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Ahh, date night. A time to express your own unique style, while sending out some flirty vibes. Whether you’re going out for dinner, drinks, or a show, you want to look your best. But what do you wear?

To help you answer that question, here are the dos and don’ts for how to dress for a date. Use these parameters to pick the perfect date night outfit and accessories — so you look and feel amazing on your next night out.

Do: Consider your venue


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Rule number 1: Your date night outfit must be appropriate for the venue. Consider where you’re going and what type of vibe you want to create. For example:

    • For a casual outing at the movies, try dark-wash jeans and a silky blouse. Don’t forget a belt as a finishing touch.

    • For dinner at a fancy restaurant, try a dress and heels instead. The wrap dress is a tried-and-true date night style — it’s sexy and flattering. If it’s cold, top your wrap dress with a nice cardigan or trench coat.

    • Catching a show? Try a midi pencil skirt, tall boots, wide belt, and tucked-in top.

    • Bowling, amusement park trip, or local sporting event? Try a fancy jogger with an upgraded t-shirt or light knit top and denim jacket. Specific to bowling or any sporty outing: Do not wear anything low-waisted unless you want to show too much of your backside every time you step up to the lane.

You get the idea. Think about the venue and how you’ll be moving around in it. That’s the first step in deciding which look is best.

Don’t: Wear something inappropriate for your age

You want to look attractive but also age-appropriate. Trying to dress too old or too young can only backfire. You’re likely to be uncomfortable, which will translate to negative energy. Your date may pick up on it, and that’s not what you want.

If you’re in your 20s, don’t choose more mature styles with the goal of being more sophisticated — even if your date is much older than you are. This date can only be the start of a beautiful relationship if you are yourself.

Likewise, if you are in your 60s, don’t intentionally dress younger. Instead, look for classic and stylish outfits that also show off your personality. Focus on timeless pieces that flatter your body shape and emphasize your best features. Lean into the garments that reflect your style and help you feel confident and beautiful.

There is an exception here. If you always dress youthfully (or maturely) and that’s where you are comfortable, keep doing that. It’s not really about how old you are or how old you dress — it’s about being authentic.

Do: Make a statement


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Consider what you want to communicate to your date or dates. That message can have a huge impact on the tone of your date.

Are you looking for something sexy and seductive? Or are you going for something more subtle and sophisticated? Define the message you want to send and you’ll naturally gravitate towards the right types of outfits.

Don’t: Double-down on sexy for early dates

A little bit sexy is appropriate for a date, whether you know the person well or not. A super-sexy outfit can be fun if you’re going out with your long-term partner — in a role-play kind of way. But, doubling-down on sexy with someone you don’t know well can work against you.

An example of dressing too sexy would be a very tight dress with a low-cut neckline plus aggressively high heels.

Showing too much skin detracts from your natural beauty. A better approach is to focus on drawing attention to your best features. You can do this with tasteful statement pieces like a surplice top with a flattering neckline or high-waisted, floral skirt.

Do: Dress in something that makes you feel good


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One way to ensure that you’re making the right impression is to choose an outfit that flatters your body type. Pick silhouettes that emphasize your best features and colors that pair well with your skin tone. Go for the fabrics that feel nice to the touch and add dimension visually. Your outfit can be a sensory experience, for you and your date! Some ideas here include:

    • Cashmere sweater, scarf, beanie, or gloves

    • A silk and mesh top

    • Your softest denim jeans

    • Faux leather pants or skirt

Do: Accessorize

From the right jewelry to the perfect bag, accessorizing your outfit can make all the difference in creating a stylish and confident look. Your accessories can either complement your outfit or moderate the tone of your look — say by dressing it up or down. The thing is, if you’re not careful, your accessories can also overpower your outfit. You want complementary accessories, not overpowering ones.

A pair of dainty earrings or a simple necklace can add just the right touch. If your outfit is muted or neutral, reach for a bold, bright statement bag. Be intentional in these choices. That’s how to show off your unique style and set the tone for a memorable date night.

Do: Treat hair and makeup as accessories

Your hair and makeup are also accessories! Use them to balance or complement your look. If you’re wearing a body-hugging midi dress, for example, try pulling your hair back in a low bun. Opt for muted lips and eyes.

If your outfit involves jeans and your favorite boyfriend sweater, experiment with a bold lip color and your best blow dry.

Don’t: Wear something you haven’t worn before

It might be tempting to buy a new dress for the occasion, but plan ahead so you can avoid that. New garments can surprise you in terrible ways — the skirt rides up, the jeans pinch in all the wrong places, the blouse bunches over your tummy.

These wardrobe malfunctions are minor, but they can chip away at your confidence or distract you from enjoying your date.

Stick with garments that you know wear well.

Here’s to a fab date night


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No matter your personal style, there are always ways to elevate your look and make it appropriate for a special occasion. Remember to focus on comfort, pick flattering colors and silhouettes, and add a few accessories to pull the look together. Follow those guidelines and you’ll be sure to look and feel your best on your next date night.

Date night outfit ideas from Budget Fashionista:

Look Drop-Dead Gorgeous with These First Date Fashion Tips

What you wear on a date should feel like second skin to you. The more comfortable you are, the better you look. Your clothing and makeup are not something that should make you anxious or self-conscious, but instead set you free to express yourself while ensuring that irresistible feminine charm continues to bewitch the guy (or the girl) seated across the table!

Read More about Look Drop-Dead Gorgeous with These First Date Fashion Tips