Yes, I actually got that question from a reader! I’ve never been to Napa, but we do have some wineries here in Pennsylvania, and I actually went to a wine tasting last weekend. I wore something like this.
I’m sure the dress code varies from place to place, but around here, wineries are pretty casual. I still like to wear something that looks intentional and put together, and a casual dress like this Eileen Fisher stretch cotton tank dress is perfect.
It’s comfortable and moves with you if you need to do a bit of walking, and for sitting or standing during the actual wine tasting.
And of course, this dress will work for many other purposes as well. I’ve worn it with flat sandals to church, with these wedges to go out to eat with the family, and I would even wear it with sneakers for running errands around town.
They would have been fine for the winery we visited last weekend, but I’ve been told by those who have been to Napa and the larger wineries that it’s best to wear closed toe shoes. There can be a lot of gravel or grass, or even a walk through the actual vineyard, so practical generally outweighs the cuteness factor.
I wasn’t really thinking in those terms when we shot this look, but you could easily swap out these wedges for a white fashion sneaker or maybe a leather espadrille. I actually had that shoe in white for a few years, and it’s very comfortable.
Being intentional with your accessories is the key to making a simple black dress like this one look appropriate for your venue.
For a wine tasting, I love these oversized rattan earrings. They bring a natural element into the look, and they’re summery and casual and fun. I also added a layered necklace since the neckline of the dress is so plain.
And this Victoria Emerson boho cuff is the perfect complement to the entire look. I love the summery, boho chic style, and the colors tie in perfectly with the shoes and earrings.
You should be able to use the code 50JoLynne for 50% off full price styles at Victoria Emerson for the month of June, but it doesn’t seem to be working at the moment. I’ve got an email out to them, so we can get it sorted out.
Layers are always a good idea for a winery because it can often be chilly inside. They’re usually stone buildings, or at least they are around here.
A denim jacket is always my first choice for a layer over a casual summer dress. I like how it offers some structure, which is far more flattering than a slouchy cardigan, and denim has that casual-chic vibe that I love.
This is the KUT from the Kloth Helena, which has been around for years. It’s a good classic denim jacket in a medium indigo wash, and it runs true to size. I have it in the small.
And don’t forget your sunglasses! Not only do they add another element of interest to the outfit, they can be very necessary if you’re outside in the afternoon.
I’ve been meaning to add a straw tote to my summer handbag collection, but I haven’t found the right one quite yet.
While I wrote this post with a visit to a winery in mind, you could wear it almost anywhere in the summertime with a few simple tweaks.
And all of these pieces are ones you can mix and match with other items in your closet for a variety of purposes. They’re also classics you can keep for years, so the cost per wear should work out to be quite low over time.
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photos: Alison Cornell