What to wear to a fancy restaurant? It's a perennial style dilemma that can catch out even the most confident of dressers. If we're honest, though, fancy dinners are just one (more) big excuse to get dressed up. So, where on the earth do you start? Dresses, trousers, skirts? Let's begin by ruling things out.
Different restaurants will have different rules, but generally speaking, trainers are a no-go at posh establishments. The same goes for casual sweatshirts and anything branded with a sports logo. "Smart casual" or "elegant casual" are preferred by many restaurants, but that certainly doesn't mean "casual" in the sense we know it. Michelin-star eateries care not for trends such as athleisure or ripped denim. In hospitality language, "casual" means "comfortable."
It might sound daunting, but in our experience, we've found that just about anything can be elevated to make the dress-code cut. Erring on the side of caution, we've decided to steer clear of jeans (while some restaurants are more lenient, others will turn away patrons because of them). However, there are plenty of other delights to be had that will guarantee you a table in a prime spot, as opposed to near the door or the loos.
Keep scrolling and you'll soon discover choosing what to wear to a fancy restaurant isn't so difficult after all.
Silk Dress + Printed Heels
If in doubt, dresses are always a fail-safe, fancy-restaurant option. It's demure but also on trendy. Try wearing a luxe satin number like Alex Steadman with snake-printed heels for a modern look.
This jade hue will look gorgeous on pale, olive and dark skin stones alike.
Snake print is still all the rage for A/W 18. Buy these now and we promise you'll wear them all season long.
These hammered-disc earrings will give any ensemble a glossy finish.
Suiting + Fun Accessories
Suits will never look out of place in grand surroundings, but you needn't opt for a dark hue. Instead, make like Freddie Harrel and try a light shade. Then, inject some fun into your ensemble with colour-pop accessories.
Try wearing this chic cover-up with jeans and kicks when dress codes need not apply.
High-waisted trousers are incredibly flattering on hourglass and pear shapes.
This breezy blouse will look chic paired with khaki green, too.
Velvet and with a heel height you can actually walk in? These shoes are the stuff A/W 18 dreams are made of.
Every It girls carried this bag in cream, but we think the pink version might be even better.
Elegant Midi + Cashmere Knit
For those of you who always feel the chill, try pairing a cashmere sweater with a glossy midi skirt. While other jumpers are borderline too casual, close-fitting cashmere is as luxe as knitwear comes. Just add elegant heels.
Black cashmere is an investment you'll never regret.
The asymmetric hem on this midi skirt gives it a couture feel.
Elevate any look to chic new heights with the addition of a bow-adorned heel.
Miniskirt + Classic Shirting
That's right—miniskirts can still work with fancier surroundings. Go for styles where the hem sits below your fingers, and then style it with a crisp white shirt and sleek accessories for an elegant spin.
Who'd have thought you could get a white shirt for less than a tenner?
Pair with loafers and a chunky knit for an off-duty spin.
Pair these peep-toes with a vampy black pedi.
Velvet bags are set to be big news this season, and this is our pick of the crop.
Now let's get onto the really important stuff, like what you're going to order for dinner…