Cracking the "Wine Country" Dress Code

So…you’ve been invited to a “wine country” wedding OR you are planning a “wine country” wedding. You’ve asked about a dress code or suggested attire OR you’ve been asked about a dress code or suggested attire. Maybe you are holding an invitation in your hand right now that says “wine country casual” or “wine country chic” or “wine country formal” and you are totally confused.

One of the most common questions we get, centered around coming to an event in the wine country, is what all these terms mean. We’ve broken it down for you, with the help of some of our friends.

Wine Country Casual

If wine tasting, shopping, lunch, and food tours are on your list of daytime activities, then “Wine Country Casual” is the perfect choice of attire for the day. Strive for effortless and comfort. Here are a few great options/looks:

photo by Krista Marie Photography

photo by Krista Marie Photography

photo by Boudoir By Chee

Wine Country Chic

Kicking it up a notch for an outdoor evening event or fancier day-time fete, you’ll want to keep it at “Wine Country Chic”, a little more elevated than “Wine Country Casual”, but still understated from “Wine Country Formal”.

photo by Krista Marie Photography

photo by Krista Marie Photography

Wine Country Formal

If the evening calls for a wine auction, dinner in a wine cave or at one of our amazing fine dining spots in the area, “Wine Country Formal” is what you want to strive for. We aren’t talking ballgowns or black tie, you’ll still want comfort, and layers as our evenings tend to be a bit cooler.

photo by Krista Marie Photography

photo by Krista Marie Photography

Beauty is the beast: You not only have to factor what you are wearing, but also your beauty routine. You’ll want to avoid perfume, as it can interfere with the smell of the grapes and if you have serious connoisseurs in your group they might get irritated with your perfume as well. Also, skip the lipstick. What? The oils and flavors in your lipstick can muddy the textures and flavors of wine.

photo by Krista Marie Photography

Heels & Open Toed Shoes:

Some of the vineyards and tasting rooms in Sonoma County and Napa Valley have parking lots and manicured walkways, as well as seated tastings. If this is your style, then heels wouldn’t be a bad choice. Most wineries and tasting rooms have stand-up counters for tasting and recommend that you take a walking tour of the vineyard. Always have a pair of comfortable shoes that can handle soft grass, varied terrain, dirt, and stains from the grapes. Heels will always sink into the ground, stain, and might cause you to twist your ankle. If you aren’t sure, keep a pair of flats in your purse as a back-up.

Choose Your Colors Wisely:

Unless white wine is your only “go to” and you aren’t planning on being adventurous, feel free to wear white. If you are going to be trying red wines and exploring the vineyards, wearing darker colors can help to camouflage spills, and any mishaps.

photo by Krista Marie Photography

If you are looking for a bit more inspiration on what to wear in the “wine country” and the insiders scoop on where to shop, make sure to check out a few of wine country’s “best dressed” on Instagram: Vine Living, Whiskey & Lace, Amused Blog, Vogue in Vines, or one of our favorite blog posts on the subject from Travel Like A Prince.

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