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5 Affordable Date-Night Worthy Tops

A night out with your special person, or your girlfriends, may feel like a rare treat, but it’s so important to keep our grown-up relationships a priority in these busy chapters of our lives.

Easier said than done, though. 

Bri and I have always been good about carving out time together without the kids, but it’s become more and more of a challenge in recent months, especially since Maddie started high school.

The girls are older, with full lives and schedules of their own, and we have a toddler who likes a firm 7 pm bedtime.

So the balance is a little off in our house, lol. 

Sometimes we have a “date” on the calendar, with Vivi’s babysitter lined up. But more often than not, we just find ourselves on a night with a window, like grandparents coming over or sports getting canceled. 

The key to a spontaneous date night is being able to get dressed and out of the house quickly.

And one thing I hear from girlfriends and readers, when it comes to a night out, you do not want to spend your night in the same thing you wore all day. 

You might want something a little more fun. 

So let’s talk about pretty, well-priced tops to pair with your favorite jeans to create a quick casual date night look in minutes. 

5 Affordable Date-Night Worthy Tops

Five Date Night Top Options from Cece

CeCe is a brand you can find at department stores like Nordstrom and Macy’s that specializes in well priced novelty tops. As you can see, they are the perfect top for dark jeans, or black pants,  and are all under $100, with most tops ranging between $69 – $80. 

Their size range includes XXS – XXL (about an 18) and some plus options up to a 3X.

Here’s the deal, these sell out all the time. I don’t know if they keep a lower inventory or if they are just that popular but new arrivals become limited quickly.

I featured a few at the end of last year for holiday celebrations, and our readership loved them. 

So I thought I would shine another light on them, with a round-up of some of their new arrivals, ideal for a Valentine’s night dinner or a much needed night out with your friends. 

Ruffled Cold Shoulder Clip Dot Blouse


Ruffled Cold Shoulder clip dot blouse in red

Ruffled Cold Shoulder Clip Dot Blouse, $89 

I’m not a fan of the cold-shoulder blouse, but this one I can get behind. 

It’s made of a pretty “clip dot” fabric, that has lovely, subtle texture. The neckline is flattering and I love how it drapes off the shoulder. 

I’m highlighting the red, but it’s also available in pink, white and what they are calling, cabernet. 

Available at Nordstrom, in sizes XS – XL.

Sweet Tie Mix Media Cotton Blend Sweater

Sweet Tie Mix Media Cotton Blend Sweater in white

Sweet Tie Mix Media Cotton Blend Sweater, $79 

With sheer sleeves and a sweet tie neck, this sweater adds elegant elements to a casual staple. I love it in the white paired with dark jeans, but it’s also available in red, cabernet, green and black, which looks fabulous with slim cut black pants. 

Available at Nordstrom, in sizes XS – XL

Similar style in plus size here, I vote for the red!

Off-The-Shoulder Top

Off the shoulder blouse in black with pink roses

Off-The-Shoulder Top, $89 

If you like some romantic elements in your otherwise classic wardrobe, this blouse is ideal: off-the-shoulder, soft, a little dramatic. 

Available at Macy’s (limited sizes), in XXS – XXL

Plus option here in a soft leopard print

One-Shoulder Ruffle Bow Blouse

Black one shoulder ruffle bow blouse in black

One-Shoulder Ruffle Bow Blouse, $89 


When your wardrobe is filled with classics, it can be difficult to find these kind of novelty tops that still fit in your style. But this one-shoulder blouse feels elegant and fun.

Available at Nordstrom, in black XS – XL

Puff-Sleeve V-Neck Top

Puff Sleeve V-Neck Top in pink

Puff-Sleeve V-Neck Top, $69 

Finally, if you’d like something sweet and simple, this V-Neck Top may be for you. The “puff” sleeve is very soft, not dramatic at all. 

Add your favorite delicate jewelry and wear your best-fitting jeans, and off you go. 

Available at Macy’s in XS – XL in pink

Similar Plus Size option here in leopard.

And here in black.

5 Affordable Date-Night Worthy Tops

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Megan Kristel

Megan Kristel is an entrepreneur, working mom, and former personal stylist. Tired of the one-dimensional portrayal of women online, she founded The Well Dressed Life as a resource for other professional women.

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Karen Coxe

Friday 4th of February 2022

Thanks for including plus size options!

Megan Kristel

Monday 7th of February 2022

Absolutely, I try to have them in every post : )


Friday 4th of February 2022

These are definitely cute tops for the warmer months, but what about the winter? I live in NJ and I'm a person who is always cold. Bare shoulders and forearms, even indoors, are going to make me uncomfortably cold from November - April. Wearing a sweater or shawl OVER these tops defeat the purpose of wearing something cute. Is there anything cute AND warm?


Friday 4th of February 2022

@Megan Kristel, thanks for your response. I’m new to your site so I didn’t know about the earlier posts. I’ll look them up - I appreciate the tip!

Megan Kristel

Friday 4th of February 2022

Right now, no because in retail they are transitioning from winter to resort and early spring. We featured dozens of similar options that were seasonally appropriate in our content in November and December. Also, please, please, please keep in mind our readership is not only National, but GLOBAL, so I need to highlight options for everyone.

Cindi Martin

Friday 4th of February 2022

Hi, These tops are lovely, but affordable at $70-$90 each? That is not what I call affordable. Can I afford it? Yes. But really I shouldn't pay that much for a top to wear on a rare night out. Am I crazy? Or maybe just you all are used to being in a different income bracket than I am. I certainly mean no disrespect. I love your column!!


Friday 4th of February 2022

@Cindi Martin, They go on sale all the time. I purchased a few at %35 from Nordstom and Macy's.

Megan Kristel

Friday 4th of February 2022

In the category of novelty tops, for women in their 40s +, who are looking for the quality, fit, size range and the value it will bring to a wardrobe, this is reasonable. I am not and never will be a "budget friendly" resource, but I offer a range of options from Old Navy to Neiman Marcus.

If you follow along you know I highlight all kinds of price points and send out a sale email on Sundays to let readers know about markdowns that are relevant.

I would rather have better quality than quantity and use that as a guiding principle in all of my recommendations.