How to Dress to Impress on a Date

No more needs to be said on the importance of seizing a good first impression…especially when it comes to dating.

How you present yourself through your appearance will say a lot about you. Are you a vibrant and life loving person? Are you always in a hurry and stressed? The clothes you put on and the way you wear them reveal glimpses of your character that other people tune in to, this is especially true of women. Impress your date and make her feel valued by showing her you have put some thought in to your appearance . With this in mind here is guide to help you brush up on your personal presentation for a date without looking too “try hard” at the same time.

Shoes

Look at your shoes…go on. Look at them right now. Consider your shoes first, shoes are always your starting point and the most important part of what you are wearing wether it’s a date, a business meeting an interview, whatever. Women are obsessed with shoes and will appreciate you having good taste in this department  too .

If you are going to meet your date after work consider changing your shoes first. If you work in an office or business environment you may look a bit serious and uptight turning up in your formal business shoes, work shoes tend not to be too well looked after either and your scuffed office shoes will just make you look a bit scruffy implying that you have made little effort . Keep the shoes simple and keep them clean. Your clean shoes are a sign that personal cleanliness is important to you much like clean fingernails and teeth. All of which is very important.

Be mindful of the weather and environment you are meeting your date in. Its totally impractical and ridiculous to turn up to a date on a cold, snowy winter evening in  suede loafers, to say nothing off wet, frozen feet later in the evening.

Brogues and loafers will always serve you well, venture away from black shoes if that is what you are used to wearing, keeping black shoes for formal occasions. On warmer days slip on shoes will do the job, something like loafers or moccasins work very well and are good for summer nights when its a bit barmier. Another thing….in hot weather think about swapping leather for suede.

A good all rounder for shoes is the “royal brogue” in oxblood (burgundy) by Loake. Apart from the very hot or very cold weather they’re perfectly suitable year round and go well with most trousers including jeans and chinos. They also make a change from the usual vanilla black or brown shoes but remain “safe” at the same time.

from styleforum

from styleforum

Putting on the right coat or jacket can give you an added presence and accentuate your masculine assets…. and disguise a lack of them. Just as with shoes consider the environment and climate, you will look somewhat silly turning up on a date in the middle of summer with a big heavy leather jacket and likewise in the middle of winter you may come across a bit wimpy and pathetic shivering all the time because you have come out in a flimsy coat.

Your best bet is to go for a simple sports jacket or blazer. They can be worn all year round, during the day or night and are as equally suited to a date in a bar as they are in a fine dining restaurant. A well made, well fitted sports jacket or blazer should in any case be one of your first investments if you are updating your wardrobe. Keep the colours simple. Navy blue or grey offer the most versatility. Adapt the weight and colour of the jacket to suit the weather, obviously going for something lighter  on a hot summers day.

Shirt

Billowing, blousey shirts should not be worn and graphic or novelty T shirts are a no no. Invest in a tailor made white button down shirt with french cuffs (the ones that require cufflinks). Like the sports jacket the tailored (or well fitted at least) button down white shirt is a must for your wardrobe and will last for years and offers a lot of versatility being at home in both informal and formal occasions. Wear your shirt with the top two buttons undone any more makes you look a bit too oily. Think Simon Cowell. Feel free to wear a tie. The shirt and tie/sports jacket combination is a nice touch. A knitted wool tie would be best. In the evening relax the tie by loosening it a bit or take it off all together.

If you don’t yet have the tailored white shirt then go for a good fitting t shirt kept to one colour. You can be a bit more adventurous in the summer months going for something like light blue or pink if you wish. A closer fitted t shirt will be more flattering to your physique, not saying you have to have a body like Adonis but usually they look better when fitted than loose and billowy. If this truly is not the case then go for a casual looser fitting shirt. Hot outside? Avoid short sleeved shirts and instead get a long sleeve shirt that you can roll the sleeves up on.

Trousers

As always keep things simple. Jeans are perfectly fine with a good pair of shoes and the sports jacket or blazer. Unless your’e an art student or in a boy band stay away from the sprayed on skinny jeans and leave the baggy ones for hip hop artists and drug dealers. Jeans should be “grown up” meaning dark in colour  of classic cut and straight leg. Gimmicky extra pockets, straps, buckles and oversized labels on the back are not needed and wont go well with the sharp, understated look you are trying to cultivate. Think along the lines of Levis 501’s or 508’s. Again, just like the jacket the jeans can be adapted for hotter weather with lighter weight denim or even exchanged for some linen trousers.

This post is aimed at providing a good all round guide for men going out on most dates that are neither too formal or potentially messy. Use common sense. You would need to dress down if you were going to a gig or a festival for the day and if you were going to a formal occasion you may have a dress code to comply with.

The jeans/shirt/sports jacket combination I have suggested (not forgetting the all important shoes) will work well on most men but is not intended to be a uniform or strict code of dress…it is a guideline only and can be adapted to reflect a mans individuality and character. There is plenty of scope  for individual flourishes and signatures through accessories….an antique tie pin, a pocket square or some custom made cuff links anything you can think of. Maybe even just a something that is brighter, more boldly coloured, pink or yellow socks? A modicum of tasteful jewellery may also work if you want to display your flamboyant nature, just don’t be too blingy.

This post is aimed at providing a good all round guide for men going out on most dates that are neither too formal or potentially messy. Use common sense. You would need to dress down if you were going to a gig or a festival for the day and if you were going to a formal occasion you may have a dress code to comply with.

From The Big Black Book

From The Big Black Book

 

Rounding off…

The jeans/shirt/sports jacket combination I have suggested (not forgetting the all important shoes) will work well on most men but is not intended to be a uniform or strict code of dress…it is a guideline only and can be adapted to reflect a mans individuality and character. There is plenty of scope  for individual flourishes and signatures through accessories….an antique tie pin, a pocket square or some custom made cuff links anything you can think of. Maybe even just a something that is brighter, more boldly coloured, pink or yellow socks? A modicum of tasteful jewellery may also work if you want to display your flamboyant nature, just don’t be too blingy.

To reiterate: Shoes first.

Do you have any ideas on looking good for a date?

Feeling anxious about going on a date and wondering what to wear? Feel free to ask a question.