Did someone say party? Whether you’re throwing a garden party, celebrating a birthday or dining with friends, this partywear has you and your family covered

Dresses to make a song and dance about

Let’s hear it for the printed midi dress – easy to wear, ultra-flattering and bang on trend for summer 2021, it’s what we consider a wardrobe ‘triple threat’. Earn additional style points by opting for a party dress featuring this season’s most-wanted details: think puff sleeves, cottagecore touches, square necklines, ruffles and smocking. Not just for birthday bashes, a fancy frock will ensure you are the best-dressed wedding guest at any formal events in your calendar, too.

This year’s sartorial mood is one of seizing the moment – so instead of saving your prettiest summer dresses ‘for best’, team them with flat sandals and sneakers and wear on high-rotation throughout the warmer months. Try the mini-me look via our latest collaboration with Ghost for a standout look for kids’ parties (top tip: it makes it easy to identify your little ones in a crowd.) Keep a lightweight jacket to hand for chilly evening events.

Not a fan of dresses? We hear you. Try a brightly coloured trouser or shorts suit instead.

Set the tone with retro-inspired men’s shirts

If there’s an item in your wardrobe that says ‘off-duty’, it’s the sunshine-ready short-sleeved shirt. Taking inspiration from the golden age of the holiday shirt in the Fifties and Sixties, the boxy revere-collar shirt (or bowling shirt) looks best paired with chino shorts or cargo pants and a pair of vintage-inspired sunglasses.

The ideal party shirt for a garden party, night on the town or bachelor weekend, a floral shirt in an airy material will keep you cool when dusting off your dance moves (after all, it’s been a while…) or participating in party games. Don’t miss our eye-catching geometric-print linen-blend shirts from Autograph that also come in big and tall sizes. Hone your wardrobe further with our tips for men’s smart-casual dressing and guide to formal menswear dress codes.

New shapes for kids to throw on the dance floor

Children love to get dressed up in something special, whether they’re celebrating their birthday or attending a family party. The secret to kids’ partywear is balancing style with comfort to enable them to run, skip and play to their heart’s content – try pairing a fancy floral dress with a pair of riptape sandals, or team a mini-me printed shirt with shorts and sneakers for a high-low mix that works for active kids.

Bright colour instantly signals fun, so embrace rainbow shades, like a sunny yellow sleeveless dress or pale pink chinos to make a change from sober grey school pants. Playful accessories add the final flourish: take your pick from cute kids’ sunglasses in sweet shapes and tie-dye bucket hats for outdoor parties and picnics in the park.

Don’t forget to kit the kids out for warm weather with our vacation-ready beachwear edit and summer style tips.

Words: Dulcie Emerson


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