39 Casual Dinner Outfits – Tips for the best Casual Date

Casual dinner outfits - faverie

Think of the last five restaurants you sat down and ate in. If you are like most people, there are several casual restaurants on that list. It does not matter if you are going with friends, meeting someone new, or taking your spouse out to eat; it is vital to look sharp.

This post will define what you should wear when headed to a casual restaurant. Then, we will provide you with over 20 outfit ideas for men and women. After learning about these ideas, you can easily create fabulous outfits.

I will share some secrets about what to keep in mind when dressing to go to a casual dinner, so you will want to read the entire post as they are often hidden inside sections of it. Come along as we explore dressing for a casual dinner.

Casual dinner outfits fundamentals

The number of meals eaten in a restaurant has gradually increased over the last 20 years. Just before the pandemic, Americans spent about $773 billion on restaurants. Across the U.S., there are over 660,000 sit-down restaurants. 

Therefore, you may be like many Americans who eat casual meals regularly in restaurants. These restaurants account for over 50% of all food sales in America. Before you head out the door to eat at a casual restaurant, you must make sure you are wearing the right clothes.

Casual dining is not fast food. While in most fast-food establishments, you order your food at a counter and carry your meal to your table, in a casual restaurant, a waiter takes your order and delivers your food to your table. 

Young couple ordering restaurant

It is also not fine dining. Most fine dining establishments have a more upscale atmosphere, and many have dress codes. While you may not find many dress codes at casual diners, it is still essential to wear the right clothes.

What’s a casual dinner?

A casual dinner usually is a modestly priced one. You are waited on by a server who takes your order and brings you your food. The atmosphere in these establishments is often laid back. Many have televisions, and some serve alcohol.

There are many casual chain restaurants in America, and they serve a variety of foods. For example, you might head to Buffalo Wild Wings to get your favorite wings, Cracker Barrell for some chicken and dumplings, or Texas Roadhouse for a steak. 

Many pizza restaurants with inside seating fall into this category. You might also head to the International House of Pancakes or Denny’s for breakfast. Many local restaurants also fall into this category.

The next time you meet some of your friends at a restaurant or take the family out to eat, you will want to consider a casual restaurant. However, before you race out the door, take a minute or two to ensure that you are appropriately dressed.

There are many options that you can wear to a casual restaurant. Men, you will want to consider wearing a blazer or sports jacket to many casual restaurants, and women will want to think about wearing dress trousers and a button-up shirt. There are so many fun choices that you can wear to a casual dinner, but I will have more to say about that in a little while.

Equally important, there are clothes that you will want to avoid wearing to a casual restaurant. In most cases, you will want to wear clothes that stay close to your body instead of baggy clothes. 

Take a second to fix your hair in a manner that is becoming to you instead of a wind-swept hairdo. You may come in close contact with others at a casual diner. Therefore, make sure that your hygiene is top-notch.

What colors should you wear for a casual dinner?

One of the biggest mistakes people make when going to a casual restaurant is confusing slouchy with comfortable. You will not want to wear the same clothes at home for that Sunday afternoon nap. Instead, think of comfortable clothes in bright colors that are fun to wear.

While you can wear dark colors to a casual dinner, most people wear bright colors. These would include reds, oranges, greens, cyan, and magenta. You can pair your favorite trousers with a top in a split complementary color and look stunning at a casual dinner. 

For example, consider wearing red pants with either a yellow-green or blue-green top. Alternatively, consider wearing a bright-colored top with a skirt.

There are many fun patterns that you can wear to a casual dinner. For example, a stripe knit top would look great paired with a neutral-colored skirt. A paisley dress is an ideal option. You can also wear gingham or checks.

70s retro fashion woman paisley dress

Guys, consider wearing herringbone or houndstooth. I will have more to say about casual dress codes for men and women in a little bit, along with giving you ideas on where else you can wear casual clothes.

When mixing colors and patterns to create fun casual outfits to wear to dinner, be careful that you do not incorporate too many into your outfit. If you choose to wear a larger pattern, then decide to wear it on a smaller scale somewhere else in your outfit. 

It is always best to stick to two or three colors and one pattern in the beginning until you learn how to combine them very well.

What’s the casual dress code for men?

Men will want to wear a shirt and pants or shorts. Collared or collarless shorts are acceptable. Select a pair of pants or shorts that are tailored. If you would play football in them, leave them in your closet. You will want to choose options that stay close to your body,

You can wear t-shirts or other non-collared tops and follow a casual dress code. Therefore, polos and other pull-over-the-head options are a perfect choice. Faded or shirts with holes in them should be avoided. Stick to options that fit close to your body. They can be long-sleeved or short-sleeved.

You can also wear jeans or trousers with a casual dress code. In most cases, you will want to avoid distressed jeans with large holes. Skip options that are too formal, like formal trousers. On the other hand, do not wear your sweatpants. You can choose options that require a belt or those that do not need one.

Avoid shorts that you might wear for athletics. Instead, opt for choices that are tailored. If the rest of your outfit is plain, this is a great place to wear a pattern. Otherwise, stick with fun or neutral colors. In most cases, you will want to leave your distressed jeans, cutoffs, and cargo shorts for another occasion.

