So, you’ve landed an invite to a house party and now you’re standing in front of your wardrobe, wondering what on earth to wear, right? Picking the right outfit for a house party can be a puzzle because you want to look good (obviously!), but you also don’t want to overdo it or underdo it. It’s all about striking that perfect balance between comfort and style. After all, you’re there to have a good time, mingle, maybe show off some of your legendary dance moves, and of course, snap some Insta-worthy pics. We’ve got some top tips to help you decide what to wear to a house party to make sure you get that balance just right.

15 different outfits to wear to a house party

1. The ‘I tried but not too hard’ look

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This is for those who want to give off the vibe of effortless cool. Men, think a shirt that says, “I might be in a band, or I might just really like this plaid pattern.” Ladies, a casual dress paired with sneakers screams, “I’m here for the party and the potential ping-pong tournament.”

2. The ‘is this a theme party?’ ensemble

themed house party outfit
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Always a hit or a spectacular miss. Guys, throw on that Hawaiian shirt you bought for a luau-themed party three years ago. Ladies, anything with sequins or feathers. If it turns out not to be a theme party, just say you’re being ironic. It’s foolproof.

themed house party outfit gone wrong
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3. The ‘I’m just here for the snacks’ attire

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Comfort is key. Elastic waistbands? Yes, please. A hoodie that doubles as a napkin? Genius. Shoes you can easily slip off to tuck your feet under you on the couch? Essential.

4. The ‘subtle flex’ outfit

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This is for those who want to casually (but very deliberately) show off that new purchase. Whether it’s those designer sneakers or that boutique jacket, it’s your time to shine, subtly. Remember, it’s not showing off if you pretend you’ve had it forever.

5. The ‘I might end up sleeping here’ look

what to wear to a. house party
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Ah, the practical dresser. Sweatpants, a comfy tee, and a hoodie. You’re prepared for all eventualities, including an impromptu sleepover or a sudden urge to join a yoga session in the living room.

6. The ‘I’m here to impress’ getup

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This is for those with a mission. Maybe there’s a crush to woo or an ex to make enviously regretful. Dress like you’re about to step onto a yacht or into a hip new downtown bar. Warning: may lead to questions like, “Why are you so dressed up?”

7. The ‘I didn’t know this was a party’ look

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Jeans, a t-shirt, and a look of mild confusion. Perfect for when you thought you were just coming over to hang out and suddenly, it’s a party.

8. The ‘athleisure but make it party’ look

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Sportswear that says, “I could go to the gym, but I’d rather be here.” Pair those trendy joggers with a snazzy top or a sports jersey with jeans. It’s the perfect blend of comfort and ‘I still made an effort’.

9. The ‘incognito celebrity’ outfit

what clothes to wear to a house party

Sunglasses indoors? Check. Oversized hoodie and beanie? Check. Act like you’re avoiding paparazzi and enjoy the mystique of being potentially famous (or just really into your privacy).

10. The ‘fancy dress rehearsal’ attire

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Wear something you’d typically reserve for a fancier occasion, like a cocktail dress or a dapper vest. It’s like giving your party wear a test run in a less formal setting

11. The ‘I’m in the wrong season’ look

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Wear something wildly inappropriate for the current weather. Think chunky knit sweaters in summer or shorts and flip-flops in winter. It’s a bold move that says, “I live by my own rules.”

12. The ‘stuck in a time warp’ outfit

80s house party

Choose an era and dive in headfirst. Whether it’s a poodle skirt from the 50s or a power suit from the 80s, commit to your time period with gusto. Bonus points for period-appropriate slang. For more decade-inspired fancy dress ideas, check out our list of 80s costumes, 90s fancy dress and 70s outfit ideas.

13. The ‘gym to glam’ transformation

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Start with gym wear and add one glamorous item, like a glittery scarf or a flashy blazer. It’s the perfect blend of “I just worked out” and “But I’m ready to party.”

14. The ‘lost tourist’ look

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Hawaiian shirt, shorts, socks with sandals, and a camera around your neck. Act bewildered and constantly ask for directions to the bathroom. It’s a fun way to embrace the party’s journey.

15. The ‘secret pyjama’ look

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Clothes that look party-appropriate but are actually pyjamas in disguise. Comfort is king, and if you can make your PJs look like party wear, you’re the undisputed ruler.

16. The not-so secret pyjama look.

pyjama house party clothes

Best done with friends or else it’s just a bit weird. No more needs to be said.

9 useful tips to help you decide to what to wear to a house party

When you’re trying to decide what to wear to a house party, go through these 15 tips to make sure you get it right.

1. Know the theme

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When it comes to the theme, if you’re heading to a fancy dress party, embrace the opportunity to get creative with your costume. We’ve got some great Barbie fancy dress ideas and British icon costume ideas to help you out. 

