What to Wear to a Dinner Party: 6 Easy Yet Stylish Looks That Always Impress

Knowing what to wear to a dinner party was something I didn't need to consider until a few years ago. Any decent friendship group worth their salt wouldn't have inflicted their poor culinary skills upon a Friday night, and instead, it was all about going out somewhere to find the fun. Night-out dressing in itself is a tricky thing, presenting itself with the same old conundrums time after time: Should I wear high heels, or will it ruin my evening if we end up schlepping from bar to bar? It's raining, but isn't it inherently uncool to carry an umbrella? What if everyone else is super casual and I've chosen that night to crack out a vintage gown?

All of these irritations can be soothed by the nice, comforting, comfortable, grown-up confines of having dinner either at your own place or going over to someone else's. There are no guarantees that the food won't be worthy of a MasterChef fail, but you can ensure that the fashion standards are kept high. In fact, it's one of the greatest opportunities to break your wardrobe wide open and wear some of your most exciting things (or finally purchase that standout piece you've had your eye on). Keep reading to see what to wear to a dinner party, plus the style benefits of doing such a civilised thing.

1. Waistcoat + Jeans 


(Image credit: @lucywilliams02)

Style Notes: A mix of dressy and casual separates is an easy outfit formula to follow. The top, earrings and bag feel fancy, while the baggy jeans and classic boots level out the look to create the perfect dinner party ensemble. 


2. Cosy Jumper + Midi Skirt


(Image credit: @styleidealist)

Style Notes: You want to feel relaxed at your host's table, and nothing takes your peace like the realisation that you should've worn another layer. A knit jumper and midi skirt pairing is the perfect solution, promising to keep you cosy while still looking polished. Now you just have to decide whether to wear comfy flats, or even comfier slippers!


3. Sparkly Dress + Metallic Accessories 


(Image credit: @emilisindlev)

Style Notes: If your besties are coming around to chez toi, make the most of the wardrobe at hand and use this as a testing ground for the brave sequin-adorned look you're not quite sure the bus stop can handle yet.


4. Nice Top + Mini Skirt


(Image credit: @aidabadji_)

Style Notes: Instead of a 'nice top' and jeans, make it more party-ready with a mini skirt and tights duo. Just add some gold-toned jewellery and slingback heels (yep, they're back) to be the hostess with the mostest. 


5. Black Dress + Classic Accessories 


(Image credit: @sylviemus)

Style Notes: Here for you no matter your plans, the LBD is the most loyal dress you can own. Bandeau styles are key this season, and you could always liven up your top half (that'll be most-seen at the dinner table) with lashings of jewellery. 


6. Suit + Roll Neck Top


(Image credit: @greceghanem)

Style Notes: A loose-fitting suit is the fashion world's answer to just about every outfit conundrum. Go with trainers for lowkey get-togethers and pointed-toe boots or heeled mules for smarter gatherings.


Next Up: 9 Going-Out Looks That Don't Feel Try-Hard

This story was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.

Hannah Almassi
Editor in Chief

Hannah Almassi is the Editor in Chief of Who What Wear UK. Hannah has been part of the the Who What Wear brand since 2015, when she was headhunted to launch the UK sister site and social channels, implement a localised content strategy and build out the editorial team. She joined following a seven-year tenure at Grazia magazine, where she led front-of-book news, fashion features and shopping specials as fashion news and features editor. With experience in both print and digital across fashion and beauty, Hannah has over 16 years in the field as a journalist, editor, content strategist and brand consultant. Hannah has interviewed industry heavyweights such as designers including Marc Jacobs and Jonathan Anderson through to arbiters of taste including Katie Grand and Anna Dello Russo. A skilled moderator and lecturer specialising in the shift to digital media and e-commerce, Hannah’s opinion and work has been sought by the likes of CNBC, BBC, The Sunday Times Style, The Times, The Telegraph and MatchesFashion.com, among many others. Hannah is often called upon for her take on trends, becoming known as a person with their finger of the pulse of what’s happening in the fashion space for stylish Brits.

Hannah currently resides in Eastbourne with her photographer husband, incredibly busy son and highly Instagrammable cat.