From Dresses to Décor, Here’s How To Throw A Stylish Summer Garden Party

Dining al fresco is practically a requirement for the summer. It only essentially involves a change of scenery, but somehow everything feels more chic and elegant when you’re leisurely eating out in the open air. Personally, there are only a few months of the year where I actually want to be outside (without the mass of puffer coats on my body and harsh winds swirling in my face) so why not take full advantage of it? With only roughly a month more to go before the easygoing vibe of the summer makes way for the refreshed beginnings of autumn, it’s time to start thinking about a last hurrah in celebration. From a sopshticated outfit to an elegant table setting, throwing a gathering to remember can be way less stressful than you’d think. There are a lot of elements to consider if you take on the task of hosting your own outdoor party but don’t worry, I’ve laid out everything here. I’ve also sprinkled in some visual inspiration throughout so you can pull from the best ideas that thrill you. Ahead, keep reading to check out my favorite decor and fashion pieces to make your next summer soiree one for the books.

Running through all of the basics for an outdoor party can get overwhelming fast, but it really doesn’t have to be: a rustic vibe that melds contrasting styles can feel just as elegant as a coordinating set of a table and chairs. The important part is that you create an ambiance your guests want to feel relaxed in.

These stools are simple yet so chic. 

If you’re willing to splurge a bit more, I love these.

You never realize the importance of anti-mosquito measures until you’re covered in bites at the end of the night. These are supremely stylish too.

Don’t stress over buying an expensive table. A good tablecloth is a transformative hack that’s super affordable.

The cottage-core vibes are strong with this one.

String lights really add a touch of romance.

If you’re planned gathering is more laidback, opt for a beautiful blanket for a picnic-style party.

The key to a stylish garden party is the tabletop. Even if you’re working with limited furniture, a beautiful tablescape can make all the difference. Pro-tip: don’t forget the fresh flowers!

How gorgeous is this?

A rustic vessel for a stunning bouquet of dried (or fresh!) greenery.

Even drinking water will feel fancy with these.

Although real cutlery isn’t a requirement it certainly elevates a table setting.

This looks so expensive.

If you don’t want to splurge on fancy plates, consider cloth placemats as a way to amplify the design aspect.

Cloth napkins are just better.

Throw in some unique glassware to really get your guests’ attention.

These can act as mini serving plates as well as salad plates.

Any dish you serve with these will look like a 10.

So simple and stylish.

So you’ve put in a ton of effort into creating a welcoming atmosphere for your guests, now it’s time to focus on your look. Being a hostess with the most-ess is about being comfortable and confident—so choose something that you’ll feel good in the entire night. Whether you’re firmly about dresses or love a good pair of pants, I’ve outlined a few options I think are stunners.

Shop the matching Rosso Open Knit Pant ($178).

Shop the matching 100% Linen Shirt ($50).

Shop the matching Gloria Shorts ($253).

Shop the matching Vio Linen Top ($98).

Up next: 30 Random Under-$300 Finds I Can Vouch Are Ridiculously Cute