What to wear to a garden party

Image:© Eric Simard/ Fotolia

One of the best things about summer is the open-air parties. What can be better than to chat with friends, dance and enjoy a good drink under the stars?

Garden parties can have different atmosphere and settings. They can be a casual hang-out in the yard of a friend, a wedding or a formal garden event. If the party is completely casual, you can wear whatever catches your fancy.

If you have a dress code

If there is a written invitation and a certain dress code is specified in it you will have to adhere to its requirements. This should not worry you in the least. There are plenty of articles on the Internet which describe what every dress code entails. A quick search will show that sometimes there are contradictions in the instructions coming from different sources. Sometimes in interpreting the requirements of a dress code, some specialists would allow for example dark denim jeans, while others are definitely against it. Whenever such contradictions arise, it is always better to choose the classic side in order to avoid feeling uncomfortable at the event.

Often at the mention of a garden party our imagination creates an associated image of frivolous dress. As we saw above, this is not always the case. It is important to find the balance between the snobbish legalism and rigid adhering to the rules and defying the rules altogether. Regardless of what the dress code requirements are, moderation should always be a top priority. In this way whatever you decide to wear you will not feel uncomfortable or out of place.

If there is no specified dress code

If your garden party invitation does not specify a certain dress code you have more freedom of dress, but this often makes the choice harder rather than easing it. The most important thing to keep in mind is the nature of the event. You will not wear to a wedding what you would wear to a business event. The time of day the party will take place is also important. If it is during the day, then a fresh summer suit will suffice, while an evening event requires wearing a dress. The dress can be long or knee-length, in bright or gentle colors, with or without floral patterns, but definitely without needless tackiness. White pants with a fresh airy top or tunic is also a great solution.

In all cases

It is good to know that high-heels may not be the best idea for this sort of parties. Your heel may sink in the soft lawn and make your movements look awkward. Platforms or flat shoes are the tested and approved leaders for garden parties. However, they have to be elegant, not sporty, beach shoes or everyday shoes. If you do not have suitable flats or platform shoes, then it is better that you risk small heels then ruin your whole look with un-matching shoes.

It is also advisable that you bring a light jacket, especially if the party is going to be in the evening. This will keep you not only from the evening chill but will also keep biting insects at bay. It goes without saying that this jacket has to be in sync with the rest of your outfit. An airy, transparent shawl will do perfectly if you do not have a suitable jacket. And as for insect repellents, avoid spraying them all over yourself at the event. Do this at home if the product you’re using does not have a strong and distinctive smell. Make sure that you do not create a hideous combination of perfume and insect repellent.

Finally give some thought to the purse you will be using. A large, bulky purse will be somewhat cumbersome. You will need a clutch purse or better yet a purse with a long strap which will give your hands more freedom, so that you can easily hold a glass or dish, shake hands with friends or meet new people.

Whatever your decision is, once you are at the event forget about your doubts and have fun. Don’t think about what you could have worn or should have done, unless you want to spoil your evening. Enjoy your garden party, that’s what you are there for.


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