Top Five Date Night Staples | On the Daily EXPRESS


Top Five Date Night Staples

I don't know about you all, but when it comes to getting ready for date night our just a night out in general, it tends to take me a little longer than usual to get ready. Trying to get a little more fancy with hair and makeup and putting a nice outfit together with not-your-everyday clothes makes those minutes (hours?) add up! I have five Date Night Staples that I rely on to help me finish getting my outfit together in a hurry. I don't wear all five together every time, but in most of my date night outfits you can find at least two of these pieces!

As far as my date night outfits go, they're usually the standard "Jeans and a Cute Top." I have a  couple of dressier looks in this post but those are the once or twice per year rare occasion pieces. Choosing those date night outfit pieces is a topic for another post, but let's start with this "Jeans and a Cute Top" outfit since I'm wearing all five of my date night staples in this one!

My bag, bracelet, earrings, necklace and sandals here should all look pretty familiar to my regular readers. In fact, the only new piece I'm wearing here is this top from Express. I really didn't need another date night top, but I had some rewards that were about to expire so I couldn't let those go to waste! I fell in love with the color of this top. It's a flattering color for me and I don't have any other tops (date night or otherwise) in this shade, so it was a no brainer. It's true to size and can be worn two ways: with the ties in the back (like I'm wearing it here) or in the front. I didn't like how it looked on me with the ties in the front, so I just keep mine tied in the back. And yes, you can even wear a regular bra with it! I think this color will transition well through fall and winter so I'm expecting to get good use out of this!

ONE: Handbag with a Pop of Color or Print

Staple Details: I'm wearing Staple One (Bag), Two (Bracelet) and Staple Five (Sandals) in this outfit.

My exact crossbody in the outfit above is from Rebecca Minkoff and it's been sold out for awhile now, but there's no need to have this exact bag to serve the same purpose. Any animal print or color contrast that suits your style and budget and fits your night out essential items will do! Since I wear a lot of solids, having just one little pop of print or bold color in my bag is a fun way to add some interest to my outfit. This leopard print bag and my red bag in the outfit below are my top two most used color/print options for date night. I don't wear a lot of red but I do love a red handbag, especially when I'm doing a black and white combo for my outfit. So if someone were starting a handbag collection from scratch and asking for my recommendation on the best options for date night, those two would get my vote!

Staple Details: I'm wearing Staple One (Bag), Staple Three (Earrings) and Five (Sandals) in this outfit.

 This is one of those outfits where almost everything is "old" and sold out, and finding "similar" options for some pieces is a bit of a challenge. My exact red crossbody is from Express (older and sold out). This Amazon option (also linked above with the outfit details) was the most similar current option I could find at a similar price point. My necklace was a gift from my sister a few years ago, and I think it was from Kohl's. I really can't find anything I think is especially similar to this in terms of shape, length and color. I'm so sorry about that! But something like this option or this option from Amazon might work. Also my "skirt" above is actually a skort, but I couldn't find a similar skort style. The skirt option I linked was the most visually similar piece I could find and would be the best currently available option for creating a similar outfit.

I completely understand that some of the handbags I share are on the splurge side and not a practical expense (nor a necessity in any way!). I didn't link a budget option for my handbags in every outfit of this post, but since I did give budget-friendly options for the jewelry I should have done the same for my bags when I first published. Sorry about that oversight when I first published this post! At any rate, for a lower priced leopard print crossbody, Express has several current options like this camera bag, circle bag, or this bucket bag all under $50. Or there's this Leopard Crossbody on Amazon for $23. For budget friendly red crossbody options, this $25 quilted crossbody or this $18 version would work great! For a more streamlined style try this one for $25.

TWO: Stella & Dot Jacinthe Bracelet

Staple Details: I'm wearing Staple One (Bag), Two (Bracelet) and Five (Sandals) in this outfit.

I know this bracelet is a bit pricey but I have had it for over seven years and it's still in amazing shape! It's not tarnished or even showing any signs of wear as far as I can tell. It's my #1 Date Night bracelet. It has elements of fancy (pearls!) and edgy (spikes!) so that makes it go with almost any outfit style. It's easily adjustable to get your wrist size and as easy to get on/off as a standard wrist watch. Plus, the clasp is very secure so I don't have to worry about it falling off - and I've had that happen with other bracelets, unfortunately!

I'm all about finding less expensive options to share with you all when I can, but I've never really seen another piece for less that's really visually or functionally similar to this. Riah Fashion on Amazon is one of my favorite brands for affordable jewelry, and they do have some cute bracelet options here that would work well for date night.

THREE: Kendra Scott Alice Earrings

Staple Details: I'm wearing Staple One (Bag), Staple Three (Earrings) and Five (Sandals) in this outfit. (I zoomed in to show the earrings better but you can see the full outfit with shoes here or in the collage below.)

These earrings are another jewelry splurge but between the two pair I own (rose gold and silver) they are my go-to favorites for date night. They're a good size but not heavy and they have just the right amount of sparkle. 

Just like the Jacinthe bracelet, this is one where I've never found a really visually similar option for less, but this pair from Riah Fashion on Amazon has a similar shape and sparkle.

FOUR: Stella & Dot Keely Necklace
Cami | Jeans (c/o) | Necklace | Bracelet | Sandals | Handbag (c/o)

Staple Details: I'm wearing Staples Two (Bracelet) Four (Necklace) and Five (Sandals) in this outfit.

