Housewarming parties never get out of fashion, and chances are, you’ll get invited to plenty of them in your life. You’ll probably host one yourself. But, there are always these doubts about how formal or informal you should dress?
There are several factors you should be aware of that will make your outfit decisions easier. Sometimes, the host might specify the dress code, but you can still find some combinations that you can never go wrong with if it isn’t.
I’ll help with some ideas on what to wear to a housewarming party if you are a man or a woman. Also, I’ll give you some tips on the etiquette you should adhere to to make the best impression, whether you’re a guest or the host.
Cool things a woman can wear to a housewarming party
Before you decide what to wear to a housewarming party, you should first consider some facts about the party you might have. More often than not, the host won’t specify the dress code on the invitation, but you can still figure out the most appropriate outfit.
For instance, if it’s a daytime party, you’ll probably want to go a bit more informal. That doesn’t mean that you should dress sluggishly, but you should avoid high heels and fancy dresses.
On the other hand, if you’re invited to an evening party, it might be inappropriate to show up in flip-flops. Go for more formal attire, but try not to go overboard. It is a house party after all, and you should feel comfortable in what you’re wearing.
Another thing that might help you choose your outfit (usually goes hand-in-hand with the time of the day) is the party’s theme, usually specified by the host. It can be a cocktail party, meaning you might want to let loose with a lovely evening dress or a cute blouse.
Maybe the party will be BBQ-themed, meaning that sundresses, florals, polka dot tops, etc., are the better choice here. If it’s a dinner party, it means you should go in a bit more formal attire. It’s all about reading the situation to make the most appropriate choices. Let’s take a look at some incredible combinations that will be a hit every time.
Floral summer dress – perfect for daytime parties
Be it a BBQ party, a swimming pool fiesta, or simply a backyard picnic – if you’re invited to a daytime housewarming party, it means you should go with a bit more informal outfit. It should be nice, but try to avoid clothes you’d wear to church or some similar formal occasion.
Choosing a beautiful floral summer dress is never a bad idea. It’s a classic that hardly ever goes out of fashion. It’s comfortable and light yet still looks classy and cute. It’s an opportunity to show off your curves and highlight the outfit with a couple of wonderful details.
Try to avoid high heels or sneakers for two reasons. One, it would be pretty challenging to walk around in high heels, and it’s awkward to wear them at such an informal party. If it’s a barbeque, go for low sandals or slippers. If you’re going to a pool party, even flip-flops work with a floral summer dress.
Two, sneakers don’t pair up nicely with a floral pattern. They are too “sporty,” meaning they pair better with leggings or an elegant jumpsuit. If you put sneakers on with a floral dress, it might just seem off.
The perfect outfit would be a floral dress, low sandals, a cute, petite handbag, and a few bright accessories, such as a long-chained pendant necklace or a pearl collar.
Knee-length skirt & light-colored top – summer dress alternative
Suppose you don’t enjoy floral summer dresses. In that case, you can go for a similar option that enables you to express yourself a bit more and remain appropriate for a daytime housewarming party. Pick a knee-length patterned skirt and match it with a light-colored top.
You can go with a tank-top or an elegant t-shirt, but it’s essential to complement the color of the top with the shirt. That’s why you’re better off with lighter colors, as you can match them seamlessly.
Again, the choice of accessories is up to you, but make sure not to go too “luxurious,” meaning that brooches, diamonds, etc., shouldn’t be your choice.
Jeans and plaid shirt – comfortable & alternative
Another great combination for a daytime housewarming party, and the biggest classic there is. A nice pair of jeans with a plaid or checkered shirt and a uni-colored basic top under it will always turn some heads around. It allows you to show style and be casual at the same time. It’s also perfect if you’re not a fan of dresses, skirts, and those “girly” outfits.
Another positive to pull from this combination is that sneakers work quite well for an outfit like this. Just make sure you don’t go too “sluggish” with your look. Give it a bit of elegance, perhaps with some neat accessories such as a pendant or bright hairpins.
