Style Guide: How to Choose a Garden Party Outfit for Summer

Style Guide: How to Choose a Garden Party Outfit for Summer

With the weather heating up and social calendars starting to get full, you're probably sifting through last summer's clothes and planning outfits for this summer's events. However, there’s no need to fret. Our style guide is here to help you feel comfortable and confident at all your summer events!

Whether your wardrobe needs a refresh, you need a few summer staples to change up some combinations, or you're going to a big event this summer and need something special, we've got you covered.

We've collated some of our best summery pieces to help you find the perfect outfit for a garden party in our Garden Party Outfits collection. So, whether attending a family BBQ, hosting a garden party or going to a relaxed garden wedding, we’re confident you’ll find the perfect garden party attire to get summer ready.

Style Guide: How to Choose a Garden Party Outfit for Summer

What is the dress code for a garden party?

Although garden parties in the UK are usually informal, there are a few dos and don'ts to cover. There is an unspoken garden party dress code that we will take you through so you can avoid any fashion faux pas this summer.

Garden parties are an opportunity to enjoy the good weather, so leave the dark colours and woollens at home. Lighter colours and lightweight flowy fabrics will help to keep you cool in the warm weather.

You also don't want to wear too much flashy jewellery. Delicate pieces for daytime wear will look sophisticated and elegant.

As garden parties are usually an afternoon affair, choose day-wear-appropriate clothing and ensure your outfit isn't too formal.

A hat is not necessary for a British garden party. However, it can help keep the sun off your head and face. Similarly, a pair of sunglasses can work well with any outfit for a garden party.

Make sure you wear comfortable shoes. You want to look nice, but you will likely be walking or standing on grass, which can be uncomfortable in stiletto heels. Opt for more comfortable, casual flats or wedged heels to spare your feet.

When deciding what to wear to a party in a garden, the aim is to blend comfortable and casual fabrics with elegant designs.

What do you wear to a summer garden party?

Pebbled Print Tiered Dress in blue light coloured garden party dress
Etching Print Pleated Skirt in purple light coloured garden party skirt
Shirt Dress with pockets in pink light coloured garden party dress

1. Light colours

Garden parties are summer events, so wear light colours to match the mood and keep you cool. Stick to pastel blues, lilacs and pinks, like our Pebbled Print Tiered Dress in blue, Etching Print Pleated Skirt in purple or Shirt Dress with pockets in pink.


Knot Detail Linen Dress airy fabric dress for a garden party
Splash Print Silk Top airy fabric top for a garden party

2. Airy fabric

Another way to stay comfortable at a garden party during a hot day is to opt for breathable fabric. Fabrics like cotton and linen will allow your skin to breathe and wick away any moisture from your body. Our Knot Detail Linen Dress will make you feel comfortable and stunning.

Silk is also a light fabric which will stop you from getting too warm. Look stylish and feel comfortable on a hot day with our Splash Print Silk Top.

Embroidered Tired Dress Loose-flowing silhouette dress for a garden party
Colour quartz Skirt Loose-flowing silhouette dress for a garden party

3. Loose-flowing silhouettes

Another feature of fashionable and practical garden party outfits is loose-flowing silhouettes. A loose-flowing garment can keep you cool and add a touch of casual sophistication. You'll feel fabulous as your summer dress or skirt glides behind you as you glide from the buffet table to the garden bench to a group of friends. Why not look at our Embroidered Tired Dress or Colour quartz Skirt for inspiration?

Paisley Flower Print Dress floral print dress for a garden party
Lilly Tiered Maxi Dress floral print dress for a garden party

4. Floral patterns

Emulate your surroundings with floral patterned clothing. You'll blend beautifully into the environment. Our Lilly Tiered Maxi Dress is a stunning floral patterned dress, and our Paisley Flower Print Dress is an eye-catching throwback with a modern twist.

Tess Wrap blue shawl for a garden party
Tilley Poncho for an emergency layer for a garden party

5. Emergency layers

With any garden party in the UK, you will have to account for the weather. Whether you're staying late into the evening or the forecast says it might be a little chilly, you may need an emergency scarf or wrap to keep your shoulders warm. Our Tess Wrap or Tilley Poncho are easy to throw on your shoulders in case of a chill in the air.

