When you start pushing 30’s, there are some things you begin to appreciate more and 1 of those is garden parties. I have left the clubbing scene to the teens and 20 year old’s. I enjoy a day or evening out and love being home in time to watch a few episodes of whatever I’m watching on Netflix. My knees and head (no hangover) are also grateful for this slower pace as well.
You may be wondering what a garden party is, if there is an official garden party dress code, and what proper etiquette is at one of these events. I would like to start this post by answering your most pressing garden party questions. After that, we can dive into the best outfits to wear to one. Keep reading if you are looking for some outfit inspiration.
What is a garden party?
A garden party is a day party held outdoors, typically in a large private garden. It usually starts in the afternoon and ends by sunset. It could be a cookout, catered event or potluck style with plenty of seating, food and rink for everyone.
Some people celebrate their birthdays with a garden party. Baby showers, bridal showers and even weddings can be celebrated with a garden party.
Is there an official dress code for a garden party?
This depends on the hosts. Your invitation would usually specify what the dress code is, but garden parties are typically formal events. As they are outdoor gatherings, they tend to be held during the warmer months. This means you get to play around with bright colors and light fabrics.
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Do I bring a gift to a garden party?
Again, this depends on the reason for the special occasion. If it’s a bridal shower, baby shower or birthday, then yes, it is proper etiquette to come with a gift. Your hosts may advice in your invitation whether you should not bring any gifts. If nothing is mentioned, I suggest you do bring something to be safe. If this is a family gathering, you probably do not need to bring any gift.
Whether you are headed to The Royal Garden Party or to a backyard garden party, today’s blog post would be providing some major outfit inspiration. I would be sharing the perfect garden party outfits you could wear to stand out at this social event. There is a skill to dressing for more formal outdoor events when it’s nice outside.
*Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links, which means that I get a small commission if you decide to make a purchase through the links, at no cost to you.
What to wear to a garden party
1) A white dress
As long as you’re not headed to a bridal shower, a white dress is a good choice to wear to a summer garden party. Opt for dresses that are at least knee-length to respect the more formal dress code. On a hot sunny day, you could accessorize with a straw hat and a pair of sunglasses.
A pair of flatform sandals or espadrilles are great options of footwear. If your garden party is going to be on grass, you don’t want your stiletto heels sinking into the mud, do you? You could also opt for a pair of ballet flats if you don’t want to risk it in a pair of heels. If you are attending an outdoor wedding, also avoid wearing white please. We wouldn’t want to upset the bride!
2) Jeans and a blazer
If you are attending a more casual party, this is a great way to keep your outfit classy yet casual. Adding a blazer on top of anything instantly makes it dressier. You could wear a tank top or camisole underneath your blazer to add some sexiness to your outfit. Complete your look with a pair of high heels or cute flats.
Play around with lighter colors of blazers to make your outfit stand out. Pair it with a top in a complimentary color to show off your style. If the theme is pastel colors, try pairing a yellow blazer with a lavender tank top or a light pink top with a lilac blazer.
For an evening garden party, THIS velvet blazer would be a great choice.
3) A black dress
If you’re looking for a fail-proof outfit to wear to a garden party wedding, you can always trust your LBD. For black tie outdoor weddings, you can wear a knee-length, midi or maxi black dress. Choose a flowy dress if you’re trying to hide belly fat or a pregnant belly.
Gold jewelry compliments a little black dress best and you could also hold a gold purse. For a less formal outdoor parties, a shorter dress works. You could throw on a pair of heeled sandals to complete your look or a pair of flat shoes if you’re trying to avoid falling on your face on uneven ground.
4) A midi dress
Midi dresses are the first thing that come to mind when I think of a garden party. They’re the perfect length of dress – long enough to be considered formal and short enough to move around more freely. You want to be sure your outfit is appropriate for the grass when making your decision.
You can choose a midi dress with floral prints if Spring is in dull bloom. You could also opt for one in a pastel color, especially if this is an Easter garden party. Complete your outfit with a pair of heels to match your personal style. For some Easter outfit inspiration, do check out my post: 10 outfits to wear to stand out this Easter.
During the colder months, opt for midi dresses in darker colors such as THIS ONE.
5) A blouse and skirt
A good option for semi-formal wear you could put together for a garden party would be a cute blouse paired with a skirt. This could be a pencil skirt, midi pleated skirt or any other style. Try to keep the skirt below the knee for formal occasions.
Choose a blouse with long sleeves if it’s still a little chilly outside or if you’re not secure bearing your arms. A short-sleeved blouse works fine during the winter months. Blouses and skirts in light colors such as pastels are good options to go for. Complete your look with flats or heels.
6) A button-down shirt and pants
If skirts and dresses are not really your thing, you can always go for a classic shirt and dress pants look. Show off your Spring fashion by opting for a button-down in light color. A pair of high-waisted would give your look a more feminine silhouette and make your waist appear smaller.
If your garden party is more of a backyard barbecue with a causal dress code, try going for a pair of white jeans instead of trousers. A short sleeved shirt is a good idea if it’s a really hot day. Throw on a denim jacket if it’s a little cold outside. Tuck your shirt into your pants for a more formal look and opt for clothing made from lightweight fabrics if it’s really hot.
7) A maxi dress
Maxi dresses are a great idea if you want to feel free in your outfit while looking stylish. Choose a cute sundress in a bright color or a floral dress to create a chic garden party look. A maxi dress is a good idea for garden parties taking place in public parks. This way, you can slip on a pair of flat sandals without running your look.
Flat shoes are a wise choice whenever you’re unsure of what the ground looks like at your garden party. Maxi dresses are also the best options for garden parties where guests would be seated on the ground. It would be really hard to sit and cross your feet in a tight cocktail dress!
8) Maxi skirt and top
Instead of flirty dresses, you can create chic garden party attire by pairing your maxi skirts with cute tops and tops. This is a great way to create semi-formal looks that you can easily move around in. Create a monochromatic look by choosing a skirt and top in the same color. You could also create a color blocking effect by pairing a top and long skirt in complimentary colors.
A flowy pleated maxi skirt would be the best choice for a whimsical garden party. Complete your look with a pair of block heel sandals, strappy heels or flats. You could opt for a tank top if you plan on layering with a sleek jacket or top. During the warmer weather, opt for a top with short sleeves.
I hope you have gotten enough garden party outfit ideas for your next event. As the weather starts warming up, our social calendars start filling up. It’s a good idea to start planning your outfits ahead of time so that you can purchase whatever you need to ahead of time. This would avoid unplanned shipping delays.
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Which of these looks was your favorite? If you have a significant other, you could coordinate your outfits with them. If they’re wear a polo shirt and khaki pants, you could opt for a blouse and skirt look.
Do check out my post: 6 outfit ideas you can wear to a retirement party if you’ve been invited to a retirement party.
Looking for outfit ideas for your next engagement party? Check out my post: 9+ Ideas for What to Wear to an Engagement Party.
If you're looking for ideas on what to wear to a tea party, check out my post: 7 Great Outfits to Wear for Afternoon Tea.
Until the next post,