It seems like the UK is more than ready for a big party – and after eighteen months of lockdowns and social distancing – who can blame Brits for wanting to let their hair down?
Garden parties have been all the rage this summer as they offer a safer way to meet up with friends and family in the wake of the global pandemic.
With the August bank holiday approaching, many of us are hoping to use the long weekend as an excuse to plan an outdoor party. But what is the dress code for a garden party? Do you dress to impress – or plan your outfit around the unpredictable British weather?
If you’ve received an invite to an outdoor party but are not sure what to wear, then read on for some garden party outfit inspiration from floaty floral dresses to casual chic jumpsuits.
A sunny floral dress is a go-to garment for any garden party and there are styles to suit all body types, which makes a sundress a handy addition to any summer wardrobe.
We love this rose-printed smock dress from Abercrombie and Fitch, which is currently reduced from £92 down to just £49.99, so grab a designer brand dress and be the best-dressed guest at the garden party.
For a curvy figure, try a wrap dress for cool chic and comfort. This flower-print dress from Yours is available in a choice of blue, pink and cream and can be dressed up with heels and a clutch bag for a formal garden party, or dressed down with trainers and a denim jacket for a casual family barbeque.
If you want to show off your tan, then opt for a bandeau dress such as this pretty pink number from Boohoo. This strapless sundress is ideal for special summer occasions – and can be accessorised with just an ice-cold glass of Pimms and lemonade! As the evening draws in simply throw a cute chiffon bolero around your shoulders to complete the look.
Jumpsuits are a fashion favourite for summer 2021. They are as stylish as a summer dress and more practical as they often have pockets. Another big tick is that the trouser legs will eliminate ‘thigh chafing’ making them comfortable to wear all day long.
A wide-legged 100% organic cotton jumpsuit will keep you cool even on the warmest of summer days, and this ditsy-printed monochrome outfit has pockets, a V-neck and an elasticated waist for total comfort.
This vibrant jumpsuit is on special offer in the Joules sale and is not only great for a garden party but is smart enough to wear as a guest at a summer wedding. It has an open neck and wide sleeves that are flattering to all body shapes. Simply add some chunky bangles and a statement necklace and you’re ready to party.
Party-style maxi dresses
With pretty pleats, this long-sleeved maxi dress is made from soft fabric for all-day comfort. We love the quirky, frilly cuffs and the loose fit to keep you cool at the height of summer.
For lovers of the boho style, Joe Brown’s navy and purple printed dress oozes retro charm. It can be worn alone – or on cooler days teamed with a pair of leggings and a jacket.
If you’re looking for a maxi dress to wear to a formal garden party, Boohoo’s off the shoulder maxi dress will hit the spot. The fresh mint and pink floral fabric and off-the-shoulder style is the perfect outfit for canapes and fizz on the lawn – and will ensure you’re the most stylish guest at the gathering.
Light jackets for cool evenings
Living in the UK means that we’re always ready for unpredictable weather but adding a light jacket to your garden party outfit will mean you’re prepared for cooler afternoons and partying after the sun goes down.
Investing in a lightweight blazer is a great way to stay warm and stylish. A neutral colour works best and can be mix and matched with other items in your summer wardrobe. This grey relaxed-fit blazer from New Look can be thrown over a dress or jumpsuit if the sun isn’t shining for instant chic.
A denim jacket is a wardrobe staple and opting for a light indigo wash adds to the summer vibe. Gap has a range of affordable denim jackets online – and we’re giving them a special mention as this jacket is a part of the brands’ Washwell program, which is a smart denim wash program that has enabled the brand to save over 229 million litres of water since 2016.
A lightweight biker-style jacket brings an edgy look to any outfit – and this soft grey jacket will ensure you’re dressed to impress. Made with soft Tencel fabric it’s got all the attitude plus all the comfort.
Summer pumps and sandals
Choosing the right footwear for your outfit can be tricky. High heels may look dressy but are often a bad choice for garden parties as the heels tend to sink into the grass. However, there are plenty of alternative fantastic footwear options such as these shimmering gold Italian Nappa leather sandals from LK Bennett. They are currently on sale for £98 – reduced from £245 – making them an investment pair of sandals that can be worn for many summers to come.
For a more casual look, these Rocket Dog pumps with a bright, patterned design have a cushioned sole for ultimate comfort and look great teamed with a simple white t-shirt and pair of skinny jeans.
If you prefer some height to your shoes, then wedge heels are the way to go for a garden party. These tan Blowfish Hydra Wedge sandals won’t sink into the soft ground as stiletto heels can – and have a whopping 50% off on the M&M Direct website.