With wedding season just around the corner, many couples are throwing engagement parties left and right. While exciting and sure to be filled with joy and celebration, engagement and bachelor parties pose the perennial question: what to wear?

While you could always wear whatever you like, if you really want to be not only stylish but also respectful of the occasion and the happy couple, it’s wise to take some time to plan a proper outfit. After all, you don’t want to be underdressed at a formal dinner nor should you be overdressed for a casual get-together with the guys.

Below, we give you our best tips on how to dress appropriately for engagement dinners and bachelor parties so you can feel confident while celebrating in style.

Tips and Tricks for Dressing Appropriately for Any Occasion

If you’re someone who doesn’t like or doesn’t have the opportunity to attend many formal (or even casual) celebrations, you might be wondering where to even begin planning an outfit. Are there any strict rules for engagement party attire? Do the same wedding attire etiquette rules apply here as well?

Firstly, let’s get one thing out of the way: no, there are no strict rules for engagement or bachelor party attire (but white is still off-limits, according to many). However, that doesn’t mean you should dress however you please – after all, this event is not exactly about you; it’s about celebrating someone else.

Therefore, the most polite and considerate thing you can do is dress well and appropriately. But what does “dressing well and appropriately” really mean? To put it simply, it means dressing for the occasion, season, and time of day while letting your personality shine through.

Dress Code Comes First

How to dress well for the occasion? It’s simple – follow the dress code.

Engagement dinners and sometimes even bachelor parties come with specific dress codes, so thankfully, you don’t have to spend hours trying to figure out what to wear: most of the time, the dress code will be mentioned in the invitation. Black tie? A traditional tuxedo for men and an elegant evening gown for women. Smart casual?

A blazer and chinos for men, and a stylish dress for women. But even if the dress code is nowhere to be found in the invitation, it’s fairly easy to figure out what to wear because there are usually two dress codes for engagement parties: cocktail attire or casual.

The third option is semi-formal, which you can safely assume is the dress code if the invitation doesn’t mention anything. This means your outfit should be dressy but not overly so: a suit without a tie for men, or a casual wrap dress for the ladies.

Consider the Season

Another factor to consider when choosing your outfit is the season. After all, the outfit you choose for an engagement dinner in winter is probably going to be different than the one you need for an event in spring, and not just because the weather will be different: each season has its own colors and trends.

In the warmer months, lightweight fabrics like cotton or linen are great choices as they’ll keep you cool and comfortable, especially if you’re attending an outdoor event. These months are also ideal for playing around with more color, fun patterns, and brighter shades.

In the cooler months, don’t be afraid to layer up with a stylish jacket or sweater to stay warm without sacrificing style. During these months, you can’t go wrong with neutrals and darker colors.

Time of Day Matters, Too

Finally, the time of the day should also influence your outfit choice. For daytime events, you might want to stick to lighter colors and more casual attire. For example, khakis or chinos paired with a button-down shirt would be great options for men, while women can always wear a nice sundress in a lighter color.

In the evening, you can opt for darker hues and dressier ensembles. A little black dress for women is a fail-safe choice, while a well-tailored suit for men never fails to impress.

Let Your Personal Style Shine Through

With the general guidelines out of the way, let’s finally talk about the fun stuff: personal style. Yes, it’s important to be respectful of the occasion, but that doesn’t mean you should dress blandly or look like everyone else (unless that’s what you want). Ultimately, your outfit should reflect who you are and make you feel confident and comfortable.

Jewelry can elevate any outfit, regardless of the occasion, so don’t be afraid to accessorize. For men, a classic watch, cufflinks, and a sleek leather belt can make the whole outfit look more put together and intentional. Don’t be afraid to experiment with pocket squares or tie clips to inject personality into your outfit.

Women can easily make a statement with bold jewelry, such as chunky statement earrings or a statement necklace. A stylish clutch or evening bag can serve as both a practical accessory and a fashion statement. Rings can be bold and loud or classic and understated, depending on your personal style.

This is also the perfect occasion to subtly flaunt your own engagement ring – a tasteful accessory that effortlessly complements your attire. If you haven’t chosen one yet and are looking for something original, now might be the ideal time to check out black diamond engagement rings – they’re the perfect blend of uniqueness and sophistication.

Engagement Dinners: Striking the Right Balance

If you’re invited to an engagement dinner, it’s safe to assume that the event is of a formal nature, albeit not as formal as the wedding itself.

For men, a well-fitted suit in a neutral color such as navy, charcoal, or black is a safe bet. Pair it with a crisp dress shirt, a coordinated tie, and polished dress shoes to complete the look.
Ladies can opt for a chic cocktail dress or a stylish jumpsuit, plus elegant accessories such as statement jewelry and a clutch.

Bachelor Parties: Embracing Casual Elegance

Unlike most engagement dinners, bachelor parties often call for a more relaxed approach to dressing. However, casual doesn’t mean sloppy! You still want to look put-together and stylish while embracing the laid-back vibe of the event.

For men who prefer an effortless look, dark jeans or chinos paired with a button-down shirt are fantastic choices. Layering with a well-fitted blazer or a stylish bomber jacket can elevate the look without veering into formal territory. Complete the outfit with a pair of loafers or nice sneakers and voilà – you have a polished yet relaxed outfit.

Women can opt for chic separates such as tailored trousers paired with a silk blouse or a fitted top. If the party is more casual, a trendy jumpsuit or a maxi dress can make a statement while keeping you comfortable throughout the festivities. To add personality to your look, accessorize with a stylish belt, statement earrings, or a structured handbag.