What To Wear: Summer Barbeque

What To Wear: Summer Barbeque

I’ve always considered Memorial Day as the unofficial kick-off to fabulous summer barbeques. Now that my mind is already set on lazy weekends, mountainside picnics, and warm weathered gatherings, it’s time to pile on some serious backyard fash

When it comes to everyone’s favorite American tradition (a.k.a. the backyard barbeque), I always try to follow these three guidelines: comfort, style, and separates. The goal is to spend more time making memories and less time fussing with an overly complicated outfit. Your barbeque best should always reflect the latest summer trends, while still offering enough ease to participate in outdoor activities. Opt for minimal makeup, simple hairstyles like a ponytail or side braid, and never ever forget the all-important must-have: sunglasses. Squinty eyes are never photogenic.

Below is my guide on how to dress for the Three BBQs of Summer: beach, bonfire, and backyards…

Beach BBQ

What To Wear: Summer Barbeque

Neon hues are the hottest and certainly the brightest trend hitting the scene this season and I can’t think of a better backdrop to rock them than everyone’s favorite summer location: the beach! Beach barbeques inevitably involve quick dips in the water and impromptu games of volleyball or Frisbee, so appropriate attire is key to having a good time. Though the girl in the corner may look fabulous in her sky-espadrilles and super tight bandage dress, I can assure you she isn’t having fun. To avoid heading home with a trail of sand in your wake, I suggest simple staples such as cutoff shorts. They’re super easy to layer over your bathing suit and they leave enough skin exposed for the all-important suntan. As for shoes, leave your sand trapping, closed-toe flats at home and rock a great pair of strappy neon sandals instead. And finally for extra protection from those scorching rays, I recommend bringing a hat; they add an extra dash of style and keep your face sun-kissed rather than sunburned.

What To Wear: Summer BarbequeBonfire BBQ

What To Wear: Summer Barbeque

I love wearing maxi skirts and cropped tops for BBQs that take place in the evening because they give you an easy breezy vibe, while still allowing you to be comfortable wherever your summertime get-togethers may take place. This is the perfect ensemble to wear whether you’re simply a guest at the event or the overachieving host. The neutral pallet will prevent you from blending into the night, while the extra fabric will help you stay warm whenever you stray from the fire. Go bohemian for this event and try accessorizing your look with a floral headband that will help keep your hair out of your face. And don’t forget to layer on a mixture of earthy accessories to finish off your look.

What To Wear: Summer Barbeque
Backyard BBQ

What To Wear: Summer Barbeque

Denim shorts are as all-American as you can get, so for this traditional setting, rock a killer pair of denim shorts. These fabulous LC Lauren Conrad summer must-have shorts from Kohl’s will make it easy to navigate from the kitchen to the back porch without restricting you from partaking in a game of basketball or simply visiting around a table with friends. Backyard gatherings are notorious for having chairs sprawled about for late night gossip, so to keep things ultra flattering I suggest a slouchy crochet top. The airy sweater will keep the outfit breezy, while also acting as great bathing suit cover up if you’re gathering is poolside. Cute wedges and a fabulous striped tote bag will put the final touches on this comfy backyard ensemble.

Follow these simple BBQ guidelines and save yourself from another last minute fash fret.

Which look could you see yourself wearing? And don’t forget to your plans for this Memorial Day weekend with us!

Fash Boulevard

Today’s post is proudly sponsored by


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Categories: Anna James, Kohls, Wear
Share This
  • Amber Welles

    Anna, these are AMAZEBALLS. I can see myself wearing all of these. Thanks for the great advice.

    Lauren, can you post the pin for pinterest? I want to pin everything.

  • Angela Christianson

    Love how colorful everything is! So fun! This weekend I’ll be at the farmers market and the beach! Check out what I’ll wear:


  • Bella

    I love Anna’s posts! So many colorful, fresh ideas! I’m so wearing the third one on my saturday’s party!

  • Diana A


    Where can I get that pink slouchy crochet top? It’s beautiful!

  • Melissa Panici

    I love ALL of these looks Anna! I could really see me wearing the last look. So adorable! This weekend we are moving to our house in the country and maybe getting together for a small barbecue with the family. Thanks for sharing these tips Anna!!

  • Amanda Lehrke

    LOVE the first neon outfit!!!


  • Michelle LaPorte

    The jean shorts and open knit sweater is my favorite! I love how comfey it looks!! I love the posts so far, you’re doing a great job Anna!!

