We have explored first-date attire generally, but I thought we should delve in a little deeper. Simply recapped, keeping it simple yet appropriate is always a safe bet. Making sure you are dressed suitably for the situation should be taken into consideration first. Keep reading to find out what else you may want to think about once appropriateness is checked off…
Keep it simple:
Think less is more – no matter what! Keep everything simple and understated. This not only is the easiest and safest bet, but it is not distracting, allowing your date to focus on you, and only you. Keep your bottoms simple, clean, modern and not too tight or too baggy. Your shirt should follow the same guidelines, with no embellishments, no graphics, and no large logos or text. I am not saying that graphic tees or branded garments are “not allowed” or not fashionable. I am simply stating that for a first date, you want to present you, rather than what you are wearing. It is very simple to infer certain things about individuals upon first meeting them (without them even opening their mouths), and for that reason it is better that your date is presented with a pseudo-blank slate (obviously presenting a completely blank slate is impossible) and form their impressions as they get to know you better.
Accessories are important:
Accessories such as watches and jewelry should be kept to a minimum. As a general rule, 1-2 accessories, including a watch is safe. The reasoning behind this is similar to keeping your shirts simple – allow your date to get to know you rather than being distracted by what you are wearing. Hats should be left at home for a first date. Although many men love their baseball hats, and some even bust out fashion forward caps, like I mentioned before…less is more. Now to shoes…gentlemen, all ladies look at shoes! I do not mean to get you worried, just make sure they are clean. Oxfords, loafers, sneakers, running shoes – I cannot tell you exactly what works and what doesn’t (without having a specific situation to work with) but I can tell you that you should choose your shoes in accordance to your outfit. Please do not pair running shoes (yes, as in shoes you would actually run in) with slacks, or oxfords with very casual denim, but other than that, it is totally up to your discretion. Sandals are a bit easier to get a handle of. My suggestion is to leave them at home, unless you are planning on doing something that specifically requires sandals, or if it is mid-summer and going outside means you will melt instantly…and even then, please choose wisely!
It seems that most men understand that showering, having neat hair and managing facial hair is a necessity, but for those of you who do not understand this, we need to talk. I will not tell you that your hair needs to be a certain length or that you need to be clean-shaven, but please look like you take care of yourself. If you have curly hair, use product; if your head is not shaven, please style the hair you have (minimally however, as mentioned earlier, less is always more); if you are thinning on top, you may want to think about shaving your head; if you are generally clean-shaven, please shave; if you generally have facial hair, please trim it (many inferences may be made from facial hair, so if you really want to present a blank slate, bic it), etc. Nails are generally not on the top of men’s lists for some reason, when it comes to grooming, although nail maintenance is vital. Short, smooth and clean nails are essential, and should be kept as such every day, not just for a first date. We (women) all check out hands.
I hope that this gave you a better idea of what to think about when getting ready for a first date. If things go well and more dates are booked, stay true to these guidelines, but start incorporating more of your personal fashion and style into the mix. The first impression has already been made and your date is obviously interested in learning more.
Please email me directly with specific outfit questions or dilemmas – firstname.lastname@example.org.