It’s your classic movie montage moment: girl gets ready for date with boy and tries on everything in her wardrobe before finally emerging in an amazing ensemble. Sadly we don’t all live in a movie and a romantic sound track isn’t going to solve your first date outfit conundrums.
The secret is to get the balance right, but what are the fashion scales? Too demure and you might look like your gran; too sexy and you could look red light district esque. Fear not, by following these simple rules you’re sure to come out wearing something that will leave you looking and feeling great.
1. Check the weather
A wise person once said “There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad clothing.” This is definitely true when it comes to dating. It might seem obvious but if it’s chucking it down with rain and sub 2 degrees, maybe swap your cute open toe sandals for a pair of comfortable but chic boots. Likewise, while it’s rare, if we do suddenly experience a heat wave, probably best to not to wear that light grey cashmere cardi – sweat marks aren’t the hot look you’re after.
2. Express yourself
Your first date outfit is a great opportunity to reveal more of your personality, so have fun and release your inner Carrie Bradshaw. Don’t worry, this doesn’t have to mean donning a pink tutu! It could be as simple as jazzing up your plain top with a new scarf or wearing a statement necklace. By accessorizing you have the power to transform a dull outfit into a designer-esque one, sure to endure your date.
3. Show your true colours
Now, we all have some colours that suit us better than others, so before your date pick appropriately. For example, I love the colour red, however I know when I get excited or nervous (common emotions on a first date) my face also loves the colour red. So, to avoid looking like a tomato, I opt for cooler tones to leave me looking more beautiful than beetroot.
4. Failing to plan is planning to fail
Okay, so we’re not saying you need to create a full on excel spreadsheet before your date, but is definitely a good idea to plan your look. This will pay off huge. First, you won’t have to tear apart your wardrobe leaving your house looking you’ve been a victim or a failed robbery. Secondly, a frantic, last-minute dash to get date ready will leave you frantic and frazzled—not the ideal state of mind for the already anxiety-inducing event of a first date. Planning your look will mean you’ll be able to answer the door calm, confident and not covered in sweat. Try on your outfit a day in advance and walk around in it, especially if it’s new, so you’ve tested to avoid any wardrobe malfunctions
5. Be you
Don’t try to be what you think he wants you to be. Attempting to get a read on exactly what your date is attracted to is a great way to sabotage your chances at easing into a relationship when the real you inevitably emerges. If your style is more feminine but you think he’s into a rock-and-roll girl, don’t show up in your leathers or, worse, a concert tee featuring his favourite band. You won’t be able to back it up in conversation, he’ll see right through it. Being yourself is the best thing you can do on a first date, even though it’s easier said than done.
6. Don’t walk a mile in someone else’s shoes
There is nothing a man finds less attractive than a woman who is limping along and complaining about her feet. Do the shoe test: if your feet hurt simply from walking from your room to the door prob not the best choice for the first date – save those for third or fourth when you’re in the staying stage.
7. Pick your perfume
Our sense of smell, is one of the most powerful for evoking emotions and memories, so selecting the right scent on your first date is essential. Now, this doesn’t mean dousing yourself in a bottle of Impulse or Charlie Red – we’re not 14 anymore and this isn’t the school disco. Instead, go for a couple of sprits of your signature perfume. And I know it’s gross, but to avoid the dreaded BO from the more than likely nervous first date sweats, make sure you come prepared with plenty of deodorant – we’re all human and we all we sweat.
8. Less is more
Don’t overdo it. Yes, you may want to step it up a notch in the hair, makeup and ensemble departments, but don’t reinvent—this is not the time to try that gelled-up faux-hawk or layer on the multi-coloured eye makeup. You’ll look like you tried too hard, and your date might get a little scared.
9. Legs OR cleavage, not both
Imagination is key, especially when it comes to dates. We all like to dress to impress, but it may be a good idea to tone things down for the first few dates; first impressions have a habit of sticking, and if you reveal too much flesh your date might get the wrong idea. Short skirts or hot pants might show off your enviable set of pins, but don’t spoil the surprise on a first date, give them something to look forward to at a later date.
10. Comfort is key
Above all else the most important rule is to wear something you’re comfortable in. If you feel good in what you’re wearing that will come across to your date. So, if you’re a jeans and t shirt girl and dresses leave you in a cold sweat (sorry using that s word again) wear your jeans and t shirt! However, saying that while many of us feel most comfy in a onesie it is probably best to avoid that until at least the third date.