STYLE

20 Outfit Ideas You Will LOVE for Your Upcoming Special Events (Parties, Weddings & Dinners)

Summer Special Occasion Outfits

Tis the season for special events. Spring and summer are when all of those events like pool parties, BBQs, weddings, showers, and so much more all start to pop up. So in this post and corresponding video, I’m sharing some outfit ideas you can recreate from casual to dressy for different wedding dress codes, parties, dinner dates, GNOs, and more!

Summer Special Occasion Outfits - pink dress

Weddings

There are SO many weddings during the summer and there are lots of different dress codes. There are three types of weddings I’m going to cover… 1) destination weddings, 2) day or church weddings, and 3) black-tie weddings. Let’s dive in…

Destination Weddings

Did you know that technically Chris and I had a destination wedding? It wasn’t Italy or anything like that…but it was still a beautiful destination wedding in Texas! Destination weddings are so fun and you usually have some leeway with the dress code. Just make sure to read the invitation, text a friend about what they’re wearing, and find a piece that makes you feel fabulous!

1) Simkhai Pink Dress

First up for a destination wedding is this gorgeous pink WOW dress that really packs a punch. It’s cotton poplin so it’s silky on the skin, very wrinkle-resistant, and travels well. I wore it in Africa to some dinners and it really makes a statement. If you like to take fashion risks, this is a great option. It would also be awesome for any beach trips you have coming up. It’s just such a beautiful piece if you really want to have a special evening or take one special piece on a trip.

Farm Rio Floral Print Dress

2) Farm Rio Floral Print Dress

This Farm Rio dress is SO fun for a destination wedding. It has a more fitted bodice and an A-line skirt. I don’t know how or why but the top fits me like a glove and I LOVE it. It may not fit everybody exactly the same, but it felt like it was made for me. It has an open back, and I love that it’s a touch of sexy. You could wear a little blazer or cropped jacket over it if you want more coverage for a wedding. This dress would also be great for any parties you have coming up this summer and if it fits you well, you’re going to love it so much and want to find places to wear it!

L’Agence Brown Caftan Dress

3) L’Agence Brown Caftan Dress

Next up is this silky brown caftan-style dress by L’Agence. I love the way it flows and has so much movement. It’s also more body-skimming versus being fitted, which is really nice. This is one of those unexpected, elegant pieces that would be so lovely for a destination wedding. It was originally $425 and is now on SALE for under $160!

Ralph Lauren Midi Dress | Summer Special Occasion Outfits

Daytime or Church Weddings

If you’re going to a wedding where you have to go to a church ceremony and then a reception, it feels a little different. You don’t really want to walk into a church in a strapless mini-dress and feel inappropriate. I’m sharing some options that are elegant, refined, have more coverage, and are a little more conservative.

1) Ralph Lauren Midi Dress

The first option is this Ralph Lauren pleated pastel midi dress. The long length adds that conservativeness. It’s one-shoulder, which I think is okay for a church ceremony but if you don’t want to have an exposed shoulder, you could drape a blazer or jacket over your shoulders, and it would be very elegant. Pair it with some wedges or heels and you’re ready to go. I’m wearing some Stuart Weitzman wedges that are very comfortable and chic. Sizing note: If you have a long torso, this isn’t the dress for you because it runs a little short in the waist.

Pink Alexis Dress | Summer Special Occasion Outfits

2) Pink Alexis Dress

Next up is this super fun dress by Alexis. This dress feels like a throwback to me. I love that the waist is so exaggerated and higher than the natural waist, which is traditionally the slimmest part of most women’s bodies. The A-line skirt combined with the waist detail and angular sleeves at the top creates this hourglass shape. It’s a very feminine, flattering, beautiful dress. It comes in a midi and mini length so if you’re petite, I suggest trying the shorter, mini version.

Farm Rio Pink Midi Dress | Summer Special Occasion Outfits

3) Farm Rio Pink Midi Dress

The next dress is this gorgeous pink Farm Rio dress…I’ve really been loving this brand lately! This dress does have a keyhole cutout under the bust that’s very small and doesn’t feel inappropriate for a wedding at all. I love the detail at the top that’s sort of like a wrap neckline that looks so elegant. It’s a midi length and has sleeves so you get even more coverage, and I love the structured shoulder pads. If you love pink like me and want to wear a beautiful bold, unexpected piece, this is the way to go!

