How to Choose the Perfect Proposal Outfit

Be prepared before you pop the question.
Man proposing to woman in lavender field
Photo: Westend61 / Getty Images
carli brennan headshot
Carli Brennan
carli brennan headshot
Carli Brennan
The Knot Fashion Contributor
  • Carli writes freelance fashion articles for The Knot.
  • Prior to The Knot, she was the style section editor at Her Campus Media and launched the Fashion Institute of Technology chapter of Her Campus.
  • Carli’s passion for the wedding industry stems from her time as a bridal consultant and her previous internship in a bridal showroom.
Updated Jan 11, 2024
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So many details go into crafting the perfect proposal, including choosing the perfect proposal outfit. Whether you are planning on proposing to your significant other or have an inkling you are about to get proposed to, it's important to plan a proposal outfit that makes you feel your best. Especially if an engagement photographer is going to be involved, it's important to rock a proposal outfit that you'll be happy to have captured on camera in your special moment.

Depending on the location and weather, you'll want to select an appropriate outfit that makes you feel confident. From laid-back beach proposals to chic metropolitan vibes, there's a special set of protocols that applies to each proposal. If you're unsure where to start, we've compiled our favorite editor-approved proposal outfits for every location and style.

In this article:

What to Wear When Proposing

The one proposing has the important task of dressing for the occasion without raising any suspicions if you want to keep the proposal a surprise. You'll want to look like yourself, only a slightly more elevated version for this special milestone.

Choose Comfort

If you are the one proposing, it's like that you'll be feeling some jitters leading up to the proposal. Be sure to dress in something comfortable to make you feel at ease. If you opt for a brand new proposal outfit, be sure to try it on with ample time beforehand to ensure it fits comfortably and leave time to find a backup option if needed.

Think About Where to Hide the Ring

Make sure your outfit allows for an easily accessible place to hide the ring box leading up to the proposal. Whether that means large pockets or tucking the ring box away in a bag, be sure to consider this important step when choosing your proposal outfit.

Opt for Solids

Chances are there will be a frenzy of photos and videos after the proposal. As a general rule of thumb, solid colors tend to look best on camera as opposed to a busy pattern. Neutral colors are always a safe bet if you're unsure what to wear. A minimal, subtle print is also a great option if you want something with a bit more visual interest.

What to Wear to Get Engaged

If you have a suspicion that you are going to be proposed too soon, it's a good idea to have your ideal proposal outfit ready to go. While a complete surprise proposal doesn't allow for a planned-out outfit, if your partner has been dropping hints at an engagement, you'll be able to sneakily plan an engagement outfit.

Semi Formal Attire

Many couples choose to go with semi-formal attire for an engagement. After all, a proposal is a huge milestone and deserves to be treated as such! Opting for a special outfit that differs from our everyday attire is a small way to make this momentous moment feel even more special.

Choose What Makes You Feel Confident

Above all, you want to feel like the most confident version of yourself in your proposal. Whether that means your favorite blue jeans or high heels and a gown, each person is different and will feel their best in different things. While you want to choose something special, make sure it still feels true to you and your style.

Nails Are the Ultimate Accessory

It comes as no surprise that you'll want to make sure your nails are in tip-top shape for your proposal. After all, you'll want to snap lots of ring pictures for Instagram after your partner pops the question. If you suspect an incoming proposal, keep your nails engagement ready just in case. You never know when that romantic beach walk or special vacation can turn into a proposal!

Proposal Outfits for Him

Men's proposal outfits differ from your everyday attire. Opt for elevated versions of your favorite pieces to create an effortless, stylish proposal outfit. While you can never go wrong with a classic Oxford shirt, the pieces you choose to style it with will inform the overall aesthetic of your proposal outfit. Below, we've compiled our favorite picks for men looking for the perfect proposal outfit.

