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What to wear to a summer barbecue

Brianna Martinez is a graduate from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism at Arizona State University. She received her bachelor's degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with an emphasis in digital media. After graduating, she jo...

Look cool as ice

As the dog days of summer heat up, so do the fun outdoor events. Barbecue's are on the social radar weekend after weekend, so look your best with our top picks on what to wear. You'll look as fresh as the mint mojitos.

Summer BBQ fashion

1a. Colorblock top (Forever 21, $20), 1b. Tunic (J. Crew, $175), 2a. Braided sandal (Urban Outfitters, $179), 2b. T-Strap Sandal (Urban Outfitters, $38), 3a. Denim shorts (ASOS, $38), 3b. White jeans (Victoria's Secret, $60)

1Keep it light

Whether you live in Arizona or Alaska, a summer barbecue is a summer barbecue, so dress light with neutral or pastel colors. Bright colors are exceptional as well because they capture the vibrant essence of summer. For a sheer, neutral look try Forever 21's Silk-Blend Colorblock Panel Top. For a bright look, J. Crew has a lively Lemlem Adama tunic.

2Simple sandals

When choosing ideal footwear for a barbecue, choose something comfortable that you can walk in, stand in and dance in. Barbecues are meant to be more casual most of the time, so wearing tall, chunky heels may put your look a little over the top. For a fresh but funky sandal look, the Dolce Vita Eliza Braided Sandal is the perfect pick. Or go gladiator-chic in these Ecote Metal Square T-strap sandals from Urban Outfitters.

3Delightful denim

Depending on how casual the barbecue is, denim shorts are usually a style staple at these types of gatherings. When choosing a pair of denim shorts, make sure they aren't too short where your booty may hang out or too tight that they give you a muffin top. Choose a pair that flatters your summer-ready bod. These Indigo-washed denim shorts from Asos are versatile enough to dress up for a fancier barbecue or dress down if it's casual. If it's still a little cool in your climate during the summer, try wearing white denim jeans. They ooze summer vibes and look fresh, and will keep you feeling warm during those brisk summer nights. These white jeans from Victoria's Secret will do the trick.

Summer BBQ fashion

4a. Tote (Toryburch.com, $150), 4b. Clutch (Urban Outfitters, $86), 5a. Aviators (Bluefly, $104), 5b. Oversized sunglasses (Bluefly, $132), 5c. Wayfarers (Bluefly, $70), 6a. Nail polish (Urban Outfitters, $14), 6b. Hat (Target, $13), 6c. Necklace (Anthropologie, $78)

4Get handy

Making sure you have the perfect bag that complements your outfit is important to complete your look. Totes are ideal because they have a relaxed look and can carry a lot. A small wristlet looks great as well, because it can pack a lot of style into a small space. The Tory Burch Foundation Sisal Tote is the perfect balance between beach-casual and barbecue-chic. For a statement piece, this Deux Lux Gem Turnlock clutch will stand out and is easy to carry around.

5Hangin' in the shade

Sunglasses are a must if you're going to be bbq-ing outside. Sunglasses add a personal and stylish touch to any outfit. Depending on your style, there's a ton of different types of sunglasses out there to choose from.

See: Sunglasses buyer's guide >>

If you're keeping your look more casual-sleek, then aviators are the way to go. For a girlier touch, oversized black sunglasses will complete your look. For the funky, eccentric girl, Wayfarers are always a crowd-pleaser.

6Extra touches

The little things are what count so adding small touches to your outfit can go a long way. Bright neon nail polish is fun and head-turning. Try a bright red-orange by RGB. Hats are another fun style staple to add to any outfit like a classic fedora. Statement-making necklaces are trendy and cool for summer and can be added to a casual outfit for a playful look.

Check out our 7 summer barbecue party must-haves >>

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