Memorial Day outfits 2022—style ideas for the long weekend

Memorial Day outfits—from BBQs to pool parties, picnics to loungewear looks, enjoy the long weekend in style

Memorial day outfits ideas: Reese Witherspoon/Kerry Washington/Jennifer Aniston
Reese Witherspoon/Kerry Washington/Jennifer Aniston
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Memorial Day is fast approaching and if you're in the throws of planning your Memorial Day outfits but aren't sure what to wear, have no fear, we have you covered. 

The first long weekend of summer is finally in sight and with a weekend full of plans to celebrate, you'll want to ensure you've got your Memorial Day outfits sorted too.  Whether you’re planning on spending the time lounging by the pool in your best bathing suits, heading to brunch, or attending a Memorial Day party, the long weekend is the perfect time to recharge, relax and enjoy time with friends and family.

Memorial Day outfits traditionally offer the first glimpse of your summer wardrobe. The main signaller that summer is here, there is no better way to celebrate the new season than with a wardrobe update. While you should have your summer capsule wardrobe from previous seasons, now is the ideal time to inject some of the fashion trends 2022 to update your look. If you're heading to a party or picnic, then the best dresses offer an instant refresh, ushering in the summer with a pool party? The swimwear trends 2022, will ensure you're swimwear look is a winner.

Falling on the last Monday of the month of May, Memorial Day is a time to reflect and honor fallen US military men and women. This year, Memorial Day takes place on Monday 30th May. A federal holiday since 1971, it is considered by many to be the unofficial start of the summer season. Some like to use the theme of the weekend as a vehicle for their outfit by wearing chic versions of the national flag with outfit elements of red, white and blue.

Memorial day outfits 2022 

They say you shouldn’t wear white denim before Memorial Day or after Labor Day, so now’s the time to dust off your favorite white jeans and your best sunglasses for a stylish long weekend to kick off the summer season.

Renee Cafaro, founder of RCA Public Label and proud New Yorker, offers this advice when it comes to picking an outfit for the long weekend’s celebrations:

“As we look forward to Memorial Day Barbecues, it’s time to get out your favorite sandals and summerwear. The go-to for most occasions is a sundress, but since it’s only just the beginning of summer fun, be sure to always have a classic jean jacket on hand to layer up. Obviously, we tend to hit the patriotic red, white and blue palate, but instead of going for overt flag prints, try an on-trend bandana print or gingham. Red and blue gingham always evokes a picnic for me”.

Memorial Day Outfits for a BBQ

memorial day outfits: jumpsuit street style

Sofia Vergara/Emilie Joseph

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re off to a Memorial Day barbecue why not swap your dress for a flattering jumpsuit? Wide leg styles are the ideal outfit for low key glamour by the grill. Look for jumpsuits in cotton or linen to keep you from overheating when temperatures rise—team with block heel sandals and gold hoop earrings from any of the best jewelry brands, for super cool summer style.

Memorial Day Outfits for a Pool Party

celebrities in pool party outfits

Jennifer Lopez/Nina Agdal

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re lucky enough to be heading to a pool party this Memorial Day weekend, make sure to pick one of your best swimsuits for the day. This season's swim trends cover all bases. From mood-boosting brights—hello dopamine dressing—to crochet and embellishment detailing, there are plenty of styles that will help get the party started. Need some swimwear help? Check out our guides to the best sustainable swimwear and the best plus size swimwear too.

If you're looking for a Memorial Day outfit that stands out, opt for bright colors, metallics or eye-catching prints. The best beach cover-ups in a coordinating print or hue will also ensure you look chic and put together. Finish your look off with a pair of sunnies that reflect the sunglasses trends 2022 for a look that feels directional.

