What to Wear to a Nice Restaurant

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

Last Updated on December 31, 2022 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.

Keep reading and learn the simple guide for a suitable dress code you can wear at a nice restaurant.

Top 6 Outfit Ideas For A Nice Restaurant 

woman in a restaurant

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.

Jeans, a t-shirt or sleeveless shirt, skirts, and a dress with sneakers on are typically considered casual. These clothes are basically “not formal” attire.

2. Casual Elegant

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

Casual elegance is commonly followed in upscale restaurants, parties, and country clubs. A nice blouse, skirt, or dress is for women, and long-sleeved shirts or suit pants are ideal for men.

3. Business Casual

Business casual dress codes are considered casual wear but in a smart-looking outfit, from casual t-shirts to polo shirts or blazers with khaki pants or slacks and dress shoes or loafers.

But you must 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. Formal wear includes wearing a tuxedo and 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. 

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.

You can style your suit coat or fur jacket with a simple turtleneck sweater and wear 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 for women are the ideal footwear, and they should be comfortable for walking around the place. 

Can You Wear Jeans To A Nice Restaurant? 

folded jeans in the cabinet

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

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

What Not To Wear To A Nice Restaurant

  • A swimsuit or tank top. Despite not having an official dress code for most restaurants, wearing any 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.


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.

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.

Make sure not to wear anything too revealing and casual if you’re going 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.


Shari Mason

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