As a cuisine, barbecue is one with a mankind-encompassing history, varying regional idiosyncrasies, and an encyclopedic assortment of tools and techniques to master. It’s also become one of the most common forms of summer entertaining for anyone with access to outdoor space, whether it’s acres of carefully manicured lawn or a three-foot cement patch. And while grilling is a cooking technique that certainly has the potential for endless experimentation and mastery, it’s also the type of soiree that almost anyone can host, no matter their skill level. So it’s safe to say that you’ll be invited to one — or several — this summer.
Like the cuisine itself, the barbecue-centric party comes in many shapes and sizes, from a fairy-lit patio shindig to a catered, country-club hosted affair. And while there may be someone on the invite list sounding off about the superiority of a vinegar-based sauce, you might be more focused on figuring out how to dress yourself for the particular BBQ that you’ll be attending — because there’s a big difference between showing up for a city cookout at your friend’s backyard and driving to the ‘burbs to meet your partner’s family for the first time. Well, fear not — we’ve come up with every possible type of ‘cue that you can expect this summer, along with a smokin’ hot look for each one.
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