Knowing what to wear to a dinner party was something I didn’t need to consider until a few years ago. Any decent friendship group worth their salt wouldn’t have inflicted their grotty first-time flats and poor culinary skills upon a Friday night, and instead, it was all about going out somewhere to find the fun. Night-out dressing in itself is a tricky thing, presenting itself with the same old conundrums time after time: Should I wear high heels, or will it ruin my evening if we end up schlepping from bar to bar? It’s raining, but isn’t it inherently uncool to carry an umbrella? What if everyone else is super casual, and I’ve chosen that night to crack out a vintage gown?
All of these irritations can be soothed by the nice, comforting, grown-up confines of having dinner either at your own place or going over to someone else’s. There are no guarantees that the food won’t be worthy of a MasterChef fail, but you can ensure that the fashion standards are kept high. In fact, it’s one of the greatest opportunities to break your wardrobe wide open and wear some of your most exciting things (or finally purchase that standout piece you’ve had your eye on). Keep reading to see what to wear to a dinner party, plus the style benefits of doing such a civilized thing.