Garden Party Attire: Your Clothing & Accessory Guide

With spring right around the corner, there is no doubt that a garden party or two is in your future. Just picture it now: fresh flowers and greenery everywhere, teacups and delicate treats, sweet spring air, soft fairy lights in the trees as the sun goes down, all experienced with the most wonderful people. Garden parties are magical, whimsical, delicate, and alluring.

Whether the garden party you attend is in celebration of a wedding, a birthday, or simply for the pure fun of it, you’ll want to dress for the occasion. However, while it can be easy to know what to wear for a formal wedding or a night out for cocktails, garden parties are sometimes trickier to plan for—how formal is too formal? How casual is too casual? What if the weather changes suddenly?

If you’ve asked yourself any of those questions, you’ve come to the right place. Putting together the perfect ensemble for any garden party will be easy after reading the tips we’ve gathered for choosing suitable garden party attire!

And if you’re the one hosting a garden party, check out these garden party ideas and make sure to visit our Garden Party page for all your decoration and party favor needs!

Garden Party Attire for Women

Pastels vs. Pops of Color

Softer pastels are readily welcomed in the open air, but garden parties are also ideal opportunities to sport bright colors such as fuchsia, poppy red, or daffodil yellow. If you are concerned that pastels will be too understated or that bright pops of color might be too much for the specific occasion you are planning for, it never hurts to ask the host what their vision for the party is—especially if the garden party you are attending is in celebration of a wedding, in which case the theme and colors are usually much more carefully coordinated. 

Sometimes you can even glean insight into the color palette they are envisioning by studying the colors and style of the invitation. Don’t worry too much about blending in, though — at a garden party, just like in a true flower garden, variety is necessary, and beauty is found in the colorful differences.

Levels of Formality 

Some garden parties are definitely more formal than others, but semi-formal is a good rule to go by if you have any doubts. Of course, there are many different styles of dresses and pantsuits that can count as semi-formal, so there is still plenty of room for you to make your own individual stylistic choices. If you opt for a shorter dress, a more formal fabric with a fuller skirt is the way to go. On the other hand, if you choose to wear a longer skirt, the fabric should be more flowy and light to reflect the atmosphere of the garden setting.

Garden Party Attire for Men

Colors and Prints

Garden party attire for men generally consists of a semi-formal suit, a dress shirt, and a tie if you wish. While it is easier for men to know what type of clothing is appropriate, the choices are in the colors and patterns of those basic clothing items. Light-colored suits are wonderful for garden parties, and pastel colors are great options for shirts or ties. Floral ties, of course, are never more fitting than at a garden party. 

While garden parties provide the perfect opportunity to try out styles you wouldn’t wear to an event with a black-tie dress code, remember that balance is key. If you go for a brighter-colored suit, opt for a more neutral shirt. If you’re set on a colorful floral patterned tie, let that be your statement piece. Don’t overdo it, but have fun!

Garden Party Attire: Accessories

Gloves, Shoes, and Jewelry Fit for an Enchanted Evening

As important as your dress or suit is, the other elements of your ensemble are just as crucial. Garden parties are often tea party-esque, so keeping that in mind might help you as you are assembling the perfect accessories. Light, lacy gloves can add a much-needed air of sophistication, and ribbons and hair bows will surely add romance and a delicate finish. When choosing jewelry, it will ultimately depend on your personal style and preference, but delicate and whimsical pieces are generally more fitting for garden settings. 

dainty gold necklace

Our Luv AJ Pave Charm Dangle Gold Plated Necklace will add the perfect amount of delicate charm to any garden party ensemble.

When choosing shoes, take time to consider that most garden parties take place outside on grassy lawns. Even if the entire party isn’t on grass, there’s still a high likelihood that you will need to walk through grassy patches at some point, so plan accordingly. While thin heels might look appealing, thicker heels and wedges are much better suited for walking across lawns.

Plan for the Weather, Prepare for Surprises

Most garden parties are outside, as a garden would suggest, but some garden parties might take place in a greenhouse-type venue, or in a combination of indoor and outdoors. Regardless of the location, it is a garden party, so you’ll want to be prepared for whatever the day (or night) might bring. If there’s any chance of cooler weather, make sure to bring a light sweater or jacket that coordinates with your outfit. If a sunny day is projected, sunglasses and elegant hats are a must, even if you think there will be plenty of shade.

sun hat

Our Lack of Color Scalloped Dolce Hat is perfect for shielding the sun during elegant events.

When choosing the colors of your clothing, shoes, and other accessories, it is also smart to consider the unpredictable elements of nature. While light colors such as pastels and patterns that include large areas of white are gorgeous and fit the light, springtime feel of a garden, they might not be so great if you have any plans to sit on plain grass or walk through a muddy garden pathway. Such situations are avoidable, to be sure, but it’s best to feel comfortable in your outfit so that you can participate in whatever spontaneous or romance-inviting activities come your way!

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