Best women’s going-out clothes

Reviews

Before making a decision to buy, make sure the outfit you’ve selected is appropriate for the occasion for which you plan to wear it. For example, cocktail dresses are suitable for fancy soirees, but they may not be the best choices for casual meetups at your local pub.

BestReviews is reader-supported and may earn an affiliate commission. Details.

What are the best women’s going-out clothes?

Whether you’re heading to your favorite spot with your crew or for a dinner date, you want to wear the perfect going-out clothes to make you feel confident. From figure-flattering midi dresses to sequined tops and jeans to daring jumpsuits, there is something for you that’s comfortable and stylish.

Having key pieces in your wardrobe can take the stress out of dressing up. A fashionable ensemble such as the UGUEST Long Sleeve V-Neck Floral Mini Swing Dress will turn heads and make you feel like a million dollars.

What to know before you buy women’s going-out clothes

Size and fit

Standard sizing charts are unreliable because every brand has its own sizing system, so when possible, try on the outfit before purchasing it. Besides size, take into account your body’s shape. An outfit that looks good on someone with curves and an apple shape won’t always look good on someone who is slender and petite. The best women’s going-out outfits show off your body’s best features.

Occasion

Before buying, make sure the outfit you’ve selected is appropriate for the occasion where you plan to wear it. For example, cocktail dresses are suitable for fancy soirees, but one may not be the best choice for a night at your local pub.

Personal style

Like the rest of your clothes and accessories, your going-out outfit should be an extension of your personality and style. Are you someone who gravitates toward classy and sophisticated or do you prefer simple yet elegant? Knowing your personal style can point you to the best colors and outfit types that would best communicate to others what you’re all about.

Dress codes for women’s going-out clothes

  • Smart casual: This look is appropriate for a night out with friends or a first date. It’s dressing with a little effort. That might mean smart jeans, knee-length skirts, a button-up shirt or polo and a nice pair of shoes.
  • Black tie: This is the second-highest level of formal attire, usually worn at exclusive events and parties where it’s important to dress for the occasion. A sophisticated outfit with a simple and feminine silhouette, such as a long evening gown or a cocktail dress in metallics, black or jewel tones, is perfect for such an event.
  • White tie: For this ultra-formal dress code, be ready to dress to the nines and step into your most glamourous self. A full-length formal evening gown is a must for these events. Traditionally, white gloves are worn as well; today, they are optional.
  • Cocktail: This is a standard dress code for many parties. These are fun occasions that call for dresses and skirts that are at or above the knee or a little black dress, both with heels. Choose an outfit that shows your personality and is playful yet polished.
  • Semi-formal: Semi-formal can be tricky to interpret. Think of it as a notch below black tie and a bit above cocktail attire. Some options to consider are a little black cocktail dress, a dark-colored business suit and a long dressy skirt with a nice top.
  • Evening or loungewear: This is for a dressy occasion like a black tie, but with a touch of casual and personality. Unlike black ties and white ties, you have more creative freedom to wear extravagant colors and cuts. As long as you look dressed-up, you can wear outfits embellished with sequins and rhinestones, and printed fabrics.
  • Clubbing wear: When hitting the clubs, you can be more daring when it comes to the cut and silhouette of your outfit. Exclusive clubs may require more upscale attire that looks sophisticated. Club attire can range from skater dresses, fitted silk tops or camisoles and jeans, bodycon dresses, bodysuits and trousers with boots.

What to look for in quality women’s going-out clothes

Materials

Clothes are made from a wide variety of different materials, including linen, leather and synthetic fibers derived from chemicals. If you want your outfit to last a while, look for high-quality materials that will not shrink, stretch or bleed color when washed. Polyester and nylon tend not to shrink as much as cotton and linen (if they haven’t been preshrunk).

Color

While black is a favorite for going-out outfits, it’s okay to experiment with and dress in color. Popular hues include red, jewel tones (emerald green, ruby red) and darker shades of gray, blue, brown, purple and green. The color of your outfit also informs the accessories and shoes you wear. It’s important to pick clothing colors that flatter your natural skin tone.

How much you can expect to spend on women’s going-out clothes

The price range of women’s going-out outfits varies a lot depending on the quality of the materials, the design and fit. Those on a budget can find outfits for $25-$50 while those who have more wiggle room can find clothes for $50-$200. Those who want to splurge can select from high-end outfits that start at $200 and go all the way to the thousands.

Women’s going-out clothes FAQ

What accessories should you add to your going-out outfit?

A. Fun statement items such as jewelry, handbags, belts, hats and hair accessories can make even the most basic outfit look chic. When it comes to accessories, it’s all about balance, so think about color and pattern combinations. If you are more fashion-forward, choose accessories with bold color combinations that don’t necessarily match.

How should you wear your hair and makeup for a night out?

A. It’s important to take the weather and occasion into consideration. Polished, elegant and classic styles and muted colors are suitable for formal occasions. If you’re going dancing at a nightclub or bar, experiment with some favorite night-out makeup trends such as glitter, smoky eyes, shimmer eyeshadow and red lips. Some hairstyles to consider are slicked-back hair, waves, messy topknots, sleek ponytails, braids and buns. If you anticipate warm temperatures at the venue (or you plan to dance the night away), opt for waterproof, long-wearing makeup and hair products.

What are the best women’s going-out clothes to buy?

Top women’s going-out clothes

UGUEST Women Long Sleeve V-Neck Dress Floral Mini Swing Party Wedding Dress with Belt

UGUEST Women Long Sleeve V-Neck Dress Floral Mini Swing Party Wedding Dress with Belt

What you need to know: This flowy dress flatters most body types and is appropriate for several kinds of occasions.

What you’ll love: This swing mini floral dress comes with an adjustable belt. It is available in short sleeves and sleeveless styles with various patterns and colors. The A-line cut accentuates curves. The rayon blend makes it soft and comfortable to wear during most seasons.

What you should consider: Some wearers found the deep V-neck to be too low and revealing.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top women’s going-out clothes for the money

Zalalus Women's Elegant Spaghetti Straps Deep V-Neck Sleeveless Bodycon Party Dress

Zalalus Women’s Elegant Spaghetti Straps Deep V-Neck Sleeveless Bodycon Party Dress

What you need to know: This simple and sensual dress is comfortable to wear and highlights curves.

What you’ll love: This versatile dress is suitable for different outings including going to nightclubs, weddings and holiday and cocktail parties. This bodycon party dress with spaghetti straps, a deep V neck, and an above-the-knee length is available in a range of colors and sizes that flatters most body types.

What you should consider: There were buyers who found the dress material to be too thick and the fit a little too tight.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

UONBOX Women's One-Shoulder Sleeveless Knee-Length Side-Split Fashion Bandage Dress

UONBOX Women’s One-Shoulder Sleeveless Knee-Length Side-Split Fashion Bandage Dress

What you need to know: This bandage dress with a curve-hugging fit is comfortable to wear.

What you’ll love: The dress is made with polyester and spandex materials that stretch to fit most body shapes and sizes. It has a high side split, fluted one shoulder and flattering mid-length.

What you should consider: Many purchasers claim the dress does not fit to size.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Seline Shenoy writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.