Tuesday 21 November 2017

What She Wears: BBQs

Form left Michelle McGrath, Aoife Cogan and Sarah Morrisey. Photo: Kieran Harnett
Form left Michelle McGrath, Aoife Cogan and Sarah Morrisey. Photo: Kieran Harnett

Anne Marie Boyhan

Barbecue season is officially here. The sunshine brings good cheer and with it, yearnings all ‘round for al fresco dining.

Recently I was invited to a summer BBQ, in a courtyard garden in Dublin. I knew it would be a fancy occasion when I heard that the lovely Rachel Allen was giving a cooking demonstration.

My initial feeling was to steer well clear of stiletto heels (so as not to sink in the grass, you see). I had already made this faux pas at a wedding where my beautiful Ash heels sunk deeply into the ground as it was a case of “starve or die” during that hungry interlude on the grass between the ceremony and reception.

I needn’t have worried this time around though, as the garden was neatly decked out in an astro turf type “grass” carpet, allowing for all sorts of fancy footwear, even my “BBQ proof” five inch wedges.

Not all BBQ’s are like this though and most of our summer invites will most likely be in a backyard, a back garden or a roof terrace. So here are some suggestions for an afternoon filled with sauce and sun:

Keep it simple

All in all, a BBQ is a casual affair, so think, lightweight, airy pieces and don’t pile on the accessories.

Stay away from clothes that will give you bizarre tan lines (yes the sun might be out, so have some SPF at hand) – so anything cut out or with complicated straps - as the potential for tan lines with these is high.

A cotton dress

A cotton dress is casual enough not to look overdressed. Bring along a cardi or light jacket with you, in case it gets chilly after those sundowners. The last thing you want is to be asking for one of the host’s hoodies, thus covering up all the effort that you went to earlier!

Shorts and a top

An alternative to a dress, is a pair of shorts and a top. Cut off jeans are a great choice for a BBQ, worn with a sheer top or blouse.

Take some inspiration from Michelle McGrath (pictured) who’s chanelling the lingerie as daywear trend. The shorts could be classed as dressy yet here they are kept casual by her shoes and other seasonal nude pieces. And all topped off with a boho plait in her hair which gives a summer feel to it all.


Save your killer heels and statement shoes for a night out. Now is the ideal time for flat sandals which will see you through a whole afternoon, perhaps spent on foot. If you must wear heels, go for a casual wedge or espadrilles.


In keeping with the summer vibe, add a boho plait to your hair or wear a straw or cotton trilby hat, like the one pictured.

Otherwise, enjoy a fine summer of chilling and grilling in style!

Anne Marie Boyhan is the editor of WhatSheWears.ie , a fashion tips, celebrity and catwalk style website.

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