5 Effortlessly Chic Event Looks That Are Guaranteed To Invite Compliments This Summer

Dress to impress outfits: @chasemarieee

(Image credit: @chasemarieee)

Struggling with a dress code is a rite of passage for fashion enthusiasts. What exactly does ‘dress to impress’ mean? Are short hemlines appropriate for a ‘black tie’ event? If you're someone who places a lot of weight on their outfit-building prowess, it can feel like a test. And come summer, a season filled with celebrations, there are plenty of hazy guidelines to navigate.

Often, all it takes is a little inspiration to spark some ideas. Below, you'll find five easy formulas for every event on your horizon. Whether you're attending a garden party, the races or a destination wedding, the following looks will set you up for sartorial success. Plus, they're comprised of items you can re-wear countless times after the event. Win-win.

Don't worry if you're not a dress person—we've also included options for trouser-loving guests. Dress code aside, the most important thing is that you feel your best in whatever you choose to wear. On that note... happy shopping!

5 'Dress to Impress' Outfits That Are Perfect For All Your Summer Events

1. Printed Dress + Embellished Bag + Mules

Dress to impress outfits: @chasemarieee

(Image credit: @chasemarieee)

Style Notes: If you're delivered a confusing dress code and the specifics of the occasion are ambiguous, a cheerful printed dress is a no-brainer. It might be a safe bet, but it's certainly not boring—especially if you pair it with standout accessories like Chase Marie.

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2. Colourful Tailoring + Silky Cami

Dress to impress outfits: @amagodson_a wears a blue suit

(Image credit: @amagodson_a)

Style Notes: Event dressing doesn't automatically call for a dress. Many are more comfortable in sleek tailoring, an option that will confidently show off your fashion know-how. Opt for a blazer and smart trousers in a summery shade, with a matching cami underneath as an alternative to shirting.

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3. Mini Dress + Straw Hat + Court Shoes

Dress to impress outfits: @juliesfi wears a white mini dress

(Image credit: @juliesfi)

Style Notes: We all know not to wear white to a wedding, but this dress will be the star of the show at a garden party or another, less formal summer event. Keep a wide-brimmed hat on hand for sun protection (and to make this look even cuter).

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4. Sleek Co-Ord + Basket Bag + Strappy Heels

Dress to impress outfits: @theannaedit wears a black co-ord and strappy heels

(Image credit: @theannaedit)

Style Notes: An all-black look will always be elegant—yes, even in the warmer months. Choose a breathable fabric like linen, let some skin show with a strapless neckline and complete the look with sandals.

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5. Cut-Out Dress + Heeled Sandals

Dress to impress outfits: @styleidealist

(Image credit: @styleidealist)

Style Notes: When in doubt, a dress with an interesting detail—think cut-outs or beaded embellishment—ticks all the right boxes. Stick with a simple and comfortable shoe and you're ready for a day of sun-soaked celebration.

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Freelance Fashion Editor

Bébhinn Campbell is an Edinburgh-based fashion and lifestyle writer and editor. She started her first blog at age 14 and went on to intern at print and digital publications in Berlin and London, including Dazed & Confused and Indie magazine.

A job at a fashion startup took Bébhinn from Ireland to Scotland in 2019, where she now works as a freelance journalist and copywriter covering everything from travel and interiors to styling advice. As a contributor to Who What Wear, Bébhinn always keeps her eyes peeled for emerging trends and looks worth writing about. She prides herself on her ability to cut through the noise and identify solid investment buys, exciting new brands and fresh takes on classic design.

In her spare time, Bébhinn enjoys perusing Edinburgh’s best vintage shops, working through her out-of-control book collection and watching dog reels on Instagram.