Topic of Conversation

Engagement Party Style Tips

Q: I feel like my entire summer social calendar is dedicated to engagement parties! Friday night through Sunday brunch is packed with these parties and I never know what to wear. Help!

A: The style do’s and don’ts of an engagement party are far less rigid than the wedding ceremony. Unless the bride and groom request a specific theme or dress, we use the time and location as the guiding indicator of what to and not to wear to the engagement party.

For an engagement brunch or lunch, a sundress is always an appropriate option. Create a fashion-forward summer suiting look by pairing a colorful or printed blazer over a pair of matching shorts or cropped pants. Regardless of whether you pick shorts or pants, finish your outfit with a pair of flats; styling a summer suit with high-heels skews more office-appropriate than weekend-chic. Skip summer whites which toe the line of the “Never wear white to a wedding” rule, one of the few wedding dressing rules that remains an absolute no-no.

When the engagement party is at night, up the style ante with a cocktail dress. Make a statement, however, with a pop of color or an eye-catching accessory and steer clear of a revealing neckline or micro-skirt. Also, if you’re worried about being over-dressed (which is never a bad thing really), slip on nude colored pumps instead of black—a simple substitute that tames your night-out dress into a festive frock.