For the most part, stick with bright and neutral colors. A good rule of thumb to follow is to make 60% of your outfit one color, 30% another, and 10% a third. Consider wearing split complementary colors, such as blue with yellow-orange or red-orange.

What’s the casual dress code for women?

Women also can choose between a variety of outfits. They can wear trousers, jeans or shorts, and avoid your distressed jeans. They can also wear many styles of skirts, but for very short ones and full-length options. While keeping those same parameters, women can choose from various dress styles.

Almost any trouser with a tailored appearance is excellent for a casual dress code. You can also wear jeans, but you should avoid options with big holes. Play with different patterns and colors, with bright options being preferred.

Women can also wear almost any dress or skirt if it comes almost to their knees. Tea-length dresses and skirts are also a great choice. Again, any pattern or color is acceptable, and you may want to avoid those that are too dark, such as deep brown or black.

Ladies can also wear a variety of tops. Sweaters are a perfect option in cooler weather. A fitted t-shirt is a great choice, but camisoles, turtlenecks, peplum tops, and many other choices are possible. Try to find options in colors that will coordinate with your bottom. Additionally, those with a pattern are a great choice.

While women will want to avoid high heels, they can choose from various footwear. Some types of sneakers and trainers are perfect, but pumps and flat sandals are great choices. When choosing your footwear, think about where you are going.

What’s the difference between casual and business casual dinner attire?

You can wear pants and tailored dresses with either casual or business casual, but you will want to select the texture and items carefully. For business casual, you will want to make sure that the clothes you choose have a very tailored appearance, and you will want to stick to collared shirts and smooth fabrics.

Couple looking menu restaurant

When choosing to dine at a restaurant with a casual dress code, select light-colored options. Particularly options that are bold in color. For the most part, you will want to stick to warm colors, such as yellow, red, and orange.

If someone invites you to a business casual dinner, you need to ensure you wear tailored clothes. Stick with those made from silkier fabrics. Skirts and dresses should come down at least to your knees for women. Women should wear collared blouses, such as a button-up top. They can also wear capris if they have a silkier texture. Therefore, women should leave their canvas and denim options for a different time.

Men going to a business casual dinner will want to wear a belt and a blazer. They also need to put on trousers, in most cases. Dressier denim with a smooth texture will also work. Men can choose from various shirts, with polos being a great option. 

Leave your sneakers in your closet, but you can opt for loafers or lace-up leather shoes. Stick with bright warm colors, such as reds, oranges, and yellows. You can choose to pair them with neutral-colored pants if you want.

What are the top benefits of the casual dress code?

The top benefit of a casual dress code is the ability to feel comfortable. Many people find this an easy way to look sharp while being able to wear their favorite clothing. You can wear bright colors, which often makes people feel happier. Women especially love a casual dress code because they do not have to wear high heels.

It is easy to put different pieces together to make casual outfits. Therefore, you can create a new casual look without spending a lot of time shopping. Many pieces go together beautifully. 

While I have already discussed putting outfits together using the split-complementary method, you can also create monochromatic outfits. It is always a plus when you can wear the colors you love the most to dinner, which is a great way to boost your self-esteem.

Once you have chosen your favorite color, you can also use a triadic color scheme to put together a beautiful casual outfit. In this case, you will wear three colors that are equally spaced around the color wheel to put together an outfit that you will feel great wearing. 

If you choose a violet blouse, wear orange tailored capris and green jewelry and shoes. Alternatively, if you pick a red blouse, wear yellow pants and blue jewelry. Once you master these color schemes, you can quickly put together outfits.

Another massive benefit of a casual dress code is wearing clothes that feel comfortable on you. Many women admit that they do not like to wear high heels, and the casual dress code allows them to wear kitten heels or flats. This is also better for your feet, and it may help you avoid back problems. Guys can often wear sneakers with casual outfits, allowing their feet to stay comfortable.

When is it appropriate to wear casual clothing?

You can wear casual clothing in many places. Unless specified otherwise, most sit-down restaurants have a casual dining dress code. One of the advantages of wearing casual clothing is that you can often wear the same outfit to work and meet a friend after work without changing.

Keep in mind that casual clothing does not mean the clothes you wear when you have not found time to do laundry. It also does not mean those outfits you wear for your daily run or a lazy Saturday at home. Each piece should be clean and look great on you. Additionally, it should be wrinkle-free.

Likewise, guys often love wearing casual because it allows them to get dressed in the morning and wear the same outfit throughout the day. This can be a tremendous advantage for either sex because it results in less laundry, and many people report that washing and putting up clothes is their least favorite chore.

Some upscale restaurants require a jacket and tie or a more formal dress code in the evening while allowing a more casual option during the day. This is an excellent choice if you want to try a restaurant without getting dressed up, and you will often find that the prices are less expensive than at night.

Since you can wear casual clothing to work, dinner, and many community events, you will probably discover that most of your wardrobe is appropriate for casual wear. 

Especially when you start mixing and matching pieces, you will be able to afford high-quality casualwear that makes you look stunning and that you can wear to most places that you go.

What should you avoid wearing to a casual dinner?

