What to Wear to a Summer BBQ

Memorial Day ushers in the kids’ freedom from school, sandal-wearing weather and the unofficial start of barbecue season. Soon the whole family will be living it up in the great outdoors — or great backyard — grilling, swimming and generally enjoying the warm weather. Strike a balance between carefree and stylish when you plan your family’s summer wardrobe, aiming for looks that keep everyone both comfy and looking good.

Fashion Meets Function for Mom

Sure, Dad’s hanging at the grill, but Mom’s the unsung hero of any barbecue bash. From throwing together the fruit salad to chasing the kids, you’re on the go the entire time. To make your job easier, build your outfit from the bottom up with sandals that are one part flirty, one part functional. Tan leather gladiator styles go with everything from shorts to skirts to capri pants — because comfort is key, try Blowfish’s Gush sandal with a cushioned footbed. Slip into denim shorts and a red-and-white striped T-shirt for a nautical nod, or rock an easy-breezy floral sundress for dressier get-togethers.

Casual Cool for Dad

Whether creating a culinary barbecue masterpiece or just hanging poolside, guys should wear outfits with a mix of casual and cool. Cargo shorts fit this definition to a tee — top a khaki pair with either a button-down light denim shirt or a simple V-neck tee in a summery shade, like grass green or watermelon. Add a brown watch, coordinating belt and wayfarers for good measure, and complete the look with earthy brown Cartagena thong sandals by Margaritaville.

Sweetly Summer for Girls

Nothing says all-American girl like red-and-white gingham, so for your next barbecue, dress your little cutie in any variation of this perfectly summery pattern. Team a gingham button-down with white cut-off shorts for easy movement. Alternatively, try hot pink gingham shorts and a white tee with a matching hot pink design — think an ice cream cone or butterfly. Pick coordinating white shoes — like Stride Rite’s Nandini sandals — that will stay on her feet with an ankle strap and crisscross pattern across the top. Complete her summery vibe with a few bright plastic bracelets.

All About Action for Boys

No doubt your little guy will be a bundle of nonstop activity at the family’s barbecue cookout, so dress him accordingly — but keep the cuteness quotient. Summer is the time for color upon color, so start with bright shorts — orange or green do the trick. Add a T-shirt with thick stripes or a graphic tee with aquatic animals or a surfer motif. Finish his look with the Made 2 Play Sharkie sandal with Velcro straps and a cushioned footbed for both security and comfort.

References

WhoWhatWear: 19 Barbecue-Ready Outfits to Try This Weekend
Esquire: The Seven Commandments of BBQ Party Style
College Fashion: What Should I Wear…to a Summer Barbecue?

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