What to Wear to a Garden Party?

The invitation says “Garden Party,” but what does that mean for what you should wear? It can be a little confusing, as the term “garden party” can refer to a wide range of events – from a rustic backyard gathering to a black-tie affair at an embassy. But don’t worry, we’re here to help! In this article, we’ll give you some tips on how to dress for any garden party occasion. So whether you’re headed to a casual potluck or an elegant soiree, read on for the perfect outfit ideas!

What is a Garden Party

A garden party is a social event typically held outdoors in fine weather. Garden parties are usually hosted in private gardens, but they can also be held in public parks or other outdoor venues. The food served at garden parties is typically light fare such as finger sandwiches and salads, and the drinks served are usually champagne or cocktails.[1]

Types of Garden Parties

Garden parties are a great way to enjoy the outdoors while spending time with family and friends. They can be casual or formal, depending on the occasion.

Formal party

A formal garden party is typically held to celebrate a special occasion, such as a birthday or anniversary. Such a party is typically held in the evening and requires guests to dress up.

Formal party

The food served is usually more substantial, such as a buffet with hot and cold dishes. The dress code for a formal garden party is usually made of semi-formal longer dresses but you don’t need to dress too formal.

Wedding reception

A garden party can also be held to celebrate a wedding.

A garden wedding reception is typically a more casual affair than a formal wedding reception, and the dress code is usually less formal as well.
The food served is usually lighter fare such as finger sandwiches and salads, and the drinks served are usually champagne or cocktails.

Cocktail party

A cocktail party is a garden party that is held in the evening and typically features cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. The dress code for a cocktail party is usually cocktail attire or semi-formal wear.

Casual party

A casual garden party is typically held during the day and does not require guests to dress up. The food served is usually light, such as finger sandwiches, fruit, and cookies.

Children’s party

A children’s garden party is a great way to entertain kids while getting some fresh air. The food served is usually kid-friendly, such as pizza or chicken nuggets. [2]

What Should You Consider Before Picking a Party Attire?

Before you pick an outfit for the party, it is important to consider a few factors such as the location, time, and weather. If the party is going to be held outdoors, then you should dress accordingly.


One of the first things you should think about when picking what to wear to a garden party is the time of year. The season will affect not only what you wear but also how much skin you show. For example, in the summertime, it’s more likely that guests will want to dress down and show some skin whereas in the cooler months, guests will want to be more covered up. [1],[2]

Because garden parties are outdoor events, they usually are held during the spring and summer, so it’s best to opt-in for something light and loose.


Of course, the weather on the day of the party will also play a role in what you wear. If it’s a sunny day, you might want to consider wearing a sundress or shorts and a light top. However, if it looks like it might rain, you’ll want to be sure to pack an umbrella and perhaps even wear something with long sleeves to keep yourself warm.

Time of the day

The time of day will also dictate what you wear to a garden party. If the party is during the day, you’ll want to dress accordingly. However, if the party is in the evening, you might want to consider dressing up a bit more. For example, instead of pants and a blouse, you could opt for a nice sundress or even a cocktail dress.

Time of the day

Also, if the party is being held during the daytime, it’s preferred to wear lighter colors such as white, cream, or pastels. Whereas, if the party is in the evening, you can get away with wearing darker colors such as black or navy.


Is the party taking place in a backyard? At a public park? Or maybe even at a botanical garden? The location of the event will also play a role in what you wear. If it’s taking place in someone’s backyard, you can probably get away with wearing something more casual.

However, if it’s taking place in a public park or botanical garden, you’ll want to be sure to dress appropriately for the setting.

With all of this information in mind, let’s take a look at some specific outfit ideas for garden parties.

Female Garden Party Attire

Summer hat

A summer garden party is the perfect opportunity to show off your personal style with a great hat. Whether you choose a classic straw sunhat or a more unique style, make sure it compliments your outfit and provides adequate sun protection. If you’ll be outdoors for an extended period of time, consider bringing along a parasol or umbrella. [3]


Sunglasses are another must-have accessory for a summer garden party. Not only do they protect your eyes from the sun, but they can also help you avoid any awkward squinting photos. If you don’t already own a pair of sunglasses, now is the time to invest in a good quality pair that will last you for years to come. [3],[4]

Shoes without heels

Garden parties are typically held outdoors, which means you’ll be doing a lot of walking on grass, dirt, and possibly even mud. Heels will sink into the ground and make it difficult to move around, so it’s best to leave them at home.

