Luncheon Outfit Inspiration: For a Stylish and Elegant Look

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Triston Brewer

What To Wear To A Luncheon featured image by the supermelon

Today, it’s customary to have lunch in the middle of the day, but many people don’t know where this custom originated.

The history of the luncheon time dates back to the 19th century during the Industrial Age, when men started bringing portable meals to work.

Over the time, the word ‘luncheon’ was shortened to ‘lunch’, and the rest – as they say – is history!


For a luncheon, opt for a stylish yet sophisticated ensemble.

Consider a knee-length dress in a classic color or pattern, paired with elegant heels or flats.

Accessorize with subtle jewelry and a chic handbag to complete the polished look.

Formal Dress Code

An event requiring formal attire signifies sophistication and if you’re invited to a luncheon of this caliber, then you want to be sure to look the part from head to toe!

Typically for occasions this formal, women wear floor-length gowns or elegant cocktail dresses in luxurious fabrics with refined silhouettes.

CategoryWomen’s Attire IdeasMen’s Attire Ideas
OutfitShift Dress or Midi Wrap DressTailored Blazer with Chinos
FootwearNude Heels or Wedge SandalsLeather Dress Shoes
AccessoriesPearl Necklace, Earrings, Structured HandbagSilk Tie, Pocket Square, Leather Belt
AdditionalSoft Makeup, Light FragranceNeatly Groomed Hair, Clean Shave or Beard Trim
DosEmbrace Elegance and ComfortChoose Tailored Pieces
Don’tsAvoid Overly Casual or Flashy OutfitsSteer Clear of Athletic Wear
Table: Luncheon Attire Ideas for Men and Women

Statement jewelry and stylish shoes complete the look. Since it is considered the top tier dress code, you should go all out in order to look as formal as you can.

Men invited to a luncheon have an easier time of deciding what to wear as it is pretty standard across the board in terms of what they can and cannot wear for a formal dress code event.

Men should opt for impeccably tailored tuxedos or dark suits with crisp white dress shirts. A black bow tie and polished dress shoes round off the ensemble. Attention to detail is crucial for a polished appearance.

Semi-Formal Dress Code

Semi-formal has become increasingly more popular as it allows more freedom while maintaining a striking appearance. Both men and women have more options under this dress code and have more of a possibility to let their personal sense of style come through.

If granted a semi-formal dress code invite, women can and should take it as an opportunity to get a bit more creative.

For a luncheon that’s semi-formal, women can wear knee-length dresses or tailored pantsuits in materials like silk or chiffon. Stylish accessories like clutch bags and high heels complete the ensemble.

Men also can use a semi-formal event to branch out a bit more. Men can choose dark suits with dress shirts and ties, experimenting with patterns while keeping the overall look sophisticated. Pocket squares and leather dress shoes add the finishing touch.

Business Casual Dress Code

Business casual attire is increasingly common in professional settings. Women can opt for tailored separates like pants paired with blazers or skirts in classic colors and fabrics. Polished pumps or loafers will complete the look.

Men have the option to wear dress pants or chinos with collared dress shirts and optionally add a blazer. Dress shoes or loafers are suitable; ties may be optional, allowing for individual style within professional boundaries.

Casual Dress Code

Casual dress codes offer flexibility while maintaining presentability. Women can wear casual dresses or skirts paired with blouses or tops. Light fabrics with fun prints create a relaxed yet put-together aesthetic. Sandals or flats complete the look.

Outfit IdeaDescription
Midi Wrap DressComfortable and stylish with a touch of elegance.
Statement EarringsAdd a pop of color or texture to the ensemble.
Wedge SandalsElevate your look without sacrificing comfort.
Straw ToteCarry a casual yet chic bag for a relaxed vibe.
Soft MakeupKeep your makeup light and radiant.
Table: Casual Chic Luncheon Attire

Men can choose khakis, chinos, or dark jeans with a casual shirt or polo. Shorts, tank tops, and graphic tees are best avoided. Boat shoes or loafers add an elegant casual touch.

Seasonal Considerations

Seasons significantly impact attire choice for luncheons. Spring calls for pastels and floral prints, while summer welcomes lightweight fabrics and vibrant hues. Fall and winter demand cozy layers and warm colors. Dressing seasonally ensures stylish ensembles appropriate for every luncheon throughout the year.

Luncheon Themes

Garden Luncheon

For garden luncheons, women should opt for flowing dresses in lightweight fabrics, complemented by accessories like sun hats and sandals. Men can wear smart-casual ensembles with khaki trousers and casual shirts.

Tea Party Luncheon

Participating in a tea party luncheon entails embracing a refined and distinctly feminine appearance. For this occasion, women ought to don dresses or skirts fashioned from delicate fabrics such as lace or silk.

