Photos courtesy of Marie Flanigan Interiors

I recently joined a group of creative women in Houston to host a garden party, and I was thrilled to take on the task of styling the perfect garden party outfits. I was also excited for an excuse to wear a floaty dress while sipping midday cocktails in a beautifully styled setting. 🙂

Our garden party took place in a gorgeous home by Marie Flanigan Interiors. Mostess styled the tabletop and bar cart with beautiful flower arrangements by Maxit Flower Design, whimsical calligraphy menus by Meg Grant & Co, and incredible hors d’oeuvres by Smart in the Kitchen.

When it came to styling outfits, I gravitated towards the understated-yet-elegant atmosphere of an al fresco daytime gathering. Below I’m sharing six styling tips to follow whether you have a “garden party” on the horizon, or simply a daytime outdoor event. Enjoy!

Opt for Lightweight Fabrics

An outdoor event, especially in the summer, calls for breathable, lightweight fabrics. Check your clothing tags for linen and cotton, and avoid synthetic fabrics like polyester and rayon. Instead of a pant or long sleeve button down, choose a breezy dress or skirt and top set. The last thing you want to worry about during a beautiful outdoor gathering is sweating through your clothing!

Bring a Layering Piece

As we all know, weather is unpredictable, so be prepared for unexpected breezes with a lightweight layering piece. I love draping a denim jacket over my shoulders, and it creates a nice contrast with a feminine dress. I’ve also been loving this spring tweed jacket.

Embrace Floral Prints

A garden party is, of course, the perfect excuse to wear a pretty floral pattern, so we say go for it! During the week, I’m usually pretty casual, so I love any excuse to wear a feminine dress. I love pairing a denim jacket with a floral print to give it a casual edge. You can shop my dress here and more of my floral favorites here!

Wear Espadrilles or Block Heels

If you’re going to be outside on a lawn, don’t risk braving stilettos. You’ll most likely be on your feet for most of the party, so opt for a comfortable pair of espadrilles or block heels that won’t sink into the grass. If you prefer to wear flats, choose a  slide sandal or mules. You can shop my favorite summer sandal styles here!

Follow a Pastel and Neutral Color Scheme

When styling our outfits, I followed the pastel and neutral decor color scheme selected by Mostess and Marie Flanigan Interiors. Our outfits looked beautifully understated together and allowed the vibrant outdoor surroundings to stand out in photos. Unless you’re attending a summer fiesta, light hues are ideal for outdoor gatherings.

Don’t Forget to Accessorize!

Garden parties entail hours spent in the sun, so don’t forget to accessorize with a hat, sunglasses, or jacket draped over your shoulders. I love how Valerie Dittner of Adorn Yourself Accordingly paired a straw Panama hat with her striped blue and white dress. I am also obsessed with the straw bag trend and this is the perfect occasion to carry one!

For more fun garden party tips, be sure to check out Meg Grant, Marie Flanagan Interiors, Mostess, and Smart in The Kitchen!

Do you have any al fresco parties on the horizon? I would love to hear any styling tips you have for outdoor parties! xo