Shoes without heels

And not even that! As you will be spending a lot of time standing, heels will quickly become uncomfortable. Instead, opt for a pair of flats or low-heeled shoes that will be both comfortable and stylish.[3]

Long dress of light/pastel color

When it comes to garden party dresses, long and flowy is always a good choice. Look for fabrics that are light and airy, such as cotton or linen. Pastel colors are also perfect for a summer garden party. If you want to add a pop of color, consider wearing a brightly colored scarf or piece of jewelry.

Another option is to wear a nice summer dress that hits at or below the knee. Again, look for light colors and fabrics. You can also add a cardigan or jacket if you need an extra layer of warmth.

Of course, you can always go with a classic little black dress. Just make sure to accessorize with some jewelry or a scarf to add a touch of personality. [5],[6]


If you’re not a fan of dresses, you can also wear a skirt. Look for skirts that are made of light fabrics.

If you’re attending a formal party, settle on a longer skirt, if you have a casual event planned, shorter skirts will work just fine.

Just make sure it’s not too long that it becomes cumbersome to walk around in. On other hand, avoid skirts that are too short or made of heavy fabrics. These will be uncomfortable in the heat and won’t look appropriate for a garden party. [2]

Comfy light pants

If you’re not a dress person, don’t worry. There are plenty of other options that will work just as well. For example, you could wear a pair of slightly loose, light-colored pants or culottes. Again, look for fabrics that are light and airy. You can also add a blouse or shirt in a complementary color. [4],[6]

Male Garden Party Attire

Short sleeved shirt

For a more casual garden party, a short sleeved shirt is an ideal outfit. The key is to choose light-colored fabrics that will keep you cool in the heat. Linen or cotton are both perfect choices. Accessorize with a belt and a hat to protect you from the sun. A Panama hat is a great choice for a summer garden party.

Slacks or Chinos

Pair your shirt with a pair of slacks or chinos. Again, stick to light colors like khaki, beige, or white. And make sure your pants are tailored so they look polished. If it’s a particularly hot day, linen trousers or shorts can be worn, but make sure they are tailored and not too baggy.

Comfortable shoes

As you’ll be spending time outdoors, it’s important to wear comfortable shoes. Loafers or boat shoes work well with this look. Closed-toe shoes are always a good idea and it’s best to avoid sneakers or sandals as they will look too casual.

Don’t wear suits

While a suit may be appropriate for some outdoor parties, it’s generally too formal for a garden party. If you want to wear a jacket, opt for a linen or seersucker blazer instead.[7]

What You Should Keep in Mind Before Attending a Garden Party

Now that you know what to wear to a garden party, there are a few things you should keep in mind before attending one.

Don’t forget about sunscreen

Garden parties are typically held outdoors, which means you’ll be exposed to the sun. Make sure to apply sunscreen before you leave home and bring a bottle with you to reapply throughout the day. [5]

Don’t wear dim colors

Next important detail is to avoid dim colors. Garden parties are all about enjoying the bright colors of summertime.

So steer clear of dark hues like black, navy, or brown.

Not only will these colors make you stand out in a bad way, but they will also absorb more heat. And no one wants to be sweating at a garden party!

If you must wear darker colors, pair them with light-colored accessories to balance things out.

Do not go overboard with accessories

Last but not least, when it comes to garden parties, less is definitely more. You don’t want to go overboard with your accessories and end up looking like you’re trying too hard.

Do not go overboard with accessories

A simple necklace or pair of earrings should suffice. If you must wear a hat, choose something that is both stylish and practical. And, as always, be sure to wear comfortable shoes! [6]

Comparison of What to Wear to a Garden Party

When attending a garden party, it is essential to dress appropriately to fit the occasion. This table compares various indicators on what to wear to a garden party, including the level of formality, appropriate colors, and recommended materials.