This necklace comes as a three piece set, but I almost never wear the other two pieces. I wanted this particular necklace because it has just a little bit of sparkle and it has a mixed metal look, which makes it easy to mix and match with any hardware on my outfit or bag and with any other jewelry I'm wearing.

I know this one is also a bit of a splurge, but it's been worth it to me for the amount of wear I get out of it. Plus I don't have issues with Stella & Dot pieces tarnishing like I've had with cheaper brands. 
Moto Jacket | Tank | Jeans | Crossbody (c/o) | Sandals 

Staple Details: I'm wearing Staple Four (Necklace) and Five (Sandals) in this outfit.

Just like the other jewelry pieces, I ended up splurging on this exact item because I could never find anything truly similar for less. That said, something like this Mixed Metal Chain Necklace from Express could serve a similar function for $30, and it's bound to go on sale for 40% off sooner or later. (Probably sooner rather than later with Labor Day sales right around the corner!)

FIVE: Target Ema Sandals
Moto Jacket | Lace Cami | Jeans (c/o) [Similar w/more sizes] | Sandals | Necklace | Earrings | Handbag (c/o)

Staple Details: Wearing Staple Three (Earrings) and Five (Sandals).

I did a full post about my Favorite Target Shoes for Summer including this pair back in June, so you can check out that post for several more outfits with these shoes in black and nude. I'm also wearing them in every single outfit in this post! They're true to size and the stacked heel makes them reasonably comfortable, though I did add a ball-of-foot pad to each one for additional comfort. These are three season shoes (Spring, Summer, Fall) for my climate and between the two colors I own, they go with everything from jeans to dresses!

Staple Details: I'm wearing Staple One (Bag), Two (Bracelet) and Five (Sandals) in this outfit.

And here's one final look back at my Five Staples in a Pinterest Friendly graphic if you want to save this post for reference:

Let me know if you have a staple or two that's not on my list. I always love to hear what works for other people and what doesn't depending on your lifestyle, comfort preferences, etc.!

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  1. I love all of your date night looks! That purple square neck cami from Express is so pretty - the color is beautiful on you and I really like the cut as well as the tie feature. It's especially nice tied in the back - less bulk in the front! An Express Factory outlet is opening near my house soon, I'm kind of excited! I think your Stella & Dot jewelry pieces are great staples, It is worth every penny to spend more on jewelry that won't tarnish. I refuse to buy any gold tone or other metal tone for that matter from Loft and Amazon. After a few wears they are ready for the trash!
    Gorgeous date night looks Gina!

  2. Such lovely date night outfits! I wish we had time for date night more often but it's hard with the little ones - when they are bigger we might try going out more, haha! The last time it was just us two was when hubby surprised me with the anniversary May!

    Thank you for the link up!

    Hope that your week is going well :)

    Away From Blue

  3. I bet your mister thinks your smokin HOT! Looking mighty fine in all of these and you always nail the best style for any occasion. Have a wonderful Wednesday! xo

  4. So many great accessories perfect for date night! I always add a little extra something for nights out as well. It is nice to have those go-to pieces ready! Gorgeous outfits all around.


  5. These are all great outfits. I really love that first fussia/purple top. It's such a gorgeous color and really flattering.

  6. This is a great guide for date night outfits! I think having go-to key accessories makes putting outfits together so much easier! Love all of these outfits, especially the first one with your purple top! Pinning this for reference!

    Jill - Doused in Pink

  7. So many cute date night looks! I absolutely loved all of the bags you wore!

  8. I love your date night recap. Hmm, it makes me want to think about what I reach for. I'm about spending more if you know you'll get a ton of wear out of an item.

  9. I like to spend more time getting ready for date night too! It makes the whole night feel more special when I dress up. Even if it's just the movies! I love that bold red bag and that Stella and Dot bracelet! So pretty!

  10. Se ven estupendos estos productos ! Espero tu opinión en mi última selección de vestidos ! Espero que te gusten ! Feliz día ! ♡♡♡

  11. My hubby and I need to add more date nights - ha! I even have gift cards to local restaurants and we can't seem to get out during this busy season. Time to make it happen. Anyway, I love your list of staples...dressing up jeans used to be my go-to. Right now I'd say it's a breezy dress...minimal accessories - it's hot, hot hot!

  12. Your date night looks are so on point! And I love adding in punchy accessories to jazz things up. :)

    Le Stylo Rouge

  13. Date night outfits are stylish. Always love your fashion sense. But I have to say, $300 crossbody purses, not so much. The average person can't even reasonably or responsibly touch that.

    1. I totally understand that and appreciate your input! By no means do I think anyone needs the exact bags I'm carrying. In the past I've offered similar Budget Options for some of my pricier bags, but I stopped because they didn't seem to generate much interest. But I am happy to include that again going forward if readers like yourself find it helpful! I'll try to update this post with some similar budget options!

  14. Great outfits.... Are you using one or two red bags ? One looks different....
    Also, what is the necklace in the outfit with the white jacket ?
    Thank you

    1. Yes I am using two different red bags. :) In the outfit with the white blazer, it's a red crossbody from Express a few years back. The Amazon option I linked was the most similar I could find that's available now. And the necklace in that same outfit was a gift from my sister several years back. I want to say it was from Kohl's! I've never had much luck finding a similar option for that, but I'll try to add an option and update the post!

  15. Date night or not, you always look darling. So many cute looks, it'd be too hard to pick a favorite. I still love that leopard bag. That was definitely a good investment. Happy weekend!!!


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