BCBG Colorblock Gown

Black Tie Weddings

More formal weddings can be tricky. Sometimes they say black tie and then women show up in cocktail dresses, so you just have to get a finger on the pulse of how people are dressing for the wedding you’re attending. If you know someone who’s going, text them and ask what they’re wearing and what the length of their dress is. You don’t want to be that person who’s wearing the long sequin gown when everyone else is wearing short black cocktail dresses. Or maybe you do, in which case…you are SO cool! I personally want to feel elevated and fashion-forward, but I don’t want to stand out for being WAY too glam, overdressed, or sexy. Here are a few options that will do just that…

1) BCBG Colorblock Gown

I love this colorblock U-front dress by BCBG! The color combination of pink and red is SO me. It’s unique, fashion-forward, unexpected, and fun. You won’t see someone else wearing the same dress and it’s so much more special than that basic black dress every other woman will be wearing. If you don’t love pink and/or red, you can try a similar concept to this in different colors, like black, navy, emerald green, or bright blue.

Black Jonathan Simkhai Jumpsuit | Summer Special Occasion Outfits

2) Black Jonathan Simkhai Jumpsuit

I know I just mentioned not wearing all-black like everyone else. But this jumpsuit has some sass and sexiness on top so it’s not your typical black dress or jumpsuit. It does show a lot of skin up top so that’s a consideration, but a jumpsuit is a really elegant, unexpected piece to wear to a wedding that also feels comfortable and accessible. The only thing with a jumpsuit is the bathroom situation but at most wedding receptions, the bathrooms are nice, and you don’t have to worry about that.

Black Maje Jumpsuit

3) Black Maje Jumpsuit

This is another jumpsuit option by Maje in a silky, paper-thin fabric that’s wrinkle-resistant (great for travel!). It’s very elegant, chic, and simple but you can belt it, add some fun accessories, and you’re looking super chic and stylish for the wedding in no time. I wore this jumpsuit in Paris more casually, which really shows you how versatile it is too. This is not just the piece you wear to the wedding; you can also wear it on a dinner date or to a party.

If you’re looking for wedding guest dresses and need more options, make sure you check out this post next.

Waimari Midi Dress | Summer Special Occasion Outfits

Parties

The next category of events you have coming up this summer…parties! I would consider parties a little more casual so you don’t need to be quite as glammed up and you can choose pieces that are in more relaxed, casual fabrics. The beauty of a party is that you can wear white (unlike at weddings), so I’m going to share some white options below as well…

1) Waimari Midi Dress

White dresses are so breathable, lightweight, airy, fresh, and crisp. This gorgeous Waimari dress has a beautiful flowy fit that gives it some drama and movement. I love the super flattering smocking and A-line skirt. Since it’s a midi length, you get that leg coverage too. Style this with wedges for a party or flats for a casual lunch…it’s super versatile!

Waimari Mini Dress

2) Waimari Mini Dress

This Waimari dress is very similar but it’s shorter and has more of a trapeze or babydoll-style fit. It’s not fitted to the body at all if that was a concern with the last Waimari dress. I love that it has sleeves too! With this dress, the possibilities are endless… wear your espadrilles, sandals, cowboy boots, etc. depending on how you want to look and feel for that party. You can swap out accessories, consider belting it, add a statement necklace or earrings, and you’re ready!

Indah Dress | Summer Special Occasion Outfits

3) Indah Dress

This Indah dress is another option with paper-thin fabric. It’s SO lightweight, which is wonderful if you live in a really hot climate. It has sleeves and a long maxi skirt but I felt cool wearing it during our Africa trip at dinner. Even though it has sexy cutouts, there’s so much coverage with the sleeves and length that I felt very comfortable. This is an elegant way to do sexy…showing peeps of skin with conservative coverage of the rest of your body.

One-Shoulder Tee & White Jeans

Dinner Dates

The following looks are for anything from girls’ night out to dinner with your partner to dinner by yourself (because why not)! You will probably notice a pattern in terms of my go-to outfit uniform for dinner dates…

1) One-Shoulder Tee & White Jeans

White and black is a winning combination, great for a travel color story, versatile, and neutral, and you can easily add color pops to it if you want…it’s just so easy! So why not wear it for date night? I love this one-shoulder tee because you get the coverage but it adds a touch of sexy. This specific tee runs small so size up on size. It has a rubbery strip along the neckline to keep it in place too. The ruching along the body is slimming and gives it some extra detail and brings definition to the waist.
The jeans I’m wearing by DL1961 are a cropped bootcut style. They have a 27” inseam so depending on your height, you may or may not need to get them hemmed. I’m 5’4” for reference. These jeans have a high-rise (10”), built-in shapewear, and the pockets are sewn shut, which makes them incredibly slimming. I also love the angled raw hem that gives them a little extra style detail. They run true to size.
One thing to consider with this combination, specifically black on top and white on bottom… If you tend to be more of a Triangle shape, then you may want to flip the colors and wear the black on the bottom and white on top for a more slimming effect.

If you’re looking for the BEST white jeans, make sure you check out this post next.

