Being a student in college, I completely understand the importance of a budget. But being a fashion-lover, I also know the importance of good quality. Fortunately, looking amazing does not always require spending a fortune.
My sorority hosts about six dressy events per semester, so that’s 12 events a year that require getting decked out. As a result, I’ve become quite savvy at finding fabulous and flattering pieces without breaking the bank.
Dressing for a summer date can be a bit tricky. You want to look cute, but at the same time stay cool and comfortable. You want to look sexy, but not in a trying-to-hard way that just doesn’t seem to fit with summer’s laid-back essence. And you want to keep it affordable because, if you live in an area with changing seasons, these summery styles don’t have a very long shelf-life.
From dinner dates to picnics in the park to a casual afternoon browsing through your local flea market, I’ve found the perfect dresses for any type of date, all under $50
ASOS Square Neck Mini Body-Con Dress, $47. This is a go-to piece for a dinner-dancing date and is sexy, but in a classy sort of way. The lace sleeves add a bit of a sophisticated, feminine vibe, while the snug fit lets him know you’re ready to party. For a more summer-friendly look, pair it with bright or nude pumps and some colorful accessories.
Dirty Ballerina Ruffle One Shoulder Dress, $48. This is one of those special dresses reserved for occasions when you want to make a statement. This is a perfect look for a fancy dinner date, a wedding, cocktail party, benefit or any other summer event on the more formal side. The satin fabric and the looser fit gives it a more feminine, ethereal look that is still polished and just sexy enough. The neutral shade means it will work with just about any pair of shoes in your closet, pair it with a matching shade for a clean, monochrome look, or a bold, bright shoe for a more fashion-forward style. Try to use restraint with the accessories, a dainty bracelet and cocktail ring is really all you need.
Everly Clothing Singah Shift Dress, $40. This dress is perfect for those nights where it is just chilly enough to wear pants, but all that Soul Cycle has paid off, so you’re dying to show off your new legs. The sleeves give you the chance to do so, while still looking appropriate for the temperature. This piece can also easily transition into a fall dress, making it even more of a worthy investment. Depending on the shoe, you could take this dress many places. It’s conservative enough to let the parents buy dinner (pair it with a chunky open toe heel), yet casual enough (especially when paired with flat sandals) for when he wants to show off his barbeque skills and stay in for the evening. When the seasons change, team it with funky booties (and then over the knee boots when the temperature really starts to dip!), for on-point looks that work for almost any type of date.
Charlotte Russe Organza Cut Out Short Sleeve Shirt Dress, $28.99; NOW: $18. This look is personally one of my favorites; loose and baggy, yet sexy and sophisticated. It’s a cool spin on the “boyfriend” trend that keeps coming back every season because it’s just too cool to part with! I will admit it takes a specific body type to pull of this dress, and may be a problem for the bustier gals out there. But if you have the body to rock it, I say go for it. It’s the perfect casual date attire and gives off that “sexy without even trying” vibe that men can’t resist. The sheer cut-outs dress it up just enough to make this a day-to-night piece that can transitions just by shuffling around a few accessories. For a day date, pair it with flat metallic sandals, wooden bangles, and a slouchy tote or cross-body bag. For a night out, a pair of nude pumps, a statement necklace, and sleek clutch is all you need for a killer look.
Leith Tank Maxi Slipdress, $42. The beauty of this dress is its extremely multipurpose. Throw on some big earrings and a matching wedge for a dinner date at an outdoor spot, or team it with a jean jacket, cute flats, and a long pendant necklace for a casual, daytime look. A fitted, black maxi is just a basic staple that you’ll be able to wear a milion different ways so it’s definitely worth the not-so-big investment!
Cooperative Scalloped Bodycon Dress, $49; NOW $29. Hot pink is a shade that looks good on pretty much everyone, no matter what your hair color or complexion is. The classic silhouette and scalloped neckline balance out the boldness of the shade, adding a bit of polish and sophistication and keeping it from being too flashy. This dress can take you many places, from a cocktail party to a dinner at the trendy new restaurant that just opened. It’s also available in black, for anyone in need of the perfect,wear-anywhere LBD.
H&M Lace Dress, $29.95. This is the perfect dress for just about any day date- brunch, browsing through a flea market, a picnic. While it’s soft and feminine, the open back adds a sexy element that he’s sure to appreciate. Keep the accessories light so as not to overpower the dress, and shoes are fair game, this will work with wedges, sandals, flats, or pumps.
What do you think of these date night looks? Tell us in comments!