We select and review products independently. When you purchase through our links we may earn a commission. Learn more.

What to Wear to an Engagement Party

Group of friends having an outdoor party with food and drinks
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com

When a friend or family member is getting married, there’s typically more than just the ceremony to think about. If you’re close with that person or you’re in the bridal party, you’ll likely be invited to an engagement party.

While typically not as formal as the wedding itself, it can be tricky to navigate the engagement party dress code unless it’s spelled out in the invitation.

Thankfully, there are a few tried and true engagement party outfits that never go out of style. Let’s take a closer look at what your engagement party guest outfit should look like, and how you can make sure you’re dressed appropriately for the occasion.

How to Choose an Engagement Party Outfit

African-American woman looking through closet for something to wear
Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock.com

If you’re stumped when it comes to your engagement party outfit, one of the best ways to determine what you should wear is to look at the invitation. There are probably more clues there than you initially realized.

Dress Code

If there’s a dress code listed on the invitation, your life just got a whole lot easier. Some people might want their party to be more formal, while others will opt for a dressy-casual vibe. Thankfully, when they print their desires right on the invitation, it makes it easier to narrow down your outfit choices and choose something appropriate without too much stress.

The dress code might be in small print, so make sure you don’t overlook it when you’re deciding what to wear!


If a dress code isn’t directly mentioned on the invitation, context clues are the way to go, starting with the venue.

Engagement parties can be hosted just about anywhere because they’re generally smaller than the wedding itself. Some popular location ideas include a backyard, the beach, a country club, a restaurant, or a boat/yacht.

Looking at the venue will help you get an idea of what might be appropriate to wear. For example, a party in someone’s backyard is likely to be more casual than one hosted at a country club. If you’re on a yacht, you can probably be more low-key with your engagement party outfits than if you’re at a restaurant.


The time of day can also give you a better idea of what to wear. A late morning brunch party is likely to be more casual, while an evening get-together could call for a more formal dress code—meaning you really can’t go wrong with a little black dress or other type of cocktail attire.

If the party is being held in the middle of the afternoon or you’re not sure whether time will be a factor in the dress code, the safe bet is to go with something dressy-casual. You won’t look too overdressed or underdressed for the occasion.


In addition to the time of day, the time of year is important to consider. While you’ll always want your engagement party guest outfit to fit the dress code and environment, it’s important to be comfortable and practical, too.

Wedding season is year-round, so if you’re invited to a party in the fall or winter, you’ll have to take away thoughts of sun dresses and short skirts and opt for something warmer and more functional.

What to Wear to an Engagement Party

Group of friends dressed in formalwear talking and drinking champagne
G-Stock Studio/Shutterstock.com

Okay, so you have the engagement party dress code nailed down. But, if you’re still stumped about what to wear, don’t panic. First, let go of any outdated expectations you might have. Things like dresses and skirts never go out of style, and they’re certainly more than appropriate for just about any location, season, or time.

But, there are other options to choose from, too, that can be just as stylish and chic as anything else. Let’s cover a few of your best options for engagement party attire.


If the engagement party invitation doesn’t specify a dress code but you know you want to wear a dress to the event, your best bet is to go with cocktail attire. When it comes to dresses, that means finding a cut that comes just above the knee. You can pair it with heels for a more formal look, or go with flats or sandals if the event is dressy-casual. If your dress is simple and you want to jazz it up, don’t forget about accessorizing!

MOLERANI Women's Casual Plain Short Sleeve Simple T-Shirt Loose Dress

You can never go wrong with the LBD, and this t-shirt style dress is great for parties on the beach, on a boat, or in a backyard!

Women's Crepe Off-the-Shoulder Cocktail Dress

A super sleek cocktail dress that will work perfectly for either a dressy-casual or formal engagement party setting.

Women's Sleeveless Maxi Sundress

Light, loose, and perfect for summer engagement parties.


Like dresses, there are many different options for skirts depending on the venue, season, and dress code. A good rule of thumb is not to go too short. That doesn’t mean you have to wear a maxi dress, but even if the party isn’t formal, going with something just above the knee or longer will always be more tasteful—and try to avoid white, as it’s likely something the bride-to-be will wear.

Womens Casual A-Line Skirts High Waisted Midi Pleated Swing Skirt

A beautiful midi pleated swing skirt that comes in a variety of colors for any season.

Women's Midi Skirt Flared Stretch Skirt for Women

Super cute, flared, and easy to match with just about any blouse for a fun and breezy look.

CHICWISH Women's Caramel 3D Posy Double-Layered Mesh Midi Skirt

Looking for something more formal? This layered mesh midi is gorgeous---and you'll be comfortable, too!


Here’s where it’s okay to step out of the box. Yes, pants are appropriate for an engagement party dress code—even if the event is formal. It’s all about choosing the right pants for the environment so you can look and feel your best without offending the engaged couple.

Tronjori Women High Waist Casual Wide Leg Long Palazzo Pants

Pair these viral trousers with a pair of heels and you can wear it to a formal party and to work the next day!

High Waist Wide Leg Pants

Going to a more formal engagement party or something in the evening? These pants are perfect for any black tie event.

GRACE KARIN Dress Pants for Women Stretch Pull-on Pants

Paper bag pants are perfect for dressy-casual parties, and can be worn to the office, too!


Jumpsuits are having a moment. They can be super casual, dressy-casual, and even formal depending on the cut and how they’re accessorized. If you want to wear something a bit more unique to an engagement party while also prioritizing comfort, a jumpsuit could be the solution.

Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box when it comes to your engagement party outfit, especially if you’re considering a jumpsuit. There are more options than you might think!

Addkaka Womens Crew Neck Short Sleeve Jumpsuits

Perfectly chic and sophisticated for a dressy-casual or formal engagement party---especially when paired with heels.

ROYLAMP Women's 2-piece Jumpsuit

This two-piece jumpsuit is sleek and sophisticated, and perfect for an evening engagement party.

AUTOMET Jumpsuits for Women

Partying on the beach, in a backyard, or on a boat? This casual jumpsuit will keep you cool and comfortable.

These suggestions are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what you can wear to an engagement party. Do a little detective work and learn what you can about the dress code from the invitation. If you’re still confused or unsure, don’t be afraid to ask the person throwing the party to give you some insight!

Stacey Koziel Stacey Koziel
Stacey Koziel is a news writer at LifeSavvy. She's worked as a freelance writer for over ten years, focusing on family and lifestyle content. She also has a background in marketing and social media, and is always eager to talk (and write!) about the latest TikTok trends. Read Full Bio »
LifeSavvy is focused on one thing: making your life outside of work even better. Want to know more?