What to Wear to an Engagement Party

Don’t know what to wear to an engagement party? Our experts can help. Read on to find out now.

By Anni Irish

Wedding Engagement Party
Photo by Unsplash

When it comes to wedding planning, there is a lot to consider—from the decorations, food, photographer, and clothes, it's a lot to plan for and remember. And, with the engagement party, bachelorette and/or bachelor party, and, finally, the wedding, there’s also a lot of time and consideration that goes into planning your outfits.

What to Wear to an Engagement Party As the Host

If you’re hosting or about to attend an engagement party, you’ll want to pick out something special. And, typically, with these kinds of parties, there is a dress code. Nowadays, people host a range of parties that can be as casual as a backyard barbecue or a bar crawl, or something more refined and elegant as a coursed meal at a fine dining restaurant. Depending on the circumstances of the party, there are certain factors that you should consider when planning your engagement party outfit. You want to look and feel your best, but also consider what type of event you are attending. Whether you’re a couple of the moment, in the bridal party, or a guest, you’ll want to pick out something that you look and feel your best wearing.

Sticking to the Dress Code

Knowing the dress code, as well as where the party is being held are key details in having the right engagement outfit. Generally, the invitation to the party will indicate the kind of suggested attire, such as cocktail, business casual, etc., so remember to double-check what it reads. If you’re unsure of the proper attire, it's always a good idea to ask the host, so that you feel comfortable and not out of place during the party.

You can do a little research on the location of the party, too, because this can also influence your choice of clothes. Knowing the venue of the party is also an essential part of what to wear to the engagement party recipe, as well as the weather.

Depending on the season and/or where the party venue is located, the event may be held outside. As a general rule, outside events and parties tend to have a less formal dress code. If you're headed to a beach or pool party, or if you'll be hanging out in the grass, wedges, sandals, and open-toed shoes are a great option. However, if the party is being held in an indoor space, you might want to hold off on those sandals for another party. Remember, it's not the big day quite yet. Dress as you would for any special evening event or nighttime party.

Typically, most parties have a cocktail dress code. Cocktail party attire means that dresses will fall at or below the knee (or just a little above) and that high heels or flats are acceptable. For men, this dress code usually means a blazer with a buttoned-down shirt and khakis (or nicer dress pants).

The invitation may also state semi-formal or dressy-casual. If you find yourself in one of those dress option categories, there's lots of room there to also put together a great look. Just remember to dress up or down depending on the kind of engagement party that you’ll be attending. If it’s a relaxed atmosphere, such as someone's home or a low-key restaurant, you can dress up your casual look with accessories, a wrap, and jewelry. If it’s at a more formal event space or fine dining establishment, put together a look that is elegant and features your sense of style.

Dressing for the Occasion

What to Wear to an Engagement Party Photo Credit // Unsplash

Once you've confirmed the kind of attire, then the real fun can begin––planning your outfit. You want to dress confidently and comfortably. If the party is being thrown in your honor that can be the best part, but, can also feel like added pressure on your big day. Whatever your style is, you want to look and feel great, and pick out something that’s a reflection of your personality.

If it's a daytime affair, anything from a skirt, dress pants, capris, or a midi-length dress can be a great choice. Play with color—perhaps you want to go bold and use print, or maybe a more subtle pastel with a pop of color in your accessories is more of the way to go. If it’s an evening party at a more formal event space or restaurant, a dress, skirt, or dress pants are also a good way to go. For men, a suit is always the best option for a more formal affair. For a more relaxed party, jeans are always a solid option.

Pay attention to the fit of your garments, too. You want to feel confident and also be comfortable in what you’re wearing. Once you have your outfit picked out, all that’s left to do is show up, have a great time, and celebrate on your big day.

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