What to Wear to a Summer Party

Summer is the best time to kick back, cut loose, and enjoy the nice weather while it lasts, and parties are the best place to do it! But with such a wide range of themes, locations, and events, summer parties can be as difficult to dress for as they are fun to attend. From rooftop dinners to casual backyard barbeques, here are my tips for dressing for the occasion like a pro.

Keep It Easy-Breezy.

Summer events have a more relaxed vibe than other seasons, so even if you’re going to a formal event, dial back the drama with fun prints and light colors. Go for an airy, fresh style and save the heavy, bold looks for colder weather where they’ll fit in better. Finding yourself overdressed is never fun, but in the summertime, it can make you look downright high-maintenance.

Wear Breathable Fabrics.

There is absolutely no reason you should be sweltering in stiff, unbreathable fabric. Opt for natural materials or moisture-wicking blends to keep yourself dry this summer. Cotton is an all-purpose favorite for its breathability, and its prevalence on the market means they’re cheaper than ever.

For more upscale events, linen is even more breathable, and it looks stunning in dresses and pants. Linen is slightly fussier in terms of care, so I prefer to save it for dressier garments I might have dry-cleaned anyway.

For casual events where you’ll be moving a lot, synthetic materials that wick moisture away come in a variety of styles that don’t give off that “I just got here from the gym” vibe.

Rompers, Jumpsuits, and Overalls, oh my!

Get in a playful mood with one-piece outfits! Rompers are whimsical and fun, and they look awesome with a variety of loud, expressive patterns. Jumpsuits are a slightly more upscale version and paired with the right accessories they look totally glamorous. Overalls are the friendly, low-key kid sister of jumpsuits, but they can verge on overly casual, so take care in your styling.

With all three of these options, you’re getting comfort and casualness while reducing the risk of a skirt malfunction, but be attentive to the tone of your event. Overalls are darling, for example, but you obviously shouldn’t wear them to a formal dinner.

Yes, You Do Still Need a Cardigan.

The outdoors might be hot, but in a super air-conditioned building, that breathable romper might leave you shivering. A lightweight cardigan in a neutral color can pair well with fun summer clothes without bringing a winter or autumn look to your outfit.

Cream and brown cardigans look good with a lot of styles and colors, and you can tie it around your shoulders for a fun nouveau-prep look if you don’t end up needing it.

Wedges are Your Friend.

Unless your event is black-tie, don’t give into the temptation to wear stilettos everywhere. They might look cute, but one backyard lawn party and you’re down for the count. Wedges make a great fashion compromise between fashion and practicality, and espadrilles are the ultimate summer staple for that beachy, boho vibe.

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