Type to search

How to Dress for a Party


Parties are a great way to socialize and have fun, but choosing what to wear can be a daunting task. Overwhelmed with a confusing dress code? We understand. With so many different dress codes and themes, it’s easy to get confused and end up feeling out of place. However, with a little bit of guidance, you can feel fabulous and confident at any party.

In this post, we’ll walk you through the different types of parties and give you outfit ideas for each occasion. So whether you’re attending a casual house party or a black tie gala, we’ve got covered on how to dress for a party and make the most of your party time.

What are the Things to Consider in Choosing a Party Outfit?

Choosing a party outfit can be both exciting and daunting. With so many options available, it can be confusing to determine what is appropriate to wear to a party. Here are some things to consider to help you choose the perfect event outfit.

First and foremost, it is important to consider the type of party you will be attending. Is it a formal event like a black-tie gala or a more informal event or holiday event like Christmas parties? If the dress code is specified on the invitation, make sure to follow it. However, if it is not clear, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. For a formal event, cocktail dresses or a floor-length gown can be appropriate while for an informal event, smart casual attire is the way to go.

When in doubt, opt for a new outfit that is flattering and fits your personal style. Don’t try to fit into a trend that doesn’t suit you, instead, choose an outfit that makes you feel confident and comfortable. You can add some flair to your outfit with accessories like statement jewellery or a colourful scarf. Accessories can add a pop of colour to your outfit and can make you stand out from the crowd. Powdered colours are a great way to add a playful touch to your outfit without going overboard.

What is Appropriate to Wear to a Party?

Casual Party

How to Dress for a Party - Casual party

Casual parties are the most low-key type of party, and the dress code is usually informal. However, it’s still important to look put together and stylish. The general rule is to wear something comfortable yet stylish and avoid anything too revealing or sloppy.

For Women: For a casual party, a trendy jumpsuit or a crop top paired with dark denim and heels is a great go-to outfit. Add a dramatic necklace or a pair of big hoops for some razzle-dazzle. You can also don white jeans paired with a plaid shirt and ankle boots for a classy but casual look.

For Men: Men can wear a pair of dark jeans matched with a plaid shirt or a button-down shirt. Add fitting loafers or sneakers to complete the look. You can also have on a navy suit paired with a plaid shirt and matching shoes for a dressy look.

House Party

House Party

House parties are another informal type of gathering, but they can also be more intimate and personal. The dress requirement is usually similar to a casual event, but you can also dress up a bit more if you like.

For Women: For a house celebration, a one-piece boho dress or a pair of high-waisted pants matched with a flowy blouse is a great option. Add a pair of dangling earrings or a metallic clutch for some extra flair. You can also suit up a little black dress paired with a velvet blazer for a dressier look.

For Men: Men can don dark jeans or chinos paired with a laid-back shirt. Add matching shoes or sneakers. For a classy appearance, you can also choose a dark suit paired with a casual shirt and a pair of shoes.

Dinner Party

Dinner Party

Dinner parties are a more formal type of party, typically held at someone’s home. The dress requirement is usually dressy casual or business attire, depending on the occasion.

For Women: A cocktail dress or a floor-length gown is perfect for a dinner gathering. Alternatively, you can create a sophisticated appearance by wearing a stylish top or sweater with a skirt or pants.

For Men: During dinner parties, men can dress in a dark suit or a blue suit with a shirt and a tie. To finish the ensemble, add a belt and coordinating shoes. You can also sport a shirt paired with pants or chinos, and add a blazer or a coat for a dressier look.

Cocktail Party

Cocktail Party

Cocktail parties are a semi-formal type of event, typically held in the evening. The dress convention is usually cocktail attire, which means a dressy outfit that’s not too formal.

For Women: For a cocktail party, a cocktail dress or a little black dress is a great option. Make sure to keep the hemline modest and match it with your favourite heels and a statement clutch. You can also get on a trendy jumpsuit or a skirt paired with a dressy blouse for a more modern silhouette.

For Men: Men can don a dark suit paired with a shirt, a tie, and a pair of black shoes. For a more easygoing cocktail party, you can opt for a blazer paired with pants, a shirt, and matching shoes. Add a black bow tie for a touch of sophistication.

Black Tie Optional

Black Tie Optional

Black tie optional parties are formal events, but they offer some flexibility in the dress convention. You can either suit up in a black tie or opt for a less formal outfit.

For Women: Floor-length gowns, sophisticated cocktails, or A-line dresses are ideal attire for a black tie optional party. Add a stylish pair of heels, jewellery, and a metallic clutch for a completely gorgeous you. Or, you can choose a chic jumpsuit or a skirt and a stunning blouse to show off your bold side.

For Men: Men can get on a dark suit paired with a shirt and a tie, or a tuxedo if they prefer a more formal look. You can also opt for a dark suit paired with a shirt and no tie, and add a pocket square for added elegance.

