What To Wear To A Nice Restaurant: 6 Outfit Ideas (2023) (2024)

Last Updated on February 10, 2024 by Shari Mason

Going on a date night sounds exciting, but sometimes, thinking of what to wear to a nice restaurant could be nerve-wracking.

Many possible outfit combinations are popping out of your mind, and you’re torn on what to wear. Worry no more—this article can save you from wearing inappropriate attire.

Here’s a simple guide for a suitable dress code I usually follow whenever I visit nice restaurants.

Page Contents

Top 6 Outfit Ideas For A Nice Restaurant

What To Wear To A Nice Restaurant: 6 Outfit Ideas (2023) (1)

1. Casual

Casual attire is an outfit that you’re comfortable with. This attire is popular in occasional and spontaneous casual dining or suited for everyday use.

I usually go for jeans, a t-shirt or sleeveless shirt, collared shirts, trousers, skirts, and a dress with sneakers because they are typically considered casual. These clothes are basically “not formal” attire but it will do whenever I go to simple but nice restaurants.

Read: Why Should You Remove Your Apron When Going To The Bathroom?

2. Casual Elegant

Casual elegance is commonly followed in upscale restaurants, parties, and country clubs. When the restaurant calls for casual elegant dress code, I wear a nice blouse, skirt, cardigan, jumpsuit, or dress. My partner usually wears long-sleeved shirts or suit pants, which are ideal for men.

Avoid wearing t-shirts, ripped jeans, shorts, and slippers in a casually elegant restaurant. Always remember to wear something more formal, but not to the extent of wearing a gown or suit.

Find out how much do restaurants make in a day here.

3. Business Casual

Business casual dress codes are considered casual wear but in a smart-looking outfit.

When I have meetings with my clients, I go from casual t-shirts to polo shirts or blazers. Satin blouses, midi dresses, khaki pants or slacks, and dress shoes or loafers will also do.

I usually avoid clothes with explicit details, something overly revealing and casual, like t-shirts, ripped jeans, and sneakers.

4. Formal

Some fancy parties and fine-dining restaurants usually implement a formal dress code for their guests. If the restaurant calls for formal wear, I ask my partner to wear a tuxedo, and I wear evening gowns on formal occasions. [1]

Wearing a long evening dress or gown with heels is ideal for women, while a full suit or tuxedo with a matching tie and formal shoes is for men.

Read: Why Did Graham Elliot Close His Restaurants?

5. Jacket

A jacket, sweater, or cardigan over your t-shirts is recommended for a date night in a casual restaurant, especially on cold winter nights.

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.”

– Rachel Zoe, Fashion Designer, Author

But if you’re attending an elegant casual theme and you’re in a cold or windy place, you can add a trench coat, a blazer, or a faux-fur jacket to make it more than casual looking.

My partner usually styles his suit coat or fur jacket with a simple turtleneck sweater and wears boots or leather sneakers.

6. Closed Shoes or Heels

Sneakers and slippers are most applicable in casual dress codes, but any elegant or formal dress code calls for closed shoes for men while heels for women.

Leather shoes for men and high heels, sandals, or boots for women are the ideal footwear, and they should be comfortable for walking around the place.

Can You Wear Jeans To A Nice Restaurant?

What To Wear To A Nice Restaurant: 6 Outfit Ideas (2023) (2)

Yes, you can wear jeans to a nice restaurant, especially when paired with a nice top. What you will pair with the jeans will greatly impact the whole outfit.

Wearing jeans is more likely acceptable to laid-back establishments than a fine dining restaurant. We avoid wearing tattered jeans when going to upscale restaurants.

What Not To Wear To A Nice Restaurant

  • A swimsuit or tank top. Despite not having an official dress code for most restaurants, wearing swimwear or tank tops in a fancy restaurant is generally very out of place.
  • Overly tattered or ripped jeans and shirt. You might not want to wear fashionable jeans and tops with holes or rips as it’s not most appropriate in a fine dining restaurant.
  • Dirty or wrinkled clothes. Since it’s a nice restaurant, you want to look presentable on your date or dinner night, so your outfit should at least be clean and pressed.
  • Flip-flops or sandals. Leave your favorite flip-flops or sandals at home and wear something sleek to match your smart attire for a business or a casually elegant event.
  • Excessively high-heeled shoes. For women, to avoid tripping at a restaurant, never wear heels more than three inches, especially when it’s your first time walking in heels.

