Which are the best outfits to wear to a BBQ?

Choosing an outfit for a BBQ can be tricky as it’s important to find something that you will be able to stay cool in while also looking fashionable amongst your family and friends. Most of the time, BBQ’s are casual events where you can expect to be eating hand held food like burgers and hotdogs, so wearing your best dress might not be the best idea!

Looking good at a BBQ has never been so easy with our top tips on what to wear to these classic British occasions. 

Patterned shirts 

As a man heading out to a BBQ, sometimes a T-shirt might feel a little too casual, especially if the BBQ is for a particular occasion such as a birthday or celebration. In times like this, a patterned shirt is the perfect option as it can be paired with jeans or shorts of any kind and still smarten up the outfit. Wear it tucked into your trousers with a nice belt for the smartest look, or to dress it down slightly you could leave it untucked. 

Many patterns are available on shirts including:

  • Checkered shirts
  • Paisley shirts
  • Polka dot shirts
  • Floral shirts

To keep to the theme of spring and summer, a floral shirt would be a great choice for a BBQ!

Long skirts

For ladies attending a BBQ, long skirts are a great way to keep cool while looking the part among family and friends. These are a staple part of women's attire and have been popular for decades, with varying lengths and styles being popular at different times. For a 90’s look, opt for a flowy, low waisted denim skirt, or for an 80’s look, go for a high waisted number with bright colours and patterns. 

The great thing about skirts is that they will never go out of fashion, and are a symbol of feminine beauty and style that will be admired by all those at the BBQ. 

Polo shirts

The history of these shirts date back to the 6th century and were originally made for use in sports games such as tennis or golf, but now they are popular among men and women of all ages and are a great option that sits in between t-shirts and shirts in terms of formality. 

Polo shirts can be long or short sleeved and have been replicated by many famous designers that put their own logo on the front corner. These shirts can be bought in baggy or fitted styles depending on how comfortable you want to be, and look great tucked into trousers or shorts 


Dresses are the perfect attire to any BBQ as they come in all shapes and styles and are well suited to warm weather. For a BBQ, a casual dress might be the best solution in a light cotton fabric to stay comfortable for a long time and move around freely. For casual occasions, dresses that are made in a soft stretchy fabric are the best choice as you can sit or stand in them, and maybe play a bit of sport with your family if you feel like it!

The great thing about dresses is that they come in three different lengths. Mini, midi and maxi. For a BBQ, you will likely be outside for a long period of time and so a midi or maxi length may be the best option to protect your legs from the sun. However, if you are attending a BBQ that might turn into a party in the evening a mini skirt would be a great choice, too.


As BBQ’s tend to happen in the warmer months of the year, you might want to seize the rare opportunity to let your legs run free and maybe even catch a tan. Not only are they suitable for the summer weather, but they’re also very comfortable to wear as you can sit, stand and run while looking smart. 

You can purchase different styles of shorts, depending on how formal you would like to appear. For a dressier style, consider wearing some chino or tailored shorts with a nice belt and shirt tucked in, or for a more casual look you could choose some denim shorts or even swimming shorts if there is a pool at your destination!

Light Jackets

For the evenings, it is always best to carry a lightweight jacket as it will no doubt get colder when the sun has gone down. For men, a classic harrington jacket is a great option that will go well with a polo shirt or t-shirt while for women a vintage denim jacket or cardigan are great options to throw on over a dress.

Blazers are very fashionable this year, so ladies might also choose an oversized vintage blazer to dress up their outfit even further in the evening, while oversized bomber jackets are pooluar among men and are a great way to keep warm next to the fire in the summer evenings. 


BBQ’s are something that we all look forward to every year and are often considered to be a sign that summer has begun as British people rush to get their BBQ out as soon as it hits 20 degrees. Now that you have read this blog hopefully you feel prepared to attend your first BBQ and confident that you will be one of the best dressed there every single time.

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