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What to wear on a first date

It’s the first date and. You’re obviously keen on this person and want to impress but you’re clueless about what to wear. Does this make me look like I’m trying too much, does this make me look too relaxed, is this too boring? In the end, you opt for the usual, what feels the safest, though you can’t but feel you could have done better.


Nailing your look on a first date is crucial not only to win points with the other person but more importantly, because it makes you feel more confident, hence relaxed enough to let your great personality shine. It’s very hard to be confident when you’re too self-conscious about the way you look. So, if you’re out on the dating scene, here are seven essential tips for a winning look.

Be well-groomed 

A shower, deodorant, clean and cut nails, a neat haircut and beard (or shaved), and trimmed body hair are the fundamentals of personal grooming. If you want to go the extra mile, book yourself a facial and manicure but don’t leave it till the actual day. First, in the event of a skin reaction to the products used, your skin needs a day at least to recover. Second, looking freshly groomed on a date can make one wonder whether it’s the real you, or if just a matter of wanting to impress.

Choose the right outfit style

Choose an outfit that’s appropriate for what you’ll be doing on the date. The kind of outfit you’d wear for dinner at a top restaurant is different to what you’d wear for a day by the pool, or even dinner at a pizzeria. Besides the activity planned, the location also greatly influences our choice of outfit. Whichever style you opt for, make sure to aim for a polished look but also one you’re comfortable with. You neither want to feel self-conscious nor mislead the other person. 

Go for neutral colours

You’ve got the style sorted, now it’s onto another major conundrum – colour. You’ve got a yellow shirt. It’s your favourite and you think it brings you luck. Only, your date hates yellow, though you don’t know it yet. Colours are very personal, especially the associations we make with individual colours. Till you get to know each other better, it might be best to stick to the classics. A pair of dark blue denims in a straight cut is not only easy to combine with other pieces in a different colour and style but is also elegant without being too formal. Going for neutral colours will also help you avoid combining colours that don’t go well together.


Wear a jacket  

How practical wearing a jacket is obviously depends a lot on the weather. However, one in denim or leather, just like a sport coat can make an outfit look more complete. Jackets can also be practical for hiding sweat patches – in case you’re feeling very nervous – but also to offer to your date when it gets a little cold. There’s a way of scoring brownie points.

Include one or two accessories 

These are a good way of giving subtle hints about your personality. Accessories are very personal both in the type of accessory we choose to wear and in how we wear them. A pocket square or light scarf can indicate a preference for a classical style whilst also serving as an opportunity to add a brighter colour to an otherwise neutral outfit.

A bracelet or necklace can give the impression of a more relaxed personality. When unique, accessories can also serve as much needed ice-breakers, especially if there’s an interesting story behind them. The only accessory one should never wear on a date, is a tie. Why would you want to look so executive on a first date? 


Your shoes make a big impact

Shoes can make or break an outfit, which is why on a first date, you really ought to check that yours are clean, in good shape, and of course, stylish. You should also check out your date’s shoes because these say a lot about their style, attention to detail, and the effort made to look great for you.

Your shoes should always match or complement your outfit’s colour scheme and style. Being a first date, it’s always better to go for a more elegant pair but never brand new because ultimately, you also want to be comfortable. Given the heat, sandals are often the first preference but if exposing your toes, do make sure they look pretty. You might also like flip flops and slippers but given how casual they look, would you want to wear them on a first date? I wouldn’t!

Don’t overdo it with cologne  

Smelling nice is a must, whether you’re out on a date or not. It just makes you a more pleasant person to have around. However, like accessories, perfume can also be very personal and the associations made with a particular scent can work in your favour, as much as against you. Play safe. Opt for a scent that isn’t too strong and keep it to a minimum. 

Final word

You’ve been on the first date. You looked fantastic and your charm got you the second date you were hoping for. Don’t be fooled into thinking you can now relax a little with your look. In fact, you should always make an effort to look your best for your better half. Why? Because it’s flattering, it keeps things alive, and generally makes life a little more pleasant.

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