So You Have a Post-Pandemic Date—Here's What to Wear

For the first time in what seemed like forever, one of my friends announced that she was about to go on her first post-pandemic date. Of course, a flurry of outfit suggestions ensued over group text, but it felt good to talk IRL about outfits that, for once, didn't include a pair of sweatpants. In the gradual progression toward pre-lockdown life, I'm sure you, too, are starting to think about your social calendar. If a date is one of the events included in your plans, I have just the perfect looks for you.

Even if you're a veteran of the dating scene, there's always the conundrum about how fancy your outfit should be: Are jeans too casual? Will heels make me look overdressed? To make matters even more complicated, there's definitely added pressure when it comes to a first date. You're meeting someone you vaguely know (or probably never met if you use dating apps), so which outfit sets the right impression yet won't be overly fussy? To cover all of your date-night sartorial needs, I scoured the internet to find the best outfit inspiration and the pieces to re-create them. From a first post-pandemic date to a casual daytime outing and everything in between, you'll never be clueless about what to wear again. Consider this your ultimate date-night fashion guide—you can thank me later.

If you have a casual date…


Racerback Tank + Midi Skirt + Heeled Sandals
(Image credit: @aimeesong)

Style tip: Swap out the heels for sneakers if your date involves being on your feet for long periods of time. 

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Tube Top + Denim Jeans + Low-Heeled Sandals
(Image credit: @vikilefevre)

Style tip: Go for darker washes and high-waist silhouettes for a date-appropriate spin on denim.

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Strappy Bodysuit + White Slouchy Pants + Brown Belt
(Image credit: @alyssainthecity)

Style tip: To maintain a casual vibe for this outfit, leave your jewelry at home or, at maximum, add a small pair of gold earrings. The bodysuit and trousers are already quite sophisticated, so you don't need to go overboard with accessories. 

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For a first date…


Scarf Top + Baggy Trousers + Black Naked Heels
(Image credit: @endlesslyloveclub)

Style tip: For a cool-girl take on date night, turn any silk scarf into an elevated going-out top. 

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Floral Slip Dress + Shrug Sweater + Block Heels
(Image credit: @salome.mory)

Style tip: If you're playing the field (don't worry—we're not judging), a fail-safe option for a calendar of summery first dates is a floral slip dress. It's not too formal yet not too casual, and it can always be amplified or dialed back with a cute shrug or canvas sneakers.

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Printed Midi Dress + Chunky Hoops
(Image credit: @badgalrara_)

Style tip: It can be tricky to gauge the proper formality of a first date (after all, you don't really know this person), but it's always better to be overdressed than embarrassingly too casual.

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For a night out…


Glitter Minidress + Colorful, Transparent Wedge Sandals
(Image credit: @camillecharriere)

Style tip: When wearing a minidress, go for heeled shoes to create the illusion of longer legs.

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Corset Top + Leather Pants
(Image credit: @michelleinfusino)

Style tip: For a waist-defining look, opt for a corset top. The trend has been going strong within the fashion set, and its the perfect night-out top for date-night drinks.

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Skirt Set + Strappy Heels
(Image credit: @javiera)

Style tip: Just like your trusty sweatsuit, a two-piece combo is a complete no-brainer outfit with big sartorial payoff. A saucy skirt set will surely impress—jazz it up with drop earrings or shiny metal hoops.

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For a night in…


Silk Blouse + Stretchy Jeans
(Image credit: @matildadjerf)

Style tip: For an elevated date night in, try a silk-satin loungewear set. 

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White Tie Top + White High-Waist Trousers
(Image credit: @thevisuelofgrace)

Style tip: Since you'll be spending your romantic rendezvous indoors, swap the trousers for soft, ribbed pants. Yup, this is an all-white 'fit, so it's smart to have some type of stain remover at the ready.

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Poplin Button-Down + Split-Hem Leggings + Chain Belt + Platform Pumps
(Image credit: @annelauremais)

Style tip: Throw on a chain belt to upgrade a pair of basic jazz pants.

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Up next: Here's What Scandi Girls Are Wearing This Spring (Hint: It's Colorful).

Fashion Market Editor

Indya Brown is a fashion editor, stylist, and writer living in Los Angeles. While going to school at Columbia University in New York City, she got her feet wet in the fashion industry interning at Elle magazine, Harper's Bazaar, and New York magazine's The Cut. After graduating in 2016, she joined The Cut as a fashion assistant, eventually working her way up to fashion editor. There, she worked on a multitude of projects, including styling inbook feature stories for New York magazine's print issue, writing and pitching market stories for The Cut, and serving as fashion lead for The Cut's branded content. While New York has been her home for over 10 years, she moved to Los Angeles in the midst of the pandemic in 2020 for a new chapter. Now she is a fashion market editor for Who What Wear, focusing on emerging designers, rising trends on and off the internet, interior design, and BIPOC creatives and brands. Aside from her duties as a fashion market editor, Brown is also a freelance stylist and writer, working on national print and video commercial campaigns for Sephora, The Independent, and Cadillac. Her bylines also include Harper's Bazaar, Vox, and The New York Times. But once the computer goes down and the emails turn off, she's likely eating her way through Koreatown, hunting down vintage furniture, scoping out new outrageous nail designs to try, or taking a hot cycling class.