You should avoid wearing anything too extreme to a casual dinner. It is not the time to get out your favorite distressed jeans or your favorite athletic shorts. It is also not the time to wear long dresses or miniskirts. Guys will want to avoid wearing business suits or tuxedos.

Like I already said, you will want to avoid wearing too baggy clothes on you. You should wear clothes that fit close to your body without being skintight. You should also avoid your distressed jeans and any clothes with holes in them.

Guy denim outfit posing street
Source: Cassandra Hamer on Unsplash

Besides, you will want to avoid wearing not freshly laundered clothes. You will be in close contact with other people at dinner, so wear clothes that look and smell great. The exercise clothes you wore to the gym five days in a row last week are not suitable for a casual dinner.

Women will want to avoid wearing dresses or skirts that are too extreme. Reserve your little black dress for another night. Likewise, floor-length gowns are not appropriate. Instead, opt for clothes that hit about the knee or just a little lower.

While sneakers are acceptable at many casual dinners, if you are going to a business casual or are unsure, then wear a different type of footwear. Men can wear loafers or chukka boots, and women can wear kitten heels or flats. In all cases, you should avoid flip-flops.

Men will want to avoid more formal options. You will look out of place in a three-piece business suit, especially if it is in a dark color.

I have covered a lot of ground in this chapter on casual dining. In the next chapter, I will give you more specific ideas about what women should wear to a casual dinner. Therefore, you will want to keep reading. Guys, you will want to read this chapter too because when your girlfriend or wife asks you what they should wear, you can sound knowledgeable.

What to wear for a casual dinner

Before you head out the door for a casual dinner, you need to ensure that you are wearing the right clothes. In the last chapter, we defined a casual dining experience, and I gave you some ideas of restaurants that are considered great places to go for a casual dining experience. I also gave you some general information about what to wear during a casual dinner. In this chapter, I will explore those ideas at a deeper level.

Some people find it challenging to choose what to wear to a casual dinner. You do not want to wear loungewear or your athletic gear. While both are great options for wearing around your home, they are not appropriate for a casual dinner.

Conversely, you do not want to go too formal. Most miniskirts and long dresses are not appropriate for a casual dining environment either. Likewise, you will not want to wear your three-piece business suit, and you can skip the dark-colored tie.

With those stipulations in mind, let’s look at what you should wear to a casual dinner.

Select slacks + a collared shirt

Slacks or trousers and a collared shirt are a perfect option for a casual dinner. Stick with colorful options. Usually, warm colors are best. You can wear the shirt with a complementary color or choose neutral-colored bottoms. 

Men should void shirts that must have cufflinks or ruffles down the front as they are too formal. Women will want to avoid options with bells or other types of sleeves that hang too far away from the body. Generally, both men and women will want to choose options fitting close to their bodies without being overly baggy.

Wear a pair of jeans with a shirt

Your favorite jeans will look perfect when you wear them to a casual dinner. You should avoid distressed ones, but you can opt for skinny, straight-cut, or other styles. You can also wear denim capris if you want unless you go to a business casual dinner. 

Pair your jeans with a shirt. You can choose from collared and uncollared options. Think about shirts in bright colors or those with fun patterns. If you opt for a shirt with a large pattern, find a way to include the pattern in a miniature form somewhere in your outfit.

Wear a dress

There are so many dress styles that are ideal for a casual dinner. A-line, shift, halter, wrap, sheath, and empire dresses are a few of the many great choices. Avoid most dress styles that end too far above your knee or go to the floor. 

Besides, you can wear a skirt and a pretty top. While I will have more to say about the topic in a bit, choose a bold colored dress. The best options are usually those in warm colors. Then, have fun accessorizing it. There’s no need to wear high heels with a dress. So pull out your favorite ankle-high boots or flats.

Wear fashion accessories

Silk scarves are a great way to add color to your outfit, and men and women can wear them both. A colorful watch is another excellent option that either sex can wear. If your outfit has a large pattern, this can be a great place to work in its miniature version. 

Woman posing street silk scarf

Men and women may want to wear colorful necklaces and bracelets. Like a Parisian beanie, a fun hat is an excellent addition to a casual outfit, but you may not want to wear a hat inside some restaurants. Be careful that your fashion accessories do not add too many colors to your outfit. 

Wearing outfits with too many colors causes them to look like you took random items out of your wardrobe and chose to wear them together, but I will have more to say about that in a moment.

Being comfortable is vital

One of the excellent advantages of a casual dinner is wearing comfortable clothes. While you will want to avoid options that are too baggy or too tight, most other clothes are perfectly acceptable if you feel great wearing them. 

I will have more to say in the following two chapters, but you will want to stick to colorful outfits that you would not wear to a formal occasion or the gym. Additionally, you should avoid any outfits that are too dark in color or uncomfortable to wear.

Ensure you choose the right shoes for your outfit

Choosing the right shoes to wear with a casual outfit can be tricky. Women will want to avoid high heels. What’s more, men and women will want to avoid smelly sneakers. Yet, running shoes and trainers can be worn by men to a casual dinner. 

