35 Best Sites for Formal Dresses Every Woman Should Know
May 11, 2019 by Nayri Gregor
Wedding season is right around the corner and I couldn’t be more excited! This year we’ll be going to Greece in the Summer for my cousin’s wedding and in November, I’ll be the Maid of Honor for my little sister’s wedding. I started my dress hunt here in LA but didn’t find anything that I was crazy about. So, I’ll be ordering my dresses online, from sites that I’ve either ordered from before, or have bookmarked over the years that carry top designer formal dresses for weddings guests, maid of honors, bridesmaids, mother of the bride, and so on..
I mean, who doesn’t want to go all out and dress to the nines? Even if you’re “just” a guest, there are endless occasions at which you want to look your red-carpet best, and a gorgeous dress can help you do just that. Finding it, though, is easier than you might think. Here are the 35 of the best online dress stores for formal dresses, wedding guest dresses, mother of the bride dresses and more:
35 Best Sites for Formal Dresses
Bridesmaids, brides, moms and bridal family (aunts, cousins, grandmas), you’re in for a treat. Think retro cuts. Renaissance gowns. Bold florals. And some of the most creative styles ever. If you’re looking for a true designer experience, this is it.
What’s an online outlet? An Outnet, of course. In honor of their outlet status, they frequently offer sales on formal dresses as well as product lines or brands. If you want designer steals at amazing prices, make sure to set up an alert.
Moda Operandi is one of the best luxury destinations on the net. They have a huge range of options from designers across the globe. Find old classics or runway recents. And don’t worry: They’ve got options for more stately matrons and plus-size ladies as well.
Another shop inspired by the Big Apple, Likely is one of the most modern dress sites on the web. Their cuts and styles are truly unique. Plus, they work hard to maintain a list of cute inventory for plus-size women. Fit your body and your aesthetic at this site!
Another site devoted entirely to the dress, this company takes its bold, chic styles from the city that never sleeps. They’re one of the most searchable sites online. Filter by style, occasion, designer, sale and more. Spend more than $249 and you’ll get free shipping as well.
Reformation is “more than a pretty dress.” They’re unique in offering an entire section to wedding guests, rather than just the bridal party. This enables attendees to find the perfect luxury dress without having to search all over kingdom come.
Although they sell other clothing types as well, Couture Candy focuses strongly on weddings. Check out their mother of the bride section for a wide range of modest, modern styles. Their luxury bridesmaid dresses are lovely and well-priced. And a raft of other styles fit wedding guest needs perfectly.
8. Ted Baker
Don’t be fooled. This shop might serve all genders, but it does a fantastic job curating high-end women’s dresses. It’s perfect for less formal occasions, with styles ranging from bodycon to cocktail, midi and maxi. And trust me: Wait for one of their sales. They’re frequent and worth it.
If you’re looking for a unique and youthful wedding guest dresses, this is it. Consider crop tops and fancy bottoms for a truly show-stopping look. Shop by event, designer and style to find the perfect fit and accents.
This combination of boutique and department store has wowed New Yorkers for decades. If you want a vast array of luxury designer choices, you can’t do better. Shop online or, if you’re in the area, make sure to pay an in-person visit.
11. Peaches Boutique
If you live in Chicago, you’re lucky enough to have this store right nearby. For the rest of us, online is always a good bet. It’s one of the best destinations for plus-sized garments. Also, you can easily search by occasion.
Netaporter is a clever spinoff on the French idea of prêt-à-porte, which means “ready to wear.” It’s pronounced PRET-UH-POOR-TAY, so make sure to say it right when people ask you where your amazing dress is from. Oh, and their high-end cocktail dresses are amazing. Go check them out.
13. Bergdorf Goodman
Bergdorf offers a link in their navigation titled “Designers A-Z.” And honestly, that’s all you need to know about this company. It is the site to visit if your goal is to get a designer gown. Just try and get one you can wear later on, to make the price worth it.
Not sure what your style is? Then Farfetch is absolutely the shop for you. They offer free global returns and pickups, so you can order two or three options, then send back the ones you don’t like. It’s ideal for those with unique figures who have a hard time with fit.
15. JJ’s House
At JJ’s House, your fashion is their passion. And they make good on that promise. They offer some of the most unique dress styles around. Think interesting off-the-shoulder cuts or hats worthy of Jackie O. Capes on formal dresses. Take a look and you’ll see what I mean.
Good ol’ Nordy’s. This well-established department store has a solid reputation for good reason. They provide everything you could need for a special event. Whether you’re a proud mom or a bridesmaid, you can find your dress here for good prices. Guaranteed.
Another shop with a towering reputation, Bloomies offers both excellent garb and excellent prices. Shop luxury goods with free shipping over $150, or join their loyalist program for year-round free shipping. Anyone attending or starring in a wedding is taken care of here.