Pastel-colored shirts also look amazing on jeans, but they work better with jeggings because the smooth pastels will highlight your body shape, and jeggings play right into that. If you’re going with wider jeans, then a loose shirt and a basic tank top are the better chance.
In the end, it all comes down to the weather because if it’s a hot summer day, you’ll get heated pretty quickly. Always consider all the factors you can before deciding on the outfit. That includes the weather, time of the year, the surroundings where the party will be held (indoor or outdoor), etc.
Of course, this combination can work for an evening housewarming party, too, especially if you know the atmosphere was meant to be casual.
Sweater and cropped jeans – for daytime parties on colder days
If the party is in autumn or winter, it would be silly to show up in a dress, even if it is a daytime party. Still, you don’t want to overdress and go for a suit or a maxi dress. Instead, go for a more youthful appearance that will be super appropriate for a lovely tea party or a casual daytime hangout.
You can achieve that with a beautiful cashmere or wool sweater and cropped jeans. The best part about it is that you can combine them with several different shoe options. You can go with regular sneakers for an alternative vibe to your outfit, or go for nice black leather ankle boots to complete the perfect combination of youthfulness and elegance.
Midi pencil dress & heels – for a formal evening party
Come evening time, going for a more formal outfit would be appropriate. That’s why a beautiful midi dress with high heels and eye-popping details is never the wrong choice for a housewarming party. It looks elegant but not too smart or too formal. It shows respect for the host and the occasion while still leaving you with more comfort.
You should be careful with loose midi dresses, as they can often be a bit too much for a simple housewarming party. Of course, there are beautiful pieces that work every time, but you should go for a neat pencil dress if you want to play it safe. A great thing about pencil dresses is that they allow you to highlight your curves and look elegant at the same time.
If you feel like going for a one-piece might be a bit too much, go for a pencil skirt instead of a full dress. It’s a piece every woman should have in her wardrobe, as it’s a classy, formal, and comfortable option that would be amazing for a housewarming party.
It also gives you more options on the top, but you should make sure to stay in the same style as the skirt is. If it’s a neutral grey or black skirt, pop it up with a light pastel top or a beautiful polka dot blouse. A nice pair of ring earrings or a detailed necklace will be the icing on the cake.
V-neck cocktail dress – for housewarming cocktail parties
If the party will be a bit more youthful and dancy instead of formal and quiet, your outfit should reflect the mood. A V-neck cocktail or mini dress might not be appropriate for a dinner party, but it would be an excellent choice for a cocktail housewarming party where you know people will have a few drinks and let loose.
If you choose a V-neck, it opens up many possibilities to play with your hairstyle and the choice of accessories. Just make sure the cleavage remains tasteful, especially if the people at the party are of a more mature age.
A cocktail dress is fun, beautiful, and comfortable, and you should always consider it as an option for cocktail parties.
Cool things a man can wear to a housewarming party?
Usually, men don’t give that much attention to their outfits. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t strive to look great if you are a man and aspire to dress appropriately for each occasion. So, just as women look to dress appropriately depending on the situation, men should do the same.
If you’re invited to a daytime BBQ or a similar backyard housewarming party, go for short jeans and a slim-fit shirt. Avoid polo shirts on hot days because you might sweat more in those. A nice pair of sneakers looks terrific with a t-shirt combo. If you opt for more formal or classy shoes, combine them with a silk shirt, preferably long-sleeved.
If the party is a more formal evening party, you should try to avoid casual t-shirts. Instead, wear an elegant shirt with long jeans, or trousers. If it will be more informal and you plan on dancing and having a few drinks, then a t-shirt will be just fine. I’ll give you a few combinations so you can see that there is more than one choice for men, too.
Sneakers, jeans & shirt – a classic for every occasion
Yeah, this might not be the most imaginative combination, but it can still be quite eye-popping if you can do it right. It’s great because it works on almost every occasion, apart from a pool party or doing sports. White sneakers, jeans, and a silk shirt look classy, but you can feel comfortable and let loose if you want to.
