No-Fail Fashion Staples For A First Date

woman with closet
Partner

Hung up on looking hot? Why a cardigan might get you further than a pair of killer heels.

I once met someone for a first date. He showed up in board shorts, flip flops, and a stained t-shirt. For dinner! His choice of dress may have been appropriate for a Grateful Dead concert circa 1992, but they really didn’t make sense for an evening date. He showed no respect for me, the restaurant staff or basic hygiene. Needless to say, there was no second date. First Date Conversation Topics

Want to get off on the right foot? Dress the part.

While a first date is like an interview in many respects, you certainly don’t want to dress like you’re preparing for one. The key to dressing for a first date (or the first few) is to put thought and effort into your ensemble, but not look like you did. Don’t overdo it! The result? A classy and stylish outfit that reveals a little about yourself without giving it all away at once. Beauty Rituals: U.S. vs. France

The destination, time of day, and expected weather will no doubt have some impact on your wardrobe selection, but you might consider using these guidelines to help you when making that decision, shopping for a new outfit, or when you’re trying to avoid the last-minute “I have nothing to wear!” stress fit.

Regardless of when, where, and with whom you are going on a date, be sure to wear something that makes you feel confident and comfortable. And make sure you don’t wear something you’ll fuss with constantly — fidget-worthy pieces like strapless bras, skirts, or shirts, and pants that are too tight, too short, etc. And above all, always make sure that what you wear is you. Fashion Meets Finance: True Love

1. Lunch, coffee, middle-of-the day date

If you’re coming straight from your office job, what you threw on that morning — whether it’s a suit or jeans and a polo — is probably just fine. So long as it’s truly appropriate for the office, it should also be appropriate for a casual lunch date. Don’t feel the pressure to change unless you’re wearing a required uniform (Apron? Lab coat? Spandex?) or an outfit that requires a hard hat.

If you’re planning ahead, however, you might consider aiming for the following:

• Your favorite pair of jeans. You know, those ones that fit you perfectly that you save to wear on special occasions when you want to look and feel your best.
• A simple, yet colorful top. Unless your personal style calls for crazier and bolder styles and prints, that is. (Note: Simple doesn’t have to mean plain.)
• A fitted blazer or cardigan. Black, navy, or even gray for the blazer and a complimentary color for the cardigan (Did you pick a bold pink-colored top? Try an ivory sweater. Did you choose a black top? Try a pink, green or purple sweater.)
• Shoes you can walk in comfortably, perhaps your favorite pair.
• Simple, classic jewelry. Have a set of pearls — real or otherwise — and studs or not-too-long dangling earrings? Wear them for a finishing touch.

Or, if the weather permits it, make it easy and throw on a casual sundress! You can still pair it with a lightweight cardigan, comfy shoes, and understated accessories.

2. Happy hour, dinner, other evening rendezvous

Similar rules apply when dressing for an evening date. Think about what makes you feel confident but comfortable as well. Once the sun goes down, you can play around with slightly fancier apparel and eye-catching accents. Don’t be scared to dress up your top a little more than you would for lunch, add a few more or glitzier accessories, and throw on shoes that are still comfortable yet perhaps more alluring. First Date Dos and Don'ts

Unless you know you’re going to a fancy restaurant, stray away from a little black dress — or something similarly extravagant — for your first date. Remember, you don’t want to totally overdo it. Want to wear a dress? Aim for something with a bit of color, or dress it down with your shoe and jewelry choices.

In general, whether it’s day or night, you’ll want to avoid wearing a particular item — whether it’s a loud, graphic tee or earrings you can see from miles away — that stands out more than everything else you’re wearing. Make sure your outfit flows together smoothly, so he’s left remembering your awesome conversation, not your over-the-top, clanky bangles.

3. What about makeup?

Wear some! Just not so much that you seem to be hiding yourself under layers of it. Again, you want to feel confident and comfortable, but you don’t need to do yourself up like you’re headed out for a long night on the town. First Date Fashion Faux Pas

Did Mother Nature bless you with a hideous pimple the morning of your date? Go ahead and cover that baby up, but don’t put layer after layer of foundation on your face if you don’t truly need it. Instead, use your favorite products to enhance your complexion while still letting your natural beauty shine.

And if you’re facing the opposite problem and are a makeup-phobe or makeup-novice, don’t worry! Keep it simple and grab a friend for consultation if you can. Try just a product or two, perhaps a little lip gloss and mascara.