Comfortable and Polished

Comfortable and Polished proposal outfit for him
Shirt: Untuckit,Pants: Bonobos,Belt: Tecovas,Boots: DSW

This classic outfit is a foolproof pick for a proposal outfit. The crisp blue button-down is a universally flattering pick, especially when paired with fashion-forward Chelsea boots. Plus, you can layer it with a jacket and it can work for a variety of weather conditions and locations.

Cozy Comfort

Cozy Comfort men's proposal outfit
Coat: Express,Sweater: Madewell,Pants: lululemon,Sneakers: Cole Haan

A winter proposal is a perfect time to break out a cozy cable knit sweater a la Chris Evans. Pair it with a subtle printed coat for some texture and an elevated white sneaker to keep the outfit feeling fresh.

Chic Layers

Chic Layers men's proposal outfit
Jacket: Abercrombie & Fitch,Shirt: Gap,Jeans: Levi's,Boots: Thursday Boot Co.

This knit sweater jacket paired with matching suede Chelsea boots is a winning proposal outfit that's equal parts casual and chic. This stylish outfit is perfect for a more low-key proposal.

Breezy Beach Proposal

Beach Proposal outfit for men
Shirt: Ted Baker,Shorts: Marine Layer,Bracelet: Scott Bros by Kendra Scott,Shoes: Sperry

If you're planning a beach proposal, this breezy button-down and chino shorts combination is your best bet. Boat shoes keep the look feeling beachy while a tiger's eye bracelet adds a trend-forward touch.

Fashion Forward Neutrals

Fashionable neutrals men's proposal outfit
Jacket: Bonobos,Shirt: Abercrombie & Fitch,Pants: J. Crew Factory,Shoes: DSW

A bomber jacket is always a fashion-forward pick for a men's proposal outfit. Pair yours with a crisp oxford shirt, chinos, and oxford shoes for a proposal outfit that's sure to wow.

Proposal Outfits for Her

Picking a proposal outfit is no small feat. Whether you want to opt for a dress or something more casual, the options for women's proposal outfits are endless. Lucky for you, we've styled some of our favorite proposal outfit ideas to help you gather inspiration for your proposal outfit no matter your style.

Champagne Chic

Champagne Chic womens proposal outfit
Dress: Reformation,Bow: Target,Purse: Aupen,Heels: DSW

This champagne-hued mini dress is given a feminine upgrade when paired with a sweet hair bow and high heels. For the Swifties out there, snag this Aupen bag as seen on Taylor Swift. This proposal outfit is perfect for an elegant dinner date.

Beachy Bridal

Beach proposal outfit for women
Dress: Revolve,Earrings: Mejuri,Necklace: Anthropologie,Sandals: Steve Madden

If a beach proposal is in your future, this crochet mini dress is a fitting proposal outfit choice. It's the perfect comfortable, yet stylish choice for a proposal. Dress it up with a metallic gold sandal and some pearl jewelry.

Cozy Comfort

Comfortable and cozy womens proposal outfit
Coat: Mango,Cardigan: Abercrombie & Fitch,Pants: Express,Boots: Steve Madden

Going on a romantic ski weekend or staying in a cozy cabin with your partner? Opt for a cozy proposal outfit like this one. The pearl button details on the cardigan make it feel extra special, especially when paired with these sleek leather pants and a camel-colored peacoat. You'll look like the main character in a Hallmark movie!

Something Blue

Coastal cowgirl blue womens proposal outfit
Dress: Free People,Necklace: Ana Luisa,Bag: Cara Benevenia,Boots: Sam Edelman

This coastal cowgirl-inspired proposal outfit is perfect for a subtle pop of something blue. This cornflower blue midi features sweet eyelet detailing at the hem. It pairs perfectly with western-inspired boots and a neutral metallic handbag.

Sleek Slip

Sleek slip dress womens proposal outfit
Jacket: Madewell,Dress: Target,Necklace: Hart,Shoes: Dolce Vita

A classic slip dress is always a good idea. Pair yours with a relaxed denim jacket and kitten heels for a casual, yet polished proposal outfit. A sparkly tennis necklace adds just enough glam.

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