When you get a party invite, you may reach for a blazer or a pair of high heels on instinct. But not all parties call for a dress code. Whether it’s a cookout on a sunny afternoon or a breezy evening on the beach, you can look great with the best casual summer party looks of 2021.

For Gals: Maxi Dresses

Summer can be a prime time to show some leg, but consider a maxi dress in a warm floral print to catch the breeze. Spaghetti straps keep the look summery, and a long, swingy skirt keeps you cool and stylish.

For Guys: Loose Trousers

Looser-fitting pants are ideal for summer weather, especially in natural fabrics like cotton or linen. That extra room will allow the breeze to keep your legs cool and prevent you from sweating through your clothes. Pair linen trousers with a light blazer or sweater in a coordinating color for a practical and trendy evening party look.

For Gals: Rompers and Overalls

A romper or jumpsuit in your favorite color or pattern is a cute alternative to a dress. They’re practical and casual—plus, they provide multiple possibilities for layering. Wear a crop top with a pair of light denim overalls for a casual look with a daring touch.

For Guys: Suit Vests

You don’t need to wear a full three-piece suit to excuse rocking a vest. Wear a suit vest or waistcoat over your favorite T-shirt and jazz it up with a fun flower or pin. A vest adds a touch of fun to an otherwise basic ensemble.

For Gals: Statement Jewelry

Pick a single statement piece to finish off your look. Go for a pair of big chandelier earrings, a funky cocktail ring, or a bright beaded necklace—but not all three! Keep it low-key for a casual party by choosing a single focal point.

For Guys: Unique Shades

This summer, opt for a pair of sunglasses with a little extra panache. Depending on your style, you can go for deep blue tinted lenses or unique silhouettes like retro granny glasses. Show off your style without getting too formal or elaborate.

As your social calendar fills up this summer, keep your wardrobe up to speed and take inspiration from the best summer party looks for this year. Look your best and feel confident while you catch up with friends and enjoy the weather.