What To Wear To A Luncheon: 7 Elegant Outfit Ideas

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Spring and summertime luncheons are abound! If you’re going to one soon, check out our guide on what to wear to a luncheon.

If you have been invited to a luncheon, the first thing you need to ask yourself is: what should I wear? Luncheons are daytime events that are typically more formal than other types of meals, so it’s important to dress appropriately.

For social events like these, the invitation will likely say “dressy casual.” This can be a little confusing, since there is no one specific definition of dressy casual, nor a specific dress code. In general, it’s best to err on the side of dressing up a bit more than you would for a regular casual outing.

This means wearing nicer slacks or skirts, blouses or dress shirts, and dresses that are not too tight or revealing. If in doubt, it’s always better to overdress than underdress.

In general, luncheons fall into distinct categories of their own: you have the charity luncheon (or charity fundraisers), business luncheon (where you meet with clients to talk business), bridal luncheon (also called a bridal shower), and others.

Luncheons are typically held outdoors on gardens or golf courses on warmer months, which is why spring and summer’s the perfect time of the year to host an affair like this. However, some opt to host their formal luncheon indoors too.

In this article, we will give you a guide on what to wear to a luncheon, as well as some outfit ideas so that you can look your best!

What To Wear To A Luncheon

1. Cocktail Dresses

What To Wear To A Luncheon: Champagne satin midi dress
Get this dress on Pink Lily
White ruffled dress
Get this dress on Lulus

A cocktail dress in light colors is always a good option for a luncheon. It should be a design that is not too short or revealing, but still shows off your figure. A classic LBD is also a good choice, as well as feminine summer and spring dresses with a little more color or pattern.

For a country club luncheon, opt for short dresses in vibrant colors to really stand out. For a more formal event, a shift dress or a professional dress is much more preferred.

Avoid showing up in an evening gown or an evening dress or else you’ll look too overdressed!

2. Top + Pencil Skirt

Beige dressy top and pencil skirt
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What To Wear To A Luncheon: Blue turtleneck top and pencil skirt
Get this skirt on Reiss

This combination is a great option if you want to show off your curves without wearing a dress, plus you get to mix and match your top and your skirt. Choose a top that is not too tight or revealing, and pair it with a pencil skirt that comes to just below the knee.

This combo is great for both a formal or casual luncheon, perfect if you’re not quite sure about the dresscode.

3. Long Sleeve Blouse + Pants

Long sleeve blouse and cream pants
Get this blouse on Reiss
What To Wear To A Luncheon: Floral wrap up blouse and pants
Get this top on Reiss

For a great semi-formal luncheon outfit, go for a blouse with long sleeves (or a dress shirt) and trousers. This is a great business casual option if you want to be covered up but still maintain a chic look.

Choose a long sleeve top that flatters your figure, and pair it with cream or black pants that are the right length (not too short or too long). Complete your outfit with a pair of simple heels and your favorite designer bag.

4. Blazers / Blazer Dresses

Baby blue blazer
Get this blazer on Nasty Gal
What To Wear To A Luncheon: Blush blazer dress
Get this blazer dress on Nasty Gal

A great way to look sleek and professional without spending too much time on your look is to wear a blazer or a blazer dress. Try wearing a blazer with dress pants or a skirt, or opt for a sophisticated blazer dress in a flattering color.

For summer and springtime events, we’re loving blazers in light pastel colors – lilac is especially popular this season, so if you’re tired of always wearing a neutral blazer, this is something to consider to freshen up your look.

Complete your outfit with a sleek pair of high heels and your favorite gold jewelry.

5. Dressy Skirts

What To Wear To A Luncheon: Light blush midi wrap skirt and blouse
Get this dress on Reiss
What to wear to a luncheon: dressy pleated skirts
Get this skirt on Net-A-Porter

If you don’t want to wear a dress, a dressy skirt is a great alternative – just make sure the style is not too flashy or tacky. You want to look dressed up and poised!

Your dressy skirt should be something that is not too short or revealing, and it can be paired with a blouse or a feminine top.

6. Little Black Dresses

Puff sleeve little black dress
Get this dress on Petal + Pup
What To Wear To A Luncheon: Puff sleeve little black dress
Get this dress on Pink Lily

If you want to go for a safe bet, look no further other than a classic little black dress. Although lighter colors are much more preferred on warmer days and most especially on luncheons, LBDs are an exception. Just choose a flattering feminine dress, and opt for a shorter design if you’re worried you’ll be too warm.

We suggest opting for a puff-sleeve LBD – they are statement pieces in their own right, but rather casual at the same time.

7. Jumpsuits

White ruffled jumpsuit
Get this jumpsuit on Petal + Pup
What To Wear To A Luncheon: Nude halter jumpsuit
Get this jumpsuit on Hello Molly

For a one-and-done outfit, consider wearing a jumpsuit. A jumpsuit is a great alternative to a dress, and it’s so easy to find one that looks elegant without being too try-hard.

There are loads of different jumpsuit styles to choose from, so you’ll be able to find something that reflects your personal style. Just make sure that you opt for a jumpsuit that isn’t too revealing, and style it with an elegant pair of heels or flats.


As you can see, there are many different options for what to wear to a luncheon. The most important thing is to be comfortable and confident in what you’re wearing.

If you have any questions about what to wear, feel free to ask the host of the event or someone who knows the dress code. Plus, keep in mind that if you’re ever in doubt, it’s always better to overdress than underdress!

We hope this guide has helped you figure out what to wear to your next social luncheon.

Up next: What To Wear To An Anniversary Party: Top Tips To Look Your Best

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