Indicator Formal Semi-Formal Casual
Colors Pastels, light colors Bright colors, patterns Earth tones, neutrals
Materials Linen, silk, cotton Cotton, silk blends Cotton, denim, khaki
Accessories Hats, gloves, heels Sunglasses, wedges, jewelry Sneakers, sunglasses, backpacks

The table compares different indicators on what to wear to a garden party based on the level of formality. For a formal garden party, it is recommended to wear pastels or light colors such as lavender, pink, or light blue. Materials such as linen, silk, and cotton are suitable for formal events. Accessories such as hats, gloves, and heels are also recommended to complete the formal look.

For a semi-formal garden party, bright colors and patterns such as florals or stripes are suitable. Materials such as cotton and silk blends are recommended for a semi-formal look. Sunglasses, wedges, and jewelry are good accessories to complement the outfit.

For a casual garden party, earth tones and neutrals such as beige, olive, or navy are appropriate. Cotton, denim, and khaki are suitable materials for a casual look. Sneakers, sunglasses, and backpacks are good accessories for a comfortable and relaxed style.


Can I wear jeans to a garden party?

Assuming the party is not black tie, jeans are acceptable to wear to a garden party. However they aren’t a preferred option as they can be quite casual. If you do choose to wear jeans, make sure they are in good condition and pair them with a nicer top or blouse.

Another option is to wear airy pants or a skirt if you are a woman or dress pants if you’re a man.

What do you wear to a casual garden party?

For a casual garden party, you can wear a sundress, or even pants, as long as they are bright in color. Just make sure your clothing is flowy and comfortable. You don’t want to be too hot in the sun!

Accessories are key to pulling off the perfect garden party look. A straw hat and sunglasses will keep you cool and protect you from the sun. Add a pop of color with your shoes or handbag. And don’t forget the sunscreen!

Can I wear black to a garden party?

While black is a classic color, it can be a little too harsh for a garden party. If you do wear black, make sure to add some softer colors or patterns to break up the look.

On the other hand, wearing white to a garden party is always a good idea! It’s fresh, clean and perfect for summer. Just be careful not to spill anything on yourself!

Are hats or sunglasses allowed at a garden party?

Yes, hats and sunglasses are allowed at a garden party. In fact, it’s often encouraged to bring a nice hat or pair of sunglasses as appropriate for the weather. They can add an extra bit of flair and style to your outfit, so don’t be afraid to break out that cute floppy sunhat you’ve been eyeing! Just remember to be considerate of your fellow partygoers and don’t block their views. If you’re in a particularly sunny area, sunblock is also an excellent idea to keep you comfortable throughout the day.

What type of shoes are best to wear to a garden party?

When it comes to shoes, you want to make sure they’re comfortable and appropriate for the occasion. That means not wearing something too casual like flip-flops or sandals. Instead, opt for a pair of low-heeled pumps or wedges, espadrilles, or loafers. You could also consider going for a pair of stylish sneakers, boat shoes, ballet flats, or mules. Just make sure they’re not too dressy for the event! Finally, don’t forget to bring along an extra pair of shoes if your host has a grass lawn. That way you can switch into something that won’t sink into the ground and ruin your look.

Is it ok to wear white clothing to a garden party?

Yes, it’s totally fine to wear white clothing to a garden party. In fact, many people think it is the perfect look for this type of occasion! Just make sure you choose lightweight fabrics and comfortable styles that don’t restrict your movement when dancing or walking around outside. Also consider adding pops of color with accessories such as scarves, jewelry, or hats. Doing so will give your outfit an extra touch of style and help you stand out in the crowd! Enjoy the party!

What should I avoid wearing to a garden party?

When attending a garden party, you should avoid wearing anything that is too revealing. It’s important to remember that this is still a formal event and respect for the other guests should be taken into consideration. You also want to avoid wearing anything that is too casual or sporty as this can make you stand out from the other attendees in an unflattering way. Lastly, try not to wear anything that could potentially damage the host’s property, such as open-toed shoes in grass or dirt. Keep yourself looking put together but don’t forget to be comfortable!

Is it okay to wear sandals to a garden party?

Absolutely! Garden parties are usually a pretty casual affair, so sandals are totally appropriate. Just make sure they’re comfortable and you can walk around in them easily throughout the party. If you’re worried about your feet getting cold or wet, you could always bring along a pair of socks to wear with them. That way, you’ll be both stylish and comfy all night long!

Are white jeans okay to wear to a garden party?

