Whether a winter brunch with friends or family is coming up (or you want to invite them to one!), a winter brunch is a lovely way to enjoy good conversation and cozy cuisine. Let’s talk about one of the fun parts—what to wear!
Whom you are brunching with and where you are dining will determine how casual or dressy the brunch will be. If the group has already picked out a specific restaurant, check out their website to see if you can get a feel for the ambiance and see if they have a dress code. Like most other things in our society these days, brunch can range from super casual to more conservative.
Once again, do a bit of investigative work. If you understand how formal the venue is likely to be, it will help you to dress in a way that will make you feel both comfortable and stylish. When in doubt, don’t hesitate to ask someone what they are wearing. It can turn into a fun conversation about fashion as well as about the brunch to which you are both looking forward.
For a super casual brunch, consider wearing women’s jeans with a women’s white blouse and your favorite neutral-colored statement jewelry. Black booties and a black handbag will finish your outfit nicely.
For a casual, but not “jeans casual” winter brunch, a black pair of women’s yoga pants with a women’s cashmere sweater with black ballet flats and simple jewelry in yellow gold, silver, or pearls can be a classic option. Think “What would Audrey Hepburn have worn to a casual brunch?”
Don’t be afraid to try new dishes at a casual brunch (or to suggest the restaurant). Is there a new locale that you and your friends have yet to try? Perhaps a specific type of cuisine that is new to some or all of you. Most cities have a wide range of chain restaurants with delicious brunches as well as unique restaurants owned by individuals, often from diverse backgrounds. Why not patronize a small business in your area and enjoy a new cuisine at the same time?
For a more traditional look, consider a winter dress or a black pencil skirt with a women’s sweater and black pumps. Sweater dresses can be a nice touch for a winter brunch as they have that soft and warm look while being a bit dressy. As a rule, the warmer a sweater looks, the prettier it is as a wardrobe choice during winter.
For those occasional conservative brunches at restaurants with a dress code or simply company that might require a staid ensemble (i.e., your mother-in-law, meeting your son's or daughter’s future in-laws, or a brunch meeting for an organization you support), stick to the basics. A work dress that you could wear to a more business than business casual office with heels is always a nice choice. Tailored pants with flats and a sweater set or tailored blouse would also fit the bill.
If your brunch is a “high brunch,” it might not hurt to review a few rules of etiquette in advance. These are easy enough to find on the internet or at your local bookstore and can help you to be more at ease for the occasion. If you are likely to run into a place setting that includes items like a seafood fork that you aren’t accustomed to using, a quick review of how to go “from the outside in” with utensils could make new dishes more fun to try.
The whole idea of a winter brunch is to enjoy good food and conversation no matter the setting. If you have specific dietary needs or preferences, don’t be afraid to ask how a dish is prepared or if the chef can remove or substitute an ingredient. After all, whether you are the hostess or a guest, you are important. Think of a few conversational topics to share beforehand. With close friends or family, this may be easy, but even then, it doesn’t hurt to have a few ideas in your pocket. Reminiscing about old times or sharing those wonderful side-splitting funny stories might be just the thing to make it a joyful and warm winter brunch. For groups that you don’t know as well, stick with “safer” topics like travel experiences and warm family stories. And don’t forget that most people love to talk about themselves. Often the best conversationalist is one who asks some open-ended questions and is a devoted listener.
Wherever you go for your winter brunch, relax, and enjoy the company and the conversation. A winter brunch is a treat.