It’s 2016, and the dating game has come a long way from “pick you up at 8pm” and having to intercept your crush’s call to your parents’ landline. With dating apps and social media, it’s entirely possible to date someone from the comfort of your couch. As a result, the concept of a date night has almost completely disappeared. It’s less heels-and-a-table-for-two and more let’s-see-how-drinks-go-and-we’ll-go-from-there. But we’re not shedding tears over it —just like Facebook pokes and a crush on Jordan Catalano, some things are better left in the past. So whether you’re two weeks in or have been married for basically ever, we’re got the perfect dress for all of your non-dates (hangouts, meet-ups — whatever you want to call them), from casual to full-on formal occasions.
Your First Hangout IRL After Matching on Bumble
1. Free People Deep V Mini Dress ($128): The key to nailing this look is to opt for something that isn’t fussy — that means no tassels or ties that you can nervously twirl or to distract you from sometimes-less-than-stellar first-date convos. This dress keeps it casual and cool, but the deep v-neck adds a little something special to the look. Pair it with suede ankle boots and a dainty gold lariat necklace to master the whole “low maintenance cool-girl” vibe.
Your Boo Thing’s Friend-of-A-Friend’s Low-Key House Party
2. Topshop MOTO Denim Clean Shift Dress ($85): We’re all for the “you do you” attitude, but we gotta admit — there’s no worse feeling than showing up to a totally chill house party in a glam getup and realizing you totally misjudged the dress code. That’s why we’re all about this denim shirt dress and sneaker combo — it’s low-key amazing. Bonus points for pockets, obviously.
Just Drinks (With Potential For Dinner After)
3. Sincerely Jules Savoy Dress ($89): Talk about versatility! This dress is a best-seller for a reason, friends. Dress it up with thigh-high boots (if you’re anticipating extending the date for dinner) or down with Stan Smiths (if you’re not totally sure that you and your date can continue a conversation past an hour or so). Either way, you’re set up for success.
Mid-Week Happy Hour After You Both Get Off Work
4. Mango Stitched Detail Dress ($99): Busy yo-pros (that’s young professionals, of course) know the struggle is real when it comes to balancing long work hours with a new relationship. *Sigh* But isn’t it just the best when you start to hang out with someone on weekdays instead of just on weekends? Start with a dress like this one that can do double duty for your office and happy hour and stash a pair of “fancy” shoes (and red lipstick!) in your desk drawer for quick touch-ups before you head out.
Impromptu Date Sparked by a Last-Minute “Wanna Grab Dinner?” Text Invite
5. Express Places Print Shift Dress ($80): Last-minute invite? You’ll need a one-and-done dress that practically styles itself. Go for an option with an all-over print so you don’t have to worry about accessories. Slip on a pair of goes-with-everything shoes and you’re done in seconds. Now all you have to worry about is where to eat.
Netflix and Chill
6. Abercrombie & Fitch V-Neck Shift Dress ($58): Cozy and comfortable is key if you’re going to be clocking couch time with bae. We’re not gonna lie — half of the appeal of options like this dress is that they’re basically PJs you’re allowed to wear in public. This way you get the best of both worlds: A pajama-esque option that’s still technically a dress. Win-freakin’-win, y’all.
When Your Crush Has an Extra Ticket to the *Insert Just-Indie-Enough Band Here* Show
7. Zara Floral Print Dress ($70): We’re loving this dress for a concert outfit. Allow us to break it down for you. The shift silhouette and flared sleeves keep the look laid-back enough for even the most mellow shows, but the ornate floral print adds an edgy vibe so you stand out from the crowd. Just add black ankle boots and a stack of mixed-metal bracelets.
Any Kind of Birthday Dinner (Yours, Your S.O.’s, Your S.O.’s Best Friend, etc.)
8. Zara Long Sleeve Plumetis Dress ($40): Whether it’s your big day, your babe’s or your bestie’s, a little black dress with a bit of lace is a no-brainer. We’re all about these silver ankle boots to go with, but this LBD would look just as great with velvet platforms or classic black pumps.
Your S.O.’s Holiday Office Party
9. Dress the Population Gwen Midi Dress ($194): Brace yourself and your closet — holiday party season is coming. If your S.O. asked you to attend their office party, be sure to choose something tasteful, and when in doubt, err on the more conservative side of things. You don’t want to be next-day office gossip. But what you lack in cleavage, you can make up for in color — red is our go-to for holiday parties.
YOUR Boo’s College Roommate’s Wedding
10. Topshop Pleated Velvet Fit and Flare Dress ($160): Or their cousin, or your family friend or anyone’s wedding, really. Not too flashy and not at all blah, this chartreuse velvet dress is anything but ordinary. It will stand out from a sea of LBDs in all the right ways. Plus, this dress was practically born to twirl on the dance floor, so grab your boo and show ’em how it’s done.
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