What to wear for a Formal Garden Party: A Women's Guide

split-banner image
Attending a formal garden party is a delightful occasion to dress up and enjoy the outdoors. The key to determining your garden party attire is selecting the suitable fabrics, fit, and footwear. Plus, we'll discuss the etiquette of bringing a gift. Here's your ultimate guide to looking chic and feeling comfortable at your next garden soiree.

Fabrics: The Foundation of Elegance and Comfort

Choosing the right fabric is essential for a garden party outfit. Given the likely warm weather and outdoor setting, you want to balance elegance and comfort.

  1. Linen: Ideal for its breathability and natural texture, linen is perfect for keeping cool. Its slightly wrinkled look adds to the casual elegance.
  2. Cotton: Lightweight and versatile, cotton dresses come in various styles and prints, making it easy to find a suitable option.
  3. Silk: For a touch of luxury, silk offers a beautiful drape and a soft feel. Opt for silk blends to avoid excessive wrinkling.
  4. Chiffon: This sheer, flowing fabric adds a romantic and ethereal vibe to any outfit. It's perfect for dresses and skirts that require a bit of volume.
split-banner image
split-banner image

Tailored vs. Looser Fits: Finding Your Style

Both tailored and looser fits have their place at a garden party. The choice depends on your style and comfort.

Tailored Fits:

Pros: Provides a polished and sophisticated look. Tailored dresses and jumpsuits accentuate your silhouette, making them ideal for formal garden parties.

Cons: Can be less forgiving regarding movement and comfort, especially in warmer weather.

Styling Tips: Look for tailored pieces with breathable fabrics and a bit of stretch. Pair with delicate accessories to maintain a refined appearance.

Looser Fits:

Pros: Offer maximum comfort and ease of movement. Flowing dresses and skirts are perfect for a relaxed and whimsical garden setting.

Cons: It can sometimes appear too casual if not styled correctly.

Styling Tips: Balance the look with structured accessories like a belt to define the waist or a fitted blazer. Choose prints and colours that enhance the garden party ambience.

The Best Heel Types: Style Meets Function

Navigating a garden party often involves walking on grass and uneven terrain, so selecting the proper footwear is crucial.

Wedges: The best option for combining height with stability. Wedges prevent heels from sinking into the grass and offer good support. Emmy London's Lottie wedge is a great option.

Block Heels: Another stable choice, block heels provide more surface area and are easier to walk in compared to stilettos. Our Josie block heel shoes are a must-have for grass and uneven ground. 

Kitten Heels: For a more subtle lift, kitten heels add a touch of elegance without compromising comfort. Discover our new Tess kitten heel court, perfect for a summer soiree. 

Flats and Sandals: For those who prefer not to wear heels, chic flats or embellished sandals can be comfortable and stylish. At Emmy London, we offer some of the most elegant flat shoes on the market.


View all
  • Josie Mid Block Heel image Josie Mid Block Heel image
    Perfect with a shoe clip

    Josie Mid Block Heel

    Colour Ivory Suede
  • Josie Low Block Heel image Josie Low Block Heel image
    Timeless classic

    Josie Low Block Heel

    Colour Saddle Suede
  • Josie Mid Block Heel image Josie Mid Block Heel image
    Perfect on grass

    Josie Mid Block Heel

    Colour Misty Rose Suede
  • Josie Mid Block Heel image Josie Mid Block Heel image
    Wardrobe essential

    Josie Mid Block Heel

    Colour Black Suede
  • Josie Mid Block Heel image Josie Mid Block Heel image

    Josie Mid Block Heel

    Colour Navy Suede
  • Josie Low Heel Block image Josie Low Heel Block image

    Josie Low Heel Block

    Colour Ivory Suede

The Perfect Gift: Etiquette and Ideas

Bringing a gift to a garden party is a thoughtful gesture often appreciated. Here are some good ideas:

  1. Floral Arrangement: A beautiful bouquet or a potted plant that complements the garden setting.
  2. Fine Wine or Champagne: A classic choice that is always well-received.
  3. Gourmet Treats: A selection of fine chocolates, artisan cheeses, or a homemade baked good.
  4. Elegant Candles: Scented candles in sophisticated packaging make for a lovely gift that the host can enjoy later.

Dressing for a formal garden party is all about blending style with practicality. Opt for breathable fabrics like linen, cotton, silk, or chiffon, and decide whether a tailored or looser fit suits your style and the event's formality. Choose wedges, block heels, or kitten heels to navigate the garden terrain gracefully. Finally, consider bringing a thoughtful gift to show your appreciation to the host. With these tips, you'll be ready to enjoy the festivities in style and comfort.

Remember, the key is to feel confident and enjoy yourself, which is the essence of any memorable garden party.