Natalie Clark gives advice on what to wear for your next date –whether you are going for coffee, or out to dinner. 

I find myself plagued by the dilemma of ‘what to wear’ almost every time I leave the house. I consider myself conscious of my appearance and, in all honesty, I do want to make a good impression by dressing well. This is especially true for me during exams: look smart, think smart. Right?

Anyway. Onto the topic at hand.

I think it is a fair assessment that dating in St Andrews is nightmarish. If you’re not academically related, then your best friend slept with them last year. If you didn’t meet each other in class, then you’re in all the same societies. You probably know most of their dirty laundry – and you’re still interested. Bearing in mind this works the other way, how do you dress to make the date go as well as you want it to? Or at least, how do you dress to feel like the date will go as well as you want it to? Let’s keep my delusion that clothing influences situations out of this article.

The morally correct answer is that you can wear whatever you want, whatever you feel comfortable in. Love being naked? Rock that gorgeous body. They’ll certainly remember you.

The most obvious answer is that it depends on where you’re going. Is it casual? Is this an if-this-goes-terribly-then-I-can-say-we-hung-out-as-friends-and-forget-it-ever-happened sort of affair? Or perhaps you’ve been dating for months – years – and you’re going out for the anniversary date? Behold: I shall remove all your clothing…woes.

Coffee Shops

Keep it casual with chino shorts.

“In Scotland?” I hear you cry. Yes. In Scotland. The St Andrews Starbucks is always roasting hot due to its incomprehensibly small space and sheer crowds. Really, why are you on a date here?

Chino material is surprisingly cosy, and on really chilly days you can pair them with brightly coloured wool tights for some fun.


clothes 1



Alternatively, try a plaid dress (or oversized shirt) with a slouchy beanie, fastened with a belt. If you’re not a dress lover, tie your plaid shirt at the waist and pair with skinny jeans.




Please tell me people still go on movie dates. I really hope there are people buying tickets to the National Theatre Live showing of Hamlet, just to sit in the back row and snog.

For this occasion, I recommend something comfy and quiet, such as a maxi skirt. Cosy enough to wear even in the depths of winter (I was surprised too) and visually stunning with all their floatiness: sweep in, demand they buy the popcorn, watch the movie, win their heart, leave. Win.



Oversized are also a fun option. I love this look because it is classy yet effortless (I try really hard, actually).



There are two routes to go with this: overdress or underdress. I’m always a fan of overdressing (it baffles me that people go on nights out in jeans here. Something with a hint of sparkle never fails to cheer me up either, so for a sit-down dinner I’m likely to wear a dress with sparkly accents.



If you don’t feel comfortable in a dress, classy trousers and a nice blouse are a suitable alternative.




Natalie Clark



Featured image: Designed by Natalie Clark