What to Wear for Outdoor Dining This Fall

What to Wear for Outdoor Dining This Fall

Thanks to shifts in operation, many restaurants now offer outdoor dining as an alternative to eating inside their establishments. It’s a convenience that offers many benefits. By affording you time outside of the house, you can enjoy some fresh air while indulging in some of your favorite foods. More importantly, it provides a change of scenery and even the opportunity to do a little bit of people-watching if that’s your thing. While it’s easy to relax and enjoy the experience in cotton dresses and shorts in the heat of summer, things might seem a little trickier — particularly from a sartorial standpoint — when temperatures drop.

What to wear when it’s a little brisker outside? Fortunately, restaurants understand that you want to be as comfortable as possible, and they’ll strive to make the experience as cozy as they can with features like portable heaters in open areas and warm, autumn-friendly dishes. You can enhance your comfort by choosing outfits that feel as great as they look. Here are a few ideas.

Layer on Leggings

You can never go wrong with a great pair of leggings, especially in the fall. They’re a great alternative to jeans if you prefer not to wear denim, or if you want something that’s a little more flexible and just as easy to mix and match with other pieces in your wardrobe. For your outdoor meal, they’ll keep you warm while you’re seated and help you stay comfortable throughout.

Have some fun styling your leggings. If you’re on a date with someone special, pair black leggings with a short sweater dress and a pair of booties. It’s playful, cozy, and laid-back all at once, yet you’ll still feel a little more pulled together than you might in jeans and a sweater. Meeting the ladies for a quick coffee and dessert? Throw a tunic on and top that with a cropped denim jacket. If it’s breezy outside, wrap a scarf loosely around your neck for a little extra comfort.

Yes to the Midi Skirt

There’s a reason the midi skirt has grown so dramatically in popularity over the years. It provides you with the best of both worlds by offering some additional coverage, yet not so much that you can’t reveal a little bit of skin. More substantial than a mini but lighter than a maxi, it also offers the added benefit of seriously fashionable appeal, and it’s a nice alternative to pants on fall days that are slightly less cool yet still require more fabric.

Best of all, it’s easy to dress up or down — and it still manages to look pulled together even if you take a more casual approach. Tuck a contrasting or coordinating scoop- or V-neck top into the skirt, then add a statement necklace and a pair of chunky slip-on sneakers to complete the look. Or try it with a soft and slinky blouse and a pair of heels or wedge booties for a more polished take.

Wide Leg Everything

The beauty of the wide-leg pant is that it’s just so flattering. From corduroy pants to women’s jeans, you can easily find a pair with a fuller leg that suits you. They offer incredible comfort — something that’s especially important if you’re about to dig into a big meal — and they channel a hint of old-world style yet happen to be perfectly modern at the same time.

Tuck a sleek turtleneck sweater into your wide-leg bottoms to evoke a hint of yesteryear’s style — any 1970s fashion maven would be oh-so-proud of your efforts. And if you’re feeling a little more contemporary, try a pair of wide-leg trousers in sophisticated black and finish with a chic, fitted top. Throw a structured blazer over that for added warmth. This outfit calls for a pair of no-nonsense black pumps to complete the look.

Dressed Up Casual

If you’re all about casual everything but don’t want to look like you’re headed to a football game or lazing around at home, you’ve got options. Try putting a dressy spin on your favorite casual attire by making clever use of textures, fabrics, and accessories. Instead of your usual blue jeans, pull on a pair of women’s black jeans for a more streamlined and classy alternative.

Instead of your usual cardigan or flannel shirt, try a silky camisole topped with a long, lean cardigan that extends to your knees or just grazes them. Step into a pair of boots with a low-profile heel. Don’t forget the bag! Avoid anything too bulky when you’re dining. A delicate shoulder bag or a clutch with a hand strap is always a great choice, especially for date nights.

Use dining out as an excuse to have a little bit of fun with your wardrobe this fall. From casual to dressy to somewhere in between, there are countless ways to achieve a great look whether you’re going to breakfast, lunch, or dinner!


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