Summer dinner parties are tough to dress for. If the hosts have a backyard or roof deck space, or it’s at their summer home, you’re almost always eating outside, which means you should be prepared for sun, bugs, and grass or sand. If it’s a city party, you’re probably going to be somewhere with a lot of AC. So what to wear to a summer dinner party really depends on where you’re headed. Most of our summer dinner parties are outdoors, so I’m going to share my favorite things to wear to mostly outdoor dinner parties, but you could easily make these work indoors as well, perhaps with a change of footwear. While a barbecue is usually pretty casual, if it’s a more formal dinner party, the fancy quotient goes up a notch, which means rocking your cutoffs or sundress with your bikini underneath, straight from the beach, probably won’t cut it. But you also want to be comfy if it’s hot, buggy, or sunny out and you don’t want to overdo it because outdoor summer parties are all about being easy, breezy.
The good news is, a summer dinner party is 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. With white jeans and fancy sandals and some statement earrings, 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, my personal favorite. Dress it up with a gold or silver cuff or statement necklace. 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. A romper or jumpsuit, or matching set is a fashion-forward choice that can be comfy and practical too. A skirt paired with a bodysuit or even one-piece or crop top is a chic option too. Of course, I’m a dress girl through and through, so I usually opt for a fun summer dress when debating what to wear to a summer dinner party.
Here are my favorite ideas for what to wear to a summer dinner party.