    XO Michelle


  • Kelley {Keep Sitting Pretty}

    The neon and backyard bbq are my faves, but I love the bonfire looks its so cute! Thanks for the great outfit inspirations! You’re doing an awesome job Anna! I love what you’re doing here on the site!

    XO Kelley


  • T Girl

    These three outfits are gorgious. You have wonderful style, girl. Your accessories in the second outfit are so fab. You’ve got a new fan. Can’t wait to see more

    xoxo T

  • Amy Breckenridge

    love your backyard bbq look the best! :) thanks for the tips anna!


  • Shannon H

    ALL OF THEM. It’s too hard to decide. thanks for the tips and inspiration. You can tell how much work you’re putting into these. I hope great things are coming your way.

  • Marie Fournier

    The first and the last !! It’s my two favorite! Thanks for the inspiration ! :)

  • Jessa Kaiser

    You have such cute outfits, I love your style! Love the maxi dress. (:


  • Martin M

    Anna your beach BBQ outfit is still perfect. Love color blocking with gold elements. The look is so perfect and lust for summer warm temperatures and beach. You look amazing! Neon colors are so perfect!! Well done girl :) xoxo



  • Barefoot Duchess

    i love the second outfit!! it is so me =)

  • Rachel Trampel

    Another great post Anna!!!!! Love the neon beach BBQ look and the idea of openwork sweaters for bonfire and backyard BBQs. My family and I are having a BBQ on Monday and I am planning on wearing a breezy white dress with a polka dot tank layered underneath and flat sandals. I love the big navy and white striped bag and yellow wedges in the last outfit too!

    See some great summer pieces on the blog today: http://www.rachelslookbook.com

  • Penelope G

    Thrilled to see Anna wearing our “”Creative Healing”” bracelets! Love!


  • Melissa LaRose

    I could see myself wearing all of these outfits, LOVE them!!!!!!

    <3 Melissa


  • Melissa mould

    i love the shorts and pink t shirt outfit, very casual chic :)

    I featured a similar look recently on my blog with a neon pink topshop knit :)


  • Bunhead

    Each one is so different. I can see a lot of girls, wearing the third, but number two is my favorite. I’ve never seen you do the hippie thing. I love it.


  • Tiffany Tam

    OMG! Where are your neon pink sandals from?! LOVEEE!

  • Tiffani Stuart

    I would wear every one of these outfits!! My favorite is the Beach BBQ look! I love how the Fedora is jazzed up in a neon color! I’m also in love w/those sandals! Anna did an ah-mazing job on this article! I love how she brought Neon back w/o being “”Too 80’s””. I would’ve probably tweaked the Boho & Backyard looks a little more to my personal style, but the ideas and feelings of each outfit are unmatched! You’ve done it again Mrs. “”James”” !!

  • Charlie Ravens
  • Amanda Maguire

    i love your idea for a backyard bbq look, that’s what I’m doing this weekend! I’ve been doing a how-to-dress for MDW on my blog too! check it out here :)

  • mehreen blank

    very cute:) LOve all the bright colours!

    My big MAC Makeup Giveaway: http://www.thecurrentlyobsessed.com/2012/05/giveway-lots-of-mac-products.html

  • Lenka

    I’m going to a baseball game this weekend…would you suggest the backyard bbq look for something like that?

  • Kendra Denton

    I love the first outfit! Can you ID the shirt and shorts?

  • Rachael Yanta

    My fave is the last outfit.. that sweater is just gorgeous! All 3 are perfect for summer bbq’s though. Great post!


  • Elisee prummel

    I love the backyard outfit! That’s my favorite;)

  • Larissa Wilhelm

    I could definitely see myself wearing the the Backyard BBQ. I’m in love with the entire outfit! Great tips Anna!


  • soupforthegirlysoul

    oh wow! all of those outfits are SO adorable–i especially love the blue and yellow!


  • Kim Smith

    I for sure need that fedora hat. Where is it from? :)

  • Steph Noble

    I love the bright colours in the Beach BBQ and the hippy vibe to the bonfire BBQ. But by far my fav is the backyard BBQ look. I love the colour of the sweater and that bag is the perfect accessory! Great post!


  • tara Lotufo

    I love the bonfire look!! Its the hippie in me!!

  • Petra Zeller

    Lovely outfit and great post as always. I would wear the bonfire look.
    Have a great week lovely Anna
    xoxo, Petra

    http://www.sweetsoflife86.blogspot.com < – take a look :)

  • Kellie Norton

    Do you ever wear anything that’s not super cute?! haha! Love your post today, like always! Lauren, you should definitely keep her on for longer than 3 months, just saying πŸ˜‰ Loving all these outfits!!


