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Styling for a casual dinner.

In the midst of all your adult responsibilities—paying bills, commuting to work, going to bed on time, hitting the gym—fashion can sometimes take a back seat. But don’t let your 9-5 weekday slump keep you from having a little fun with your wardrobe.

Well, it’s time to make your ensemble a priority again. When you’re planning casual dinner outfits, you don’t have to spend tons of time searching for the perfect coordinated look. We’ve got a helpful guide for what to wear to a casual dinner party or date night right here. Just slip into a pair of Rothy’s and get ready to get your grub on.

Overarching tips to keep in mind for your casual date night outfits.
  • Comfort: Don’t worry about making the world your runway if it means you’ll be pulling at your clothes all night. Being comfortable should always come first.
  • Cool: Want to try the athleisure trend? Dive into that or experiment with new fashion.
  • Walkable shoes: If you’re out and about during your casual dinner date, you won’t want your mobility limited by your footwear. Choose shoes that are tried and true for walking.
  • Stain-resistant: Even the neatest, Marie Kondo-types have accidents once in a while (looking at you, red wine stains). Plus, you can’t guarantee someone else won’t spill something on you. So choose outfits you can easily wash as a precaution. An all-white outfit is a bold move but save that for a day at the museum.
With those tips in mind, below are some creative, casual dinner ideas and outfits when you feel like you’re in a culinary and fashion rut.

Night picnic

A night picnic is a fun twist on a classic activity, and is perfect for the summer when it’s warm long after the sun goes down. Gather your nearest and dearest for a potluck-style picnic so you can enjoy a variety of food.

For your picnic dinner, prepare finger-food courses that don’t involve a lot of mess and avoid overly-heavy, fried foods. Think small sandwiches, Mediterranean food, and skewers. And don’t forget something bubbly to drink with your food. A dry champagne pairs perfectly with strawberries, for example. For dessert, maybe bring along some dark chocolate truffles to pair with a sophisticated bottle of merlot. If you’re in a DIY mood, make cocktails beforehand and bring them in mason jars - it’s a fun, rustic way to relax and enjoy your own outdoor happy hour.

For your casual dinner outfit, we suggest wearing something a little funky but casual like a jumpsuit. A jumpsuit is a perfect solution to any outfit quandary because it’s one-and-done—there’s no top and bottom to coordinate. But don’t forget to bring a layer over the top if things get a little chilly later in the night.

Outfit:

Supplies:
  • Picnic blanket
  • Electric candle
  • Picnic basket
  • Wine
  • Chocolate
  • Charcuterie and cheese
  • Baguette
  • Metal utensils
  • Star-gazing app

Food truck crawl


A night market with an array of food trucks is a perfect casual dinner idea for a romantic date or just an evening out with your best friend. There are tons of night markets that happen all across the country. It’s a great place to sample food and drinks from local vendors. Poutine, pad thai, prickly pears—try it all! That’s what elastic waistbands were invented for.

Your plan of action for your food truck crawl should be strategic. First, make your way around all of the vendors, sampling items that look interesting as you walk. After that initial exploration, settle on a few main dishes, grab a seat or post up on a curb. While you eat, people watch and catch up with your friend or partner.

For this dinner date, we love the idea of a romper or playsuit: cute, comfortable, and easy-to-wear. Slip-on sneakers by Rothy’s are the perfect complement so you can walk, sample, and eat without ever being distracted by trying to keep your balance in heels.

Outfit:


Supplies:

  • Reusable grocery bag

  • Stainless steel straw

  • Reusable utensils

Pizza joint


    Some nights just call for pizza. Whether you’re going out for pizza because you had a long day at work or you’re just going for a treat-yourself night with friends, pizza is always a great choice. But just because you’re going to the local pizza joint doesn’t mean you have to go for a casual look.

    If you really want to have fun, dress up for no reason other than to just look good and have a photo shoot with your friends while chowing down. A cocktail dress and pizza? We’re saying yes to the dress… and the pizza. If a nice dress isn’t your style, just snazz up a casual dinner date outfit with something unexpected like a shimmery, metallic skirt. Bring along a Polaroid camera or instant film camera to really make it a photoshoot experience.

    Outfit:

    Supplies:

    • Instant film camera

    Dinner party at home


    It’s time to get in touch with your inner Martha Stewart and start using the word “tablescape” without a hint of irony. Even if you’re planning a casual dinner night, you can still make it a thoughtful, exciting event. Invite a manageable amount of people over to your house with old-fashioned paper invitations and create a set menu with a theme for the dinner. Greek food? Southern comfort foods? Raw vegan? Carb party?

    The options are endless. Come up with a few main courses, an appetizer, and dessert. Don’t forget to type up a menu and placecards to really put your dinner party over the top.

    Let your inner domestic goddess out and create a beautiful tablescape worthy of an HGTV special. Decorate with fairy lights to set the mood and light some candles. Foster connection among friends who don’t know each other with pre-arranged seating.

    If you’re trying to think of casual but cool outfits for dinner with friends, this is a great time to choose something casual but edgy. Maybe go outside of your normal outfit routine. A Canadian tuxedo, otherwise known as denim-on-denim, might be just what you need. If you do decide to go bold with denim, it’s a good idea to choose different colors or washes. For example, dark wash jeans look great with an acid-washed jean jacket. Or, go acid-wash on the bottom and medium-wash denim for your jacket. Just have fun and don’t worry too much about “matching.”

    Outfit

    • High-waisted jeans
    • Vintage tee
    • Faded denim jacket
    • Bandana neck scarf
    • Rothy’s loafers

    Supplies:

    • A colorful tablecloth
    • Dinner plates and smaller appetizer plates (mix and match for a more casual look)
    • Cloth napkins
    • Silverware
    • Flowers in mason jars

    Just desserts




    If dinner is simply desserts, we applaud you. This is a great time to throw a Top Chef or Chopped themed competition. Choose three of your most culinary-inclined friends and invite them to a bake-off. Don’t forget to provide a time limit, one out-of-the-box ingredient, and of course, prizes.

    As a judge, you’ll want to choose a simple outfit like skinny jeans, a turtleneck and a blazer. The cherry on top? Rothy’s flats.

    Alternatively, you can throw a make-your-own-sundae party. Set up stations with different toppings so everyone can customize their own dessert.

    Outfit:


    Supplies:

    • Sugar
    • Spice
    • Everything nice

    Casual dinner outfits are a breeze in Rothy’s.

    Whether you’re an over-dresser or an under-dresser, a casual dinner calls for something decidedly in between formal and informal. With that said, you don’t have to overly strategize your outfit. A casual cool look doesn’t just come from your outfit, after all. Your attitude and how you feel will be what people notice, even before they take a look at your threads.

    When you’re putting together a look, remember that you don’t want to be pulling at your clothes so they sit comfortably. Pick your go-to outfits but add something unexpected like a funky necklace or hat. And don’t forget about your kicks.

    Rothy’s are the perfect companion for a casual dinner date outfit. You can choose The Loafer to add a cool edge to feminine style, or maybe add some polish to jeans and a t-shirt with The Point. Go classic with The Flat, or casual with The Sneaker. Whatever you choose, Rothy’s is with you every step of the way. From date night to lunch with coworkers, Rothy’s can go anywhere. The question is, where are you going?

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