Park Dates Are a Thing—Here's Exactly What to Wear

I'm far from a dating expert. My husband and I have been together a total of 15 years, so I've missed out on the whole Bumble and Tinder thing. That said, when my single friends are getting ready for their dates, they still choose to run their outfits past me, which I always find very flattering.

After a decade spent working in fashion, I've become acutely aware of the small cues your clothing choices can make on your behalf, whether you know it or not. You need to feel comfortable in your clothes, especially on a date. If you don't, you'll hold your body in an entirely different way than how you usually would, which makes it harder for the person you're with to connect with you. Wearing something that isn't "you" will send off the wrong signals and completely change the tone of your meet-up. Of course, get it right, and you'll feel good and confident in yourself, which can help everything else fall into place.

Recently, with the nicer spell of weather we've been having, my friends have had an increasing number of park-based dates. This, of course, means there's a whole host of decisions to be made. One suggestion? Choose practical shoes. As for clothing? Try to strike the perfect balance between being stylish (but not OTT) and appropriate for your casual outdoor surroundings without looking as if you've made zero effort. Again, these are suggestions, and personal preference should always take precedence. It might sound complex, but it can be done. In fact, I've found eight foolproof ensembles that tick all those boxes.

From a classic jeans-and-nice-top combination to the skirt-and-shoe pairing that always works, here's what to wear to a date in the park.

1. KNITTED CO-ORD + DENIM SKIRT

What to Wear to a Date in the Park: @abimarvel

Photo:

@abimarvel

Style Notes: While jeans are absolutely suitable attire for park dates (in fact, many of my suggested looks will feature this staple item), don’t assume this is your only denim option. A cute denim skirt will also work in your favour and will look sweet worn with everything from knitted twinsets to white blouses. 

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It also looks great worn against black, as evidenced here. 

These low-heel mules will ensure your feet remain comfortable. 

2. STRAPPY DRESS + CHUNKY BOOTS

Style Notes: Some wilder parks—take Richmond Park, for example—mean uneven terrain, and the last thing you need to worry about is slipping or tripping in inappropriate footwear. Combat this with a pair of, well, combat boots, styled with a chic black sundress. 

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This dress comes in so many chic colourways. 

The ideal boot for long walks in the park. 

3. FANCY TOP + CLASSIC JEANS

What to Wear to a Date in the Park: @aimeesong

Photo:

@aimeesong

Style Notes: Jeans and trainers are ideal for park dates, as they’re casual, but if you want to elevate your ensemble, try pairing them with a pretty white blouse. 

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This will look just as pretty paired with wide-leg linen trousers. 

Barrel-shape jeans keep cropping up this season. 

One of fashion’s favourite trainers. 

4. SLIP SKIRT + SLOUCHY KNIT

What to Wear to a Date in the Park: @katiecung

Photo:

@katiecung

Style Notes: Slip skirts might be considered fancy, especially for park dates, but worn with a basic jersey top and a slouchy cardigan, they’re instantly overhauled and give off a luxe low-key vibe. 

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Buy this a size up if you prefer a slouchy fit. 

By Far’s Miranda handbag is on all of our editors’ wish lists. 

5. MIDI DRESS + ESPADRILLES 

What to Wear to a Date in the Park: @lenafarl

Photo:

@lenafarl

Style Notes: Minidresses are always a solid option, but midis will allow you to promenade a little easier on your park date. If you’re more likely to wear heels over flats, why not consider a pair of comfortable espadrilles?

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Polka dots make for a stylish change from florals for summer. 

Iolla creates some of the coolest sunglasses out there. 

I love the mix of materials on this handbag. 

If you’re looking to invest in a new pair of espadrilles, look no further than Castañer’s iconic pairs. 

6. SIMPLE JERSEY + HIGH-WAIST JEANS

Style Notes: Sometimes, less is more—jeans and a simple top are effortless to style, but when you stick to one shade, just like Amaka has with her cream-and-white ensemble, you’ll look instantly pulled-together and polished. 

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I’m 5’4”, and these jeans are the perfect cropped length. 

7. SHORTS SET + CHUNKY TRAINERS

What to Wear to a Date in the Park: @claire_most

Photo:

@claire_most

Style Notes: For the days when the temperature is on your side, shorts become a strong park-date option. Right now, there are plenty of shorts-and-shirt co-ords that are flirty and cool in equal measure. 

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This is the shirt-and-shorts set I have my eye on for summer. 

I’m always here for elasticated waistbands. 

8. TEA DRESS + METALLIC SHOES

What to Wear to a Date in the Park: @sabinasocol

Photo:

@sabinasocol

Style Notes: Timeless and elegant, tea dresses are the go-to attire for most of my friends when they head out on a date. Just add your favourite gold jewellery and some sandals, and you’re good to go. 

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Let Missoma take all the hard work out of layering your necklaces for you with this sleek design. 

This dress comes in an array of summer-ready prints. 

If you want to make all of your summer looks more "fashion," invest in metallic sandals. 

Next Up: 7 Outfits to Wear to the Pub That Don't Look OTT

This post was originally published at an earlier time and has since been updated. 

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