They can also wear their favorite loafers or boat shoes. Women also have many options, including kitten heels, ankle-high boots, and flat shoes. This is a significant advantage of a casual dinner for many people as they do not have to worry about their feet hurting.

Wear colors

Casual dinners are a great place to wear warm colors. Just be sure that you do not try to wear too many at one time. A good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to make 60% of your outfit one color, 30% another, and 10% a final one. 

A great choice is to go with split complementary colors. If you are not familiar with this concept, choose a color on the warm side of the color wheel. Then, draw a line straight across the wheel, but move one space to the left or the right. 

You may also want to wear triad colors, which are three colors equally spaced around the color wheel. Remember that everything about your outfit, like your jewelry and shoes, counts when thinking about colors.

Choose patterns

A casual dinner is a great place to wear patterns. Receive bonus points if they incorporate bold colors. If the print is large, use it somewhere else in your outfit. For example, if you choose large-print herringbone pants, wear a small-print herringbone bow tie or a herringbone scarf around your neck. Like colors, do not wear too many patterns together. In most cases, you will want to stick to one or two.

Select clothes that stay close to the body

While you should avoid clothes that you must struggle to get into for a casual dinner, you should also avoid too baggy clothes. In most cases, your pants should stay up without a belt, even if you plan on wearing one. 

You will also want to avoid clothes with large design features, such as bell sleeves. Instead, stick with clothes that fit your body silhouette nicely. If you are short, a casual dinner can be a great place to wear vertical stripes or if you are on the thin side, choose outfits with design features that draw attention to your stomach area.

Pick out clothes in good shape

As I have stated numerous times, you want to wear clean and wrinkle-free clothes. You should also save your distressed jeans for a different occasion. Any clothing item that is not in good repair should not be worn. 

That leaves you with many ideal choices in your wardrobe. Choose bright-colored clothing that you have recently laundered. And, spend a few minutes cleaning your shoes. Avoid any accessories that have broken or missing pieces.

In the next chapter, I will give men specific advice about dressing for a casual dinner. Women, you will want to read this chapter to give your guy friends great advice. Therefore, I encourage everyone to keep reading.

Casual dinner outfits for men

When men go out for a casual dinner, they need to wear the right clothes. It does not matter if you are going with your girlfriend, family or just a group of friends, wearing the right clothes is essential.

The great news is that wearing the right clothes to a casual dinner is not difficult. You will enjoy the dinner more because casual dinner clothes are comfortable. There are only two overlying rules to keep in mind. The clothes should be bright and fit close to your body without being skin-tight.

Think about the last time that you met someone new. If you are like many people, one of the first things that you notice is their clothing. You do not want to stand out for all the wrong reasons. Therefore, you must wear the right clothes for a casual dinner.

Even if you only expect your closest friends and family to attend the dinner, you will want to show them respect by dressing appropriately. The great news is that many of the clothes that you want to wear are ideal for a casual dinner, and make sure that they are freshly washed and ultra-comfortable to wear. You will want to avoid your athletic gear and your fancy suit, but there are lots of perfect options for a casual dinner.

Consider these clothing options:

Jeans + blazer

While you will want to avoid your distressed and baggy jeans, you can wear any style and color of jeans that fit you nicely to a casual dinner. Pair them with a white polo shirt and your favorite blazer. There is no need for a tie. 

Man calling laptop close window

You can wear this look with your favorite low-profile sneakers. Just make sure that they are clean. While not a requirement, consider a light-colored option, like a light blue, because it is best to wear light colors to a casual dinner. A brown or black belt is a great option. You can wear a silver watch and your shades.

Shirt Jacket + Jeans

A shirt jacket often called a slacker, is an excellent option for wearing over a basic t-shirt. It also will look perfect when worn over a polo shirt. This is an excellent option because it showcases the deconstructed elements of a blazer without the formal air to it. 

Be sure to stick to options in warm colors. This is an ideal choice to wear with jeans. Like I already said, be sure they fit you well and are not faded or distressed. Complete the look by wearing your favorite moccasins or low-profile trainers.

Button-down shirt + trousers

A button-down shirt is an ideal choice for a casual dinner. Opt for one in warm colors or go with white. Then, wear comfortable trousers. Skip the coat and wear a long-sleeve sweater if the weather is cool.

There is no need for a tie. When selecting your shirt, avoid those with design details that would require cufflinks, and leave your tuxedo shirt in your closet. Select your favorite brown or black belt to wear. One with a design can be a perfect choice. Your loafers or your Chukka boots are an excellent option for your feet.

Leather blazer + jeans

Your leather jacket is ideal for a casual dinner when paired with your jeans. You will love how soft it feels, and you will look great wearing it. If buying a new one, consider longer options because they will help pull the outfit together. 

Man sitting stairs leather jacket

A sheepskin option is ideal as it is the softest of the usually available options. There’s plenty of room in the front pockets to carry most of the things you might need at dinner, like your wallet and a handkerchief. 

You can easily wear a turtleneck with a blazer and jeans. If you want to add a splash of color, tie a scarf around your neck.

Linen shirt + fitted pants

Especially during hot weather, a linen shirt is a perfect choice. While white works great, you can also choose one in a warm color. Select linen options made from natural fibers as they breathe better, so you will stay even more comfortable. 

