What to Wear to a BBQ: Outfit Inspiration and Tips

What to Wear to a BBQ: Outfit Inspiration and Tips | Closet52

Summertime means cookouts, and cookouts mean BBQs! There are all sorts of BBQs, from the backyard variety to the more formal potluck kind. Of course, for any type of BBQ, you'll want to dress appropriately. After all, you don't want to be the person who's underdressed or overdressed!

Generally speaking, what you wear to a BBQ will depend on the occasion. For example, if it's a backyard BBQ with friends, you can get away with wearing shorts and a T-shirt. But if it's a potluck BBQ hosted by your boss, you'll want to dress a bit nicer.

How to Dress for Different Occasions

As already mentioned, the dress code for a BBQ can vary depending on the occasion. Here are some tips on what to wear to different types of BBQs:

Backyard BBQs with Friends

For these types of gatherings, you can pretty much wear whatever you want. Shorts, T-shirts, and sundresses are all great options. Just make sure you're comfortable since you'll likely be doing a lot of standing and walking around.

Potluck BBQs

Potluck BBQs are usually a bit more formal than backyard ones. If you're unsure about what to wear, it's always better to err on the side of caution and dress up a bit. Khaki pants or a skirt with a nice blouse would be a great option.

Company BBQs

Company BBQs are similar to potluck BBQs in terms of formality. However, you'll want to make sure you avoid anything too casual or revealing. Business casual attire is usually a safe bet.

Themed BBQs

Themed BBQs are always a bit more fun! If the theme is something like "beach party," then obviously you'll want to dress accordingly. Swimsuits, cover-ups, and sandals would be great options. If the theme is more general, like "summertime fun," you can get creative with your outfit. A floral dress or brightly colored shorts would be perfect!

What to Wear to a BBQ - Outfit Ideas

Now that we've gone over what to wear to different types of BBQs, let's take a look at some specific outfit ideas.

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #1 - Ripped Denim Shorts With a Graphic T-shirt and White Sneakers

For a casual backyard BBQ, you can't go wrong with ripped denim shorts and a graphic T-shirt. You can opt for a black T-shirt or white one that matches the sneakers - or even go for a fun printed T-shirt! Throw on a pair of white sneakers and your outfit is all set! Don't forget to bring your baseball hat to keep the sun out of your eyes.

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #2 - Khaki Shorts With a Striped Button-Down Shirt and Brown Sandals

This is a great option for a potluck or company BBQ. The khaki shorts are dressier than denim shorts, but they're still comfortable. And the striped shirt looks much more put-together than a plain T-shirt. Brown sandals will perfectly complete the look. Add a straw visor or sunhat and you're good to go!

What to Wear to a BBQ
What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #3 - A Mini Floral Dress With White Sneakers

A mini floral dress is perfect for a summertime BBQ! It's comfortable, cute, and easy to wear. And if you pair it with white sneakers instead of sandals, you will add a touch of casualness to the look. Don't forget a fun sunhat or visor to keep you protected from the sun!

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #4 - A Swimsuit Cover-Up With Sandals

If you're going to a beach-themed BBQ, you'll need a swimsuit cover-up! This one is white and airy, perfect for hot summer days. And the sandals keep the look casual and beach-appropriate. If you go for a solid color swimsuit, you can add a pop of color with your cover-up or sandals. Add some shell jewelry and a wide-brimmed sunhat to complete the look.

What to Wear to a BBQ
What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #5 - A Co Ord Set and a Pair of Sneakers

A co-ord set is always a good idea - mostly because it's insanely trendy and comfortable! You can opt for a solid color or a printed one - whatever you prefer. And the best part is that you don't have to worry about finding a separate top and bottom that match - it's all decided for you! Just add a pair of sneakers and you're all set! If you want, you can even bring a straw bag or backpack to carry all your essentials.

What to Wear to a BBQ
What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #6 - A Wrap Dress and Flat Sandals

A wrap dress is a great option for any summer BBQ. It's comfortable, flattering, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. For a potluck or company BBQ, you'll want to dress it up with some flat sandals. And for a backyard BBQ, you can swap out the sandals for sneakers! Just add some sunglasses and sunscreen and you're all set.

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #7 - Black Cropped Jeans, White T-Shirt and a Blazer

This is a great option for a formal backyard BBQ! The cropped jeans are dressy but still comfortable. And the white T-shirt keeps the look casual. You can add a black blazer to make it more formal - or you can ditch the blazer and just wear jeans and a T-shirt. Add some black sandals or flats and you're good to go!

