Thanks to the bizarre 40-to-80-degree temperature shift in New York last week, the streets (and rooftops and terraces) were dotted with outdoor diners. A functional outdoor dinner outfit should have at least one removable layer, should it become cooler as the sun sets, and a laid-back feel that echoes the sentiment of the season.
Start with a colored cotton Maxi dress ($30 at Target) that’s easy to accessorize and lightweight, but still covers your legs should it get chilly out. Strappy flat sandals ($69 at Zappos) and a chunky bangle ($35 at Amrita Singh) in neutral colors are stylish but still laid-back.
As a second layer, this white vest ($75 at Neiman Marcus) will cover your shoulders without disturbing the dress’s flowing silhouette. Cinch it with a skinny belt ($86 at Shopbop) to create more shape, and take along a sizable tote ($225 at Piperlime) to stash the vest if it turns out to be unseasonably warm.