What do I wear to a dinner party at a fancy person's home?

Ah, the fancy friend. Maybe you have one, or know someone who knows someone who does. And when you're invited to said fancy person’s fancy home for a supposedly low-key dinner party, it's both exciting and mildly panic-inducing. While you're looking forward to an inside look at their renovated classic six, you are not so thrilled at the idea of putting together an outfit that says hey I'm naturally cool, a little edgy, and didn’t put any effort into thinking about this incredible outfit at all. Sheesh.

Let's dig in to some points to keep in mind when deciding on what to wear to a not-entirely-stress-free dinner party.

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Consider separates.

Separates can appear more relaxed than a dress, while still coming off as refined. If you’re going to do jeans, try to keep to a black or grey, as those are more elevated and evening-ready. Non-jean trousers can work too, but keep in mind the possible shoe scenario (see below).


Don’t plan your outfit around your shoes.

Remember the Sex and the City episode where Carrie is forced to take off her shoes at a baby shower? Well, it happens a lot and you never know what the rules of the house are. While I personally believe you should be able to keep your shoes on at a party, it’s unfortunately not your call. Prepare yourself for a possible shoeless situation by not making your shoes a focal point. This will also affect the length of pant you decide on. If your trousers require a heel, perhaps opt for ankle-length. Oh, and don’t forget to make sure your socks match.

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You probably won’t be the best-dressed. So don’t worry so much about it.

The best advice anyone ever gave me was to remember that it’s likely no one is paying attention to your outfit. Sounds harsh, but it’s actually incredibly freeing. No one scrutinizes you more than you. That’s why you should choose something you’re ultimately comfortable in, because you appear cooler when you’re not focused on looking cool. Amazing how that works, right?


If all else fails, throw on a chunky earring.

It’s an instant outfit boost. I especially love the idea of big gold earrings with an oversized sweater and the Saz pant in wine. And out the door you go.

Bryn Taylor