What Dress Do You Wear for a Dinner Date?

So many choices. Actress Nadia Bjorlin shows a classic, poised look in a little black dress, punched up with bright red.

Photo: Kevin Winter/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

The dinner date is the most classic of dating scenarios. It's the perfect place for you and the object of your desire to get to know each other. Whether said dinner date is your first or your 31st with this person, you want to look positively fierce. That means rocking a great dress that not only shows off your assets, but compliments your skin tone and eye color. Before you choose just any old frock, consider these tips.

Know Where You're Going

Before you choose a dress, consider where the dinner date is taking place. If you aren't sure, ask your date. Whether you'll be noshing at a four-star eatery or a casual bistro will narrow your options. If your date is being coy about the destination, opt for a middle of the road dress, something a little trendy or upscale that doesn't scream "elegant." Dinner dates involve a lot of conversation and little outside distraction beyond the food. You don't want to feel self-conscious about what you're wearing.

Style Do's and Don'ts

Don't wear anything too tight, too short or too revealing. You don't want to give your date the wrong impression. Also, a skin-tight dress doesn't allow room for dessert. Wear a style you're comfortable with in a breathable fabric. Dates are nerve-racking. You don't want to spend the evening itchy or sporting sweat stains.

Casual Options

If your date's planning on the two of you noshing at a hip bistro or that new gastropub, you will probably want a more casual dress. Try rocking a fresh tunic or an empire-waist dress. Both are feminine and flirty, but allow room for your stomach to enjoy a generous meal. For summer, retro-looking cotton frocks in floral prints never fail. When the weather's chillier, try a sweater dress or a jersey wrap dress.

Fancier Frocks

If your night out involves reservations and a dress code, dig through your wardrobe for something a little flashier. A classic black cocktail frock is always a winner. Add a necklace, scarf or even a jacket in a pop of color to make it really eye-catching. Vintage options are also fab for fancier dinner dates. A great '60s shift or a tailored frock from the '40s can totally be the right tone for an upscale evening.

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