What Should I Wear to My Friend’s Sweet Sixteen?

July 10, 2023 By Isabelle Sophie Martinet

This is one of the most asked questions among teenagers. It’s never too early to start thinking about what to wear to a friend’s sweet sixteen. Whether you need to wear your best dress to a gathering or just jeans and T-shirt, it’s all about celebrating together and lots of fun.

1. Check the invitation carefully. How you are invited gives some clues for dress code. If the hostess make a phone call or just send an email, that maybe a very casual birthday party. Casual wear is OK. If you receive an invitation, it probably will be a formal event which means you need to dress in a proper way.

2. For girls, you’re expected to wear a floor-length dress once you are invited to a “black tie” party. For boys, just wear your black tie and decent tails.

3. If it’s not a “black tie” party, but an event held in the evening. Girls, choose a knee-length dress for a party if formal attire is requested. And boys rent a tux.

4. If the hostess requires cocktail attire, then you can dress a little less formally. For girls, just pick your favorite cocktail or knee-length dresses with sparkling sequins, beads or crystals. For boys, a suit and tie is OK.

5. Take the party location into consideration. If the party is held on the beach in the afternoon, casual beachwear goes well with it. If you are invited to an evening party, you’d better keep your jeans in your wardrobe. If you are attending a pool party, make sure to take extra dry clothes and a bathing suit.

6. Pay attention to the party theme. Traditional sweet sixteen party themes include 70s disco or a Renaissance-inspired feast. Renting a suitable costume will help you enjoy the party. If you will be attending an old Hollywood theme party, just borrow your grandma’s attire or rent from costume store. Princess theme party is one of the most favorite themes for sweet 16. Young ladies wear ball gowns and tiaras while the guys wear soft-toned tuxes for a dashing look. If the birthday coincides with a holiday, it couldn’t be more fun to hold a festive party. Of course, if you are set to a holiday party, prepare some festive costume to make the most of this event. Twilight and Harry Potter are popular movie themes for teenagers to make a wonderful sweet sixteen party. Remember to plan early for your vampire costume or witch outfit.

7. If you still have no idea about what to wear, talk with the hostess of the party. Most girls want their friends feel comfy and cozy with what they wear. And trust me, they are longing for advising you how to dress for this event.


For boys, rent your tuxedo as early as possible if you plan to attend a formal event around prom or homecoming season.

For girls, don’t try to steal the thunder from the birthday girl when you are invited to a sweet 16 party. Remember that she’s the only princess on the day.