Sitting in the beer garden, surrounded by friends or family with a cold beverage in your hand. Sounds bliss, doesn’t it? Whether you’re visiting the pub for a night out with friends, a Sunday lunch or a family party, you still want to look and feel your best.
Dressing for the pub is that fine line between smart and casual. You can’t be going in jogging bottoms, despite how comfy they are when you eat three courses, but equally, a three-piece suit is more suited to race day. That’s not to say that there isn’t a happy medium somewhere.
You’ll want to select items that are comfortable, especially if you’ll be sitting down and/or eating, but that you can wear for other occasions too, such as dressing up or down. We’ve compiled this guide of what to wear to the pub to help you select the best pieces when you want to look smart but not overdressed for the day or night!
Whether you dress more on the casual or smart end of the scale will probably depend on the occasion. A chilled night with friends at the pub is definitely casual but a family party for a special occasion might require a bit more of a smart look. Whilst there isn’t usually a dress code, it’s always best to dress up a little. Here are a handful of classic, country staples that will all mix and match to cover you for a range of events.
A checked shirt
We couldn’t write a must-haves list without including a standard checked shirt! There’s something so versatile about this item because it can be dressed up for a wedding or dressed down for lounging around. We’re sure that you own at least one checked shirt already but it might be time to purchase a new one.
Especially with the summer, you could opt for a brighter colour or a muted tone. Because our shirts are made from 100% cotton, you know that they’re long-lasting and durable and should last you years. Whether you prefer a lumberjack check style or a traditional country check, both patterns will not look out of place in the pub. It’s easier to dress up traditional checks though whereas lumberjack checks are a little more casual.
A rugby or polo shirt
It’s not the first item that most think of wearing to the pub but a rugby or polo shirt can be dressed pretty smart. A long-sleeved rugby shirt is perfect for cooler summer evenings, especially if you’re sitting in the beer garden. They’re slim-fitting so will always look sleek. The collection is full of traditional rugby colours of red, navy, olive, grey and white so there will be a colourway to go with any outfit. Pair them with jeans and loafers for the ultimate cool guy, laidback look.
Polo shirts are the perfect item for summer as they’re a little more loose-fitting than a rugby shirt but still just as stylish. We’ve expanded our range to include not only traditional polo shirts with emblems on, but also block-coloured polo shirts, made from soft cotton, ideal for warm, sunny days. You can wear them all year long by popping them underneath a jumper or a sweater too!
A wax jacket
One of our favourite dressier pieces is a wax jacket. It screams country gentleman but is immensely practical and incredibly stylish too. It’s a piece that never goes out of fashion so provided that you look after it properly, it will last you for years to come. Picking a neutral colour of navy, olive, brown or black will also mean that it’ll go with any outfit in your wardrobe.
Because it’s waterproof, you can wear it outside in the beer garden or just as your jacket to arrive in. Once again, a wax jacket is a piece you can wear year-long and on multiple occasions. It looks just as good with jeans and trainers as it does with a checked shirt and smart trousers.
A tweed blazer
For the ultimate smart-casual item, a tweed blazer should be your go-to. If you don’t have one already, it’s time to grab one from our collection. Thinking of one key piece of a country gentleman’s wardrobe, it’s the tweed blazer. Whether you pair it with smart trousers, jeans or chinos, it instantly makes any outfit smarter (maybe not jogging bottoms though)!
Again, paired with a checked shirt is the ultimate countryside pub look. You can pair with a matching waistcoat, especially on dressier occasions too. For a night at the pub, dark-wash jeans will always look smart without being too formal. Smart shoes round off the look too. Switch out the jeans for dress trousers and you’ll be ready for a wedding or race day!
As we said above, dark wash jeans complement most top-half items. Whilst jeans are often seen as a casual item, it’s the way that you style them that makes them look dressier. Collared shirts, tweed blazers and leather shoes take your jeans from casual to smart. Darker wash jeans are much easier to dress up rather than lighter wash or coloured jeans and they’re flattering on any shape and at any age.
