I don’t think I’m going out on a limb here by saying that summer is the best! I love the whole mentality around summer including the warm weather and the long days. One of the things that always makes me so excited for the summer season is the outdoor gatherings. I love backyard barbecues and al fresco parties this time of year. Whether I’m slipping into a sweet sundress for a cocktail or dinner party or comfy jeans and a top/sweater for a casual bbq, I’m happy as long as I’m outside enjoying great company, delicious food, and the lingering sunlight.
What to Wear To A Summer BBQ
Earlier this season, I kicked off summer bbq season with some friends. I wore the cutest white cotton tank dress because, in my mind, summer and white cotton go hand in hand! I helped set the table for the bbq too as you can see in this post. All that’s missing is the water + wine glasses and this easy coastal table set-up is complete!
White Cotton Dress
As I said, I think white cotton dresses are synonymous with summer! As such, a little white dress is a staple in my summer wardrobe. It’s such an easy piece to throw on before running out the door to a bbq party! A white cotton dress is effortless and fresh, which fits the way I always want to feel for casual summer get-togethers. Find some of my favorites below!
Blue and White Sweater
Yes, summer is warm! However, a lot of the places I travel to in the summer have temperatures that dip down when the sun sets. I’m always cold too so I keep blue and white sweaters nearby at all times. In California and New England, a sweater is completely necessary to bring to a summer bbq. After dinner wraps up, my friends and I like to enjoy the night air with flowing wine and endless conversation… enter a blue and white sweater! Discover some blue and white sweaters I love below!
I recently spilled on my love for my current favorite pair of white jeans in this post here. I honestly can’t recommend these high-waisted, wide-leg, cropped white jeans enough! They are so flattering and a great elevated take on white jeans. However, if you love skinny white jeans or white straight leg jeans, then I’ve got your covered too with these and these. Just as a white cotton dress is a summer bbq essential piece, white jeans are made for bbq get-togethers too.
As I chatted about above, temps can really drop in the summer from day to night so I always take this into account when thinking about outfit ideas for parties or gatherings that keep me outside after sunset. Here comes the maxi dress! A maxi dress is a wonderful piece to have in your closet for summer barbecues because maxi dresses allow you to keep your legs covered while still wearing a dress. I find that a maxi dress really does keep me warmer than a mini dress at al fresco dinner parties! Keep reading for a few favorites of mine!
7 Summer BBQ Outfits
Little White Dress Outfit
Chatting about the outfit I’m wearing in this post here! I styled this white cotton midi dress with a pair of sweet little bow sandals and a woven basket bag for some pops of color. This is the perfect outfit for a summer bbq when you want to look put together and polished. Barbecues by nature are casual but they don’t always have to call for jeans and a tee. If the bbq you’re heading to doesn’t involve any kids, then why not turn it into an occasion to slip into a cute dress? P.S. my bow sandals are so affordable… a summer must-have!
Summer Sweater Weather Outfit
Chatting about the sweater outfit I’m wearing in this post! Sadly, this sweater was so popular this spring that it is sold out. It’s easy to see why… a timeless navy and white sweater is hard to beat in the summer! I hunted though and found a few similar summer sweaters for you below. I also can’t get enough of my button-up blue jeans. When it comes to jeans for the summer, these can’t be topped! The crop on them is summery and fun. You can go for walks on the beach and not get your jeans wet because they are cropped just enough. They are also ideal for lace-up espadrilles! Also seen here to get a better idea of the crop (p.s. I’m 5’4″).
This nautical outfit is one of my favorite outfits I’ve shared lately (as seen here)! Surprise, I’m wearing blue and white! While this outfit is perfect for a nautical vacation or a day by the water, it’s also perfect for a summer bbq. As I said above, white jeans are a summer bbq wardrobe essential and these white jeans are beyond comfortable. My purse (similar for less) is also such a fun statement piece for summer. The net bag look is so my style!
T-Shirt Dress Outfit
This stripe t-shirt dress (also comes in pink and white) is one of my most worn items recently (as seen here)! It is perfect for a summer bbq that is active. Are you chasing around kids, playing corn hole or bocce ball, or running to and from the grill and the kitchen? If so, then slip into this comfortable but cute t-shirt dress. The white ribbon tie… I mean come on! So cute! Trust me, you’ll thank me later! P.S. if you’re looking for the ultimate oversized summer woven basket bag, then look no further. This bag is so darn chic and you can carry so much in it!
Maxi Dress Outfit
A maxi dress outfit, like my neutral stripe look, is always a win for summer bbqs (as seen here). I put together a whole neutral look that every neutrals lover will adore! I started with a classic cream and camel colored stripe maxi dress (also available here) and then piled on neutral accessories to complete the look. My adorable shell sandals also come in gold and my Charleston straw bag is utter perfection. The shell sandals are the perfect amount of boho for me! This outfit is great for a summer bbq because it fits in anywhere. Wear it in someones backyard or for a bbq on the beach.
Floral Dress Outfit
Is there ever an occasion that a floral dress won’t work for? I think not! My floral midi dress (on sale!) is flirty and fun without being too casual or too dressed up, making it a fantastic choice for outdoor summer gatherings. I styled it with a pair of the most comfortable espadrilles in the world and a versatile white straw purse (also available here and here). If you think your bbq is going to have a strong party atmosphere, then wear this floral dress to bring on the fun! P.S. I wear a size 6.5 in shoes and I size down to a size 6 in these espadrilles (they only come in whole sizes).
Casual Converse Outfit
If you’re off to a casual summer bbq that was thrown together spur of the moment, then don’t worry about dressing up. I say just go casual and embrace the carefree natural of the event! It’s the perfect excuse to slip into your favorite pair of jeans, a cute top or sweater (on sale!), and a trusty pair of Converse (as seen here). Converse are so affordable (especially now with the popularity of designer sneakers) and I wear them so much that I get a new fresh pair every spring. I always keep my pair from the previous year for occasions when I know my shoes might get dirty (like concerts) but it’s amazing having a new fresh white pair to kick around in!
Setting a Summer BBQ Table
As a blue and white lover, I love a blue and white nautical table! This table is super simple with fun coastal-inspired dinner plates, adorable gingham napkins, woven placemats, a few seashells and starfish, and lovely white flowers + punchy pink flowers. All this table is missing is water and wine glasses and then the table is ready to go for a nautical summer bbq! Get the look here:
– Land of Belle: Pale Blue Daydream Water Glasses & Pitcher // Pale Blue Serenity Tabletop Set // Royal Blue Tabletop Set // Fringe Table Linens Collection // Sea Urchin Decorative Object // Dahlia Decorative Object
– Aerin: everything!
I hope this post gave you some ideas for summer bbq outfits! Thanks for reading! xx
Photography by Edwin Eversole