Summer dinner parties are tough. If the hosts have a backyard or roof deck space, or it’s at their summer home, it’s almost always eating outside. Which in theory is nice, but as someone who cannot stand bugs and who is therefore, loved by bugs (and by bugs, I mean mostly mosquitos though the annoying little ones that buzz in your ear too as well as the occasional bee), I’m not always a fan tbh. But since it would just feel wrong to be hanging out indoors in the AC staring out at the beautiful summer night (and I’d complain behind the hosts back with everyone else about how silly it is that we’re not outside) if we’re really being honest, it’s pretty safe to assume that you should be prepared for sun, bugs, and grass or sand, if you’re invited to a dinner party anytime between Memorial Day and Labor Day. Now a barbecue is one thing, but if it’s a dinner party, the fancy quotient goes up a notch, which means rocking your cutoffs or sundress with your bikini under straight from the beach probably won’t cut it.
The good news is, it’s an excuse to whip out the tunic you love that’s too fancy for a bbq, a little weird for work, but you’ve only worn once on the vacation you bought it for and are dying to wear again (not that I’m guilty of that or anything). With white jeans and fancy sandals and some statement earrings (tassles are my fave these days), it’s perfect. Bonus: You don’t have to worry about your legs getting bit all night. You can’t fail with a nicer sundress and wedges or fancy flat sandals. Dress it up with a gold or silver cuff or statement necklace.
If you’re not feeling the white jeans, wide-leg pants can actually look really chic with a tunic. As long as it’s not too long, breaking the old rules of proportions — tight on bottom, loose on bottom and vice versa — is actually totally chic and modern.
Personally I like maxi dresses as they offer more coverage from bugs, but a midi style is chic and short is great for showing off your tan legs.
Of course if you want to show that even if you’re at the beach, you’ve still got ~style~ a romper or jumpsuit, or matching set is the fashion-forward choice. I like to wear heels or wedges with a jumpsuit to help elongate — it’s just more flattering. With a romper, you can go either way, though a little platform will give your legs and butt a boost, and really, who doesn’t want that?
A matching set, in my opinion, is the best of all worlds — it has a trendy/fashion-forward vibe, if you opt for shorts or a mini and/or crop top combo it’s flirty, and it’s more like a dress in the easier to pull off and make feel like it’s flattering departments.