Clothes to wear on a first date

It’s your first date and you want to make just the right impression. Generally, for a lot of guys, they get pressured about where to take their date, how to behave, what to say, etc. Most often men rarely sweat over what to wear. That is a woman’s prerogative. Most women are generally less concerned about the actual date, they are aware that the pressure is on the men and all that is left to them is to go with the flow. But how to dress to impress is the chief pre-occupation of a woman. It is rightly said that clothes maketh the (wo)man.

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There are some general rules, for both men and women, which dictate what is appropriate dressing for a first date.

1. Clothes should add to your appeal.

You are the best judge of what makes you look good. Or your friends must have told you what you look best in. It could be a certain shade that matches your baby blues and brings out the colour in them. Or a fitted tee that makes the most of your sculpted abs and well-developed physique. Or a skirt that shows off your legs to advantage, especially if you’ve been told you have a great pair. Flatter your appearance and make yourself easy on the eye.

2. Suit the clothes to the occasion/venue.

Ensure that you're familiar with the dress code. Double-check if it is a formal restaurant or a casual lounge atmosphere and dress accordingly. You wouldn’t want to stick out like a sore thumb in formal attire if it is a more informal and relaxed setting. If your date is going to extend for a major part of the evening and you will be going to more than one place, don’t panic.

You could carry a jacket for the formal look and wear a smart white shirt underneath. Knock off the jacket when you’re done with the formal part of the evening, to blend in with the more casual look of the party you may be going to later. Or for the ladies, a smart jacket or fancy stole over a bustier or a chic top is sufficient to add the formal element, which can be taken off later when you’re ready to let your hair down.

3. Make sure your clothes fit well.

Whatever you wear, do ensure that your clothes give you a good fit. If you’ve lost weight recently, don’t wear clothes that you used to when you were a couple of sizes larger. Clothes that are overly baggy or hang on you will do nothing for your look. And if you’ve gained weight, please don’t try squeezing into those denims that fit when you were at least 10 pounds lighter. You don’t want to ruin your first date with the dreaded sound of your clothes ripping at the seam, do you? Clothes that fit well should perform a double function. They must guarantee comfort while making you look good. It is never a good idea to squirm in discomfort because your top is so tight that you fear that if you laugh a little hard you might pop a couple of buttons. Or if you eat that tempting desert, you will have to release a couple of notches on your belt!

Additional first date dressing tips…

For women

1. Try it on beforehand.

You don’t want to be standing in front of the mirror with your wardrobe hanging open and five outfits laid out, trying to figure out which to wear. All this while the clock is chiming out its message that you should have already been out the door. It pays to prepare in advance and try out whatever it is you plan to wear. You might have last worn it sometime back, and your measurements might have changed since. Or you forgot that the last time you wore that outfit you’d snagged a thread and now it’s too late to do anything about it.

2. One outfit you can fall back on in an emergency.

It is good to have one outfit that you know suits you and which you can always fall back on in a desperate situation. In the event that you haven’t had time to decide in advance, you can shimmy into it at the last minute and it will still do wonders. Make sure this outfit is one of those timeless pieces that won’t be governed by the dictates of fashion and doesn’t cling too much, so that even if you do put on a couple of pounds it will still fit.

3. Wear something that is you.

What you wear should enhance your look, not detract from it. And irrespective of what the current trend is, if it doesn’t do anything for you, don’t wear it. If hipsters are the current rage but all they succeed in doing is drawing attention to your already ample ones, stay away from them. Instead, wear an a-line dress or a top that drapes over your hips without clinging to them. If you’re in the mood for something funky and you can carry it off, go ahead.

Definitely not on the first date…

Avoid loud and flashy garments and making over-the-top style statements, at least on a first date. You can save it for later, when you’re more comfortable with the guy and want him to see other shades of your personality. Also, don’t go in for overly provocative clothes or revealing outfits, because your date might think you’re sending out mixed signals. It’s just safer to be more understated and elegant on a first date and save the displays for later.

1. Too high maintenance?

You might have that one designer outfit that screams ‘expensive’ and have scrimped and saved for. Preferably don’t wear it unless you want to joke about it and say it’s the only designer one you possess. Else he may think you always dress this way and are used to the good things in life, something he really can’t afford to keep up with. If he thinks you’re too high-maintenance, he will think twice about asking you out again as you’re way out of his league.


The basics:

There aren’t many areas for a man to be creative in his dressing, so lay emphasis on the basics. Wear good shoes and if you’re wearing your shirt tucked in, go for a nice belt. Preferably both should be colour coordinated. If it’s a tan belt, then tan shoes. Apart from taking the occasion into account, figure out the look that suits you. If it’s the rugged cowboy look, and it’s a casual setting, go ahead. Try and find a pair of trousers or denims that give you a good fit. While they may not make it as obvious to the men, women often give men a good once-over and more often than not, when your back is turned, they will check out your butt. So give them something that gladdens the eye and if you find her smiling when you turn around, you’ll know why!


A lot of women go in for a man's scrubbed clean look. Fewer go in for the unshaven macho appearance. That’s something you will discover on closer acquaintance. But play it safe by going in for a clean-shaven look or keeping your mustache or beard well trimmed. Women love to see men who have taken care over their appearance.

So use that aftershave liberally – but make sure it is subtle and you don’t reek of it; gel your hair back and...turn on the charm.