2. Think about being comfortable

when thinking what to wear to a house party - go for comfort

There’s nothing worse than spending an entire evening feeling uncomfortable in a too-tight dress or a stiff, formal suit. Or super high heels that make you wish the night away as you’re just waiting to take them off. Focus on comfort – it’s not the club or some posh event (or if it is maybe go slightly more formal, but still comfortable). The key is to remember that you’ll enjoy yourself more if you’re not constantly worrying about your outfit.

3. Consider the venue

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The venue plays a big role in dictating what to wear to a house party. For garden parties, consider sun hats and light layers for when the evening chill sets in. If the party is indoors, you might have the opportunity to dress up a bit more, perhaps in something a bit more glamorous or sophisticated. Heading to a pool party? Don’t forget to pack your swimwear and a stylish cover-up. And if the event is at someone’s posh new house, you might want to lean towards a smarter, more polished look to match the setting.

4. Opt for layers

house party clothes

Layering is not just a fashion statement; it’s also incredibly practical, especially for parties that might start in the afternoon and stretch into the cooler evening hours. A stylish jacket or a trendy cardigan can easily be draped over your shoulders and removed as needed. Layering allows you to adjust your outfit to maintain comfort without sacrificing style. Think about pieces that can be mixed and matched, like a lightweight scarf or a denim jacket that goes with just about everything. Plus, layering gives you an opportunity to play with different textures and styles in your outfit.

5. Don’t forget footwear

shoes for a house party

Choosing the right footwear is crucial for a house party. Comfortable shoes are a must, especially if you’re likely to be on your feet chatting, dancing, or playing party games. Sneakers or stylish flats are great for a more casual vibe, while a pair of classic loafers or elegant heels can dress up an outfit for a more formal occasion. Remember, it’s not just about style; your feet will thank you for choosing shoes that don’t leave you with blisters the next day. And if the party is at someone’s home, consider the flooring – stilettos on wooden floors can be a recipe for disaster!

6. Complete the look with accessories

house party outfit accessories

Accessories are the secret weapon in your party outfit arsenal. They have the power to transform a simple outfit into something special. A statement necklace, a bold watch, or a chic hat can add a touch of personality to your look. But remember, less is often more – you don’t want your accessories to overpower your outfit. Choose one or two key pieces that complement your clothes and reflect your personal style. And don’t forget practical accessories like a small, stylish bag to keep your essentials in – it’s both functional and fashionable.

7. Choose colours and patterns – especially if it’s summer

house party wear

House parties are the perfect occasion to experiment with bold colours and fun patterns. Whether it’s a bright floral print for a summer barbecue or a rich, jewel-toned top for an evening gathering, don’t be afraid to stand out. Patterns can add an element of fun to your outfit, but be mindful of not clashing too much, especially if you’re also wearing statement accessories. If you’re usually more reserved with your color choices, a house party is a great opportunity to step out of your comfort zone and try something new.

8. Jeans are a go-to safe bet

wear jeans to look casual

When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a classic pair of jeans. They’re versatile, comfortable, and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. Pair them with a nice top or blouse for a simple yet effective party look. For a more polished appearance, opt for dark-wash or black jeans. And if you want to add a bit of edge, why not try ripped jeans or a pair with an unusual cut? Just remember to balance your outfit – if your jeans are quite casual, pair them with a dressier top, and vice versa.

9. Be practical

beer pong at a house party

It’s fun to get dressed up and look good, but you also don’t want to feel too constricted. Be comfortable enough to dance around, play beer pong and move freely around. Don’t be that person dressed up so much you don’t want to move much or get involved.

Ah, the great outdoors coupled with the joviality of a house party! The key here is to blend comfort with style. Opt for layers – a breezy top or a light shirt paired with a cardigan or a jacket, so you can adjust to the whims of the British weather. Trousers or jeans are a safe bet, and don't forget a hat or sunglasses if it's sunny. And, of course, a bit of waterproof gear wouldn't go amiss – you never know when the skies might open!

This is a bit of a depending-on-the-situation kind of thing, as it largely depends on the nature of the party. If it's a casual get-together, keep it simple – jeans and a nice top or a casual dress should do the trick. For something a bit more upscale or themed, you might want to put in a bit more effort. The golden rule? It's always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. When in doubt, a quick ring to the host to suss out the dress code is a perfectly acceptable move.

Comfort is paramount, but that doesn't mean sacrificing style. Trainers are a solid choice as they're comfy and on-trend. For a more polished look, loafers or smart casual shoes can work wonders. Or you could opt for ballet flats or low heels for a bit of elegance without the peril of high heels. Remember, you might be asked to take your shoes off, so ensure your socks are hole-free and presentable!

Winter calls for cosy yet chic attire. Think warm jumpers or a stylish knit over a collared shirt, paired with jeans or trousers. Ladies might consider a knitted dress with tights. A snug coat or jacket is a must for the journey there and back. Inside, you'll likely warm up quickly, so layers are your best friend. And don't forget a scarf and gloves for that chilly trip home!