With the wedding season soon upon us — those wedding invites keep coming! — you know you should do your dress shopping soon.

While we all do want to look good in those wedding group photos, it’s not so practical to splurge on a dress that you might just wear once or twice. So pick a versatile piece that you can actually re-wear, after that celebratory meal. (Bridesmaids can also share this handy list with the bride-to-be too!)

We quiz Sarah Rutson, the Vice President of Global Buying at Net-A-Porter on the top tips to know, when shopping for a dress as a wedding guest or bridesmaid.

1. Go for a classical style
Sarah suggests that you opt for can’t-go-wrong, classical shapes and silhouettes.

4 dress shopping tips that wedding guests should know

 

J Crew lace dress, $637.67 from Net-A-Porter

Basically, think of the types of dresses you would wear on a more regular basis, except in a more expensive fabric and a better cut. Plus, it also gives you a good excuse to splurge on a designer piece!

2. Pick a dress in a neutral colour
This makes it easy to style the dress in many ways, explains Sarah, thus increasing the number of ‘wears’ you get out of it.

4 dress shopping tips that wedding guests should know

Tibi silk and chiffon dress, $1,149.71 from Net-A-Porter 

Think black, beige, muted pastels or white; yes, you can wear the latter hue on a short dress if you layer on the accessories to make it look less bridal-like.

4 dress shopping tips that wedding guests should know

Burberry silk and chiffon dress, $916.08 from Net-A-Porter

3. Avoid loud prints and distinct embellishments
Details like these make your outfit “too identifiable”, says Sarah. In this Facebook age, it’s all too easy to spot that one guest in the same dress, at multiple weddings right? Plus you don’t want to steal the attention from the bride either.

4. Find new ways to accessorise that one dress
Don’t pick the same bag and shoes, if you must wear the dress at more than one wedding in a year. Mix it up by layering it with a statement necklace, or belt up the look.

4 dress shopping tips that wedding guests should know

Michael Michael Kors, $310.58 from Net-A-Porter

You can also layer on the look by pairing it with a jacket, pants or crop top; the possibilities can seem almost endless, with that one perfect dress.

Co-ords and jumpsuits of course, can be great looks for weddings too. Get more outfit ideas from our Shopping pages.

Need more dress shopping options? We list 9 types of dresses that will suit any wedding that you attend.

Are designer bags really worth the price? We calculate the cost-per-wear, for each of these ‘it’ bags.