If we’re being honest, picnics (at least the stereotypical ones held in a park) aren’t exactly prevalent in most parts of Southeast Asia. Not that we’re surprised — it’s not like the weather is the most conducive for lounging under the sun for hours. Yet now that we live in the age of social distancing, outdoor gatherings have become more of a thing; whether it’s the classic picnic on a sunny patch of grass, BBQ parties at someone’s backyard, or even just dining al fresco at a café.
Hence, the rise of the picnic outfits — or al dressco, as a style article on The Guardian calls it. Simply put, it’s al fresco fashion at its most effortlessly chic. What sets this apart from the usual summer outfit (think a swimwear-and-beach-cover-up combo) is that it’s more modest and versatile. The overall aesthetic is more ‘Sunday brunch with your best friends,’ rather than ‘sipping on cocktails from dusk till dawn in Bali.’
In a nutshell, the picnic chic look is easy, breezy, and uncomplicated. If anything, it’s a rebellion against both glitzy pre-pandemic party outfits and the lazy work-from-home look. That said, we’ve rounded up the best clothing items to go with your picnic outfits this summer season. Oh, and we’ve kept it to mostly Southeast Asian brands that offer worldwide shipping, too! You’re welcome.
Picnic chic staples for women
1. Ginghams and checkered
We can’t think of anything more al dressco than these two patterns. It’s no wonder they’re often associated with lazy days under the sun. Although, if you’d rather not risk being matchy with the standard picnic blanket, why not opt for less basic hues? Think subtle pastels and sorbet shades that are equally sugary and stylish.
2. Long flowy dresses
Dresses, in general, are not always the best option for picnic outfits — especially if it’s an actual picnic that doesn’t involve tables and chairs. But hey, that doesn’t mean you have to cross off dresses altogether! We recommend midi (or even maxi) frocks with a flowy silhouette that you can easily move around in.
3. Asymmetrical tops
While mostly considered a summer clothing trend, we love how the right asymmetrical tops never seem to go out of style. It’s obviously a great way to add some pizzazz to your picnic outfits…and maybe even show off your toned shoulders! Just make sure not to go overboard by pairing it with subtler bottoms.
4. Ruched pieces
Ruched tops and dresses were arguably the biggest trend of 2020, and yet these show no signs of stopping anytime soon. For those confused about what it means, ruched is basically ruffles gathered into tight folds — resulting in a cute ripple-like effect. And yes, it comes in many different forms that you can incorporate into your picnic outfits!
5. Pleated tops
Pleats are your best bet if you’d like some more volume to your picnic chic summer OOTD. And more often than not, this style allows you to move more freely — making it ideal for post-picnic photo ops when you have to hide your food baby bump. So, repeat after us: more pleats, please.
6. Open-back details
Tops and dresses with an open-back are the very definitions of “business in front; party (or picnic) at the back.” Fortunately, these come in different degrees of ‘open’ depending on how much you wanna show off! Either way, these make for great picnic outfit ideas especially when it’s rather hot outside, don’t you agree?
7. Frill sleeve blouses
Nothing says “whimsical al dressco” better than a frill sleeve blouse. It’s easily one of those picnic chic pieces that do all the talking for the rest of your look. Don’t forget to pair it with your favourite high-waist shorts to complete your summer OOTD!
Where to buy: Love, Bonito
8. Off-shoulder tops
As far as picnic outfit ideas go, the off-shoulder top has always been a classic. Though, we especially love how it lets us feel the outdoor breeze even more! Want an updated take on this summer staple? Well then, how about opting for one in a fun and younger pattern, or maybe a different neckline?
Picnic outfit ideas for him and her
Whether you’re thinking of coordinating summer OOTDs with your significant other or simply prefer something rather androgynous — here are our top recos!
9. Abstract prints
Who says minimalist abstract prints are just for girls? With the right cut and colour scheme, it can work for just about anyone! We don’t know about you, but we think it’s practically like wearing artwork, too.
Where to buy: Our Second Nature
10. Matching sets
Prefer to save yourself the hassle of going through many picnic outfit ideas? Yep, thank goodness for matching sets; it’s one of those heaven-sent clothing items that make you look effortlessly chic in a snap. Just make sure to go for breezy options, rather than those that you’d normally wear to the office.
11. Crisp button-downs
Ah yes, the crisp button-down shirt: timeless and ever so versatile. Similar to the white T-shirt, you can pretty much wear it anywhere and with anything. But for your picnic chic look, why not opt for one in linen material that feels as good as it looks? Hey, you can never have too many, after all!
12. Shorts and pants in bright patterns
There’s nothing like standing out in bright, bold patterns that are hard to find elsewhere! Don a simple top in a neutral colour, and let your bottoms do the talking. If anything, these would definitely make for a good conversation starter at any al fresco gathering.
Summer clothing staples for men
13. Tropical prints
Certainly, tropical prints aren’t just for the beach — so, why not add ‘em to your picnic outfit ideas, too? It’s also a good thing that there are a lot of patterns and colour schemes to choose from. That said, it’s no surprise that some dudes make it a point to collect as many as possible.
14. Non-basic white T-shirts
We definitely believe that having different styles of white T-shirts is always a good idea — especially when you live in a tropical country! Whether it’s a statement tee or something with unique details, there are many ways to liven up your typical white T-shirt and shorts combo.
Summer season is upon us, folks. So, which of these clothing items are you copping for your picnic chic OOTDs? We’d definitely love to see ‘em!
Featured image credit: bernardbodo via Canva Pro