Try to find one where the hem is designed only to be tucked halfway in, as they have a more casual vibe. Then, wear the shirt with a pair of fitted pants. Consider a pair where you can roll up the hem a time or two. Then, wear your leather loafers or sandals.

Floral shirt + chinos

While you will want to skip the Hawaiian shirts, a floral shirt can be excellent for a casual dinner. Select one with a big print, and it is ideal if the print becomes a little abstract when someone gets too close. At the same time, you can opt for heavier options in the cooler months. 

A lightweight short-sleeved shirt is ideal for warmer months. This is an excellent option for wearing with chinos. You can select them based on the season. Give them a quick roll at the bottom, and wear them with your penny loafers or monk’s sandals.

Chambray shirt + trousers

Especially if you are invited to a smart casual dinner, a chambray shirt and trousers are an ideal option. Choose a chambray shirt with a fun pattern, like herringbone. You can go big or small with the design, but if you choose to go big, wear socks or something else with the same pattern. 

This is an ideal choice for wearing with your suede leather ankle boots. If you need a belt, consider one that matches your shoe color. Then, wear a watch made from the same material. You can wear a collarless t-shirt under the shirt and let it peak out at the top.

V-neck sweater + jeans

A V-neck sweater is a great option when worn over a button-down shirt. Stick with options in warm or light colors. This is an ideal place to wear a sweater of one color and pair it with a shirt of a split-complementary color. 

Man thinking outdoor burgundy sweater

For instance, if you choose a violet sweater, pair it with a yellow-green or yellow-orange shirt. Then, wear this over a light-colored pair of jeans. The jeans should be in good shape and clean. If a belt makes them look better, then wear one. Your Chelsea boots are an ideal choice for your feet.

Oxford shirt + drawstring trousers

Another fantastic casual choice is to pair an oxford shirt with trousers. Choose a white shirt or one in a bright color. To keep a casual appearance, do not tuck in the shirt. Suede derby shoes are an excellent footwear choice. You will find these pants almost as comfortable as your sweatpants, and they look super sharp. 

Select a choice that hides the drawstring under a traditional-looking trouser front or an option where the oxford shirt is long enough to cover the string. You can take this outfit to the next level by wearing a watch and a natural stone or leather strap necklace.

I hope you have enjoyed learning about these casual dinner outfits. In the next chapter, we will look at what women should wear to a casual dinner. Men, you will want to read this chapter too because you will sound educated when someone asks you if you think a particular outfit is an ideal choice for a casual dinner.

Casual dinner outfits for women

If you are a woman going to a casual dinner, you may be wondering what you should wear. While a new outfit always makes you feel better, the chances are that you already have many great choices in your closet.

Whether you are wearing a new dress, great-fitting jeans, or another option, you will want to dress to impress. After all, you never know who you may see at the dinner. The great news is that there are fabulous options for every body shape, and people with various physical challenges can also find excellent options for casual dinners. Therefore, it is easy for everyone to look sharp.

As I have already discussed, when you go to a casual dinner, you should wear comfortable clothes, but avoid your athletic ones. After all, going to dinner is a special occasion, and you do not want to think about going to the gym afterward to burn off the delicious calories you will consume. You should also avoid wearing clothes that are too baggy on you. The great news is that you can also leave the high heels that are constantly hurting your feet at home.

Consider these ideas when choosing your outfit for a casual dinner:

Knit top + linen trousers

An oversized white knit top and a pair of linen trousers are ideal for a casual dinner. If the weather is warm, swap out the knit top for a white t-shirt. Select one with a high neckline and wear your favorite gold chain necklace. 

Choose linen pants that are tailored for your body. This is a fun choice to wear with your favorite kitten heels. You could also pair it with flat sandals. You can wear your hair up in a scrunchie to keep the casual vibe going.

Long vest + skirt

Pick out a long vest in a warm color. Then, pair it with a skirt and button-up shirt. You can create monochromatic outfits or go with a split-complimentary-colored one. Alternatively, you can choose a vest in a big pattern and wear the same pattern in a smaller print on the skirt or blouse. 

This is a fantastic choice for wearing with a modestly low V-neck blouse. It is up to you to decide if you want to wear a belt. Then, have fun with your jewelry by wearing a bulky bead necklace and dangle earrings, or wrap a colorful scarf around your neck. Pair this combination with your favorite ankle boots.

Shift dress

Shift dresses are an ideal choice for dinner in a casual restaurant. Be sure to choose one in a warm color. Then, pair it with your ballet flats. Choose a dress made from a heavier fabric to stay warmer in the cooler months. 

In the summer, select one made from a lighter-weight material. There are so many ways that you can accessorize this look. Consider adding a belt at your waist or just below your bust. A chunky gold bracelet and necklace are great options. It will also look super cute with a button-up cardigan if the restaurant is chilly.

Denim jacket + jeans

A denim jacket worn over a t-shirt with your favorite jeans can be great. Choose a jacket and jeans that are not close to the same color. For example, if you wear light-colored jeans, wear a dark-colored jacket. You can give the outfit a vintage vibe by wearing a t-shirt with Hello Kitty or Daffy Duck. 

