8 Summer Dinner Party Outfits 2021 to Ensure You’re Hostess With the Mostess


This summer has been hailed as one of joy and reunion, a true return to friends, family, and celebrating, but summer dinner party outfits can take many forms depending on the scenario. So what’s the perfect look for every summertime dinner? A Lower East Side sidewalk celebration may call for a clingy Paco Rabanne knit maxi dress, while a Gramercy Park dinner party outfit would likely require a bit more flounce, like Markarian’s gingham taffeta.

Some summer outfits can do double duty: a high-waist Matteau skirt and cropped top is right for poolside cocktails but could double for date night, while a seaside maxi dress or Attersee caftan with some gold jewelry would work just as well for a backyard Brooklyn BBQ.

I recently wore a bright block print flowy dress for a weekend dinner at home with friends and realized with delight that I owned almost matching napkins—naturally, I used them to set the table and was titillated with the mix and match effect. I don’t need to match my tabletop but it’s nice to have some coordination between the two. So hostess dressing can extend from frock to flatware!

So what to wear and how to host for every occasion? Here, a set of eight summer dinner party outfits and scenarios to help you dress your table and yourself to the greatest effect.

Wainscott Beach Clambake

Add a lobster roll to your crisp Attersee caftan and some gold jewelry and you are 100% that beach.

The Clam Shack Maine Lobster Roll kit

Mejuri long boyfriend bold chain necklace

Garrett Leight dark tortoise/semi-flat Blue Smoke sunglasses

Serena & Lily Palisades chair

Lower East Side Sidewalk Celebration 

Downtown dinner parties moved to the sidewalk during quarantine, and no one’s looking back. Celebrate a summer birthday with a Paco Rabanne knit, a smiling set of glassware, and Dada Daily’s all-in-one entertaining board.

Paco Rabanne striped cotton maxi dress

Dada Daily “Let Us Entertain You” board

Bottega Veneta gold-plated earrings

Susan Alexandra Pal glass

Carroll Gardens Backyard BBQ

Fire up a chic, tiny grill, sip some refreshing citrus sparkles, and coordinate block-print brights from your table to your dress.

Ciao Lucia Chiara coral floral block print dress

Gianvito Rossi Ribbon Beachclub embellished suede espadrille sandals

Bodum Fyrkat mini charcoal outdoor grill

Johanna Ortiz Terracota Sol Naciente placemats

Les-Ottomans hand-printed cotton napkins

Upstate Picnic

Match your floral dress to your napkins and the wildflower field and you’re good to go; all you need is some elegant citronella spray.

Lug Von Siga Melody floral-print cotton-blend midi-dress

D’Ascoli rust Amagansett linen collection

Skeem Citronella Verbena Body Spray

Heather Taylor Home open plaid indoor/outdoor floor cushion

Etú Home rectangle pine charcuterie board

Terrain mesh and bamboo food covers

Gramercy Park Cocktail Party

Just because it’s sweltering outside doesn’t mean your linens can’t stay crisp. Dress up your table and yourself with CeCe Barfield’s new tabletop collection and Markarian’s taffeta gingham. And it woudn’t be a cocktail party without a cocktail ring!

Markarian Panfilo orange gingham silk midi-dress

Jimmy Choo Alaina crystal-embellished leather sandals

Land of Belle amber twist tumbler

Marie-Helene de Taillac princess ring

CeCe Barfield Home square tray

CeCe Barfield Home Veranda cocktail napkins

Long Island City Brunch

Feast on smoked salmon while channeling your inner ’50s housewife in this Evi Grintela frock and suite of rainbow tabletop.

Evi Grintela floral-embroidered cotton-blend poplin shirt dress

Carrie Forbes Cuadro raffia flat slide sandals

Terrain striped Seagrass charger

Banjanan Seaside stripe tablecloth

Este Ceramiche for Moda Domus striped ceramic oval serving tray

Montauk Pool Party

Make a splash with Matteau’s pool-to-party shirred separates and up the aquatic ante with some sea-themed jewelry and a mermaid pool float.

Matteau strapless cropped shirred organic cotton-poplin top

Timeless Pearly gold-plated, pearl and glass hoop earrings

Matteau shirred organic cotton-poplin maxi skirt

Lily Juliet Pearl’s pitcher

Los Encajeros blue striped linen coasters

Sunnylife luxe mermaid lie-on float

Your Best Friend’s Bridal Shower

Your wife for life is getting married and you’re throwing her a special lunch to celebrate. Lean into the vibe with a chintz dress and marbleized crackers and cake and mark her special day with a roman numeral ring and J’engaged gift set.

Cara Cara Blue Hill dress in Jacobean blue

By Alona Ostuni gold earrings

Hill House Home the J’Engaged kit

Houses and Parties spring marbled party crackers

Babygold custom Roman numeral ring

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