A Man’s Guide to Dressing for a Garden Party

Who doesn’t love the spring?

Who doesn’t love the spring?  However much you enjoy sledding and winter walks, it’s always cheering to see gardens start to green up and hear birds tune up. Of course, spring isn’t the same everywhere, but the chances are as soon as we’ve had a few warmish days those barbeques will get dusted down, the deck chairs will be prised apart and you’ll start getting invites to the first garden parties of the new year.  Most garden parties are casual affairs, but not so casual that you can turn up in paint covered jeans and a mucky T shirt, equally, if you turn up in a suit and tie, you’re not really getting into the spirit of the thing and you’ll be the focus of sly smirks and giggles behind your back. If it’s a wedding do, then you are on the formal side of casual but if it’s a ‘garden casual’ springtime party then here are some suggestions for combining outdoor style and comfort.

A light jacket

Don’t turn up wearing all-weather hiking gear because you’re worried it might turn a little bit nippy later on but do bear in mind that spring evenings do cool down pretty rapidly, so unless you like the goose bump look or you think that shivering is chic, you’d be as well to bring a light jacket along.  You don’t want kilos of Harris Tweed hanging on your arm, so why not go for denim, it’s casual, stylish and it will do a good job of keeping you warm as the evening draws on.

Skinny jeans

Springtime is not the time for shorts, and even sandals and chinos may be chilly so why not go for a pair of classic black skinny Levi’s.  Just make sure that they’re not so skinny that you can’t enjoy a beer or two and a plate of that delicious looking food.


You think because it’s not full summer that you can’t really wear a pair of shades?  That low, spring sun can be pretty bright on a good garden party day, so make sure you’re prepared. You’ll have the benefit of not squinting at the people you’re talking to, and of looking super stylish.  Bronze or dark green lenses can look cool without being too flashy, and if you need prescription glasses, there’s always an option to get prescription lenses with your frames from brands like Ray Ban.

Casual trainers

Springtime is definitely shoes and socks weather and a pair of Vans or Converse hit just the right note in casual style.

Colourful shirt

Hold your fire with that full-on Hawaiian or Bermuda but it’s definitely time to ditch the dark shades of winter and get a little colour going.  Short sleeves if you think you’re tough enough but if not let’s at least get that top button undone. Ties are not casual but if you really must and you don’t mind people having a bit of a laugh at your expense, then go for a colourful bowtie, but you’ll need the personality to carry it off.  A safer bet and a nod to spring, is to go for a pastel T shirt or a floral print shirt.

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