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Going out to the movies is still one of the most popular choices for a romantic evening. Here's how you can dress for your date.

How to Dress for Your Next Movie Date

Going out to the movies is still one of the most popular choices for a romantic evening. And despite the fact that you and your partner will be in the dark most of the time, it’s important to dress appropriately.

Let’s dive into some practical tips and tricks you can use to dress effectively for your next movie date.

The Delicate Balance of Casual and Formal

The challenge of dressing appropriately for a movie date can be reduced to a single factor: figuring out where you want to be on the spectrum between casual and formal.

Seeing a movie with your friends or in a casual context is one of the most casual events you can attend in public; you’re perfectly free to wear sweatpants and an old T-shirt, since the movie theater is dark and most people aren’t going to be looking at you anyway. But if you’re on a date with someone you want to impress, you might choose to wear something much dressier and more formal.

The movie date concept means you’ll need to figure out a way to dress for attending a movie but also for attending a date, which typically means you’ll need to straddle the line between casual and formal. Leather loafers are a perfect example of a fashion choice that perfectly straddles the formality line. You may also choose to wear a skirt with a dressy top or a pair of nice jeans with a casual blouse.

If you’re struggling to decide where you want to be on this formality spectrum, think about who you’re really dressing for. Are you dressing specifically to impress your date, even if you see them only for a short time before and after the movie? If so, you should do something slightly more formal. Are you dressing specifically for yourself, to feel comfortable and confident? Then dress however you want.

Temperature Comfort Options

Movie theaters are notorious for being excessively cold. Of course, if the air conditioner is broken, you may not have to deal with this problem – or the theater may be unexpectedly warm. In addition to considering the casual and formal spectrum, you should also come prepared to accommodate virtually any temperature. In other words, bring a jacket even if you don’t think you’ll need it.

Additional Tips: Dressing for a Movie Date

These additional tips can help you choose the perfect outfit for any movie date:

  •       Understand your priorities. Different people are going to approach this problem in different ways, based on their personal priorities. Some people take great pride in how they dress and how they look, even if other people aren’t around to look at them; if this is the case, you’ll want to look your best even in the darkest and least populated movie theaters. Some people are more interested in enjoying the experience as much as possible, regardless of how they look on the outside; if this is the case, you can dress more casually and truly relax.
  •       Know your date. If you’re trying to make a good impression on your date, incorporate whatever you do know about them. Do they seem obsessed with looks? Do they dress well in all their photos? Does this seem to be a distinguished individual with discerning taste? If so, a flashier and more formal getup might serve you well. On the other hand, if you’ve been on a few dates with this person already and they only wear shorts and a T-shirt, they’re probably not going to pay attention to what you wear at all.
  •       Consider the movie. Your attire may also fluctuate based on the type of movie you’re seeing. If you’re going to see a fun summer blockbuster, you might have more fun and feel more at home in casual attire – that is, unless you’re attending the movie premiere. If you’re going to see a serious independent film about a tragic character from history, you might want to wear something more muted and structured.
  •       Plan for additional activities. Plans may change. What if, after the movie, your date wants to go get some coffee? What if they want to go dancing? What if you choose to venture out on your own after the date to try a different activity? Try to plan your outfit with flexibility in mind. That may include bringing extra clothes in the car – just in case.
  •       Avoid tight clothes. Finally, even if you dress formally, avoid tight clothes. Nobody wants to be stuck watching a long movie in clothes that are too tight.

While there are many variables and factors to consider when getting dressed for an average date, this is something you probably shouldn’t overthink. Wear whatever makes the most sense to you.

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