There are several advantages to being invited to a black-tie wedding: For one, a fancy venue usually guarantees cool Instagram photos. For another, you get to enjoy a lavish meal you wouldn’t otherwise pay for yourself. But once you’ve mailed your RSVP card, there’s that big, annoying question of what to wear.
While a formal dress code is a great excuse to dress up, buying the right outfit can get expensive. Elaborate gowns, even if they don’t feature details like lace or rhinestones, can cost well upward of $500. Tack on shoes, accessories, and a bag and you’re looking to spend even more on top of that. But you don’t have to blow your budget to look black-tie appropriate. These 13 picks are stylish, well-made, and all cost $200 or less.
The Understated Option
Long Chiffon Dress
$40(was $70, now 43% off)
H&M isn’t just for trendy pieces — it has a selection of black-tie-appropriate gowns like this one. The simple silhouette and pleating at the waist feel formal yet understated.
A black-tie dress code usually calls for a floor-length gown, but it is possible to go short and still adhere to the rules. Look for a dress in an expensive-looking print or a heavy material, like this one, which also comes with a formal-looking full skirt.