Written by Anna Hennings and Tania Khadder for Excelle

More from Excelle: 

I once met someone for a first date. He showed up in board shorts, flip flops, and a stained t-shirt. For dinner! His choice of dress may have been appropriate for a Grateful Dead concert circa 1992, but they really didn’t make sense for an evening date. He showed no respect for me, the restaurant staff or basic hygiene. Needless to say, there was no second date. First Date Conversation Topics

Want to get off on the right foot? Dress the part.

While a first date is like an interview in many respects, you certainly don’t want to dress like you’re preparing for one. The key to dressing for a first date (or the first few) is to put thought and effort into your ensemble, but not look like you did. Don’t overdo it! The result? A classy and stylish outfit that reveals a little about yourself without giving it all away at once. Beauty Rituals: U.S. vs. France

The destination, time of day, and expected weather will no doubt have some impact on your wardrobe selection, but you might consider using these guidelines to help you when making that decision, shopping for a new outfit, or when you’re trying to avoid the last-minute “I have nothing to wear!” stress fit.

Regardless of when, where, and with whom you are going on a date, be sure to wear something that makes you feel confident and comfortable. And make sure you don’t wear something you’ll fuss with constantly — fidget-worthy pieces like strapless bras, skirts, or shirts, and pants that are too tight, too short, etc. And above all, always make sure that what you wear is you. Fashion Meets Finance: True Love

1. Lunch, coffee, middle-of-the day date

If you’re coming straight from your office job, what you threw on that morning — whether it’s a suit or jeans and a polo — is probably just fine. So long as it’s truly appropriate for the office, it should also be appropriate for a casual lunch date. Don’t feel the pressure to change unless you’re wearing a required uniform (Apron? Lab coat? Spandex?) or an outfit that requires a hard hat.

If you’re planning ahead, however, you might consider aiming for the following:

• Your favorite pair of jeans. You know, those ones that fit you perfectly that you save to wear on special occasions when you want to look and feel your best.
• A simple, yet colorful top. Unless your personal style calls for crazier and bolder styles and prints, that is. (Note: Simple doesn’t have to mean plain.)
• A fitted blazer or cardigan. Black, navy, or even gray for the blazer and a complimentary color for the cardigan (Did you pick a bold pink-colored top? Try an ivory sweater. Did you choose a black top? Try a pink, green or purple sweater.)
• Shoes you can walk in comfortably, perhaps your favorite pair.
• Simple, classic jewelry. Have a set of pearls—real or otherwise—and studs or not-too-long dangling earrings? Wear them for a finishing touch.

Or, if the weather permits it, make it easy and throw on a casual sundress! You can still pair it with a lightweight cardigan, comfy shoes, and understated accessories.

2. Happy hour, dinner, other evening rendezvous

Similar rules apply when dressing for an evening date. Think about what makes you feel confident but comfortable as well. Once the sun goes down, you can play around with slightly fancier apparel and eye-catching accents. Don’t be scared to dress up your top a little more than you would for lunch, add a few more or glitzier accessories, and throw on shoes that are still comfortable yet perhaps more alluring. First Date Dos and Don'ts

Unless you know you’re going to a fancy restaurant, stray away from a little black dress—or something similarly extravagant—for your first date. Remember, you don’t want to totally overdo it. Want to wear a dress? Aim for something with a bit of color, or dress it down with your shoe and jewelry choices.

In general, whether it’s day or night, you’ll want to avoid wearing a particular item—whether it’s a loud, graphic tee or earrings you can see from miles away—that stands out more than everything else you’re wearing. Make sure your outfit flows together smoothly, so he’s left remembering your awesome conversation, not your over-the-top, clanky bangles.

3. What about makeup?

Wear some! Just not so much that you seem to be hiding yourself under layers of it. Again, you want to feel confident and comfortable, but you don't need to do yourself up like you're headed out for a long night on the town. First Date Fashion Faux Pas

Did Mother Nature bless you with a hideous pimple the morning of your date? Go ahead and cover that baby up, but don't put layer after layer of foundation on your face if you don't truly need it. Instead, use your favorite products to enhance your complexion while still letting your natural beauty shine.

And if you're facing the opposite problem and are a makeup-phobe or makeup-novice, don't worry! Keep it simple and grab a friend for consultation if you can. Try just a product or two, perhaps a little lip gloss and mascara.

Written by Anna Hennings and Tania Khadder for Excelle

More from Excelle: 

Author
Partner