Alternatively, choose one with a paisley print. This is a great outfit to wear with flat closed-toed shoes, like your Mary Janes. You could also wear it with your ankle-high boots. There are many ways to go with your jewelry, including wearing none.

Midi skirt + button-up blouse

A midi skirt and a button-up blouse can be a great casual outfit. Choose a midi skirt in a warm color, like red, orange, or yellow. Then, pair it with a button-up blouse in a split-complimentary color. Complete the outfit by choosing the third split complementary color for your footwear and accessories. 

You should aim for a 60/30/10 split. You can wear a belt with this outfit to draw attention to your thin waist. Choosing a skirt with vertical stripes will make you look taller. You can go with a print in either the skirt or the blouse.

Leather trousers + button-down shirt

Your leather pants are an excellent option for a casual dinner when you wear them with a button-down shirt. Think about choosing a pair of pants that end at about your ankles. High-waisted options often look great, but you can decide based on your body’s silhouette. 

Then, wear them with a pretty pair of flat sandals. Wear a deconstructed blazer over the button-down shirt if the weather is cool. You can choose a fun pattern, like a plaid or a herringbone. Keep your jewelry simple. You can opt for a silver or gold chain necklace and hoop earrings.

Sweater dress

You will look lovely in a sweater dress at a casual dinner. Wear it with your favorite kitten heels. If you are afraid that the outfit just hangs on you, then add a contrasting belt. This is a neat way to add color to a solid-colored sweater dress. If the weather is brutal, consider wearing a color-blocked cardigan over it. This is a fun way to add layers to your outfit. 

Woman holds head long sweater dress boots

Choose a color-blocked cardigan in bright colors that hangs open in the front. You can also choose colorful jewelry to add even more color. Just be sure that you do not get too many going, or your outfit will clash.

Midi dress + kitten heels

If you love to wear dresses, then a midi dress is ideal for a casual dinner. Choose one in a bright color that has a visually interesting neckline. Alternatively, choose a dress that has an interesting pattern. 

You may want to consider a large floral one where the flowers almost become abstract when you get close to the dress. Then, wear a bold necklace that follows the dress’ neckline. 

One that hangs down a little bit still gives you room to add a colorful scarf around your neck if you need to add some more color. This outfit is perfect for wearing with your favorite kitten heels.

Pencil skirt + no-sleeve top

A knee-length pencil skirt is a great choice. Choose one that is in a bright or neutral color. Then, pair it with a no-sleeve pull-over shirt. If you choose a neutral-colored skirt, go with a bright-colored top or vice versa. This is the ideal way to look cute on a hot summer day. 

You can wear your flat sandals with this outfit, but you should not wear flip-flops. Most women do not wear much jewelry in the summer, so a gold or silver watch may be all you need. On the other hand, you can go with a simple gold or silver chain necklace.

Bodysuit + Trousers

If you have a great body, you can still flaunt it at a casual dinner by wearing a bodysuit. Choose one in warm colors with a high back and a modest scooped neck. Then, wear it with a pair of fitted trousers. Linen ones would be an ideal choice. Complete the look by carrying a leather tote and wearing matching kitten heels. 

You can have fun accessorizing this outfit with a bold necklace that follows the bodysuit’s neckline or flows down the front almost to your waistline. Finally, put on brightly colored earrings that match either the trousers or bodysuit’s colors.                            

You can wear any of these ideas to a casual dinner. In the next chapter, we will discuss even more ideas that men and women can wear when going on a date to a casual dinner. You will not want to miss these fabulous ideas, so keep reading.

Casual dinner date outfits

You never get a second chance to make a first impression, so if you are going on a dinner date with a guy or woman for the first time, it is essential to look your best. Underdressing a dinner makes you look like you do not know proper etiquette, and it is an instant turn-off.

At the same time, overdressing for dinner makes you feel out of place. Then, your self-esteem takes a beating. Therefore, you must know how to dress if you are going on a casual dinner date.

Even when you know the person you are going on a date with very well, such as a husband-and-wife dinner, it is still essential to look your best. Not looking sharp is a sign of disrespect for the other person. 

The great news is that casual dinner outfits are ultra-comfortable. There’s no need to fuss with high heels and neckties, and you can skip wearing the three-piece suit and the formal.

Yet, you will find many wonderful choices that you will love wearing.

Women’s outfit ideas

Girl posing orange trousers jacket

Women can wear many different outfits to a casual dinner and look great. While your closet is probably full of appropriate clothing options, you always feel great when wearing a new outfit. Therefore, women will want to consider these options. They will turn heads while keeping you comfortable.

Skinny jeans + t-shirt + ankle boots

Your skinny jeans are a perfect option. Make sure to choose an option that is in good repair and not distressed. If you want, then roll up the bottom a turn or two and wear your ankle boots. A brightly colored t-shirt is the perfect choice for a top. It does not have to be plain in color, and one with a large pattern can be a great option. 

You can wear your favorite silver or gold watch, necklace, and earrings with this outfit. Alternatively, choose a color for the t-shirt and wear jewelry that is the opposite of that color.

