Knowing what to wear to a dinner party was something I didn't need to consider until a few years ago. Any decent friendship group worth their salt wouldn't have inflicted their grotty first-time flats and poor culinary skills upon a Friday night, and instead, it was all about going out somewhere to find the fun. Night-out dressing in itself is a tricky thing, presenting itself with the same old conundrums time after time: Should I wear high heels, or will it ruin my evening if we end up schlepping from bar to bar? It's raining, but isn't it inherently uncool to carry an umbrella? What if everyone else is super casual and I've chosen that night to crack out a vintage gown?
All of these irritations can be soothed by the nice, comforting, comfortable, grown-up confines of having dinner either at your own place or going over to someone else's. There are no guarantees that the food won't be worthy of an epic MasterChef fail, but you can ensure that the fashion standards are kept high. In fact, it's one of the greatest opportunities to break your wardrobe wide open and wear some of your most exciting things. Just don't rustle up spaghetti, okay? Keep reading to see what to wear to a dinner party, plus the style benefits of doing such a civilised thing.
The one extra button you'd be apprehensive to do in a restaurant is perfectly acceptable in your own house—so make like the chicest French girls after dark, and opt for a silky blouse or slinky wrap dress.
wear the highest (or most uncomfortable but pretty) shoes you own
Stacked platforms + a few drinks in the "old man" pub you frequent = a very wobbly evening indeed. But at home? Well, you'll spend much of the time sitting down at a table or casually reclining on someone's sheepskin rug.
Perhaps it's not the height or comfort of your favourite shoes, but the fact you'd hate to ruin them in a grimy club. Dior covered in daiquiri does not a dream combination make. Save the scuffing and stains for your day-to-day, replaceable styles.
If your besties are coming round to chez toi, make the most of the wardrobe at hand and a) consider a dramatic costume change (why not?), and b) use this as a testing ground for the brave look you're not quite sure the bus stop can handle yet.
You'll be spending much of your evening behind twinkling candles and a plate of burrata, so think about what's happening with the top half of your outfit. Perhaps it's time to enjoy the statement-sleeve top you've been meaning to wear all week…