Models wearing a dress from Freemans and skirt and top from Hope
Models wearing a dress from Freemans and skirt and top from Hope

What should you wear for outdoor dining?

Katie Wright offers some al fresco fashion ideas.

Katie Wright
Thursday 29 April 2021 08:00

Deciding what to wear hasn’t been much of a challenge during the pandemic, what with being stuck at home most of the time and having the same selection of loungewear on rotation for months on end.

Now that lockdown restrictions are starting to ease, it’s time to get excited about fashion again. Yet we’re faced with a dilemma: what to wear when all of our socialising has to be done outdoors?

Wondering how you’re going to glam up for all those al fresco dinners and pub garden catch-ups, when it’s still rather chilly out? Here’s how to look cool and keep warm…

Bright knitwear

Usually, right about now we’d be packing away our cosiest winter jumpers, but we’re going to need them for a bit longer this year.

Keep your spring knitwear feeling fresh by choosing bright colours, cool pastels, jazzy patterns and sassy slogans.

Joules Miranda Jumper

Joules Miranda Jumper, £59.95, Kaleidoscope (trousers, stylist’s own)

Lyle & Scott Women's Cloud Check Jumper

Lyle & Scott Women’s Cloud Check Jumper, £75

Lipsy Gingham Check Button Through Puff Sleeve Cardigan

Lipsy Gingham Check Button Through Puff Sleeve Cardigan, £36, Next

Lots of layers

You might begin an outdoor dinner while the sun’s still shining, but by the time the main courses arrive, you could be shivering if you’re not bundled up enough.

Layering will help to keep you insulated without adding bulk. Try a maxi dress or skirt with boots (and thick socks or tights underneath), then add a lightweight knit and your warmest coat when the temperature drops.

Hope The Cotton and Silk Drape Knit Jumper Pale Blue Sky; The Contrast Hem Pleated Skirt Cobalt

Hope The Cotton and Silk Drape Knit Jumper – Pale Blue Sky, £150; The Contrast Hem Pleated Skirt – Cobalt £95 (shoes, stylist’s own)

Aniston Casual Maxi Dress

Aniston Casual Maxi Dress, £50, Freemans (boots, stylist’s own)

Monsoon Spot print pleated midi skirt green

Monsoon Spot Print Pleated Midi Skirt Green, £49

Stylish sweatpants

Not ready to give up the drawstring trousers you’ve been wearing daily for months? You don’t have to.

Upgrade your tired jersey joggers for a more luxe variety of sweatpants, teamed with trainers for more casual occasions or sandals (if you’re feeling brave).

M&Co Pink Denim Jacket; Terracotta Crew Neck T-Shirt; Stone Utility Joggers

M&Co Pink Denim Jacket, £32.99; Terracotta Crew Neck T-Shirt, £9.99; Stone Utility Joggers, £24.99 (shoes, stylist’s own)

Tu at Sainsbury's Tan Tapered Leg Pull On Trousers

Tu at Sainsbury’s Tan Tapered Leg Pull On Trousers £18

Hush Cropped Easy Trousers

Hush Cropped Easy Trousers, £49

Statement earrings

Necklaces and rings may not be visible under all those layers but earrings certainly will be, so why not make a statement with a striking dangly pair? It’s the perfect finishing touch and will elevate your al fresco outfit.

Ottoman Hands Bellezza Turquoise Front Hoop Earrings

Ottoman Hands Bellezza Turquoise Front Hoop Earrings, £60, Wolf & Badger

Marks and Spencer Collection Mixed Statement Drop Earrings

Marks and Spencer Collection Mixed Statement Drop Earrings, £12.50