While women never tire of insisting that they don’t want to be judged on their looks when meeting a man, the truth is that appearances matter. This is because men – as are women to a lesser extent – hard-wired to gather sensory, non-verbal information on first contact as a way of evaluating the desirability of a date. For women over forty, presenting your physical best involves the added challenge of negotiating with popular equation between beauty and youth. Here are however certain tips on how to dress for a first date if you are a woman over forty and determined to make a positive impression.
Start with the basics
Before you turn your wardrobe inside out, make sure that the basics of grooming are in place. Have a hairstyle which not only flatters your face but which is easily maintained so that you do not end up fussing with your bangs through the evening. Ideally you should not experiment with a new hairstyle on the day of your date no matter how confident your stylist seems. Get the cut a few days before and if you like, revisit the salon to get it professionally styled. Sparkling, beautiful teeth can take you a long way in creating a great first impression. Likewise ensure that you have clean breath and for this, take care of your oral hygiene, instead of relying only on mints. Take care of your skin and nails as well. If you cannot afford regular manicures and pedicures at the salon, do them yourself but with care.
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Dress your age
While it is true that popular notions of attractiveness are skewed in favor of the young, in general it makes better sense to dress your age. Turning up in miniskirts or jeans precariously hanging over the crotch can somehow be ignored on teenagers, but on a forty-plus woman, it is sure to look ludicrous, if not outright pathetic. Instead invest in dresses and suits which flatter your figure and play up your plus points. Better still get them tailored so that they fit you like a dream and what’s more show that you can afford the extra expense. Some staples your wardrobe can do with a black dress for formal occasions, a gorgeous number for cocktail parties, a crisp white shirt, a couple of good coats and jackets, a well-cut formal suit and so on. No matter what you opt for, make sure that it is comfortable; while this does not mean something ill fitting or unflattering, go for an outfit that you will feel totally relaxed in and more importantly stays in place. Nothing is more unsettling that having to fiddle with your bra straps, or pull down your skirt all the while when you are trying to focus on what your date is saying. pair up your dress with accessories that are elegant and expensive but don’t overload yourself with jewelry.
Adopt a style that suits you
It is extremely important to keep in mind that dressing right has little to do with fashion and everything to do with style. This is because style relates directly to your individual dressing sense which in turn depends on your personal physical features. After forty one of the main concerns of women is their body shape since with passing years they tend to put on weight or at least lose the well-toned look of their youth. Unfortunately even the most expensive gown can look awful if paired with the wrong body type. So go for an honest evaluation of your body type – not only whether you are thin, fat, tall and short but also pay attention to certain aspects of your body, like an ample behind or a short neck. Once you have made a careful mental note of your physical characteristics, it will be easy for you to evolve the right style by highlighting your plus points and minimizing your negative features. For instance if you have put on a few ounces, go for vertical stripes as they give an impression of length and slimness and avoid horizontal stripes or large prints which will make you look even shorter and plumper.
Use make-up but judiciously
The right kind of makeup can create wonders for your dating life since it can conceal certain signs of aging while making you look more youthful. This however does not mean that you should cake yourself with foundation and lipstick since this will only make you end up looking like an old tart; instead a dab of concealer, foundation and blush applied in the right places and with a light hand can even out your skin tone impart a healthy glow to your face. If you are not sure how to apply makeup to create such an effect, visit the beauty counters at your local department store for help or if you can afford it, get useful tips from a professional stylist. These people can show you how to apply the products for maximum effect.
Dress on the conservative side
On your first date, try to dress in a way that does not show too much skin. Even if you have the figure of a twenty-something or have invested in cosmetic surgery, keep the display of your physical assets for later, more intimate occasions. A first date is the time for two people to meet and get to know each other, to test the waters and see if they are compatible for something more. If you end up dressing in something too revealing, you will not only come off as sexually available but only too desperate to hook a man. Above all a woman appears far sexier, if she holds something back since the sense of mystique and chase is even more attractive to a man.
Follow a healthy lifestyle
Finally an attractive personal style doesn’t end with buying the right clothes and expensive accessories. You need glowing skin, healthy hair and a fit body to look great on the whole. So don’t minimize the importance of following a healthy lifestyle which includes a nutritious well-balanced diet, around thirty minutes of exercise every day as well as avoiding harmful habits like smoking. Regular exercise will not only keep aging at bay but also your tone up your figure which in turn will allow you to dress well and attract the guy you want to.