Blue Ribbon Looks: 7 Fashion-Forward State Fair Outfits
The state fair may sound quaint, but today, these massive events feature more fun attractions than a metropolitan downtown. Though state fair dress codes are on the casual side, you can still make a style statement by channeling pure summer energy into your state fair outfits. Whether you're seeing a favorite artist in concert or taking your inner child on every carnival ride, here's how to put together a look worthy of a blue ribbon.
7 State Fair Outfits That Scream Summer Style
Casual items can still make a big style impact as long as you mix and match with intention. When styling for a state fair, tap into the limitless energy of summer staples and play around with laid-back fashion themes. Here are seven quick ideas for what to wear to a state fair.
1. Denim on Denim
Almost everyone at a state fair will be in some form of denim, be it a pair of trusty jeans or a denim jacket. Play off of this choice by styling your denim shorts or jacket with a denim top and boots to match. Sometimes, the most obvious fashion path can be the most stylish with a little doubling down.
In the thick of the Y2K revival trend, you can look to dozens of celebrities for denim-on-denim inspiration. Contrast different textures of denim, such as shredded or bedazzled, to add visual interest to state fair outfits. A denim shoe, bag or hat can take the matching ensemble over the top into a head-to-toe look.
2. Overall Stunning
Overalls are another state fair staple that you can style with a fashion-forward twist. Put a bold, colorful top under a pair of overalls with artistic paint splatter to make this trend your own.
One of the perks of wearing a super-casual piece like overalls is that you can easily dress up the look with a bold makeup choice, such as a bright rainbow eye or a cherry-red lip. Complete the look with a chunky platform sneaker to balance out the flared leg and keep your feet comfortable through a day of standing and walking.
3. Easy One-Piece Jumpsuit
State fairs are for having fun, so take the stress out of styling with one easy piece: the jumpsuit. Unlike a dress, a jumpsuit gives you excellent range of motion and windproof comfort all day. Pick a loose fit and an easy-care fabric, and a jumpsuit is the perfect outfit for sampling all of the messy, deep-fried treats at the fair.
A denim jumpsuit can be ultra-fashionable, as Julianne Hough proved at New York Fashion Week in 2023. She dressed up an oversized, multi-wash denim jumpsuit with a chic designer belt and sunglasses for a showstopping fashion contrast. Pearls, gold and other glittering accessories can form a fun counterpoint to jumpsuit-centric state fair outfits.
4. Sweater and Shorts
Nothing says summer style quite like a sweater and shorts combination, but this classic beach-ready combo doesn't have to be basic. The key to elevating any sweater look is to embrace an interesting and textural knit, such as this artfully loose-stitched sweater. As a bonus, an open knit stays versatile when it comes to temperature. It will keep you from overheating at the peak of the day while being a comforting layer during the evening.
You can also update this look by choosing a cropped sweater and bold accessories. A just-below-the-belly-button crop is a modern and summery length that's perfect for showing off a statement belt.
5. Statement Layer
The bane of every cute summer outfit growing up was probably a parent yelling: Take a jacket, you'll get cold! As an adult, you've probably learned that it's a good idea to incorporate some kind of outerwear for an all-day outdoor look. Instead of reaching for a typical cardigan or light jacket, make your outerwear the focal point for easy styling.
Keep most of your outfit simple to make the star your favorite head-turning layering piece. Here are a few examples of a focal-point-worthy jacket:
- A bold all-over print light trench coat
- An oversized embellished denim jacket
- A leather jacket with fun fringe
- A sheer and romantic tulle or lace cardigan
Any bold jacket with a tight tee and high-waisted shorts makes for an easy and stylish state fair look. Base your accessory choices around the focal point, pairing flashy rhinestone stud earrings with a sequin jacket or fringed boots with a fringed jacket.
6. Breezy Tulle Dress
Denim and jumpsuits can be fun and practical, but if your favorite state fair treat is cotton candy, you can always channel that energy into frothy summer style with a breezy tulle dress. Tulle is the perfect fabric for a long day in the sun, as it makes a large visual impact while remaining feather-light, comfy and breathable. To avoid skewing too dressy for a state fair, dress down a flouncy tulle skirt with flat sneakers or a t-shirt-style bodice.
7. Flowy Skirt With Structured Top
One surefire way to make obvious state fair outfits more interesting is to simply swap the components around. A blousey, flowy, printed top with jeans or shorts is an archetypal state fair outfit. Since it's often the first thing that comes to mind, this combo can seem a little basic. All you need to do to level up this style is make the bottom flowy and the top structured, instead.
Supermodel Alessandra Ambrosio paired an ultra-feminine ruffled maxi skirt with a casual denim top and sandals for an effortlessly cool summer outfit. Play with proportions and textures at once by contrasting a skirt in a flowy or ruffled fabric with a more severe fabric on top.
Unique Fashion for State Fair Outfits and All of Life's Casual Celebrations
Picking out state fair outfits doesn't have to mean sacrificing style for comfort. Elevate casual looks by head-to-toe matching, styling around a focal point or turning the obvious choice on its head. At Kate Hewko, we believe that every occasion can benefit from fun and creative fashion. Browse our collection of handpicked clothes to kickstart your summer style inspiration.