What do you wear to a garden party in the UK?

If you are attending a garden party in the UK, every Brit knows you need outfits for different weather conditions and options in case the weather turns.

In the UK, layering is key. You can easily throw on a lightweight jacket if the weather is cold, windy or cloudy. The jacket structure will beautifully contrast against the feminine flowing dress or skirt. If the weather is changeable, you can easily take off and put on this extra layer.

However, if the forecast says rain, you're best packing your raincoat and brolly or calling off the event.

What do you wear to a summer evening garden party?

If your garden party starts late and goes into the evening, you might want to opt for long skirts and dresses, potentially wide-legged trousers and a wrap-around layer to keep out the chilly evening air.

Button Linen Trousers for an evening garden party
Polka Dot Pleated Skirt for an evening garden party
Tie Front Cardigan for an evening garden party
Cashmere -Mix Pashmina for an evening garden party

If the party is more of an evening event, you might want to stick to a more smart-casual attire rather than day wear, for example, long sleeves. We recommend our Button Linen Trousers, Polka Dot Pleated Skirt, Tie Front Cardigan and The Cashmere -Mix Pashmina as ideal summer-evening-garden-party options.

What do you wear to a garden party: Tilley & Grace style

If you're struggling to curate a complete outfit for your garden party, we're here to help. Here are our top 5 Tilley & Grace garden party outfits for when you're shopping for your garden party look.

Pretty in pink outfit for a garden party

Pretty in pink

In classic Tilley & Grace style, we've gone for a brilliant pop of colour as the main event of this outfit. Our Abstract Spot Dress in Fuchsia will brighten the day. Pair this dress with pale pink accessories like the Pink Muti-Coloured Hair Claw or Soft Pink Knot Detail Headband, and add the Rose Gold Bronte Cross Body Bag for a summery shimmer. When choosing jewellery, choose the Pink Alicia Earrings or Rose Gold and Silver Mahri Necklace. And if there is a slight breeze, don't leave home without the Dusty Pink Cashmere-Mix Pashmina.

Sophisticated white outfit for a garden party

Sophisticated white

You can opt for a clean white look with black accents for a chic and formal garden party look. Pair our White Ruffle Cap Sleeve Top with the White Polka Dot Pleated Skirt. Then embellish with the White India Leather Crossbody Bag and Black Circle Joanie Elasticated Belt

Floral Delight outfit for a garden party

Floral delight

The Lily Tiered Maxi Dress is the perfect floral dress for any garden party. Pair this dress with our Poppy Red Paris Leather Handbag and Green Alicia Earrings. If the weather turns, prepare yourself with the stunning Red Tilley Poncho.

Sky blue outfit for a garden party

Sky blue

What better way to spend a summer's afternoon dressed in beautiful sky blue? Here, we have a mix of classic pastel blue hues and pops of Tilley & Grace colour. First, pair our Navy Etching Print Pleated Skirt with our White Linen Drop Sleeve Shirt. Then, accessories with our Baby Blue Woven Circle Joanie Elasticated Belt, Baby Blue Cashmere-Mix Pashmina for when the evening draws in and Hydrangea Blue Knot Detail Headband. Finish this look with the Hayley Necklace or the Blue Arabella Earrings.

Bold summer colours outfit for a garden party

Bold summer colours

It wouldn't be a Tilley & Grace style guide without a bold colour statement. Don't be afraid to wear bright colours, stand out and feel fabulous when choosing your wardrobe. Pair our Cornflower Colour Quartz Blouse with the matching skirt for the ultimate summer garden party outfit. Complement this two-piece with our Orange Joanie Elasticated Belt and Orange Bronte Suede Cross Body Bag.

Garden party outfits at Tilley & Grace

With all our outfit options, we want you to feel fabulous while being comfortable in the summer sun. We hope we've inspired you to look and feel your best for your summer garden party. But if you haven't found what you're looking for, browse our Garden Party Outfits Collection for more options.