Barbecues are one of the best parts of summer! The relaxed vibe, friends, family, food, (hopefully) some sunshine… But, deciding what to wear to a bbq can be tricky. After all, you don’t want to be too dressed up, but nor do you want to look as if you’re just lounging in your own yard!

Here are 7 outfit ideas to wear to a summer barbecue party.


Capri pants are always a great summer style staple. Cropped pants somehow manage to be casual, yet stylish, all at the same time! Plus, flashing a little bit of ankle can add some subtle sexiness to an otherwise casual outfit.

Pink pants for women over 40 |

Ted Baker pink chinosFairchild Baldwin green necklaceNordstrom stripe sweaterVia Spiga zip muleBotkier leather tote

The pink hue of these Ted Baker pants brings something extra to an otherwise classic chino style. I love the combination of pinks and greens, after being inspired by some of the stylish women in this piece on 15 fabulous looks featuring green.

A maxi-dress


A maxi dress can give you a more casual look than the formal style of a knee-length shift dress. Yet, swishing around in a maxi dress and a pair of sandals can somehow make you feel like an A-lister. Albeit, an A-lister attending a barbecue rather than a red carpet event!

Maxi dress for women over 40 |

Eliza J scarf print dressBadgley Mischka strappy wedgesSteve Madden beaded clutchBaublebar tassel earringsInk and Aloy bangles

Blues combined with yellows are very on-trend this season in this look, which is ideal if the barbecue you’re invited to is a little more formal than a small backyard gathering with neighbors.

Polka dots

I’m seeing polka dots everywhere this summer, and definitely want to add a couple of polka dot pieces to my own closet. This soft taupe polka dot top is very versatile as you could wear with jeans or white pants for casual summer events, but then style with burnt oranges and forest greens as we go into fall!


Wit and Wisdom ankle skimmer jeansKendall Kylie espadrille sneakersPolka dot topElise M braceletHobo crossbody bag

Jeans and a nice top


You can’t go wrong with jeans and a nice top for a casual barbecue. The white accessories give these thyme-colored ankle-length jeans a summer feel. Another transitional piece, you could style with sweaters and ankle booties when the weather cools down.

Gibson orange topWit & Wisdom jeansLieth bucket bagFree People white loafer31 Bits recycled bracelet


A floral frock


Nothing says summer like a pretty floral dress! Boden is a great go-to for floral dresses which are not too casual, and not too dressy, but just right for a summer barbecue. The yellow shoes add a playful touch to this style. There are more ideas here on how to wear yellow.

 Floral frock dress for a party or a cook out |

Boden sheath dressSteve Madden yellow sandalsNina floral drop earringsShwood sunglassesFurla clutch

White jeans


You can never go wrong with a pair of crisp, white jeans. Just as long as you don’t drip barbecue sauce down them, that is! Whites and greens look fresh for summer, combined with a pop of orange. Here are 7 more ideas on how to wear orange.

How to wear white pants over 40 |

Chaus crepe blouseWit and Wisdom white jeansSole society sandalMali Mali orange crossbody bagEttika statement earrings

Mixed patterns


Floral and patterned pants are a big trend this summer. You could pair with a plain top which picks up one of the colors in the pants. Or stick with the same color palette and mix patterns. This look mixes the subtle pattern of the stripes on the neckline of the top, with the swirling florals in the pants.

Feminine and floral outfits - 5 Outfits to Wear to a BBQ |

Ted Baker pantsMing Mang stripe neckline top –  Eileen Fisher nude sandalTopshop green clutch bagCanvas Jewelry gold bangles

The great thing about all of these looks is that they can be worn in different ways for different occasions. They will also see you through summer vacations as well as into fall and winter.

When the weather gets colder you could, for example, add a thicker green sweater and ankle booties to the pink pants. Or long boots and a cardigan to the Boden dress!

What do you like to wear to summer barbecues? Which of these is your favorite look?

Author bio: Liz Hands is a fashion journalist and stylist from the UK who has styled fashion shoots for newspapers, magazines and high-end clients including 5* hotels and BMW. She’s now happiest either blogging about style, or donning her favorite Barbour jacket and Brogini boots for a hack out on her crazy ex-racehorse.



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5 Outfits to Wear to a BBQ |

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