Food and fashion have a unique relationship. Restaurant trends (like avocado toast or industrial-style lighting) have a lot in common with fashion trends (like paisley-print palazzo pants or chunky platform sandals). Both are about taste, but they’re also about self-expression. How we get dressed and where we choose to eat tells a story about how we interact with the world. And we often choose an outfit based on what kind of eating experience we’re about to consume — you wouldn’t put on a black tie for a burger run, and you probably wouldn’t wear leggings to a fancy restaurant.
Clearly, we think about clothing when we think about food. To help you bridge the gap, here’s a handy guide — complete with tips from Trunk Club, the personal styling service — to dressing for any kind of meal, from pizza slices to steak frites.
Unless you’re hitting up one of those fancy restaurants with a strict dress code, dark denim is a solid choice for a “nice, but not too fancy” dinner out for both men and women. Men should make sure to dress it up with a little personality, like a patterned sport coat. We also recommend skipping the sneakers and opting for leather dress shoes instead. The Men’s Date Night Trunk from Trunk Club is a perfect place to start for a little inspiration.
For a feminine look, go for dress denim or a simple black dress with a spicy statement heel, like an embroidered mule, and add dangly tassel earrings. Get the look with the Women’s Date Night Trunk, and the restaurant staff won’t know what hit ‘em.
The work lunch is a tricky balancing act, as your look needs to be able to transition from office-appropriate to brasserie-chic. Your best bet is to go with classy essentials that do both. The Men’s Office Essentials Trunk recommends staples like sleek dress pants and a classic sport coat that keep your business professional ensembles looking sharp.
The Women’s Office Refresh Trunk offers customizable options for everyone looking to impress their boss and enjoy a decent salade nicoise, such as a structured midi-dress and heeled pumps.
Friday Night Drinks
For those nights out where you don’t know where you’re going to end up (but know it will involve good food and plenty of cocktails), go with comfortable but chic basics. For men, dark denim paired with a patterned button-up shirt is a win — plus, you can always roll those sleeves up if you find yourself on a dance floor later. Curate your own look with the Men’s How to Dress Up Denim Trunk
Ladies should look to tops with bold statement sleeves: They make a big impact, and wearing pieces with special details is a great way to dress up casual jeans and leather flats. For a look that’s martini-ready, consider investing in the Women’s Statement Sleeve Trunk.
What goes well with pina coladas and street-side carnitas? Fun tropical-printed shirts, of course. If there’s ever a time to wear a short-sleeved, parrot-print button-down, it’s during a vacation. Keep things easy with boat shoes so you can transition from dinner to midnight pool dip in no time. Shop the Men’s Resort Wear Trunk for more tips on how to be the best-dressed guy on the beach.
Light dresses with tropical motifs and transitional pieces, like an off-the-shoulder linen dress or slide-on shoes, are perfect choices for the kind of restaurant that has sand for a floor. Explore the Women’s Resort Wear Trunk for some ceviche-ready looks.
If you’re going to wait in line for an hour to eat at that hip brunch spot everyone’s raving about, you might as well make it a fashion show. The Men’s Lightweight Layers Trunk will help you satisfy your craving for shakshuka in style: Items like a lightweight henley tee, chambray shirt, and soft, sand-colored trousers make brunch comfortable and cool.
Women can keep it casual but chic with a floral camisole tucked into light-wash jeans. Or, pull out that butter-yellow summer dress and pair it with some light sandals. The Women’s Spring Essentials Trunk is a perfect start for clothing that’ll get you in the mood for mimosas.
Fast Food Run
You’re running out to get a burger and a shake and you don’t really feel like putting on proper pants, but you also don’t want to look like a total slob. Retire your cheesecloth-thin tees (it’s time) and make room for a few new ones. The Men’s T-Shirt Refresh Trunk lets you pick from a combination of cool graphics, stripes, and solids to keep your wardrobe feeling fresh.
Women can pick their fast-food favorites from the Women’s Athleisure Trunk. Look cute and comfortable while ordering that huge stack of onion rings with elevated athleisure wear, like structural leggings and utilitarian jackets in luxe fabrics and flattering cuts.
Through Trunk Club, customers can personalize their own Trunks with top-quality apparel from their favorite Nordstrom brands and assistance from real stylists. They offer both online and in-person services to help you build your best wardrobe for every kind of restaurant experience. Now only one question remains: “What’s for dinner?”