What To Wear To Dinner With Friends: The Ultimate Guide

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Planning to meet up with your friends soon and you don’t know what to wear? Check out our style guide on what to wear to dinner with friends for the best outfits!

Dinner with friends is a great way to catch up and relax. Light banter, good food, and quality time is just the perfect formula to de-stress and enjoy with like-minded people.

However, it can be quite tough to figure out what to wear to dinner with friends, especially after we’ve all spent so much time working from home in our sweats. You want to look your best, but you also don’t want to overshadow everyone or be too dressed up or down. If you’re unsure what to wear, it’s always best to take your cue from the restaurant and its dress code.

If you’re going to a casual spot, like an Italian or Asian restaurant, you can dress down a bit with a smart casual outfit, or something you would wear on a casual dinner date. But if you’re headed to a more dressy place, like a steakhouse, you’ll want to dress up accordingly with a semi-formal look.

If you’re still unsure, check out our ultimate guide to dressing for dinner with friends! Whether you’re going to a casual birthday dinner or a more formal dinner party, we have you covered. So read on for our top tips on what to wear to dinner with friends, as well as some of our favorite dinner party outfits that you can copy.

What To Wear To Dinner With Friends

1. Chic Dresses

What To Wear To Dinner With Friends:  Red floral midi dress
Get this dress on Magnolia Boutique
What To Wear To Dinner With Friends: Polka dot wrap dress with sleeves
Get this dress on Pink Lily

If you’re looking for a safe bet, opt for dresses. You can wear a chic dress to any type of restaurant, which makes them so ideal if you’re not quite sure what the dress code is.

If you know you’re going to a casual spot, choose a dress that is comfortable and not too fussy, like a feminine floral dress with ruffles . A sundress or shift dress would be perfect. If you’re headed to a fancy restaurant, go for something slightly more elegant, like a little black dress dress or cocktail dress.

Work dresses are also acceptable, especially if you’re heading to dinner straight from the office. And don’t forget to accessorize! Throw on some pretty jewelry and strappy high heels or sandals in a neutral color to complete the look.

2. Jumpsuits

What To Wear To Dinner With Friends: Black ruffled jumpsuit
Get this jumpsuit on Hello Molly
What To Wear To Dinner With Friends: Hot pink ruffled jumpsuit
Get this jumpsuit on Pink Lily

Another great option for dinner with friends is a jumpsuit. Jumpsuits are comfortable, stylish, and easy to wear, plus they require minimal accessorizing. A jumpsuit is the perfect outfit for both a casual dinner party or a dressy occasion.

You can dress up or down a jumpsuit depending on the restaurant. For a casual look, choose a denim or chambray jumpsuit. For a more special occasion, go for something in a nicer fabric, like silk or satin.

Make sure to choose a comfortable pair of shoes to pair with your jumpsuit, and dress up your whole look with a necklace and a chic handbag.

3. Button Down Shirt + Pants/Jeans

White button down shirt
Get this shirt on Pink Lily
What To Wear To Dinner With Friends: Orange satin button down top
Get this shirt on Nasty Gal

This relaxed look is a great option for women who are looking for something stylish but not too formal, something that’s great for everyday wear. It’s a casual outfit that’s perfect for grabbing dinner with friends in a bistro or an indie restaurant.

A button-down shirt can be dressed up or down depending on the fabric, too. For a more casual restaurant, choose a cotton or linen shirt. For a nicer place, go for something in satin.

Pair your shirt with dress pants in a complementary color. Black pants always look sharp, but you can also try navy, gray, or Khaki. Skinny jeans are also acceptable!

Complete the look with a pair of dress shoes and you’re good to go!

4. Feminine Blouse + Jeans

What To Wear To Dinner With Friends: Floral puff sleeve peplum top
Get this top on ASTR The Label
Black and red paisley blouse
Get this blouse on Nasty Gal

Casual clothing can mean many things, but we personally love the classic feminine top + jeans combo for a chic look. This is a great option if you want to look put-together but not too dressy.

A feminine blouse is the perfect top for dinner with friends. It’s stylish and flattering, but not too formal. However, don’t limit yourself to a particular style either! A collared shirt can be feminine, too. What matters is that if fits your own personal flair.

Wear your blouse with your favorite pair of jeans. Accessorize with some pretty jewelry and comfortable shoes, and you’re all set!

5. Blazer + Pants

Black leather blazer
Get this blazer on Nasty Gal
What To Wear To Dinner With Friends: Gingham blazer
Get this blazer on Nasty Gal

A blazer is always a good choice for dinner with friends, especially if you’re going somewhere upscale or if yo’re coming straight from the office.

You can wear your blazer with jeans or trousers, as well as edgier bottoms like faux leather pants. Just make sure to pair your blazer with pants in a complementary solid color; black pants always look sharp, but you can also try navy, gray, khaki, or even lilac or green if you want to brighten up your look.

Choose dress shoes or loafers to complete the look.

6. Cute Top + Midi Skirt

What To Wear To Dinner With Friends: Black cowl neck top and printed maxi skirt
Get this midi skirt on Nasty Gal
Sweater and pencil midi skirt
Get this midi skirt on Pink Lily

If you prefer separates, a cute top and a midi dress would be perfect for a casual setting like a backyard dinner party. It’s not too formal, yet it’s chic at the same time.

There are so many possibilities when it comes to this combo! You can mix and match different colors, patterns, and styles. For a cute and simple outfit, wear a solid-colored tank or cami top with a floral or polka dot midi skirt in a dark color.

7. Leather Jackets

Black leather jacket
Get this leather jacket on Nasty Gal
What To Wear To Dinner With Friends: Leather jacket
Get this leather jacket on Lulus

If you want to look stylish and edgy, then you could always go for a black leather jacket paired with a graphic tee and some pants. This is a great look for grabbing dinner with friends in an up-and-coming restaurant, and it’s also a good choice if you’re planning to hit the club later on for some dancing.

For a more feminine approach, you can also wear a dress underneath your leather jacket. Alternatively, ditch your usual black leather jacket and opt for light colors, like a cream, lilac or pistachio-colored leather jackets to make your entire look more airy and feminine!

8. Long Coat + Pants / Skirt

What To Wear To Dinner With Friends: Olive green leather trench coat
Get this coat on Nasty Gal
What To Wear To Dinner With Friends: Blush pink satin trench coat
Get this coat on Lulus

There’s something incredibly appealing about light trench and wrap coats in the way that they can instantly elevate an outfit.

If it’s not too hot, you can always complete your look with a stylish long coat that’s draped over your shoulders – it’s the perfect look for a rooftop dinner! You can wear this look with a top and pants or a dress of your choice.

General Guidelines

When going to dinner with friends (or simple larger group of people), here are some general guidelines for dressing up:

For casual restaurants, everyday wear is acceptable – this includes jeans, sundresses, skirts, blouses.

Formal restaurants, on the other hand, require dressier options like cocktail dresses, blouses and trousers, dressy skirts, blazers, and the like. It’s best to skip the jeans and sneakers for this setting.

As for fine dining restaurants, cocktail dresses are strongly encouraged, as well as a shirt, blazer and tie for men.

So there you have it! These are our eight favorite outfits to wear to dinner with friends. Choose a look that makes you feel comfortable and confident, and you’re sure to have a great time.

We hope you found these tips helpful! Remember, when in doubt, take your cue from the restaurant and use your best judgment. And most importantly, have fun! Dinner with friends should be enjoyable and stress-free.

If you’re still looking for more fashion inspiration, check the posts down below.

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