Skirt + top

A skirt that ends from about the knees to about mid-calf is an ideal option for a casual dinner. Choose a neutral or one in a warm color. A knit top is a great choice to pair with it. If you go with a neutral-colored skirt, choose a brightly colored top. You can choose between a plain one or an option with a design. 

The skirt’s design is up to you, but one with an elastic waist looks great and feels comfortable, even if you overeat. You can wear a skirt with a belt if you want. Choose a wide one if you’re going to disguise a wide midsection or a thin one if this is one of your body’s strong suits.

Off-the-shoulder top + jeans

An off-the-shoulder top in a warm color paired with your favorite jeans is an excellent option for a casual dinner. You can opt for jeans in any color. White ones often look fabulous. 

They can also be almost any style, but you may want to avoid bell bottoms as casual clothes should stay close to your body. Likewise, when choosing a top, choose one that fits close. This is a fabulous option for wearing brightly colored jewelry. You can wear your ankle boots or kitten heels.

Shirtdress + leggings

A shirt dress and leggings are a perfect combination to wear. Consider wearing a loose, brightly colored shirt dress over black leggings. Add a colorful scarf with the opposite color around your middle to add color to this outfit. 

For example, if your shirtdress is pink, then wear a belt with green in it, or if it is blue, wear a belt with yellow in it. This is an excellent choice for wearing with black ballet flats. 

Depending on the leggings, you might also want to wear your black ankle-high boots. Complete the look with black jewelry, especially a black statement necklace. You will also want to carry a black satchel.

Jumpsuit + cardigan

Wearing a jumpsuit with a cardigan over it is a great way to stay comfortable regardless of the diner’s temperature. Choosing one with a high neckline and a complete back is usually best. Select an option in a warm color. 

Then, choose a sweater in a split complementary color. You can select the length of the jumpsuit’s legs. If you opt for longer ones, choose to wear it with your ballet flats. 

Alternatively, if you opt for one with shorter legs, wear it with your ankle boots. Choose colorful jewelry based on the jumpsuit’s color. You will also want to carry a clutch.

Jumper + turtleneck

A jumper dress is a fun option to wear on a casual date. The jumper should come to about your knees. One with overall-type straps adds visual interest. This is an ideal choice for flat shoes matching the jumper and a matching shoulder bag. 

If the jumper is dark, then be sure to choose a turtleneck in a warm color. A pair of sunglasses may be the only fashion accessory that you need. Alternatively, if your body silhouette needs some help looking wider, consider wearing a watch on one wrist and bangles on the other.

A-line dress

If it does not get too wide at the bottom, an A-line dress is a super option for a casual dinner date. Choose one in a warm color. You can accessorize an A-line dress in several ways. If the weather is cooler, wear a decomposition blazer over it. 

A necklace or the knot on a scarf around your neck is a terrific option because it can provide a starting point for this dress’ A silhouette. You can also give it a vintage look by layering several longer necklaces. An A-dress can be worn with many shoes but consider ballet flats or Mary Janes.

One-shoulder top + jeans

A one-shoulder top is a fabulous choice for a casual dinner date. Consider one that fits close to your body and leave those that have bell sleeves or lots of ruffles for another occasion. If the top fits close to your body, your skinny jeans are a great option. 

If it hangs a little distance from your body, choose wider jeans. Select one in a warm color. Large patterns are a great choice. Then, accessorize this outfit with your sunglasses and carry a small handbag. Kitten heels are the ideal footwear choice.

Printed skirt + sweatshirt

Woman sitting stairs city printed skirt denim jacket 1

While you will want to keep your ugly Christmas sweater tucked safely away, a printed skirt and a sweatshirt can be an excellent option for a date at a casual restaurant. Consider one with ¾ sleeves if you are afraid that you might drag your sleeves through your entrée. Warm colors are ideal choices. Then, pair the sweatshirt with a printed skirt. 

You can choose one in a split-complimentary color or select one to match a color in the sweatshirt. Your ankle boots will look adorable. Consider wearing dangle earrings and carrying a fashionable tote bag.

Duster and jeans

A duster and jeans are perfect when worn with a colorful t-shirt. A denim duster ending about mid-calf is a fantastic option. Roll up the bottom of the sleeves a couple of times and wear it with a watch and bracelets. You can wear your favorite straight-leg jeans with the duster. 

Just make sure that the two shades of denim are entirely different. For instance, if you choose light-stonewashed jeans, then select a dark-denim duster. Opt for a t-shirt with patterns on it, like stripes. You can wear this outfit with a long necklace and carry a hobo bag.

Men’s outfit ideas

Guys, you also need to look sharp on a casual dinner date. The truth of the matter is that you will impress more women with your manners and fashion tastes than you will with your muscles, so spend a few extra minutes deciding what you will wear. It is a great way to capture or keep a woman’s heart loyal to you.

Blazer + jeans

Impress the ladies by wearing a blazer and jeans. A brightly colored mock turtleneck is ideal for wearing under the blazer. You can opt for any style of jeans, but you should leave your distressed ones in your wardrobe. The jeans should fit you well, so wear a belt if necessary. 

