What To Wear To A Barn Dance? Barn Dance Outfit Ideas

What to wear to a barn dance? It’s perhaps the question that pops out in your mind if you got invited to a barn party for the first time. 

Nowadays, barn dances are all about hanging out together and dancing to country songs you might haven’t listened to for a good while. It means no stress! 

And our guide will make preparation even easier for you.

What People Do In A Barn Dance

For those who are new to a barn dance, it’s important to know what happens on this occasion. This will make you clear about the outfit you should wear to the party. 

Barn Dancing

Of course, it is the most important part of this occasion. 

Traditionally, we dance in squares, lines, or polkas. Everyone was welcome to join as long as they love to dance, and this beautiful custom remains today.

The host can also invest some more and invite an instructor and their partner. Learning simple but effective dance moves and trying them out on the spot might get people very excited. 

Depending on the location, people might love dancing to trendy songs or following traditional dance styles.

Barn Dancing
Source: Thewaynestater.com


In barn dances, you will most likely sit on straw bales instead of a normal chair. 

Rather than plain tablecloths, gingham would be the go-to choice. In autumn and winter, there are corn shocks scattered around. The bucket of flowers is for spring and summer.

Alternatively, you might find items like barrels, crates, and ice-filled containers seated around any time of the year.


Ideally, we will have 45 minutes of feast and 45 minutes of dancing, and repeat. 

It gives the dancers a break so they can drink or eat something. It also spares some time for the non-dancers to enjoy the party and not feel left out.


If you are not a dancer, there’s no judgment either! You can still dress up in pretty outfits, enjoy the food, and have nice talks. 

A good host wouldn’t forget to include simple games that every guest can take part in and chitchat over. 

In the event that you are shy to immediately start dancing, these features would be your safe place until you are ready.

Food & Drink

Barn dances usually involve outdoor cooking. Whether the guests are enjoying themselves or lazing around after dancing, a campfire would rekindle anyone’s enthusiasm almost immediately. 

Before, fried chicken, potato salad, baked beans, cornbread, beer, and similar delicacies were the most popular. With the birth of eco-farms nowadays, food often comes from local artisans.

Some farmers use barn dances as an opportunity to advertise their food. So, they will set up booths with small portions that you can try. 

With that said, you might want to avoid wearing clothes with light colors or overly long flaps.

What To Wear To A Barn Dance?

As expected from a barn gathering, you are not required to dress formally here, not even semi-formally. 

There will be a lot of activities whether you love dancing or not. Hence, you would want to choose something convenient and comfortable.

Women have an easier time because they can wear both shorts and skirts, while men only have pants.

However, both genders would do better with a loose shirt, be it long or short sleeves, and comfortable footwear that gives them movement freedom. 

It can be decent dance shoes, sneakers, or bare feet if you don’t mind.

Barn Dance Shoes

Boots are the best if you are looking for something to wear at a barn dance. 

Trendy boots for attention or cowgirl boots for compatibility would work, as long as it provides enough support and comfort. 

No one wants to wear high heels to an occasion like barn dances!

For men, the best choice is leather brogue or Chelsea boots. It makes them look the part without sacrificing comfort.

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Barn Dance Hat & Accessories

We said barn dance outfits are as casual as ever, but they need some accessories to be perfect.

If you have got cowboy or cowgirl boots, why not pair them up with leather cowboy hats for a classic look? 

In case it is too traditional for you, trying a baker’s cap or a wool-felt hat with feathers might create an interesting contrast.

While barn dance clothes are loose and comfortable, you can add belts to the outfit. This is either to fasten your clothing around you or to match your other items.

More room for improvement? 

A shooting tie for a countryside gentleman and a saddle bag for an equestrian lady sound like perfectly sophisticated touches.

Saddle bag for lady

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Some Barn Dance Outfits For Ladies

It’s always tough to decide what ladies wear to a barn dance. Even deciding on something nice and finding matching items for it could be a real challenge. 

Keeping a balance between style and comfort might also be more challenging than one could ever imagine too.

barn dance outfit for lady

Fourth Of July

The barn dance is a cultural signature of America. And the patriots wouldn’t miss out on the chance to embrace their beloved flag in their costumes. 

It’s easy to find a pair of shoes with patterns. Yet, you should make sure you have something matching, such as a red-and-white shirt with denim shorts.

Don’t be afraid of topping your look with a black hat made from suede. Or a handkerchief, in case the night turns colder and you still want to party.

Sundresses And Boots

There is nothing more compatible with a country girl than a sundress. 

A breezy dress with floral patterns will give you a nice combination of femininity and movement freedom. As long as you keep it simple and comfortable from the materials to the design.

If you want to secure some warmth for the night, try jackets and boots. Preferably denim or leather, because they will add a nice sharpness to the soft dress without risking its elegance. 

The contrast between delicate and bold paves the way for you to play with pieces of jewelry.

Plaid Shirts

After all the tests of time, plaid is still a favorite pattern for many people who seek a casual look, so how could it be absent in a barn dance? 

You put a plaid shirt on and pair it with chic boots. And you are ready for the party. It’s an effortless costume idea if you get an unexpected invitation.

Also, plaid might look like the most informal pattern, though it can be incredibly sexy with the right accessories – a headband, for example. It isn’t picky with hair or skin colors either.

Some Barn Dance Outfits For Male

While men are not too fussy about getting the best barn dance dresses, they secretly want to look the part and maintain their sophistication at the same time. 

If you are new to barn dances, here are a few suggestions to consider!

barn dance outfit for men
Source: Rydale.com

Moleskin and Jumper

The modern barn dance outfit for gentlemen is similar to a smart-casual outfit. 

Rather than denim, they might go for trousers made of moleskin. It is not as popular as jeans, but it definitely has a balance between formal and country styles.

Don’t overlook the potential of a jumper when it can give your moleskin pants a hunter’s vibe. When the weather turns cold, you can put on a blazer or a waistcoat.

This look wouldn’t be complete without a matching pair of Chelsea or leather brogue shoes!

Chino Shorts and Plaid Shirts

Yes, plaid makes a classic barn dance outfit, and we are going to love it for a long time. 

Good news: gentlemen look great in plaid shirts and khaki shorts in chino style. 

Bad news: the shorts will look a bit off if the colors fail to match the checked pattern.

The classic style calls for authentic footwear. Market boots made of leather could be your best investment ever.

Final Words

How to dress for a barn dance depends greatly on your comfort in the end. 

If you are here to dance, you need as much comfort as possible. If you are not a dancer, you will still want to make sure you don’t get the theme wrong. 

However, don’t forget that the ultimate purpose of barn dances is bonding and having fun!

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