Pool Party Outfits To Make a Splash In

Dear Deborah,

My husband and I have been invited to my brother and sister-in-law’s house on Sunday for an afternoon pool party with some of their friends. I haven’t decided if I’m actually going to swim or sit on the deck and have wine and cheese on the patio. (LOL!) Can you give me some ideas for pool party outfits, either way? It’s going to be really hot.  Thanks, Colleen

Hi Colleen,

A pool party is one of the best things about summer, and it sounds like you are going to have a great time.  I recently attended a work-related pool party, and here’s what I wore.

pool party striped shirtdress


It was a breezy cotton shirtdress with rope wedges and a straw bag. This was in the late afternoon with drinks by the pool. Nobody was swimming. The year before, at another pool party at a swanky downtown hotel, I wore this coral flowy top with the glam boho vibe.

POOL-party coral top

You could wear something similar to either of these outfits depending on how dressy you think the party will be. This second look, for example, is more suited to cocktails around the pool in the late afternoon.  If you wanted to dress it down, switch out the statement necklace and big earrings for something small and simple, and replace the gold heels with a pair of cute, casual sandals.

Beachy looks are always fun and get you in the mood. Whatever you wear, think of bright colors, prints, light fabrics, and breezy silhouettes. Here are some pool party outfits with that look and feel.

What to Wear to a Pool Party…..

Gorgeous turquoise and black maxi dresss


1. Wear a Maxi Dress

How often do you get to wear a pretty maxi like this? So I say, if you have a pool party coming up, go for it! This gorgeous turquoise and the black maxi dress is a fantastic mix of elegant and casual.  Wear it as is or as a cover-up over your swimsuit. Pair it with fun fringe earrings that remind you of the tropics, a pretty perforated tote, and a pair of luxurious flat sandals.


What to wear to a pool party if not swimming - shorts and a cute tank

2. Shorts and a Pretty Tank are Cute

More and more women are throwing out so-called age-appropriate rules and wearing shorts well into their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s. A nice pair of crisp shorts with a feminine top and cute pair of shoes can look great. Shorts are perfect for a casual pool party when you want to do more sitting around chatting than swimming.

Accessories are the magic bullet that elevates everyday shorts. This fabulous straw circle bag is the “it” bag of the season. (More about circle bags here). Tri-tassel earrings give this pool party outfit an exotic spin, and rope wedges are super summery.

Pink tankini and coverup | Pool Party Oufit| Fabulous After 40


3. Flirty Swimsuit

If you are going to take a swimsuit, take one that turns heads. This romantic ruffle tankini is feminine, fun, and right on-trend. The V-neck lengthens your neck, and the rows of ruffles play up your bust while hiding a jelly belly. Don’t forget to switch out your everyday leather bag for a poolside purse. A straw bag is always the right choice. ( More tankinis here)

Pool party dress - Orange ombre sundress - linen shirtdress


4. A Linen Pool Party Dress is Cool, Comfy & Chic

Linen is light, cool, and the ultimate summer fabric – perfect for a pool party when it’s blistering hot. This relaxed linen shirtdress with the beachy ombré effect is the perfect little sundress to throw on and go. Add some fab earrings to dress it up and a pair of classy metallic flats. You’ll glow like a summer sunset!

I recently attended a pool party for a business event, and I wore this cute cotton shirtdress and a straw bag.


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