How to Dress for a First Date

What type of dresses should you wear?

We’ve all been there. You meet someone on a night out, or you get chatting on a dating app.

The conversation flows, you think they’re really hot. And then, voila! They pop the question. No, not a proposal. We’re talking about The Big First Date. Cue major panic about what to wear.

Well, we can help with that. Read on for some dos and don’ts for your first date look, plus some tips to ensure you’re feeling as confident as possible when you come face-to-face with Possible Mr or Mrs Right…

Number one: DON’T overdo it

Nothing puts a new beau off quicker than a try-hard appearance that screams desperate. So go easy on the slap, and keep your make-up look sexy and subtle.

The same goes for the hair products, the jewellery – you get the gist. And you know that old rule your nana used to quip? About leaving a little to the imagination? Still true.

Feel free to flash a little flesh, but loads of cleavage, leg and arms can make you look trashy. You want to impress your date, not scare them away.

Number two: DON’T sidestep comfort

Yes, we want to look good on a first date, but we also need to feel at ease. And that won’t be the case if we’ve squeezed into too-tight jeans, if we’re struggling to totter along in our new sky-high heels, or if we suffer a serious wardrobe malfunction as a result of sacrificing a bra for a sexy backless number.

By all means, pick an outfit that’s a solid 10 on the chic scale, but please make sure you’re comfortable in it.

The last thing you want is to feel uncomfortable on a date and to keep thinking about your clothes or shoes when you really should be thinking about your date.

Number three: DO consider the senses

Lots of studies have been carried out on colour and the effect each one has on the brain. For example, the colour red is said to be associated with desire and confidence, while black can be seen to demonstrate elegance and power.

Have a read up on your favourite shades before your date to see what kind of effect you might have with your chosen hue. The scent is really important, too. The right scent is said to evoke strong emotions in those around us, so choose well.

Number four: DO dress for the occasion

In the same way, you need to feel physically comfortable in your clothes, it’s important to feel comfortable and at home in whatever setting you happen to be in on your date.

If it’s a casual, outdoorsy outing, like a picnic or a cycling session, you’ll naturally want to avoid your slip dress and kitten heels. Similarly, if you’re going out-out, i.e. pre-drinks at the bar and then on to a sophisticated club, then a baggy sports tracksuit may not be the answer.

“Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” – Rachel Zoe

Number five: DO make sure you look like you!

If you wouldn’t normally go for an out-there sequin number, or you’re more of a Converse-kinda-guy than a brogue boy, it’s probably not the best idea to use your first date to experiment with something that’s totally not your style.

Pretending something you’re not or putting on some kind of persona is not the way to a happy long-term relationship. Be your awesome self.

And that means choosing an outfit you’d normally wear – one that actually represents you. That way, your date can get the real sense of who you are and what they’ll be getting on a daily basis if they date you.

Still not sure what to go for in your wardrobe? Below, we’ve added some failsafe outfit ideas for all occasions. You can thank us later!

Burger and a movie: Jeans, converse and a t-shirt for the boys, and, for the girls, trainers and jeans with a cute crop and an oversized shirt would work nicely.

Picnic in the sunshine: For ladies, a floaty dress or a cute playsuit is always a winner, and you could team these with a chic fedora hat. Lads, go for a casual t-shirt and chino-style shorts.

Cocktails in a nice bar: We love the classic jeans, clingy cami and blazer look for this type of date for girls, complete with some sexy heels. For gents, a smart shirt, jeans and loafers is a good option.

Ok, so you’ve got your date night look down. Here are a couple more tips to bear in mind when you’re getting ready…

One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.” – Arthur Ashe

Make sure you plan ahead (just like Arthur said)

With nerves already running high, the last thing you want is to be rushing around before The Big First Date. Plan what you want to wear well in advance, make sure you’re not running low on essentials like conditioner, beard balm or mascara, and make sure you’ve got enough time to get ready properly. Rushing out the door with an un-ironed shirt will not give your date a good first impression, and first impressions are E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G in the dating game.

Do everything you can to ooze confidence

First dates are daunting for everyone, so it’s crucial to do everything you possibly can to help you feel confident. That means picking out a fabulous outfit, splashing out on some new make-up or getting a haircut.

If you’re feeling extra nervous, call a friend for a quick, mood-boosting pep talk before you go. As for Dutch courage? While sipping a glass of wine as you’re getting ready is absolutely fine, turning up hammered having polished off most of the bottle, is absolutely not.

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