The smartest shoe that a man can own has to be a pair of leather brogues. They can smarten a casual outfit, be worn to the office and used for formal occasions, such as weddings. Once again, if you clean them after every wear, they should last you for years. A checked shirt, a tweed blazer and dark wash jeans along with leather brogues is the most quintessential country gentleman outfit. They’re a timeless piece to add to your wardrobe, no matter what age you are. You’ll definitely reach for them more than you think you might, especially if you don’t work in an office!
Just like the men, choosing an outfit for the pub can be tricky, moreso for women. You don’t want to go all out in heels but equally, loungewear isn’t going to cut it either. Smart-casual is often the trickiest style of dressing for most women, simply because it’s such an in-between style! With that being said, there are a few items that we think are perfect for a smart-casual look for a night at the pub.
A flowy blouse
When it’s hot outside, the last thing you want to be wearing is something tight and fitted. A flowy chiffon blouse is so sophisticated whilst also keeping you very cool! Wearing a camisole or bralette underneath might make you feel more comfortable as often blouses can be a little sheer.
During the summer, a flowy blouse goes well with skirts, shorts and jeans but can also be worn with smart trousers or a pencil skirt for office work. Even when paired with a more casual outfit, such as jeans and canvas trainers, a flowy blouse will make any look stylish, feminine and smart.
A checked shirt
If men get to wear them frequently, why can’t women? Our collection of gorgeous checked country shirts is perfect for the summer months, featuring pops of pink, purple, and blue. In the summer, we love to wear a vest or T-shirt underneath and wear the shirt open as a jacket. It’s perfect for cooler evenings in the beer garden when it’s still too warm for a jacket but you still need something to cover your shoulders. If you’ll wear it more like a jacket, we recommend sizing up by one size to get that oversized, comfortable feel.
Another versatile piece for any country lady’s wardrobe, a checked shirt can go with jeans, shorts, skirts as well as smart trousers for working in the office. Whilst we love our checked shirts during the summer, you can still wear them for winter. Pop one under a cable-knit jumper in a similar shade and you'll be super cosy!
Whilst summer is warmer, it doesn’t always mean that it’s hot! Sometimes, especially at night, we need to add another layer on our top half. A gilet is a great way to keep warmer but without adding a bulky layer and burning up. Whether it’s tweed, fleece or quilted, it can depend on the occasion. A tweed gilet will always look smarter but a fleece gilet will keep you cosier. If you’re outside for a long time, a quilted version is a better option.
A pair of shorts
An item that we love in summer is a pair of shorts. Many women don’t like skirts and they’re not always very practical either. Whether you prefer denim or cotton shorts, you’ll want them to be fitted but not tight. Especially if you’re eating, you’ll want them to be roomy enough to move around freely in as well as eat a lot of pub grub (at least two courses is a must). Our shorts are a mid-thigh length so you still feel covered but they’re not as unflattering as knee-length shorts often are.
A summer dress
One thing’s for sure about the summer: many women love to wear a dress! It can be awkward to style them in colder weather because tights often make an outfit look bulky. However, bare legs and dresses just go hand-in-hand during summer. All of our dresses are mid-thigh length, just like our shorts, so again, they’re super flattering! Our dresses are also classic in style so they will be part of your summer wardrobe for years to come.
Flat shoes or trainers
One thing we’ve found is that women mostly wear flat shoes during the summer. Whether they're a pair of deck shoes, loafers or canvas trainers, there’s a style for any occasion. Of course, trainers are a more casual style, perfect for a lunchtime pub visit with the family. For evening occasions, loafers are very popular because they’re smart shoes but can be worn with bare feet, a lovely alternative to sandals.
What to wear to the pub can be tricky, depending on the event you’re attending or the occasion. Sometimes, it might be heading for a last-minute evening meal with friends at a more casual location. Other times, it could be a family gathering or pre-book event where you might want to wear something a little dressier. We’ve collated pieces that are designed to be versatile where you could change just one or two pieces to take an outfit from day to night. Often, a change of shoes or jacket makes a world of difference!