Memorial Day Outfits for a Picnic

picnic dresses street style

Kerry Washington/Rachel Weisz

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Looking for a stylish Memorial Day outfit for a picnic? Why not take inspiration from traditional picnic prints and opt for a laidback gingham check dress. The trick with this look is to keep everything else neutral and let the print do the talking. A fit and flare shape is a stylish yet practical option, as are the best midi dresses—you can still look chic while reclining on a picnic blanket without tugging on any short hemlines. Team with sunglasses and your best white trainers for a cute but casual look.

Memorial Day Outfits for a Party

celebrities in white dresses

Jennifer Aniston/Meghan Markle

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Memorial Day weekend is guaranteed to be fun, particularly if you’re heading to a party to celebrate the start of summer. An easy yet stylish summer outfit choice is a classic white dress. Whether you opt for a shift, loose and floaty shape or one of the best shirt dresses, you’re sure to turn heads. For a more tailored feel, pair your white dress with your best blazer and a gold necklace. 

Memorial Day Outfits for Brunch

celebs show off outfits that would work for memorial day

Olivia Palermo/Reese Witherspoon

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Long and lazy brunch dates with friends are a great way to spend the weekend. Memorial Day marks the moment that white denim season officially starts, making it the ideal opportunity to try a white jeans outfit. This summer, the denim trends 2022 suggest a switch from skinny jeans to wide-leg, cropped styles. Look for a length that finishes approximately two inches above your ankle bone—perfect for showing off your best sandals.

Memorial Day Outfits for Lounging

loungewear outfit street style

Angela Gonzalez/Victoria Nasir

(Image credit: Getty Images)

If your biggest plans for Memorial Day weekend involve rest and relaxation, there’s no reason your time on the couch shouldn’t be a stylish experience. Try swapping your best joggers for a pair of wide-leg linen trousers to usher in the summer season. Not only is this fit ideal for taking it easy but they’ll still look smart if you have any unexpected visitors. Wear with a classic ribbed camisole or boxy cut tee and a pair of comfortable sandals.

Fashion Editor Rivkie Baum agrees that linen trousers will be your go-to loungewear this summer:

"A pair of linen trousers offer a chic look for a Memorial Day outfit and beyond. The natural fabric will keep you cool as temperatures climb in the coming months, and though they will need pressing after they've been through the laundry, a linen trouser always looks smart but feels good too. Look for elasticated or partly elasticated waists for added comfort".

 

WHAT COLORS SHOULD YOU WEAR ON MEMORIAL DAY?

As Memorial Day is a federal holiday, many people opt for patriotic outfits of red, white, and blue but this isn’t strictly necessary—you can wear whatever colors you like. Unofficially marking the start of summer, you could opt for bright color clothing as a way of celebrating the transition to sunnier days. A major fashion color trend 2022, you can expect bright block colors to be everywhere this season. There is also a school of though that suggests that as Memorial Day marks the unofficial first day of summer, white clothing can now be worn again. Making white Memorial Day outfits, or incorporating white clothing into your look is a popular choice for the long weekend.  If you’re looking for a chic way to dress in patriotic style, opt for block colors in navy, red and white. If you’re tempted to wear the stars and stripes of the American flag in honor of the weekend, stick to one pattern rather than both together.

ARE YOU SUPPOSED TO WEAR WHITE ON MEMORIAL DAY?

While there are no hard and fast rules about when not to wear white, traditionally it was frowned upon to wear white before Memorial Day and after Labor Day. Today these fashion rules don't really apply in the same way, although some do still like to stick to these dates as a guideline. However, as Memorial Day weekend signifies the start of summer, it is a good time to start bringing out white jeans and dresses.

Antonia Kraskowski is a freelance fashion editor with over 15 years of experience in the industry. 

Having started her career at Conde Nast working for titles including Easy Living, Glamour and Vogue New Markets, Antonia went on to work in the fast-paced world of newspapers and weekly magazines, becoming Fashion Editor at Express Newspapers and Magazines in 2014, a role she held for five years before going freelance.

Her career has seen Antonia travel the world, shooting in 18 countries and styling campaigns for brands ranging from Ben Sherman and DKNY to Wallis.