Couple dinner date

Choosing a warm-colored blazer is usually the best choice. Think about a turtleneck where the sleeves will stick out from under the bottom of the sleeves a little to keep this option colorful. Chukka or Chelsea boots are great options to wear with this outfit.

Blazer + chinos

Another great way to wear your blazer on a casual dinner date is with your chinos and a button-down shirt. When choosing a shirt, avoid options requiring cufflinks. A dark-colored blazer with chinos in a lighter color is a great option. There is no need for a tie, so leave the top buttons open. 

Your loafers will look great, but you may also want to wear your boat shoes, depending on where you are dining. A good pair of sunglasses that fit the shape of your face may be all the accessories you need, but you may also want to consider a thin gold chain necklace.

Herringbone jacket + chinos

A herringbone jacket and chinos are a head-turning option. Consider a blue jacket worn over black chinos. Then, wear a pink button-down shirt. If the weather is especially brutal, you can also put on a vest but skip the tie. You may want to wear this look with your favorite brogue boots. 

Light brown leather options would be ideal. Keep the look casual by choosing a jacket with a big print and a shirt with a smaller herringbone print. Feel free to mix different textures when creating this outfit, as it will make it more interesting.

Leather jacket + jeans

Selecting a leather jacket that zips up the front is a great way to start a casual dinner outfit. Wear a colorful sweater under it. You can wear a button-down shirt under the sweater, depending on the temperature. Then, wear your dark-colored jeans. 

Do not forget the belt if you need one as you do not want the jeans to appear baggy. This is a terrific look to wear with your favorite lace-up boots. Tuck a silver watch under the shirt and grab your sunglasses.

Dress trousers + sweater

Grab your most comfortable pair of dress trousers. You can wear almost any color. Then, put on a button-down shirt with a pattern. Stripes and plaids are great options. Top the shirt with a sweater in a split complementary color. Wear your suede boots with this look when going to a casual dinner. 

A watch and your sunglasses are ideal fashion accessories, but you could also wear a leather necklace or a bracelet. If you wear a patterned shirt, then try to repeat the pattern somewhere else in your outfit. For example, if you choose a plaid button-down shirt, then wear plaid socks.

Denim jacket + denim jeans

A denim jacket and denim jeans are fabulous casual dinner date outfits. Just make sure that you choose two very different colors of denim, or your outfit will clash. There are many shirts that you can wear with this look. 

Guy posing holds denim jacket

One option is to wear a pinstripe button-down shirt and top it with a neutral-colored sweater. When possible, opt for a shirt in a warm color. Then, put the denim jacket on top. This is an excellent choice to wear with low-profile white sneakers. Opt to wear a newsboy cap on your head.

Cardigan + dress trousers

A cardigan and dress trousers are another fabulous option. Choose a cardigan that buttons up the front. It is OK if the sleeves are a bit baggy because that gives you room to make them look slouchy. Get bonus points if the cardigan has attractive buttons and a wide lapel. 

Then, put on a polo shirt underneath. The best option will have a stand-up collar. A polo shirt with an interesting pattern is great if you can find one. This is an outstanding choice to wear with your derby shoes, but sneakers will also work well.

Leather jacket + dress trousers

A leather jacket is an outstanding casualwear option. Put it over a white shirt with a stand-up collar. Then, wear your gray dress trousers on the bottom. Your pants should fit close to your body, so wear a black belt if you need one. Avoid a brown one because it will class with the jacket. 

Your black boots will be ideal, but you can also wear your sneakers. You will want to wear a watch. Depending on the amount of skin showing near your neck, consider wearing a leather thong necklace with a statement piece attached.

Linen shorts + t-shirt

Tailored linen shorts are a great option when the weather is warm. Choose a pair that ends about your knee and fits exactly at your waist. Khaki is a great color option. Select an option with a clean profile and a fitted waistband. Then, wear it with a white t-shirt. 

Choose one with a crewneck. You could also wear a polo shirt. A gray bomber jacket is an excellent option if you need a coat. This outfit can be worn with your sneakers, but you can also wear it with your leather thongs.

Flannel shirt + chinos

While choosing a crisp and clean one is vital, a plaid flannel shirt can be a great option. You can select the size of the pattern, but if you choose a large one, then wear the same pattern somewhere else in your outfit, like a scarf wrapped around your neck. 

Wear it untucked over a pair of chinos. You can wear this look with your favorite low-profile sneakers or ankle boots. The best options are usually the most colorful. Then, choose a neutral color for the chinos. Your date will love the look of this outfit with a gold watch and sunglasses.

Before you head out the door on your casual dinner date, take time to read the last few words of this post. You will find some helpful tips to help you create the best casual dinner outfits.


Casual dinner outfits fit close to the body. Especially for women, they are usually brightly colored. Since many essential activities often occur at casual dinners, you will want to follow the advice I have given you in this post. If you have any questions, be sure to ask.

Stop for a second and think about your closest friends. Do you know someone with an important event at a casual restaurant? They may be going on a date, having a meal with an important business contact, or interviewing for a new job. If so, please share this post with them. They will want to know what to wear.

Meanwhile, please take a second to look at our other posts. They are loaded with information to help you look your best each day.

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