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #8 - Beige Linen Bermuda Shorts and a White 3/4 Sleeve T-shirt 

This outfit is great for a formal BBQ. Bermuda shorts are a great way to stay cool in the summer heat. And the linen material is perfect for a summer BBQ. The white T-shirt keeps the look casual and relaxed. You can add a pair of black sandals or flats to complete the look. Don't forget to add a straw bag to finish off the look!

What to Wear to a BBQ
What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #9 - Red Shorts and a Floral Tank Blouse

This is a great option for a themed BBQ! The red shorts are perfect for summertime and the floral tank blouse is both cute and comfortable. You can add a pair of white sandals or flats to stay comfortable and a small white bag to finish off the look perfectly!

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #10 - A Cycling Shorts and a Long Graphic T-shirt

If you're looking for a more casual outfit, this is a great option! The cycling shorts are both comfortable and stylish. And the long graphic T-shirt is perfect for a relaxed BBQ. Add a pair of white sneakers and a small backpack or bag and you're good to go.

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #11 - Belted Dress and Espadrilles

For a more formal BBQ opt for a belted dress! This one is linen material so it's perfect for summertime. The espadrille shoes add a touch of casualness. Add a small white bag and some trendy sunglasses to complete the look.

What to Wear to a BBQ
What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #12 - A Skort and a Basic White T-shirt

This is another great option for a backyard BBQ with friends. The skort is both comfortable and stylish - it is a shorts and a skirt combination after all. The basic white T-shirt keeps the look grounded and casual. You can add a pair of sneakers and a bucket bag for a more relaxed vibe. Or, you can add a pair of sandals and a small white bag for a slightly dressier look.

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #13 - A Floral Midi Dress and Block Heels Sandals

Floral dresses are always a safe choice for summertime. They're feminine, pretty, and perfect for a BBQ. A floral midi dress is both comfortable and flattering, while the block heel sandals will keep you comfortable all day long. A wristlet will be the perfect size for carrying all your essentials.

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #14 - Burgundy Cropped Pants and a White Shirt With Ruffles

For a potluck BBQ, you can wear burgundy cropped pants that are both stylish and comfortable. You can choose the wide-leg cropped pants as well - they are even more trendy! The white shirt with ruffles adds a touch of femininity. Add a pair of black flats or sandals and a mini bag to complete this fashionable look!

What to Wear to a BBQ
What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #15 - Spaghetti Straps Top and Denim Bermudas

If you're hosting or you're invited to a relaxed backyard BBQ this outfit combination is a great option. The spaghetti straps top keeps you cool in the summer while looking super trendy and the denim bermudas are a perfect solution for those who want to feel both comfortable and stylish. You can add a pair of white or beige lace-up espadrilles to complete this look.

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #16 - A Flowy Dress and Gladiator Sandals

For a more boho-chic look, wear a flowy dress with some gladiator sandals. This is a great outfit for those who want to feel feminine and stylish. The loose-fitting dress is perfect for a hot summer day and the gladiator sandals are a special edgy detail every woman needs in her life. Add a small crossbody bag or purse and some statement earrings to complete the look!

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #17 - Crochet Shorts and a Tank Top

Crochet shorts are very trendy right now so why not wear them to your next BBQ? They are perfect for summertime and they can be dressed up or down depending on the type of occasion. For a more casual BBQ, pair them with a basic tank top or T-shirt. And for a dressier event, you can wear them with a nicer blouse or top. Add a pair of platform espadrilles and a small bag for a finished look.

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #18 - Black Satin Midi Skirt and a Black Short Sleeve Blouse

Company BBQs are a great opportunity to dress up your look. And this outfit combination is perfect for the occasion! The black satin midi skirt is both stylish and classy. The black short sleeve blouse keeps the look grounded and sleek. You can add a pair of heels and a small clutch for a more polished look.

What to Wear to a BBQ
What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #19 - Pink Dress and Nude Lace-up Sandals

Let's not forget about the power of a pink dress! They are perfect for summertime and they always make a statement. This pretty pink dress is perfect for a themed summer BBQ. The nude lace-up sandals are a great choice to keep the look stylish. You can add a mini nude crossbody bag and you're all set!

