So, you’re a guy and you’re going on a date. Let me let you in on a secret I think most women will back me up on. We’re not expecting that much from you, style-wise. Online dates and set-ups aside, we already know what you look like, so this isn’t a make-or-break moment. But that doesn’t mean you don’t have to put any effort in to your appearance, because one really unfortunate outfit choice could have your date wondering what it says about you. Check out our quick guide for what to wear, and what not to wear, on a date.
What to wear on a date: An outfit that is…
Flattering – You can look good regardless of what kind of shape your body is in, and the best way of doing this is to wear clothes that fit. Baggy clothes don’t make a bigger body look smaller, and a shirt straining over your pecs isn’t as attractive as you may think. Keep proportions clean by wearing jeans that follow the shape of your leg and don’t just hang. Choose a well-fitting shirt with a hemline that doesn’t fall past your butt, and if you wear a jacket, make sure the shoulders fit close and your sleeves stop before your fingers start.
Appropriate – A coffee date is different from a dinner date, and you need to dress for the situation. For something casual, dark jeans and a clean shirt work well. For a nicer dinner date, try a sweater or a button-down shirt. When in doubt, dress nicely, and your date will be flattered you took the time.
Polished from head to toe – The impression you make goes way beyond your clothing. Your grooming habits are something your date will immediately pick up on, and being clean is an easy way of impressing her. Shower, shave and clip your fingernails. Make sure you smell good but don’t overdo the cologne. Limit the man-jewelry if you tend to wear a lot. Also, make sure your shoes look nice. Girls tend to notice shoes, so whatever your style, make sure they look good.
What not to wear on a date: An outfit that is…
Sloppy – Never wear anything that is stained, ripped or stretched out. Steer clear of clothes that aren’t really dirty but aren’t actually clean and try to avoid wrinkles. Showing up looking like you don’t care will make your date think you don’t care, and she’ll probably start not to care.
Too young – As you get older, you grow, and your wardrobe should reflect this change. Don’t go on a real-person date dressed in a sports jersey and sneakers. No sweatpants or athletic shorts or jeans sagging down to your knees. Sweatshirts and store-brand t-shirts also look young and may make your date reconsider your date-ability, so dress like a man.
Uncomfortable – None of these rules mean you have to go on a date looking like someone else, and you definitely don’t want to show up over-coordinated like your mother dressed you. Strike a balance between what you would usually wear and what’s appropriate for the date. The more you feel like you, the more confident you’ll be, and confidence is always attractive.
These simple rules shouldn’t be too intimidating, but if you don’t think your current wardrobe can handle them, it may be time to invest in a few new pieces of clothing. A well-fitting pair of dark jeans, a couple of nicer shirts and a sweater or two are staples that will last you years and serve you well in the dating world.