The art of dressing for a first date takes skill, decisiveness and talent. Your college years are the best time to really find out what works for you in both style and relationships.
Many questions may run through your head when dressing for a date: What’s the best way to show off my strongest features? Is there such a thing as looking too sexy? How do I look casual without looking like I’m trying too hard?
The first step when preparing for a first date is deciding where you want the date to go and the potential it has. There are three basic categories dates potential can fall into: physical, emotional and undecided.
Physical is the most common in college because most college students’ actions are driven by sexual desires, especially for males. The emotional category is based on the fact that you believe your date has the potential to be someone you want to create a relationship with. Being undecided is also very common when you’re not too familiar with your date or randomly met them, which is perfectly fine.
For each one of these categories, certain signals and messages about what you desire should be considered when choosing your wardrobe.
The physical category is all about the art of advertising your greatest assets and characteristics.
For women, all you have to remember is that skin is always in. Items that look great for this category are short skirts, sheer blouses and bodycon dresses. These will show off your legs, hips and curves. Also, big hair and sexy high heels are great additions to an already sexy look.
For men, you want to try and feature your physique as much as possible without looking like you want to. Pieces like fitted-style button-downs, polo shirts, v-necks and boot-cut jeans will show off your arms, chest, legs and calf muscles. These are some of the areas women are most physically attracted to.
Dates with emotional potential require the most analysis and preparation, because you’re investing in the creation of what you hope will become something serious.
Ladies, in this case, the 40:60 ratio for skin displayed is a really great rule to follow. It means that showing 40-60 percent of your skin is more attractive than showing a larger percentage, which still allows you to be a little sexy.
The best choices for a date with this kind of potential are blazers, a-line dresses and pencil skirts. A helpful thought to have when picking out clothes for this date is to consider if you would look presentable if you met his parents dressed that way. In the area of hair and makeup, just like with skin, less is always more.
Gentlemen, the rule about meeting her parents applies for your style choices, too, so keep that in consideration. Along the lines of what to wear, a nice casual blazer, a cardigan and chino pants are all pieces that give a great first impression.
In addition to wearing nice clothes, being well-groomed with clean-cut facial hair helps as well. For both genders, if you put as much care into what you wear as in your care about what your date will think of you, things will go fine.
The most difficult and final category to style is the undecided, because just like the title states, you are undecided. The best thing to do for dates like these where you’re not sure at all how it will turn out is to play it safe and not be too hot or too cold with your clothing choices.
Crop tops, high-low dresses and skinny jeans are always safe options for girls, because you can dress them up and down with little work. Sleek shiny hair and smoky eye makeup are a great combination for any outfit and can’t disappoint.
For men, polo shirts, prep-style shorts and short-sleeve button downs are casual pieces that show you have style and also that you care somewhat about the impression you’re giving.
A big mistake guys make in this category is wearing hats. Never should you wear a hat, because it sends a message that you don’t really care. You are not attending a football game; it’s a date, so it should be treated that way.
Whether you want something physical, emotional or are undecided, the signals that your clothing sends can make a dramatic difference in how your night turns out and if a second date is in your future.
The last suggestion for daters is to remember that dates are just like job interviews. If you dress for the job you want to get, you’ll always end up on top at the end of the night.