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #20 - A Floral Maxi Dress and Brown Leather Sandals

A floral maxi dress is a great idea - especially if you're invited to a beach theme barbecue! A floral maxi dress gives out the perfect summertime vibes. And the brown leather sandals are a great choice to keep the look natural. You can add a straw hat and some shell jewelry like a bracelet or a choker to complete this stylish look.

What to Wear to a BBQ
What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #21 - Yellow Sheath Dress and Beige Low Heeled Pumps

For a more formal backyard BBQ, you can wear a yellow sheath dress. Yellow screams summertime! It's a great choice for a daytime event - and it will definitely make you stand out in the crowd. The beige low-heeled pumps are a good choice to round up the look along with a small beige clutch and some dainty jewelry.

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #22 - Khaki Pants and a Plain White Long Sleeve T-shirt

Idea #22 is a more casual look consisting of khaki pants and a plain white T-shirt. This is perfect for those who want to feel comfortable while still looking put together. The white T-shirt keeps the look clean and classic while the khaki pants add a touch of sophistication. You can wear this outfit with a pair of sneakers or espadrilles. And don't forget the sunscreen!

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #23 - Linen Pants and a Striped Tank Top

For a nautical look, wear white linen pants with a white and navy striped tank top. This is perfect for those who want to feel comfortable while still looking put together. The linen pants are perfect for a hot summer day and the striped tank top is a classic detail that always looks chic. You can wear this outfit with a pair of espadrilles or sandals.

What to Wear to a BBQ
What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #24 - Denim Shorts and a Crochet Top

A crochet top is a great way to achieve a stylish look. The denim shorts keep the look casual and cool. You can add a pair of sneakers or platform espadrilles to complete the ensemble. And don't forget the fringe bag.

What to Wear to a BBQ Idea #25 - A Colorful Jumpsuit and Sneakers

This list wouldn't be complete without a jumpsuit! A colorful jumpsuit is perfect for a fun summer or spring BBQ. The sneakers keep the look casual and cool. You can add a pair of sunglasses and a jean jacket to complete the ensemble.

What to Wear to a BBQ

We hope you enjoyed these 25 different outfit ideas for your next BBQ party! As you can see, there are many different factors to consider when deciding what to wear to a BBQ. Just remember to dress for the occasion and you'll be sure to look great!

What to wear to a BBQ - Makeup Tips

Now that you know what to wear to a BBQ, it's time to talk about makeup! For a natural look, we recommend using a BB cream or tinted moisturizer, some light mascara, and a pop of color on the lips. If you're going for a more polished look, we recommend using a foundation, some contouring and highlight, a winged eyeliner, and nude or light-colored lipstick. And don't forget the sunscreen! No matter what look you're going for, make sure to protect your skin from the sun.

What to Wear to a BBQ - FAQ

What to wear to a hot day bbq?

  • If the BBQ is during the day, we definitely recommend dressing more casually. A nice pair of denim shorts or a breezy sundress would be perfect. We would also recommend wearing sandals or flats instead of heels. And since it's likely to be quite hot out, we suggest keeping your makeup light and natural.
  • For an evening BBQ, you could still dress casually, but maybe add a few more elements to make it slightly dressier. Instead of denim shorts, you could wear a cute skirt. And instead of flats, you could opt for wedges or even strappy sandals.

What to wear to a casual work bbq?

A casual work BBQ is a great opportunity to get dressed down and have some fun with your wardrobe. A nice pair of jeans and a comfortable shirt should do the trick. You could also try wearing something more festive, like a summer dress or shorts. As long as you're comfortable and look put together, you'll be good to go!

What to wear to a dressy bbq?

For a dressier BBQ, we recommend wearing something slightly more formal. A sundress or linen pants with a nice blouse would be perfect. If it's an evening event, you could even add a pair of heels and a small clutch. Just remember to dress for the occasion and you'll be sure to look great!

What to wear to a bbq party in the winter?

A BBQ party in the winter is a great opportunity to wear your favorite cozy sweater. A thick, cable-knit sweater will keep you warm while you enjoy the company of your friends and family. If you want to add a touch of style to your outfit, try pairing your sweater with a knee-length skirt and some stylish boots. Accessorize with a scarf and some earrings and you're done.

What to wear to a summer cookout?

There's no one definitive answer to this question. It really depends on your personal style and the dress code for the event. If it's a more casual cookout, then you might want to wear a sundress or shorts and a T-shirt. If it's a more formal affair, then you might want to wear a summer dress or skirt suit.

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