DATE NIGHT – How to find the perfect balance

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Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, and whether you’re rather looking forward to a romantic dinner with your significant other, or you think the holiday is a whole lot of commercial nonsense, you never need a reason for a fun date night, be it with your other half, or even your group of friends.

As tempting as it can be to wrap yourself up in a blanket and go into full hibernation mode when it’s chilly outside, there’s nothing quite like an exciting outfit to get motivated for a brief appearance into the outdoors. Personally, I tend to struggle with the smart/casual dress code that a dinner date usually demands. I know how to do dressy, and I definitely know how to do casual, but the perfect balance between the two is often tricky to get right. With regards to my personal style, I like to keep things fairly simple, but I love nothing more than finding unique statement pieces that are sure to jazz up any plain old look. I truly believe that this is the key when attempting to strike that difficult balance; rather than adhering to a dress code “rule”, build your look (no matter how simple) around a colourful or unique piece that is sure to have some heads turning.

If I have one rule for myself, it’s that I always try and dress as authentically as possible, even if I feel out of my comfort zone or slightly pressured to impress. By this, I mean, find a way to be true to yourself, first and foremost, and then make small adaptations here and there, that you feel deem the entire look appropriate for the occasion, as well as the location.

There is no need to panic or feel anxious about what to wear for a date night. We all experience some form of wardrobe panic when the “dress to impress” pressure is on. The key is to wear something that truly makes you feel like the best version of yourself.  Here are a few ideas:

Lipsy Sheer Lace Shirt
Asos £39

Black and white

Without a doubt, black and white are the most versatile neutrals in your wardrobe, but by no means does this imply that they are boring or safe options.

White has the amazing ability to be the star of the show or also be the perfect counterpart to a statement piece, while not detracting from it. It’s also the perfect colour to make that seamless transition from winter to spring, although it must be said, white is every season’s best friend.

Lipsy Lace Top
Asos £22

Just like white, black allows you to look painlessly put together and stylish without having to make all that much effort, however, black trumps white every time with its slimming capabilities! If you’re feeling unsure of yourself, or slightly self-conscious, go for black, but maybe opt for some awesome embellishments such as lace, mesh, or a high elegant neckline.

PrettyLittleThing Floral
Ruffle Wrap Mini Dress
Asos £25

 

A different dress

For a dressier date night, why not opt for a stunning (but not too dressy) dress with a super flattering silhouette and neckline? I’ve come to learn and know what suits me best; strapless styles just don’t do it for me, but high-necks and halter-necks are what I personally find most complementary to my figure. Try not to be predictable with a safe option like an LBD; think eye-catching details such as ruffles or pleats, or wrap-around silhouettes, which can be elegant and sexy all at the same time.

 

Floral Mini T-Shirt Dress
Asos £38

Choose a colour or outfit that you are often complimented on. Personally, I love tones like dusty rose or teal, which I feel really flatter my complexion!

Moss Copenhagen High
Neck Mohair Jumper
Asos £48

 

Cool contrast

Balancing a feminine aesthetic with a tougher masculine look is one of my favourite things to do. If I decided to wear a slinky pleather mini skirt for a date night, anyone’s natural inclination would be to go for a pair of feminine pumps or heels, but why not shake it up a little bit with something more unexpected like a pair of chunky brogues or patent trainers?

Denim Low Rise Pelmet
Skirt in Freesia Mid
Stonewash with Raw Hem
Asos £25

 

Equally, accessorising is a fantastic way to create that cool juxtaposition between styles. You could wear something as simple as some ripped black skinnies and a boxy striped t-shirt, and instantly make the entire look fabulous with a nude pair of heels, sparkly choker and bejewelled ear cuff.

Dune Elli Brogue Trainers
Asos £80

 

 

 

Free People Cherry
Blossom Mini Dress
Asos £148

Breathtaking in bohemian

Bohemian styles are underrated because they’re so effortlessly beautiful. The flowy silhouettes and pretty patterns are bang on the money for a date night, yet there’s still a certain playfulness and laid-back vibe that bohemian styles can give you, that will ensure you look amazing without looking like you’ve made too much effort. Sometimes less is more!

words | Julia Coelho