FAQs

Why should you wear something casual to a nice restaurant?

You should wear something casual to a nice restaurant to look polished and chic. Wearing casual is an outfit you feel great, being comfortable and having a suitable amount of elegance.

Is it ok to wear mini skirts to a nice restaurant?

Yes, wearing mini skirts in a nice restaurant is ok as long as it makes you comfortable. However, it still depends on the regulation of the restaurant, especially when it implements a dress code.

Can men wear shorts to a nice restaurant?

No, men cannot wear shorts to a nice restaurant. It is not an appropriate outfit when going to a nice restaurant, especially if the restaurant calls for elegant or smart casual attire.

In Conclusion

Most people dress to impress, but it has to be based on the type of place you’re going to. It’s best to wear the proper dress code that reflects the upscale nature of the restaurant [2].

Make sure not to wear anything too revealing and casual if you go to upscale restaurants. Adding a coat and a jacket to your outfit is a better option, especially in cold weather.

Don’t forget to put some suitable accessories and make sure you look clean, presentable and tidy whatever the type of restaurant you’re going to.

Reference:

  1. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/formalwear
  2. https://www.britannica.com/topic/restaurant
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Shari Mason

Co-Founder & Senior Writer at Eat Pallet

Hey, I'm Shari! After more than a decade in the restaurant industry, I've decided to share my experience online with you here. Learn more about us here or you can contact me directly [emailprotected].

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Insights, advice, suggestions, feedback and comments from experts

As an expert and enthusiast, I have personal experiences or expertise. However, I can provide information based on the search results I have access to. Let's discuss the concepts mentioned in this article.

Dress Codes for Nice Restaurants:

The article discusses different dress codes for nice restaurants. Here are the main concepts covered:

1. Casual: Casual attire is comfortable and suitable for everyday use or casual dining. It typically includes jeans, t-shirts, collared shirts, trousers, skirts, and dresses with sneakers.

2. Casual Elegant: Casual elegant dress code is followed in upscale restaurants, parties, and country clubs. It requires a more formal attire than casual wear. For women, a nice blouse, skirt, cardigan, jumpsuit, or dress is appropriate. Men can wear long-sleeved shirts or suit pants.

3. Business Casual: Business casual dress codes are considered smart-looking casual wear. For women, satin blouses, midi dresses, khaki pants or slacks, and dress shoes or loafers are suitable. Men can wear polo shirts, blazers, khaki pants or slacks, and dress shoes or loafers.

4. Formal: Some fancy parties and fine-dining restaurants have a formal dress code. For women, wearing a long evening dress or gown with heels is ideal. Men can wear a full suit or tuxedo with a matching tie and formal shoes.

5. Jacket: Wearing a jacket, sweater, or cardigan over t-shirts is recommended for a date night in a casual restaurant, especially on cold winter nights. Adding a trench coat, blazer, or faux-fur jacket can make the outfit more elegant.

6. Closed Shoes or Heels: Sneakers and slippers are suitable for casual dress codes, but closed shoes for men and heels for women are ideal for elegant or formal dress codes. Leather shoes for men and high heels, sandals, or boots for women are recommended.

Can You Wear Jeans To A Nice Restaurant? Yes, you can wear jeans to a nice restaurant, especially when paired with a nice top. However, it's important to consider the overall dress code of the restaurant and avoid wearing tattered jeans to upscale establishments.

What Not To Wear To A Nice Restaurant: The article mentions a few things that are generally considered inappropriate to wear to a nice restaurant:

  • Swimsuits or tank tops
  • Overly tattered or ripped jeans and shirts
  • Dirty or wrinkled clothes
  • Flip-flops or sandals
  • Excessively high-heeled shoes Remember, these guidelines may vary depending on the specific restaurant and its dress code policies.

I hope this information helps you understand the concepts discussed in the article. Let me know if there's anything else I can assist you with!

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