How to Plan Cute Dates on a Budget

As college students, we often feel the stress of saving and stretching our money while still having a little extra to buy cute clothes, go out with friends, or plan dates with a special someone. Those long hours put into that either really great or not-so-great summer job don’t have to disappear in the blink of an eye when you want to enjoy the warm weather with your boo.

A good way to spend virtually nothing is to plan a sight-seeing hike (or drive if you don’t feel like getting sweaty). The area I live in has so many beautiful nature scenes that it becomes a fun adventure to pick a new place to visit and hang out. My boyfriend and I visited a hidden waterfall, which also doubles for a swimming date if it’s hot enough. Whether it be in the country or city, there are always little gems to make your own. If you live in the city go check out any rooftops, botanical gardens, or plan to drive out of the city for the day!

Another sweet date (literally) is to go berry picking since it is the season of strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and so on. Farm stands will often have a pick-your-own option, and we went to pick strawberries. We try to see who can find the best looking ones and how full we can make our crate, which ends up being roughly under $5.

Picnics are definitely one of my favorite, cheap dates when the weather gets this nice. It can be a full meal or just some snacks, which is what we did. All you need is something to sit on and an ideal spot to lounge. We picked a huge, quiet, grassy hill, but parks or the beach work perfectly too. Buying groceries to eat is usually going to be cheaper than eating out at a restaurant as well.

For some quick outfit inspiration, my denim skirt is from ASOS, my top is from Buffalo Exchange, my belt is from Urban Outfitters, and my shoes are Vans.

These are just a few simple ideas, but dates don’t have to be extravagant to have a good time!

Tag @Cfashionista on social media showing us your cute summer dates!

Cherry Reds for Summer

One color that screams summer to me is cherry red. While I’m definitely guilty of owning a turtleneck in the same shade, it reminds me of melting cherry popsicles at the beach while lifeguards roam in their matching uniforms. It’s the perfect hue to complement a tan (which I, sadly, do not have yet) and is always an eye-catching, flattering choice.

This bodysuit was a steal at Forever 21 for around $10, which I paired with some high-waisted, navy striped trousers from Brandy Melville and—a new addition—a pair of nude, patent-leather, oxford platforms from ASOS.

Bodysuits have definitely become a wardrobe staple, and they save you from the annoyance of trying to tuck a shirt into pants without making it look awkward (or like a dad). Skinny jeans seem to be barely holding on as trends transition into culottes, bell-bottoms, straight leg jeans, and trousers. Another plus about trousers is they’re dress-code friendly for jobs or events where denim isn’t appropriate. These platform oxfords are a much more comfortable way to boost your height—plus who wants to be struggling in heels when you’re already focused on trying to stay cool?

Simple, gold accessories are cute and dainty ways to add a little extra detail to any of your outfits this summer. Aviators have made a comeback from the ’70s in tinted shades as well as readers like the ones I picked up from Urban Outfitters—where my tiny gold hoops that I wear every day are from too! There are so many fun variations of the name plate necklace, always a great gift if anyone has a summer birthday coming up. I customized and ordered mine on Etsy, but they aren’t hard to find.

A simple, effortless outfit like this is a go-to on those perfect 70-degree days when you can spread out a picnic blanket in the grass and enjoy some fresh fruit or a good book. Grab some friends and a portable speaker to lounge in the summer sun together.

What’s your favorite color to wear as it heats up? Show us on social media and tag @Cfashionista!