What to Wear to This Year’s Best of Philly Party: 10 Do’s and Don’ts

My picks and tips.


A sprinkling of Best of Philly Soiree inspiration. | Images via Stefano Tinti / Shutterstock.com, All The Pretty BirdsStreet Peeper.

Our annual Best of Philly bash is almost here — it’s next Thursday! — and, if you’re anything like me, and most of the women in this office, you’ve not given a lick of thought to what you’re going to wear. (If you haven’t, bravo! Sometimes the best outfits come out of last-minute, throw-on-and-go decisions.)

Dressing for the BOP party can be tough. The location changes every year; last year’s ballpark fete was a different animal than the 2013’s Art Museum party. This year’s extravaganza is taking place in Dilworth Park, which presents its own set of style challenges. Here are my (very expert, as such that I am the lifestyle editor here and, perhaps more importantly, have been to at least seven of these things) recommendations: 

1. Don’t wear stilettos.
Much of the party is on the grass, and there’s nothing worse than feeling the bottom inch of your stilettos sink into the ground with every step. Wear chunkier heels (low, block heels are the shoe of the moment), wedges or amped-up  sandals (ankle-wraps, not flip-flops).

2. Do prepare for heat.
It’s an outdoor party. In August. Though there will be fans in the tents, it will be hot. So dress smart: Swap super-tight dresses for airier frocks. Guys, wear a lightweight cotton shirt and feel free to roll up the sleeves.

3. Don’t wear a long gown.
Unless it’s a breezy maxi (no long jersey dresses, though). Think “garden party,” not “gala.”

4. Do downsize your bag.
There’s going to be a lot of food there, and you’re going to want to eat it all. Ever had to make the party rounds while balancing a drink, purse and plate of food? It’s not fun. Bring a small bag you can tuck under your arm, or opt for a clutch with an optional strap (or a cute handle!) so you can swing it over your shoulder. See this adorable pic for some inspo.

5. Don’t go full-suit.
Guys, you’re off the hook. Wear a pair of lightweight chinos (yep, they’re back) and a well-tailored jacket. Worried about sweating to death? Pare it down to a tailored button-up (in a light color that won’t show sweat stains) and roll up the sleeves.

6. Do bring sunglasses.
It’s still going to be sunny when the party kicks off. (And that shiny grey slate floor can be reflective!) Just make sure to take them off once the sun sets. Please.

7. Don’t be afraid to wear pants instead of a dress.
Make them lightweight and wide-leg, wear with chunky heels (or, it you’re tall enough, flats) and see above for inspiration.

8. Do wear something comfortable.
You’re going to want to eat. A lot.

9. Don’t wear Spanx.
See numbers 8 and 2.

10. Do have have fun with it!
Forget what everyone else is wearing. Try something new (slash not a bandage dress, the existence of which I will protest loudly until the end of time), be yourself and, whatever you wear — be it a sequin tunic, seersucker suit, or caftan (which, let’s face it, will probably be my game-time decision), be confident.

In the meantime, go here to get your tickets now. See you there!