Endless warmth, constant sunshine, and the promise of outdoor events galore make summer one of the most celebrated seasons of the year. That’s especially true if you’re a social butterfly who enjoys letting loose at a classic summer barbeque. There’s nothing quite like those relaxed outdoor soirees, what with their mixing and mingling and delicious foods and low-key ambiance.
Understated as the occasion itself may be, no one can blame you for wanting a great excuse to wear the summer dresses in your closet. Depending on the type of barbeque in question and the number of them on your agenda, you might find enough reasons to wear all of them throughout the season. Here are a few ideas that are destined to keep you cool and comfortable on those balmy summer days.
There’s almost no style that’s easier to wear than the inimitable shirt dress. It’s the go-to piece that’s perfect to wear on almost any summer day, whether you’re headed to the office or meeting up with friends for Sunday brunch. But a barbeque? It’s practically made for effortless occasions like these.
The beauty of the shirt dress is in its ease. You can pull it on and go. Both styles are exceptionally simple to wear. On a hot day, one made with mesh cotton is easy to style with a statement necklace. Or, if your hair is pulled back to stay cool, wear a pair of drop earrings. Slip into a pair of slides or sandals and you’ll have the perfect outdoor party outfit.
Some summer barbeques are held in honor of a special occasion. Maybe it’s someone’s birthday or anniversary, or perhaps it’s graduation day for the hard-working student in your life. Whatever the reason, life’s special moments like these call for getting all dressed up. Fit-and-flare dresses exude a slightly dressier vibe than shirt dresses thanks to their dramatic silhouette.
But don’t mistake dramatic for exaggerated. These are modestly shaped dresses that flatter the figure beautifully, providing a wonderful silhouette that both creates and enhances curves. Sleeveless styles are ideal when it’s exceptionally hot outside, but cap- and elbow-sleeve styles are also practical choices if you expect the barbeque to go on for hours into the evening. Don’t forget to grab a lightweight cardigan on your way out the door.
As temperatures soar, you’ll find it’s a whole lot more comfortable to wear lighter shades than the darker colors that typically rule your cold-weather wardrobe. Not only do shades like white, yellow, light blue, and blush pink reflect the relaxed spirit of the season, but they also reflect light and prevent you from overheating while you’re soaking up the sunshine and hanging out with loved ones. Why risk spending hours feeling uncomfortable?
Look for easy jersey dresses in breezy tones that are undeniably summery. Pair a loose tank dress with a pair of strappy flat sandals and eye-catching metallic jewelry for a wonderfully seasonal look that’s just a touch dressed up and more than ideal for a barbeque.
If you prefer a little bit of additional coverage in your dresses, consider wearing a maxi dress. There’s a general misconception that these styles veer into too-warm territory, but nothing could be further from the truth. If anything, these relaxed styles will keep you cool thanks to their forgiving silhouettes that glide gently over the legs and promote ample air circulation when you need it the most. No more worrying about skirts sticking to your legs or wishing you’d worn something shorter—the right type of maxi dress can make all the difference.
Maxi dresses for women are available in a wide variety of styles. Tiered dresses tend to exude a more pulled-together quality and are a great choice if you’re attending a barbeque held for a special occasion. Add a necklace to dress it up just a touch. Try a patterned style with a flattering surplice wrap top to negotiate your silhouette while adding some lively color to your look.
No matter which dress style you prefer, it’s important to focus on the most critical factor of all: great fit. A barbeque is a free-for-all occasion where you’re likely to spend most of the time moving around and chatting with guests. When you wear a dress that fits like a dream, you don’t have to think about fabrics digging into your skin or suffocating you when it’s already hot outside. Then consider the silhouette. A flattering cut will help you look and feel your best, so you can focus on the celebrations, smile big for the inevitable onslaught of pictures, and make some special memories to last a lifetime.