Maje Pink & White Striped Top & White Jeans

2) Maje Pink & White Striped Top & White Jeans

Next up is this cute puff shoulder, balloon sleeves, striped top by Maje. I love all the extra details that make it so special. I styled it with the same DL1961 white jeans and some Stuart Weitzman wedges that are very comfortable (for heels). If you live in a hot climate, you may see the long sleeves and jeans and think you can’t wear them to dinner. But I lived in Texas and know that everywhere you go is heavily air-conditioned! So, unless you’re going to sit outside, you’re going to want some coverage inside so you’re not freezing in the AC.

Blue Top & White Jeans | Summer Special Occasion Outfits

3) Blue Top & White Jeans

Do you see the pattern here? White jeans, cute top, sandals…it’s that easy! It’s the same combination and concept every time. We’re just swapping out different pieces, colors, styles, accessories, etc. In this look, I’m wearing a beautiful blue top by Frame that has dramatic puff sleeves, textured cotton fabric, and a flattering empire waist seam. I styled it with another pair of favorite white jeans by Mother and some wedges by Veronica Beard.

Ulla Johnson Top & Jeans

4) Ulla Johnson Top & Jeans

I haven’t always been a huge print lover and I’m still warming up to them a bit. Prints are just harder to wear than solids! But when I find a gorgeous, neutral print like this top, I love it. This Ulla Johnson top has yummy brown tones in a beautiful print that feels more understated and accessible. The top is billowy but very lightweight and breathable fabric. I also love the puff sleeves on this beautiful blouse. Because it’s so billowy, you have to consider outfit proportions and balance it out. If you have something billowy on top, you’ll want to wear something more fitted on the bottom and vice versa. With this top, I’m wearing a pair of slim-fit jeans by Moussy to balance out the billowiness on top. I threw on some killer See by Chloe platform heels and I’m ready for my dinner date!

LoveShackFancy White Top | Summer Special Occasion Outfits

5) LoveShackFancy White Top

Next up is this gorgeous white top by LoveShackFancy. LoveShackFancy makes such beautiful, romantic, feminine blouses and I love every detail on this blouse…the delicate crocheted lace on the bust and sleeves, chic square neckline, subtle jacquard stripes, and the ruffled cuffs are all perfection! This is a top that has a great fit for concealing a tummy if that’s a concern for you. It’s 100% cotton so it’s very lightweight and breathable for warm summer days. It’s a little sheer but you can wear a bralette or cami underneath if you want. This is another one with sleeves for all of you who want to cover your arms without adding heat. I paired it with some wide-leg Mother jeans that are SO good. They have a high-rise (10”), super wide-leg silhouette that’s so on-trend right now, and a raw hem. They have a 31” inseam, which I can usually wear with heels, but if they’re too long for you, you can either have them hemmed or cut them yourself because they already have a raw hem…easy peasy! They run true to size and I have on size 26. I’m wearing them with a pair of flat sandals but you can wear heels, sandals, mules, or whatever you prefer for date night.

Endless Rose Crochet Boho Blouse | Summer Special Occasion Outfits

6) Endless Rose Crochet Boho Blouse

Need a cute date night top that’s also super affordable? This one is SO cute and only $51! It’s 100% cotton so it’s lightweight and breathable. The crocheted fabric gives you arm and chest coverage without adding heat. The wider part of the sleeve isn’t too voluminous so you can still layer it under a jacket if you live in a cooler climate. I styled it with my Mother jeans and Rag & Bone sneakers but it will also look so cute with denim shorts and sandals this summer for date night! It comes in white too.

Simkhai Pink Knot Front Top

7) Simkhai Pink Knot Front Top

I shared a white version of this top in my Summer Capsule Wardrobe, so when I saw it came in pink too, I knew I had to try it. The color is SO pretty, I love the puff sleeves, and the fit is wonderful. The twist front detail combined with the V-neckline makes this a super flattering top for most body shapes. I can’t wait to wear this top for the rest of the summer! I styled it with the same wide-leg Mother jeans and some Rag & Bone sneakers, but you could style it with different jeans, pants, skirts, or shorts.

Maje Cargo Jumpsuit | Summer Special Occasion Outfits

8) Maje Cargo Jumpsuit

This cargo-inspired jumpsuit is very similar to the other black Maje jumpsuit I shared in the Black-Tie Weddings section above. It’s the same super soft, silky, breathable fabric that’s very lightweight. It’s already kind of a crinkled fabric so it’s good for travel because it’s already wrinkled but doesn’t get more wrinkled. I recently wore it for a working lunch in Dallas, out to dinner with Chris, and can’t wait to wear it even more this summer. It’s just a really great piece to have and it’s more versatile than you’d think. On my feet, I’m wearing a pair of platform sandals by Marc Fisher that are so cool and chic but you could swap them for a different pair of heels or sandals instead.

For more tips on how to find your special occasion outfit, make sure you watch this corresponding video to hear Erin’s philosophy on finding that perfect piece.

Which of these looks is your favorite? Can you think of anywhere you could wear them? Let us know in the comments below!

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