What to Wear to a Summer Barbecue

Summer isn't far away, which means barbecue season is about to kick-off! Hanging out with friends and family members at barbecues, whether they take place at local parks or in someone's backyard, are excellent opportunities to socialize, kick back, and relax.

But there's just one problem for fashion-minded men: What should you wear to a summer barbecue? After all, lots of summer barbecues are super casual, while others may have minor but important dress codes, particularly if they take place after church service on Sunday.

With this in mind, let’s break down what you should wear to a summertime barbecue. By the end, you’ll know how to show up in style.

Casual or Semi-Casual?

Here's the big question: Are barbecues casual or semi-casual occasions? The answer: both. It depends on the host, the time of the week, and other social circumstances. Casual barbecues won't have any dress code and you can show up wearing practically anything and get away with it.

On the other hand, if it's a semi-casual barbecue, you do have to adhere to a few dress code rules. For example, after-church Sunday barbecues usually call for you to stay dressed in your Sunday best. Alternatively, if you attend a backyard barbecue with your boss and his or her family, you should probably dress up a bit nicer than usual, even if you don't have to be dressed up as formally as if you went to dinner at a nice restaurant.

For the best results, “read the room” and try to determine the atmosphere or mood of the upcoming barbecue. When in doubt, ask! Any barbecue host will be flattered that you took the time to consider your wardrobe before showing up.

T-Shirts and Polos

Let’s dive into the details. In terms of T-shirts and other upperwear, any T-shirt that doesn’t have a graphic on it is a great choice. Plain T-shirts or collared T-shirts are phenomenal if you want to show up in style. If the barbecue is very casual, graphic tees are acceptable, but your style won’t be quite as exceptional as it might be otherwise.

Of course, polo T-shirts are perfect choices for semi-casual barbecues or for impressing your boss at a work event. Polo T-shirts feature collars, come in great masculine colors, and pair well with summer shorts and trousers.


Then there’s legwear. While you can wear jeans, many areas of the country are too hot in summer to make this practical. No one wants to sweat or suffer from heat exhaustion while trying to enjoy a barbecue with friends or family members!

Instead, you should consider quality, lightweight, and cool pants from Berle. For example, Berle’s microfiber pants line is a great option for gentlemen on the go and for semi-casual barbecue get-togethers.

Microfiber pants have a lot to offer. They're comfortable and stain-resistant: an important factor when you consider how easy it is to get barbecue sauce on your trousers! Plus, microfiber pants aren’t overly hot. While they aren’t quite as cool as linen clothes, they’ll still prevent your legs from sweating too much.

Alternatively, you can go with microfiber shorts from Berle. These lightweight shorts use material weighing in at just 6.4 ounces and they come in both pleated and flat front styles. Even better, these ultra-comfortable shorts feature self-sizer waistbands. That means you’ll still feel comfortable and relaxed even if you pick out a little and eat more barbecue food than you should!

These microfiber shorts are, of course, naturally stain and water-resistant. These are great not only for summer barbecues but also for other summertime occasions and get-togethers, like golfing with your buds.

Footwear and Accessories

What about your feet? Sneakers can work if the barbecue is highly casual, but otherwise, you’ll want to go with light and breathable loafers or other classy footwear. Try to stay away from heavy footwear and thick socks, as your feet will sweat and you’ll end up feeling irritated and itchy throughout the event.

Many of your staple fashion accessories will serve you well for a barbecue get-together. Wear a good belt made of leather (either brown or black will do the trick), then add a watch to complete your look. Don't over-accessorize when going to a summer barbecue, as you will appear as though you are trying too hard. A pair of sunglasses certainly won’t be amiss in the summer sunshine!

All in all, you can wear a lot of things to a summer barbecue. Just be sure to pick clothes that will keep you cool in the sunshine and summer heat!