How to Dress for the Typical College (First) Date

An intro to D-hall glam

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What to wear on a date in college: Outfits for first dates, study dates, and dining hall dates

Whatever your opinions on college dating, the consensus is that dating is more casual in college than anywhere else. For some, this is a relief. There’s less pressure to dress up and go do things. On the flip side, some college dates can be so casual that they almost don’t qualify as dates anymore. 

That’s not to say no one will ever take you to a nice restaurant or concert in college. These are just some common college date ideas, especially when you’re just getting to know someone.

If you get asked out on one of these informal dates, figuring out what to wear on a college date can be tricky. 

What to Wear on a Date in College:

Here are some general guidelines to follow when deciding what to wear for a first date or date early in a relationship:

1. Most of the time, you’re going to be dressing just a step up from what you usually wear, not drastically changing the way you dress. Unlike in the real world, it’s not expected that you will get ultra dressed up for what is pretty much just hanging out with someone you’re getting to know.

2. Usually, this involves adding a few nice accessories to your usual outfit, or swapping out one piece of your outfit. For example, if your go-to is an oversized sweater with black leggings, instead try a cropped sweater or a sweater with embellishment. 

3. Comfort is the key to these outfits. You can hardly relax and be yourself if you’re worried about lipstick getting on your teeth or your strapless bra falling down. That doesn’t mean you won’t look nice. Read on for some stylish/comfortable college date outfits!

Dining-Hall Dinner Date Outfit

Many would protest at calling a cafeteria meal that neither party pays for a real “date.” But, if someone you’re interested in invites you to eat with them one-on-one, you would want to look beyond the Uggs and sweats. This doesn’t mean you whip out your wedges. It’s still just the dining hall. 

College dining hall date outfit: Brown sweater, patterned mini skirt in black and white, patterned tights, combat boots, beanie hat with pom pom, braid hairstyle, mascara, pendant necklace

Products: Beanie – Just Jewelry, Sweatshirt – Zaful, Pendant – Asos, Mascara – Forever 21, Tights – Francesca’s, Skirt – Nordstrom, Boots – Pilot, Hair photo –

Start with an oversized sweatshirt (any old sweatshirt will do, but look at this fuzzy one!) and pair it with a denim skirt. The studs add glam to an otherwise casual look. The tights are playful, and the boots look tough, but are fur-lined. A comfy beanie and a simple pendant necklace are the only accessories you need. Round out the look with a swipe of mascara and a casual braid.

Study Date Outfit

The words “study” and “date” shouldn’t even be in the same sentence. How can you focus on finishing that paper when someone you like is sitting a foot away from you, potentially flirting with you?!? 

Still, the college study date is definitely a thing, and you should know how to dress for it.

Outfit for college study date with white fringe sweater, black joggers, pink velvet backpack, cozy boots, bangle bracelets, galaxy print notebook, bow stud earrings, messy bun, pink lip gloss

Products: Sweater – Asos, Notebook – Forever 21, Lipgloss – MAC, Joggers – M&Co, Backpack – DollsKill, Studs – Amazon, Bracelet – Alex and Ani, Boots – Oasap, Hair photo –

For these situations, you want to be cute and comfortable. Oversized sweater? Check. Furry boots? Check. Black leggings? Instead, try velvet joggers, a dressed-up version of the college girl staple that are just as comfy and even more plush. Add cute bow studs and a charm bracelet to complete the look. Finish with an easy swipe of gloss and throw your hair into a messy topknot. For the actual studying, bring your satin backpack and dreamy notebook.

Game Day Date Outfit

THE ultimate college girl fashion dilemma: how to show school spirit while still looking cute. Sure, college tees are an easy copout. But if you’re going to the game with someone special, a ratty old tee might not cut it. 

Outfit for college game day date: Navy dress and sneakers, orange cardigan, orange and navy Auburn Tigers pom-pom hat, nail polishes, layered necklace and poster

Products: Dress – Modcloth, Sneakers – Amazon, Orange Polish – Bluefly, Blue Polish – Bluefly, Necklace – Belk, Cardigan – Zaful, Hat – Belk, Poster – Kohl’s

A dress is casual enough for a game when paired with sneakers and a cozy cardigan, all in school colors. Accessories can be added or subtracted depending on how festive you want to look. A pom-pom hat and layered necklace are just a few options. Nail polish is another subtle way to show school spirit. 

These are just a few ideas, but on a first date you should always wear what makes you feel confident and comfortable. 


Would you wear any of these outfits? Have any good first date stories? Let us know in the comments!

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