dress.
  3. If you buy a dress that is a steal, make sure it fits you perfectly. You may need to have it tailored and definitely steamed or pressed. 
  4. Wear the proper under garments. My dress selections do not require strapless bras or anything tricky, but do wear a slip, or shaper if you need one, especially under silks or clingy fabrics. Dark sheer hose with a control top are another easy option to wear under fall dresses.
  5. Wear the proper shoes and accessories. If you are wearing a look-alike dress, amp up the look with your jewelry and shoes. Draw the attention away from the dress and on to your accessories.
  6. Go high-low! For example, you can carry a less expensive evening bag or wear costume earrings with a high-end dress, or wear your designer shoes or fine jewelry with a low-priced dress. Mix it up for a polished eclectic look and no one will know if it isn’t all designer!
  7. Does the dress pass the dance test? If you can raise up your arms, spin around and dance in it, then it is a perfect wedding reception party dress.

Do you need a fall wedding guest dress? Which one would you buy, and will it be a splurge, steal or bigger steal?

Carol Calacci

You may also like to read The Best Jeans For Women Over 50: Splurge vs Steal and The Best Cocktail Dresses For Women Over 50 To Wear Right Now

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