Absolutely! White jeans are a great choice for a garden party. They look stylish and breezy in the warm weather, plus they’re easy to dress up with a cute top or accessorize with colorful jewelry and sandals. Just be sure not to wear them too tight – loose-fitting white jeans will help you stay cool and comfortable throughout your day of socializing!

Can I wear slacks to a garden party?

Yes, slacks are a great option for garden parties. Just make sure that the fabric and color is appropriate for the occasion. Lightweight fabrics like linen or seersucker might be more comfortable in warmer weather, while heavier wools can work well during colder months. Also keep in mind the colors of your ensemble – bright colors will stand out against the greenery of a garden setting! Finally, avoid overly casual styles such as jeans or shorts – they should be reserved for more informal gatherings.

What kind of shoes should I wear to a garden party?

When deciding what shoes to wear to a garden party, comfort should be top of mind. Depending on the time of year and how long you plan on being outside, it can get pretty chilly in some gardens. That’s why wearing comfortable shoes like flats or sandals is recommended. If it’s hot out, you may want to opt for an open-toed shoe with good grip so that you don’t slip while walking around in the grass or dirt. Whatever type of shoes you choose, make sure they are waterproof because gardens tend to be wetter than most places. And never forget your sunscreen! You don’t want to forget about protection from the sun when heading outdoors!

Finally, if there is any chance that you will be dancing in the garden, it is a good idea to opt for shoes that won’t get stuck in the grass or dirt. That’s why many people choose to wear wedges or boots when attending an outdoor party. They provide plenty of grip, but also have a fun and stylish look. So pick up some comfortable shoes and get ready to enjoy your garden party!

It really depends on the type of garden party you are attending. If it’s a more formal event, then a classic black and white dress code is always popular. For something less formal, colors can range from pastels to more vibrant hues depending on the season. Generally speaking, when dressing for a garden party, think floral and light airy fabrics in colors that complement the flowers in bloom. A pop of color like pink or yellow will give your outfit an extra touch of style!

To avoid being too matchy-matchy, try mixing up different prints and textures within your outfit. Floral patterns look great for this type of occasion but can be paired with other lighter shades like white or cream for a more elevated look. Don’t be afraid to accessorize either, as statement jewelry and a cute pair of shoes can really complete your ensemble!

At the end of the day, wearing something you feel comfortable and confident in is key when it comes to garden parties. A great outfit will help you stand out and make a lasting impression at any event.

What is the etiquette for eating at a garden party?

The general etiquette for eating at a garden party is similar to that of any dining event: be polite, courteous and take small bites. It can be helpful to arrive at the event with your hands washed and clean, as it is important to keep your hands from contaminating food. Additionally, if there are certain dishes you don’t like or would prefer not to eat, politely decline them without making a fuss. Finally, make sure to thank your host for the wonderful meal after you have finished!

It’s also common courtesy not to bring outside food into someone else’s home or garden. If you would like something special brought in, it’s best to ask the host beforehand so they can plan accordingly.

Garden parties are a wonderful way to enjoy the company of friends and family in a beautiful outdoor setting. With a few simple courtesies and etiquette guidelines, you can have a great time!

How can I make sure I’m dressed appropriately for a garden party?

When attending a garden party, the expectation is generally to dress in an attractive, but not overly formal manner. That said, the key to dressing for a garden party lies in finding that perfect balance between casual and dressy.

If it’s a daytime event, light-colored summer dresses or tailored shorts with blouses should do the trick! For men, linen pants paired with a lightweight shirt can look great too. Darker shades are always best when choosing trousers as they won’t show dirt and dust as easily. When it comes to footwear, comfortable sandals or slip-on shoes work well – you don’t want your feet to get sore after walking around on uneven grass or gravel pathways all day!

Useful Video: What To Wear To A Garden Party


When it comes to garden parties, there is a certain level of formality that needs to be upheld. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your outfit! After all, it is a party. If you’re not sure what the dress code is, it’s always best to be on the side of caution and dress up rather than down. A summer dress or skirt and blouse combo is always a good choice for women. For men, slacks and a button-down shirt should do the trick. So go ahead and experiment with different looks until you find one that makes you feel your best. With these helpful tips, you’ll be sure to look great at your next garden party!


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