They are formal enough for a nice dinner housewarming party for a more mature company but casual enough for a dance party to celebrate your friend’s new home.
Both jeans and a casual shirt are pretty bland, so you can add a few details to make everything pop. Going for a beautiful watch around the wrist is a choice most men prefer to make. If you’re on a more casual party, or the weather is a bit more chilly, you can go for a patterned t-shirt underneath and keep your shirt open.
Suit & tie – class & elegance for every formal occasion
Housewarming parties in the evenings tend to be formal, so you won’t go wrong if you show some class and suit up. It’s an option you can’t go wrong with if you have a fitting suit. It looks brilliant and elegant. Wear a one-colored shirt under your jacket to avoid clashing colors.
Also, a necktie is always a better choice than a bowtie, as the latter might appear more formal or a bit “butler-ish.” The only thing you should keep in mind is to avoid black suits, as they are usually worn at funerals. Go for grey, navy, or charcoal suits if you don’t want to experiment too much.
As for the footwear, you should always avoid wearing sneakers on suits, as they just look too informal and don’t match with suits at all. You should keep loafers and sneakers for more casual attires (on jeans and checkered shirts). If you’re planning on wearing a suit, you need matched leather shoes to complete the outfit.
Slim-fit jumper and trousers – for parties on cold days
Finally, the outfit you should consider is wearing trousers or jeans with a slim-fit jumper or a pullover. It will look classy but casual and allows you to choose any footwear you like. Both leather shoes and sneakers work here. Just make sure to match the shoes with the trousers or the sneakers with the jumper.
You can also go for a shirt underneath the sweater. It will look incredible and keep you warm if the day is a bit colder.
Not that I’ve never mentioned sweatpants or tracksuits as an option. That’s because it shouldn’t be an option unless it’s highlighted that you’ll do sports on the invitation. It’s too informal and shows a lack of respect, so you should avoid wearing them for any housewarming party, day or night, formal or casual.
Housewarming party etiquette
There are some unwritten rules of behavior you should adhere to before, during, and after a housewarming party. Those rules vary depending on whether you’re the host or a guest.
Housewarming etiquette for the host
If you’re hosting a housewarming party, make sure to specify all the details you think are essential on the invitation to avoid awkward moments between yourself and your guests. That includes the type of the party, the time of the day, etc.
You should also specify whether you’ll serve food or only snacks. You can make the party a potluck, meaning that everybody should bring something to eat. Either way, you should specify it, as you don’t want your guests to be hungry. If there’s anything else you want to specify, such as the dress code or something, you should establish it on the invitation.
Try to prepare everything before the guests arrive, as it might be awkward to leave them sitting while you’re in the kitchen all the time or still decorating after they arrive. If you receive gifts, make sure to send thank-you notes afterward.
Housewarming etiquette for guests
The first golden rule of attending a housewarming party is not arriving early. Being late isn’t nice, too, but showing up too early is something you should avoid even harder. There’s always the rush in the last hour before guests start to arrive, as you know if you ever hosted a party. So, it’s better to come 15 minutes late than 15 minutes early.
Always bring a small gift to a housewarming party, even if it’s not specified on the invitation. It’s a kind gesture that shows gratitude for the invitation and celebrates your friend’s moving in.
Sometimes, the host will have to run around a lot, especially as people start to arrive. So, if the door is opened when you arrive, you can let yourself in, but make sure to find and greet the host so that they know you’ve come.
Never go wandering the house alone if you want to check it out. Ask the host to give you a tour. They’d usually be happy to do it, as that’s the reason why they asked you to come in the first place.
Finally, even if there’s alcohol involved, keep it under control. Nobody wants wild drunks going crazy in their new home, right?
I hope this helps you dress and behave the right way the next time you’re invited to a housewarming party, regardless of what kind of party it might be.