  • Pchygrl17

    that third look is perfection :)

  • Lisa McK

    Love the backyard outfit, its so popular

  • Ally Powell

    LC.com, I agree with Kelly. Make Anna full time. These post are so neat

  • ally smith
  • Sabah Williams

    Another great blog/ post from Anna!!!!!!!!!!!! I am loving those neon sandals!

  • Liesl

    THey’re all such cute outfits, but my fav is the first one! Those neon shorts are to die for! Good job, Anna! :-)

    Liesl xxx


  • Janey Moore

    All of the looks are great but I’m totally in love with the backyard BBQ outfit!


  • jill s

    these looks are all great! definitely my style… now WHERE CAN I GET IT ALL!!! i love the top from the third look and am obsessed with the skirt and shirt from the 2nd look…

    BTW: check out my blog for some great summer trends ( everything hair and fashion) http://tomyb.com/modules/psblog/content.php?id=22

  • jill s

    check out our favorite looks for the weekend http://tomyb.com/modules/psblog/content.php?id=23

    we love what you picked out.. inspired us to hunt for our favorite looks too!

  • Emilie

    Love your final outfit, denim shorts and a cute top are my summer go-tos!

    xo Emilie

    PS please check out my latest blog post @ http://www.hungrydelights.com/

  • Marvin C.

    GREAT outfits Anna… 8] —> As Usual… =]

  • Leanne

    Such great looks. Looks like it was extremely windy in the pics!!

    Love from South Africa


  • debora f

    i love neon outfit!!


    Great looks…thanx for insightful tips..!

  • Ceci

    Love the first outfit. Can you id the bangles and shoes. :)

  • heidi kokborg

    I really love the first outfit. It makes me happy just looking at it! :)

  • Sabrinchen

    Hey Anna, could you add where the individual pieces are by? Love the tank and the two sweaters!!!

  • Karina Zajac

    Love the second outfit <3

  • Rebecca Lawson

    Hi Anna. I LOVE the maxi skirt and cropped top, in #2 Bonfire BBQ.

    I especially love the Bohemian look and cute headband. I just love your

    fun ideas for summer. Super cute!!! Thanks Anna!!!

    Best. Rebecca

  • Irizarry Francheska

    Love the mix of colors and textures : )


  • Linda Quach

    These are fabulous looks Anna! I completely agree with you on dressing for style yet not sacrificing comfort. The neon-inspired outfit is just lovely, but then again I love all the looks you created! Reading about the inspiration behind each one made this post a fantastic read! I’m excitedly awaiting your next post! :-)

  • Jennifer VG

    Great looks Anna!

    My favourite are the bohemian look :)

    XO Jenn,


  • lisa cram

    I LOVE the bracelets!!!

  • Kim Smith

    I found the hat and shoes in the neon look! The hat is forver21 and the shoes are from target. As for the shorts I got some neon yellow cut offs from American eagle!

  • Stephanie DiMaggio

    love the first and third look!


  • Kelly Burt

    My favorite outfit is the beach BBQ. LOVE those yellow shorts!! I will be having a backyard BBQ tomorrow and I am still thinking about my outfit. I will definitely use your tips! Thanks!!

  • Abby Harding

    Love them all!! I’m not sure if I an pull off neon, but I still love the look. My fav look is the backyard BBQ.

  • Linh Ly

    Ana, I love your hot pink sandals and your yellow wedges!! Where did you get them from?


  • Emily k.

    Love these looks! Here’s my “”American Classic”” barbecue look!

    Have a great Memorial Day, everyone!




  • Shannon Burke

    I love all three outfits.

  • Morgan Cook

    Need fashion or beauty advice? check out my blog! http://the-curlyq.tumblr.com click the “”ask me anything”” button to get personalized advice!

  • Rebecca Bakofsky

    Where did you get that pink sweater? Obsessed with it!!

  • Rebecca Lawson

    Super cute outfits Anna! I just love your style!!! You deserve your own line someday

  • Meta

    I was reading this wondering how on earth this article managed to be published on Lauren Conrads site, then i realized its from 2012. No wonder. Even for 2012 though this is really poor. Im surprised Lauren Conrad is okay with her name being on it. In these outfits, the individual pieces are cute but when you throw together a ton of loud items all you get is noise. They dont work. Neon on neon on neon on neon is NOT cute. A white tee with those shorts and sandals with a tan sunhat wouldve been adorable. Lauren Conrad has a classic, simple, style which means a lot of basics topped off with louder pieces. You have to be careful to have great style. Just throwing things on is not cute.


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