Popular choices for tea party attire include pastel shades like blush pink or lavender. Dresses featuring intricate elements like ruffles or lace overlays capture the essence of this timeless gathering.

Complement your ensemble with dainty heels or ballet flats, and consider adding accessories like fascinators or small hats to infuse an extra touch of charm and intrigue!

Dressing for the Country Club Luncheon

When attending a luncheon at a country club, it’s important to select attire that harmonizes with the venue’s ambiance and dress code. This involves finding the right balance between sophistication and comfort while adhering to the club’s regulations.

Attire for Women at a Country Club Luncheon

For women who are guests at a country club luncheon, the ideal choice is classic and elegant clothing.

Opt for a dress or skirt combined with a blouse crafted from fabrics like cotton, linen, or silk to achieve a polished appearance.

It’s advisable to choose knee-length or mid-length dresses or skirts that maintain a sense of modesty. Complete your outfit by pairing it with stylish heels or wedges that offer ample support. Enhance your look by adding tasteful jewelry and a clutch handbag for a polished finish.

Attire for Men at a Country Club Luncheon

Men should opt for smart-casual or business-casual outfits when attending country club luncheons. A suitable choice involves combining tailored trousers, chinos, and collared dress shirts with leather shoes or loafers to achieve a refined appearance.

Depending on the event’s level of formality, incorporating blazers or sports coats can enhance the sense of sophistication. It’s important to ensure that all clothing is properly ironed before wearing to convey an image of sophistication and polish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Should You Add Accessories to Your Luncheon Attire?

Accessories can introduce a touch of style to your luncheon outfit. You might consider including a statement necklace, tasteful earrings, or a sleek belt to elevate your ensemble.

However, it’s wise to avoid excessive accessory use that might overshadow your overall appearance.

Simplicity and elegance are key, so choose accessories that harmonize with your outfit without diverting attention from it.

What Attire Is Suitable for a Luncheon?

When preparing for a luncheon, it’s essential to take the occasion and any dress codes into account. Typically, luncheons call for semi-formal or business-casual outfits, emphasizing modesty and refinement.

For gentlemen, a suit or blazer coupled with dress pants, a dress shirt, and a tie is a reliable choice. Ladies can opt for a dress, a combination of a skirt and blouse, or dress pants complemented by an elegant blouse or top. It’s advisable to avoid overly casual or revealing attire.

Should You Be Mindful of Specific Colors or Patterns?

Though there are no strict guidelines about colors or patterns, it’s wise to select classic and understated options for a luncheon.

Vibrant neon hues or extravagant patterns best suited for evening affairs or parties should be avoided. Opt for neutral shades, pastels, or subtle patterns such as stripes or delicate floral prints to ensure an appropriate and polished look.

Is Wearing a Hat or Fascinator Suitable for a Luncheon?

Opting for a hat or fascinator during a luncheon can add a touch of elegance and style to your ensemble, especially if the event follows a specific theme or maintains a traditional atmosphere. However, it’s crucial to factor in the event’s level of formality and adhere to local customs.

Hats or fascinators may be more fitting for outdoor luncheons, garden parties, or occasions with specific dress codes like a Kentucky Derby-themed luncheon. Your discretion is key, considering the overall aesthetic of your attire.

What Footwear Is Appropriate for a Luncheon?

When selecting shoes for a luncheon, prioritize closed-toe options that balance comfort and polish. For women, choices like pumps, flats, or refined sandals that don’t appear overly casual work well.

Men should opt for dress shoes that match the formality of their outfit. Steer clear of sneakers or flip-flops, as they generally lean too casual for the ambiance of a luncheon.

Dos and Don’ts for Choosing Luncheon Attire

Consider the ThemeAvoid overly casual or overly formal outfits.
Prioritize ComfortDon’t wear uncomfortable shoes or clothes.
Embrace EleganceAvoid overly flashy or attention-grabbing outfits.
Accessorize ThoughtfullyDon’t over-accessorize and overwhelm the look.
Tailor to the VenueDon’t disregard the event’s formality level.

Make Your Luncheon Experience One to Remember!

Choosing the right attire for a luncheon requires a careful balance between style, comfort, and appropriateness. For men, smart-casual or business-casual outfits, such as suits or blazers paired with dress pants and collared shirts, project a polished and refined appearance. Women can opt for elegant dresses, skirt and blouse combinations, or dress pants paired with tasteful blouses or tops, while keeping modesty in mind. 

It’s essential to adhere to any specified dress codes, considering the event’s formality and theme. Accessorizing subtly and opting for closed-toe shoes that are comfortable yet sophisticated will ensure a well-rounded and appropriate look for a successful luncheon outing.

Discover the Art of Elegance.