You only get one opportunity to make a great first impression on a first date, and while a good outfit will probably not have an effect on a date, a bad outfit almost certainly will.
The way you dress says a lot about your personality and lifestyle. For many people, what they choose to wear may simply be a matter of habit. However, when you're preparing for a date, it's a good idea to put a little more thought into what you're wearing before you venture out.
Keep reading for a few quick tips on what to wear on a first date.
Consider the Venue
If you're going to be going on an outdoor date such as horseback riding or a picnic, it shouldn't be too hard to figure out how to dress appropriately. However, when it comes to formal events or restaurants you've never visited, it can get a little more complicated.
If you're going to an annual event, try to track down online photos from the previous years and see what people were wearing. If you'll be dining at a new restaurant, visit their website or call them to ask about their dress code.
When in doubt, it's always better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. Being overdressed makes you seem polished and classy; if you're underdressed, you'll just look sloppy and like you didn't care enough about the date to put forth an effort. Not a great way to start a date.
Consider the Time of Day
Generally, morning or afternoon dates, regardless of the venue, are more casual and laidback. Dress in your typical everyday attire, and choose an outfit that you feel comfortable in. Picking an outfit that you love will automatically make you feel more relaxed and confident, which is a great attitude for a first date.
For an evening date, dress is typically more formal. If you're a woman, remember to keep accessories to a minimum. If you and your date are attending a formal evening event, wear a simple long black dress. For cocktail attire, go with a shorter dress. If you're a man and you're attending a formal event, find out whether it's black tie and dress accordingly. For cocktail hour, go with a dark suit or opt for pressed trousers with a sports coat.
Tips for Women
Pick one asset to focus on. If you love your legs, wear skinny jeans or a short skirt. To show off your waist, pick a wrap dress or wear a belt. Ultimately, what's important is that you wear something in which you are comfortable. If you wear something that feels too revealing, needs constant adjusting or doesn't fit properly, you'll be distracted and uncomfortable for the entire date.
Tips for Men
Maybe your closet is filled with t-shirts with cheesy or offencive slogans, or you have a great hat collection that rarely gets to see the light of day. Sorry, but now is not the time to bring out those gems. Also, if you've never put gel in your hair or donned a vest, a first date is not the time to start. Focus on looking neat, clean and as though you put some thought into your choice of clothing.
If you're like most singles, you're looking for someone who shares your background, interests and values. Have you ever looked at someone and, based on the way that they were dressed, decided that they were absolutely not the type of person you were looking for?
There's nothing wrong with giving yourself a little fashion update before a first date, but don't do so at the expense of your personal style. For example, if you naturally have a more hipster-y style, then dressing in Lily Pulitzer will probably not attract the type of person that you would be attracted to. Likewise, by sacrificing your style for what seems like a trendier option, you may end up looking like someone that your date couldn't see him or herself interested in.
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