The prettiest garden party dresses to wear this season from designer to luxe for less
Garden party dresses are one of the prettiest summer styles to shop for. Summer is full of outdoor parties but Summer Garden Party dress codes can be hard to navigate. You want to be dressy but not too formal and not too casual. If in doubt always err on the side of the more conservative and elegant for your garden party dresses or summer special occasion styles. Also stay away from materials that are too glam, too casual or that don’t breathe e.g. sequins, denim, nylon and polyester. I’d always rather be over dressed and garden chic when it comes to garden party attire than under dressed or too sexy.
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What to wear if you’re unsure of the weather for your garden party
Summer Garden Party weather can be a but hit and miss especially in England. If you’re worried you’re going to be too cold, you can always layer with a pashmina or blazer.
On the opposite end of the scale, if you’re worried about burning, a long sleeve garden party dress is a good option. If you’re worried about it being windy, a maxi dress or more fitted style is a good option.
Best Garden Party Dresses 2023
I’m a huge fan of Hemant and Nandita and Zimmermann, especially the Zimmermann linen-silk and floral print midi dress. For more affordable looks, Lulus floral print wrap maxi dresses for under $150 are a steal. When it comes to the prettiest, most feminine, floral garden party dresses, you really can’t go wrong with any of their styles.
I’ve chosen a lot of more conservative, elegant, garden chic styles but there are a few that are more fashion forward if you know that will work for your summer garden party dress code. As well as some looser, more relaxed fit dresses and empire waist styles that would work as maternity dresses if you’re looking for a garden party dress to wear while pregnant.
Shop Designer garden party dresses
A lot of these styles would also work for Spring and Summer wedding guest dresses, the Kentucky Derby and summer party dresses if you want to get more than one wear out of them. Zimmermann, Alice and Olivia and Dolce & Gabbana floral mini dresses are a definite stand out when it comes to elegant but fashionable garden party outfits. Ruffle straps and skirts always look super pretty and feminine too. If you’re a fan of side pockets, I mean who isn’t? Check out the red Aggi mini dress whose bubble hem is right on trend. Click the photos for the full details and more color options.
Shop the best garden party dresses under $300
These stunning summer party dresses are perfect. If some are too casual and you’re looking for more of a garden formal dress you can easily swap the belt out for something dressier whether that’s a black leather belt, gold chain belt or something colorful. Add an IT bag and/or shoes to elevate your look (keep scrolling down for my top picks).
This strapless dress is great if you want to avoid getting tan lines at outdoor parties. I found the sizing to run slightly large on it so I’d recommend sizing down so that the weight of the dress doesn’t pull it down!
What shoes should I wear to a garden party
When it comes to deciding if you should wear flats, heels or wedges with your garden party dress gone are the days that it used to be more appropriate to wear wedges or flats.
Now it’s more of a case of using common sense depending on the surfaces. Is it going to be on grass, is there a lot of walking on gravel etc. If high heel pumps are good enough for Kate Middleton and the rest of the royal family to wear to the Buckingham Palace garden party, they’re good enough for me.
However, there’s also block heel or trending spool/square heel options that don’t sink into the grass. I’ve been leaning more towards those over the last couple of years and they’ve held up really well on the grass at the races.
Here’s some of the best bags and shoes to compliment your garden party dress and to complete your garden party attire. Use code SARAHFLINT-BAEVE for $60 off any of the Sarah Flint shoes in the edit.
Garden party attire | Hats
Last but not least don’t forget your hat, if it’s part of your garden party dress code and appropriate. There are so many pretty hats and fascinators to complete your outfit. If it’s a more casual party, a more casual, large sun hat is always a good idea just to give you some sun protection.
If you’re not planning on wearing a hat, don’t forget body and scalp SPF as well as a good SPF setting spray.
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