Choices in what to wear on that first date are even more plentiful than the choices of dates themselves. But with a few simple rules, you can have a great time and impress your date without overdoing it. Remember the three Cs: Dress Clean, Conservative, and Comfortable.
It should go without saying, but too often it doesn’t. Take a shower. Shave (that goes for you, too, ladies, even if you’re wearing pants). Make sure the clothes you choose are washed, free of wrinkles, and free of rips. Save your distressed jeans and flip-flops for yard sales.
Putting a little bit of effort into this important date will not only make you feel more comfortable on the date, but will also show your date that you respect him or her. Even if you have a causal, “anything goes” personality, don’t let it spill over onto your appearance. Brush your teeth right before you leave the house so your breath will be fresh. If you can afford it, it’s not a bad idea to get a manicure, too – guys, this goes for you too! Everything visible should be washed, well groomed, and welcoming.
Think about a job interview. Often a job seeker is told to dress one station above the typical dress of those in the job they seek. It’s a good idea to follow similar advice for a first date. If you’re going to a restaurant where diners usually wear dress shirts and pants, dress it up a tick by donning a blazer (guys) or some fancier jewelry (gals). If you’re going on a picnic or hike, dress for the occasion, but not too sloppy or overly casual. For example, wear a nice, new t-shirt rather than a tank top.
If you’re looking for a relationship with some meaning and staying power, show it by how you dress. Ladies, avoid revealing clothing like spaghetti strap tops or micro-mini skirts. Also, don’t go overboard with the makeup and perfume. Something ultra-trendy and hot out of Milan isn’t likely to impress a man, so go with a more classic look.
Be your best self, but be yourself. Don’t wear brand new shoes, a strapless bra, or anything else that’s going to make you self-conscience and fidgety all through the date. Any nervousness or discomfort is bound to be misinterpreted by your date as disinterest or poor social skills, so make sure you wear an outfit you’ve worn before, including comfortable shoes.
Resist the temptation to get a new hair style to impress your date. The danger of something going wrong is just too great, and even if it looks fine, you’ll be wondering about it yourself the whole time, infecting your time together with self-doubt and so many glances in mirrors and windows that your date will think you’re totally self-absorbed.
Remember that you are presenting yourself to a potential dating partner because you think you have something special to offer – and you do! – so don’t poison the date by worrying about covering up all your undesirable traits. For example, one young lady who was worried about her aging teeth decided to whiten them right before her date. Unfortunately, he took her out for ice cream, which she couldn’t eat because her teeth were so sensitive to the cold.
You want to dress for your date so that you are confident that you look good, but no so focused on how you look that you can’t enjoy the date itself.