18. Lord & Taylor
The name along sounds fancy, and you’ve no doubt heard of it. This designer goods peddler is the oldest department store in the nation. That reputation stems from amazing clothing and good prices. Bonus: You only have to spend $99 to get free shipping.
Every dress style under the sun, all in one place? Yes, please. In addition to casual fare, the site also has lots of fancy attire. You can search by length, strap and shoulder style, color and more. Best of all, you can also find shoes and accessories in one place.
20. House of CB
If you’re looking for formal dresses by theme, you’ve found the perfect shop to help you do it. The site does allow you to search by brand or style, like others. But they also have “campaigns.” These separate into themes from eras (the 80s), holidays (Christmas) and events (party).
Jovani is dedicated to offering women a huge range of choices for you. Note that you have to get pricing over the phone and order from a shop. Want to get your formal dresses in person? Make sure to hit up one of Jovani’s trunk shows, held all over the Eastern Seaboard! It’s the best way to find a steal for less.
When a shop does nothing but dresses, you know you’re in good hands. Not only does Mila Bella offer designer brands, they offer more affordable versions as well. The site is sectioned into evening gowns, short dresses that are perfect for bridesmaids, and maxi lengths for guests.
23. Rent the Runway
Blow them away without blowing your credit line! Rent the Runway offers one-time rentals or ongoing wardrobe changes, so you can always look awesome without having to BIY (buy it yourself, obvi). As they say, you can own it without owning it … plus, hello environmentalism!
Designer luxury has come home to roost. This is the perfect place to match up your jewelry, handbags and shoes with a dress. Plus, they have an amazing array of designers. Watch the sales and you can get crazy good deals.
This site is 100% dress-centric. In addition to formal dresses for prom, they also have high-end wedding and bridal party attire. Also evening gowns. Pro tip: If you’re in the younger crowd, get a dress that can double as your next homecoming or prom gown.
26. Neiman Marcus
Headquartered in Dallas, Neiman Marcus brings a sunny swing to all things dress. They feature a huge range of contemporary designers and dresses by occasion. This is another great option for wedding guests who want to look amazing without stealing the show.
In addition to clothing, swimwear and accessories, Venus has amazing dresses for all occasions. It’s the perfect online shop for destination wedding-goers, since you can get your beachwear and casual clothes there as well.
Lulus is all about the niche dress. Find bridesmaids apparel and wedding guest dresses in their own categories. Grab honeymoon gear if you’re a bride. And enjoy the huge selection of accessories as well!
As their title suggests, Prom Lily is all about dances. They love a good wedding or special occasion too, though. They also offer clothing by destination. If you’re opting for a beach party, for instance, they’ve got you covered.
Get ready for women’s formal dresses with a Down Under spin. They offer any dress you can imagine, putting you in perfect shape for weddings from evening to evening dresses. Plus, they are very affordable. If you want to make a statement without spending every last dime, this is the place.
BCBG has a whole section of their site devoted to special occasion dresses. It’s called the Celebration Shop, and it is aptly named. With that kind of attention, this designer brand is bound to have something for you. Choose from modern cuts to classic, Old World styles.
Again, the name is clear that this shop focuses on prom dresses. They’re an amazing source for anyone seeking a formal dress in their teens, 20s or even 30s. They have a wonderful plus-size section as well as a superstore in New Jersey, so check it out if you’re nearby!
You’ve most likely heard of Shopbop. They’re famous for their awesome sales and trendy duds. You can not only search by cocktail, formal and bridal. You can also search by color, pattern, length and more. Plus, they offer shoes, accessories and all your other needs in one place.
34. David’s Bridal
David’s is a go-to choice for the younger set. Their wedding guest dresses are super reasonably priced. They’re also classic enough to wear again for years to come. Younger wedding guests – think teens and twenties – can’t find a better outlet.
This is hands-down one of the best shops for designer dressers. In true luxury style, they have a huge range of well-known brands. From cocktail length to formal, you’ll find everything you need to make that wedding or evening soiree as special as can be.
To get the best possible experience, be sure to take your most recent measurements before ordering the dress. Then match it up to the brand’s sizing chart. If you can’t find one, here’s a universal sizing chart. However, it’s always better to dig deep for one put out by the actual dress-maker. That way, the formal dresses, wedding guest dresses and mother of the bride dresses you choose are much likelier to give you the perfect look.
A few more caveats, though. First, never order a dress based on the size you’re “planning to be.” When that day arrives, you want to know you look good. If you can’t fit into your dress, you’ll be mega-bummed. Also, it’s important when online shopping to leave time for returns. Order your dress several months ahead of time. Then try it on. If you like it, get the shoes and accessories. Then if you still like it, you’re good. If not, return it!
And that’s it! While the above list of the best online dress stores won’t solve all your dress problems, it will still get you started in the right direction. Good luck, and get ready to raise a glass at your event with pride in your appearance!