Dress Code for Restaurants

Choosing what to wear for a fine dine-out can be a bit of a hassle for some as picking out an outfit is not that easy for everyone – questions like either the silk slip top which goes with the red bottoms perfectly or the body-con dress which accentuates your curves more flawlessly?

Dress Code for Restaurants

Choosing what to wear for a fine dine-out can be a bit of a hassle for some as picking out an outfit is not that easy for everyone – questions like either the silk slip top which goes with the red bottoms perfectly or the body-con dress which accentuates your curves more flawlessly? Choices, choices, choices!

With the abundant options laid out in front of you, it can become overwhelming for one, and even the numerous Pinterest boards or the latest Vogue cover shoot is not helpful enough to feel inspired and creative with your look.

Fret no more! Following is a list of various restaurant attires, along with dos and don’ts, that will help you decide how to mix and match your wardrobe pieces to create the perfect outfit, characteristic to your style and taste, and get impressive!

Casual

For some, “casual” dress code may seem misleading, as a restaurant’s perception of “casual” may imply agreeably comfortable, however, different from a layman’s I-am-sitting-on-my-couch-watching-Game-of-Thrones comfortable. Of course, an upscale establishment would not approve of your sweatshirts, jogging pants, and a pair of kicks from no matter which reputable sneaker brand.

Instead, a pair of boyfriend jeans, with a loose top, perhaps, with a duster coat for the winters, with velvet mules, or you could simply emulate your favorite celebrity’s dine-out look, like Gigi Hadid’s casual date-night outfit, you can browse various inexpensive alternates needed to recreate this outfit. A simple peplum top with loose-fit jeans, matched with flats speaks casual yet chic all over!

The Dos and Don’ts:

As much as you might want to envisage a look, inspired truly and wholly by your sense of style, there are some pointers you want to consider. Of course, a casual dress indicates anything from comfortable jeans and sneakers to the athleisure section of your wardrobe, but you do want to keep in mind that a restaurant would expect you to wear something rather “comfortably chic” than just comfortable. Just skip the activewear and stick to pairing basics with certain bold pieces to not let your outfit overshadow your persona, or perhaps the restaurant’s ambience. Go for light and cool-toned colors paired with dainty accessories that match the vibe of your outfit, and not make you appear overdone.

That being said, when pairing different pieces from your closet, you do want to keep in mind the basics of matching and contrasting, for example if the top is dark, the bottoms have to be slightly less dark, or in a light contrast. Except for when you are going for a monochrome outfit, make sure the top and bottom shades do not clash, you can add textures and various cuts to polish the look further. Similarly, if the bottoms are printed, you want to opt for a plain or solid colored top.

Casual Elegant

This may seem like a broad spectrum of fashion choices, but it is more headed for the “elegant” end than the casual one. You might think of Hailey Bieber’s Princess Diana inspired photoshoot for the Vogue as an inspiration for a “casual” dress code, but “Casual Elegant” is more of a Rosie Huntington-Whiteley inspired look, like a pleated, silk maxi dress, with a pair of stilettos, and hair wrapped in a chignon-style bun.

Casual elegant is not a type of dress choice that is recommended to be worn every day, but it is the look you want to go for when going for a fancy lunch, or an evening date night with the girls or your beau.

The idea is to keep it classy and comfortable, with a touch of elegance.

The Dos and Don’ts:

Create a look that speaks of elegance from head-to-toe, you do not want to wear an elegant dress with a pair of sneakers, do you? For sure that speaks elegant and casual for Kylie Jenner, but this is not what we are looking for. Think more of a satin silk dress, with a pair of pointy heels, or a monochrome outfit - fitted crop-top with a pair of palazzo pants, and edgy heels. Perhaps you want to sway more to the casual side, then go for a wrap dress, with a pair of flats and a bucket bag, mane looking perfect with those subtle waves and a neatly attractive set of accessories finishing the look.

You can always look up to your favorite celebrities for inspiration in casually elegant outfits, but that may not apply to every situation. Just take any casual outfit and add give it an exquisitely ethereal and graceful touch for a perfect dine-out situation, or you can check out these day dresses.

Business Casual

For a business casual look, think of it as a combination of the casual attire and a professional workplace outfit. This type of dress code speaks “polished yet comfortable”. With so many different types of industries coming up, there is a wide range of dressing styles and rules, for instance, finance corporations might prefer a more refined and professional look, compared to a media production office, where there may be some flexibility to dress more casually, like throwing on a pair of jeans, rather than a pantsuit. If the weather is on the cooler side opt for a sweater-shawl, a shrug or a casual jacket.

This brings in the question of the appropriateness of dressing because what is permissible in one work environment, might not be allowed in another.  For instance, the dress code in a legal office will be hugely different from say, an software development office.

Of course, the business casual outfits for a woman working in the corporate sector will be different from those of your favorite celebrities, despite that one can always look for inspiration from people like Amal Alamuddin and her minimal and sleek designer suits and dresses, or perhaps, those of Victoria Beckham, and Selena Gomez. There is a plethora of inspiration for minimal and classy business casual outfits from your favorite style icons.

The Dos and Don’ts:

In general for women, too-revealing clothes are considered inappropriate, and skirts are preferred at knee-length and tailored pantsuits are fancied. It is advisable to wear less sparkly accessories or those that may draw too much attention and overshadow the overall outfit or look. Nobody wants their client to affix their eyes on the blingy necklace and not the significant discussion.

Clothes must always be properly ironed and crease-free, or it does not leave a neat and polished impression on the clientele, that you might have taken out for lunch. Keep in mind the color palette that you are choosing is minimal, subtle, has more cool tones, and very little or no sparkles and glitter. A few statement pieces, like a set of white gold studs, and a minimalist wristwatch would add more persona to the outfit. You do want to ascertain that the fabric is appropriate and does not reveal the underlining of your outfit.

Just remember: sophisticated and modernistic, but nothing too overboard that takes away your client’s attention from your motive to your outfit. You want to look good, not draw all the attention to your attire. Finally make sure whatever you wear is in line with the ambience of the business casual restaurant you choose, for instance, you do not want to wear a sparkly outfit to a dimly lit restaurant.

Formal

This is the time for you to glam it up and shine like the star you are (literally, bling it up!). “Formal” usually conveys either a black-tie or a white-tie dress UP situation. You do not have to wear a tight corset or a crinoline for that matter, this is not the 19th-century girl! However, a flowy and extravagant dress is what the night calls for, with a set of sparkling jewels, professionally styled hair and a petite clutch amplifying the look.

Never be shy to add more sparkle in your outfit (also in your life), however bear in mind that formal does not equal Red Carpet. So no dress trains or ultra-reveling bare-alls. We are pretty sure you all loved Rihanna’s magnificent yellow 2015 Met Gala dress or Kate Hudson’s Grecian inspired gown at the 2014 Oscars, but it is apparent which one of these is more appropriate for a formal dine-out.  

The Dos and Don’ts:

Do not go too far away with the length of the trail that it becomes difficult for you to strut in that dress, also ensure the dress is properly tied and attached with your body if it’s a strapless dress, and make perfect use of body tape to ensure that everything is intact and not hampering the classiness of your attire.

Have fun with the various colors, textures, and prints, try whatever is in fashion, and do not be afraid to experiment with your trends and styles. There are so many options apart from designer wear that might suit your style and needs and would not cost you a leg!