Fine Dining 101: What to Wear at an Upscale Restaurant

Eating at a fine dining restaurant is a rare occasion to dress up and indulge yourself. You can take this opportunity to wear your best clothes and accessories, including Personalized Fine Jewelry. 

You need to decipher a wide range of dress codes in fine dining restaurants, from formal wear to casual elegance. Before you leave for the upscale venue, find out what dress code is appropriate so you can plan your outfit accordingly. 

Show Off a Luxury Timepiece 

Take the time to mark the occasion of eating at a fine dining restaurant with a luxury watch. Ensure your timepiece matches your other accessories, such as your rings or pocketbook. For example, you would not typically wear a silver watch with your yellow gold necklace. Classic luxury watch brands speak for themselves, naturally elevating your style as soon as you put them on. A luxury watch is also a great way to boost your confidence, and it often becomes a talking point when other guests notice your sophisticated accessory.

Business Casual

Fine Dining 101: Business Casual 

Most people are familiar with business casual attire in the workplace context. This dress code focuses on professionalism, modesty, and cleanliness. There are varying tiers of business casual, with some venues accepting a dressed-down version while others require something a little more refined. 

  • Skirts and dresses

Women can wear knee-length skirts or tailored dresses as part of a business casual dress code. A pencil skirt with a blouse and blazer is the perfect combination of chic and savvy for an upscale dinner. 

  • Slacks or khakis

Denim is unwelcome in an upscale restaurant, regardless of the dress code policy. Therefore, you’ll need to invest in a good pair of slacks or khakis to pair with your shirt or blouse. Slacks are typically cotton or nylon and offer a comfortable yet polished look that instantly elevates your outfit. 

  • Tennis shirts, polos, and button-downs 

Most upscale restaurants have a collared shirt policy; this means the type of shirt you wear can be a tennis shirt or a button-down, as long as it has a collar.Dress to Impress for a Fine Dining Experience

Fine Dining 101: Casual Elegant 

Less commonly known than business casual, casual elegant is popular among upscale dining establishments. For dinner time or cocktail hour events, casual elegant clothing provides room for a little more personality and glamor. 

  • Black dress

If you’ve got a classy black dress hanging in your closet, an upscale restaurant is a perfect place to wear it. Avoid anything with a low-cut neckline or too short of a hemline; ideally, nothing shorter than mid-thigh is acceptable for a respectable dining venue. Pair your black dress with an elegant faux-fur jacket or silk shoulder wrap for a look that gets you from home to the restaurant in style.

  • Button-down with trousers

While casual elegant isn’t as stringent as formal dress, you’ll want to avoid wearing a polo shirt to an upscale restaurant with this dress code. A full suit isn’t mandatory, but men should wear a clean, wrinkle-free button-down dress shirt with fitted trousers. In a casual elegant setting, you don’t need to wear a tie but can choose to if you feel comfortable. 

  • Add a sport coat

Rather than a full suit and tie, men often choose to put a sport coat over their button-down in a casual elegant dining setting. This gives you an extra layer when entering and exiting the venue while allowing you to still look put together without the formality of a suit jacket. 

  • Stylish pantsuit 

Women who don’t want to wear a dress to a casual elegant restaurant will love how confident and polished they feel in a pantsuit. Consider wearing a pantsuit in a luxurious fabric, such as velvet or satin, to enhance your appearance.

  • Add accessories 

Casual elegant dress allows you to break out your favorite jewelry pieces and other accessories like a Blancpain watch or a small clutch purse. Find fun ways to make your style unique using these items so you stand out to your dinner date. 

Fine Dining 101: Formal Wear

The formal dress code usually includes distinctive ball gowns, suits, and even a jacket with the ability to dress it up according to your personal style. Look for sleek clothing, formal shoewear, and high-quality accessories to put together your ultimate fine dining outfit.

  • Tuxedo or three-piece suit 

A three-piece suit offers flexibility for dressing up with different colors and accessories such as a bowtie or a formal tie. You can also make a great impression wearing a tuxedo if you are celebrating an anniversary or any other special occasion at the restaurant. Its pockets and dark colors make it ideal for formal evening dinners. Whether you choose a suit or a tuxedo, ensure you have the outfit properly tailored; a perfect fit is part of the formal wear aesthetic.

  • Ball gown 

There are a few options for choosing the right ball gown for going out to a fine dining restaurant for a night of drinks and conversation. An evening gown with a billowing skirt or a structured cocktail dress in a whimsical chiffon fabric is sure to keep all eyes on you. 

  • Jacket required 

Some formal dining venues have a jacket required policy, meaning when you wear your suit, it must include a fitted jacket to receive service. A formal jacket comes in a wide range of styles for men to wear in a fine dining atmosphere. For a modern take, you can find jackets with softer shoulders for a slimmer look. Jackets made of traditional fabrics like wool come with classic lapels. Jackets with pockets are still go-to classics for a formal fine dining restaurant. 

Dress to Impress for a Fine Dining Experience

When you have mastered the essentials of each dress code, accessorize with stylish pieces or tone it down when appropriate. If you’re dining in a fine dining establishment, you are about to take a break from your daily routine and enjoy excellent food and wine with great company for a few hours. Dressing appropriately to mark the occasion can make your fine dining experience even more enjoyable.