Dating at any age can be nerve-racking, intimidating, and feel stressful. First impressions really matter on a first date, and so none of these are looks you want to project! You want to look confident, friendly, and maybe even flirty.
You want to project yourself at your best, and let your personality show. One area that you really can do this is through your wardrobe and appearance. Here are some tips on how to dress for dates.
Dressing for casual dates:
coffee shop dates, a walk in the park, Sunday brunch
You don't want to be overdressed for casual dates, but being underdressed can easily send the wrong message. You could come off looking aloof, bored, or like you don’t care. And you do, so dress the part. Casual does not mean sloppy!
Outfit: Wear well-fitting jeans or a slim leg chino style trouser.
For women, wear a silk top or blouse paired with a cardigan or cropped leather jacket. A strappy sandal is great in warmer weather or ankle boots in colder weather. Go light on the makeup for your daytime look. No false eyelashes! Add colour in your lipstick.
Guys, wear jeans or a slim fit flat front chino style trouser, and a light weight jumper with casual shirt or t-shirt. Soft fabrics are tactile, and if you want to look approachable, wear the colour of your eyes in your top. If you have a casual style, a shoe such as a Converse is fine, but just make sure it is new and not worn and tatty. Avoid running shoes!
Dressing for evening dates:
going for drinks, seeing live music, a comedy show
Evening dates mean you get to look more flirty and a bit more sexy. Women, here’s an opportunity to add sequins (in moderation) strappy tops or bolder jewellery. Don’t shy away from expressing your personal style, but remember less is more.
Outfit: Show off an asset, just not all your assets all at once! Maybe try a lower-cut top with trousers or dark wax finish jeans. Or try wearing a shorter skirt with a modest top or loose-fitting jumper. Wear heels if you aren't going to be standing a lot. Dresses are a great option. Cotton or jersey knit dresses that follow your curves without clinging are easy and comfortable to wear. Stay away from formal wear.
You can go a little heavier on the makeup with a smokey eye, and/or a bolder lipstick colour and more mascara. Don’t wear so much that you are hiding behind a mask. If you are not sure about applying makeup either watch some videos on Youtube, or invest in some lessons. You can read about my make up artist Kit Hall here
Guys; similar to above. Dark slim fitting jeans, worn with a shirt and jacket is a safe bet. Often, this is the area of the wardrobe that most guys are lacking! It’s worth investing in some smart casual shoes, such as a suede boot or shoe, and a simple style of casual jacket.
Dressing for more formal dates: dinner out at a nice restaurant, art show openings, fundraisers, a guest at a wedding or a graduation
Make an effort and have fun with this one. You can be creative, artistic and modern. Or be sophisticated and classy. Just don’t be too conservative; it could make you look stuffy.
Outfit: Girls; wear something that you feel radiant in. Maybe it’s an amazing colour, so something fitted that shows off your shape. Maybe it’s an outfit that has sheer qualities to it either in cut outs, lace, or see-through fabrics. Wear the appropriate undergarments! Or go for a masculine look with tuxedo trousers and ivory satin blouse. Wear heels (your choice of colour), patterned flats, or dressy heeled sandals. If it's a special event you are attending, consider getting your hair and makeup done professionally earlier in the day.
Keep attention near your face. Accessorise with a statement necklace or with dazzling earrings. Add a cocktail ring or two. Be sure to carry an evening bag, not a big hobo bag.
Guys; Invest in a suit that is not too ‘office like’, maybe in a shade or fabric you wouldn’t normally wear to work. You can then wear it as separates when you don’t need to be so smart. Invest in leather shoes and a couple of good quality shirts. Buy the best you can afford – quality and fit is everything.
If dressing for dates makes your head spin, let me help. I can get you dressed for any type of date so that you can feel confident and look great. You can contact me here to arrange to have a chat.
Lizzie Edwards is a personal stylist and image consultant, for men and women, based in London, UK