It’s true for men as well, but it’s especially important for a woman to make a good impression on a first date. You want to be liked for your inner qualities, but face it–what you wear says quite a bit about your life and your personality. Dating is confusing enough without wondering what to wear or what to avoid; below is some expert advice to help you look great and feel confident on that all-important first date.
Classy and Confident
When in doubt, remember that it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed on a first date. If your date takes you somewhere that’s a bit on the casual side, don’t worry–you’ll feel ‘cool’ and your date will take notice. If you’re meeting a man for the first time, wear something that you know makes you look and feel good. Call the venue ahead of time and ask what their guests typically wear (don’t worry, they hear that question all the time!) If you’re still too worried about being too casual or too dressed-up, go with something from your business casual wardrobe (think your favorite office outfit).
Accent Your Assets–But Not Too Much
Control your date’s focus by accentuating your best asset. If it’s your bust, wear a body-skimming wrap dress or a V-neck blouse. If your waist is your best asset, wear a cinching belt. If you have long, shapely legs, wear pants, a skirt or skinny jeans to show them off. Don’t comprise your whole outfit of loose-fitting clothing; if your top is flowing, wear something fitted on the bottom to balance it out.
Stay away from overly low-cut or fitted tops–after all, you want him to remember that you’re a lady, and that’s hard to do when you’re falling out of your top! It’s also a good idea to stay away from clothing that needs constant readjustment, because you will both end up feeling uncomfortable.
Dressing for Formal Events
If your first date is going to be at a recurring formal event, search online for pictures of past events to get an idea of what’s OK to wear. If the event is evening formal, you can’t go wrong with a classic, long black dress. For a cocktail reception, a shorter dress is acceptable–but you should keep it classy and comfortable. Don’t over-accessorize; stick with a simple set of earrings, a necklace and one or two bracelets.
Going Casual Chic
Most first dates take place in a more casual setting, and it’s OK to dress within your comfort zone in situations like these. For instance, if you’re not a jeans-and-T-shirt type of woman, don’t wear jeans on date night, because you’ll only feel uncomfortable. Casual clothing allows you to show more of your personality, but you should still look put-together and situation-appropriate.
Getting Ready for a Spur-of-the-Moment Date
If you’ve been asked on a date and he wants to pick you up in an hour, don’t worry. You can still look great! Look through your closet and pull out some of your favorite ensembles; one of them is sure to fit the way you want it to. When you’ve chosen your clothing, pick out a pair of sexy but comfortable shoes, and make them work with your outfit. You can never go wrong by getting in touch with your feminine side–a dress is always a good first-date choice because it can be dressed down or up with boots, heels, a jacket or a wrap.
Philippa finds it hard to find the correct outfit for nerve-racking first dates. She has put together this article to help others who also want to look good on their first date. Philippa often looks on the Anna Davies website for inspiration.