Black Tie

Black Tie

Black tie events are the most formal type of party including gala, charity event, and networking events usually held in the evening. The dress convention is strictly formal, and men are expected to wear a tuxedo.

For Women: Expect to dress up in your most formal attire and enjoy a night of fine dining, dancing, and socializing with other guests. The mood is elegant and sophisticated, so dress to impress. You’ll never go wrong with a floor-length gown, statement jewellery, and evening bag for black-tie events.

For Men: Men are expected to don a black tuxedo paired with a shirt, a black bow tie, and black shoes. Add a pocket square or cufflinks if you would. Make sure to have your suit tailored to fit you perfectly for a polished appearance.

Themed Party

Themed Party

Themed parties are a fun way to express your personal style and creativity. The dress code will depend on the theme of the party, so make sure to read the invitation carefully. Generally, themed parties are all about fun and the air is playful and light-hearted. So get creative with your costume!

For Women: With themed or costume parties, the possibilities are endless! If the theme is “80s party”, you can wear plaid shirts paired with high-waisted jeans and a pair of neon-coloured heels. For “Hawaiian luau”, you can put on a flowy maxi dress paired with sandals and a flower crown.

For Men: Guys can also be imaginative when choosing their clothing. For example, if the theme is “Superheroes”, you can suit up in a superhero costume or a t-shirt with the superhero logo paired with denim and sneakers. If it’s “Western”, dust off those cowboy boots and sport a plaid shirt paired with raw jeans.

Private Yacht Party

Private Yacht Party

Private yacht parties are usually held during the summer months, and they offer a unique setting for a party. Often, smart casual is OK, but be sure to thoroughly read the invitation.

For Women: For a private yacht party, a sundress or a one-piece boho dress will do the trick. Make a statement with your favorite heels or shoes and a cap. For a more relaxed style, you can also wear a pair of shorts with a flowing blouse or a tank top.

For Men: Men can wear chinos or shorts paired with a polo shirt or a button-down shirt. For the last touch, don your boat shoes or sandals. Another option for a semi-formal appearance is to wear a navy blazer with denim and a shirt.

Bachelor/ Bachelorette Party

Bachelorette Party

Bachelor or bachelorette parties are a fun way to celebrate the bride and groom-to-be before their wedding day. The dress code for such can vary depending on the activities planned.

For Women: For a bachelorette party, you can wear a little black dress or a dressy jumpsuit. You can also wear a trendy crop top paired with a skirt or high-waisted pants. Add some jingle bell earrings or a dramatic necklace to add some festive season spirit to your outfit.

For Men: Men can wear a dark suit paired with a shirt and a tie for a formal bachelor’s party. For a more laid-back party, you can wear a pair of chinos or jeans paired with a button-down shirt.

Cruise Vacation

Cruise Vacation

Cruise vacations are a great way to relax, have fun, and explore different destinations. The dress code on a cruise ship can vary depending on the occasion.

For Women: Pack swimwear, swim coverups, sunglasses, sun hats, a scarf, T-shirts, tank tops, shorts, and skirts if you’re headed to a warm, sunny location. Most nights, smart attire is observed when dining at one of the speciality restaurants. It’s appropriate to wear long pants, a dress or skirt, a fashionable shirt, or a button-down.

For Men: Whether you plan on relaxing by the pool, working out at the gym, or playing card games, pack and dress accordingly. This calls for swimwear, flip-flops, athletic gear, shorts, and a loose-fitting shirt. If you’re having supper at a table service restaurant, wear a collared shirt or a classy T-shirt with long pants.

What is a Casual Party Attire?

For a smart casual event, choose outfits that are comfortable yet stylish. You can never go wrong with dark suits paired with a plaid shirt or a one-piece dress in rich fabrics. Make sure that the hemline is modest and not too short. One-piece dresses are perfect for a smart casual event, as they are easy to wear and don’t require much styling.

How Should I Dress for a Drinking Party?

For a drinking party, it’s important to consider both style and practicality. You want to wear an outfit that is comfortable and allows you to move around freely. Denim paired with a trendy top or a laid-back dress are perfect for a drinking party. Avoid wearing anything too tight or uncomfortable as you’ll be sitting and standing a lot. For men, dark suits are a great choice, paired with a dress shirt and dress shoes.

Final Note

Dressing for a party can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. By understanding the different dress codes and using your personal style and creativity, you can feel fabulous and confident at all your parties.

Remember, the general rule is to dress appropriately for the occasion but don’t be afraid to have fun with your outfit and accessories. With the right outfit, even if you have two left feet, you’ll be ready to hit the dance floor and make memories that will last a lifetime.

Tina Li

Tina Li is a part-time writer and full-time mum from London. Despite living a somewhat hectic life, Tina always finds time between taking care of her young kids and keeping up with what’s in vogue. She loves to visit the high street when she can and pick up anything that’s both simple yet statement.

  • 1