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 (all done in a Covid friendly way!).
Summer BBQ Outfits
What to Wear To A Summer BBQ
Last summer (clearly as I’m not pregnant in these photos!), 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 favorite pairs of white jeans. Honestly, I can’t recommend my must-have white jeans enough! I shared my favorite wide leg white jeans in the post that I really can’t get enough of. 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!
14 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 (old – similar, similar, similar) 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?
Summer Gingham and Plaid Outfits
When it comes to summer prints, I love summer ginghams and summer plaids! My sister and I each wore one of these summer prints recently in Charleston (as seen here). These two looks are perfect for an al fresco summer barbecue when you want to dress it up a bit.
Summer Sweater Weather Outfit
Chatting about the sweater outfit I’m wearing in this post! Sadly, this sweater was so popular last 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 summer outfits I’ve shared (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 (old – similar, similar) are beyond comfortable. My purse is also such a fun statement piece for summer. The net bag look is so my style!
Navy Lover Outfit
This casual navy dress outfit is perfect for every navy lover out there (as seen here)! Slip into this dress and you’re summer BBQ ready. I love the look of slipping a scarf around your neck to add a touch of pattern to the monochromatic look. P.S. These loafers are the BEST, the MOST comfortable, and come in LOADS of colors!
T-Shirt Dress Outfit
This stripe t-shirt dress (on sale!) 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!
Wrap Dress Outfit
This is my absolute favorite wrap dress (as seen here)! Wrap dresses always catch my eye but I often struggle with the fit of wrap dresses. I find that they gap a lot on me as I’m pretty small chested and thus they never look like they fit me correctly. However, I found an exception to this when I discovered this wrap dress (currently 50% off)! It lays beautifully on the body, doesn’t gap, and is incredibly flattering. It’s one of those magic dresses that works wonders on women like me with small chests as well as with busty women.
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 and then piled on neutral accessories to complete the look. My adorable shell sandals 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.
Shirt Dress Outfit
You can never go wrong with a shirt dress for just about any occasion. A super tailored shirt dress is perfect for work or luncheons while a casual loosely fitted shirt dress is perfect for an outdoor gathering like a summer bbq. This shirt dress is one that is made for al fresco summer evenings (as seen here)! I love the look of rolling up the sleeves once or twice too.
Colorblock Dress Outfit
Is there ever an occasion that a pretty colorblock dress won’t work for? I think not! My colorblock midi dress 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. 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).
Classic White Top Outfit
One of my most frequently worn outfits at home is blue jeans, sneakers, and a fresh white top. This outfit is fantastic and comfortable for days spent working from home as well as for small at-home get-togethers like summer barbecues (as seen here). This is the ultimate crisp, refreshed, timeless summer outfit.
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 (old – similar), 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!
Summer Sun Hat Outfit
This outfit is made up of a handful of my summer must-haves: flowy floral tops, sun hats, white jeans, straw bags, and simple sandals (as seen here). This is my surefire summer outfit combo… especially when it is blue and white! I’d happily wear this to any summer barbecue.
Sunny Yellow Summer Outfits
A surefire way to put a little pep in your step this summer is to add some bright or mellow yellow to your wardrobe (as seen here!). The sunshine color is downright so happy! Yellow has been having its moment under the sun for a few years now but I’m not mad about it. In fact, a few weeks ago, Allison and I showed up to spend an afternoon together both wearing yellow… nope, these coordinating outfits weren’t planned! We’re both on the yellow train. Perfect for a summer bbq!
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
– ChappyWrap: blue & white stripe blanket // hydrangea blanket // tie the knot blanket // seashell blanket // gingham blanket // sailboat blanket (I love throwing blankets over chairs for bbq guests!)
– Aerin: everything!
I hope this post gave you some ideas for summer bbq outfits! Thanks for reading! xx
Photography by Edwin Eversole