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How a man should dress for a first date - dos and don'ts
The importance of making a good impression on a first date should never be underestimated. For many, it may simply lead to a great night or a short dalliance. For others, however, it can be the beginning of the biggest commitment and most important relationship of their lives.
Although some may expect dressing as a man to be easier, the fact is that there is still certain etiquette to dressing for a first date. And the last thing you want is to bag a date with the woman of your dreams only to realise at the last minute that you have nothing suitable to wear.
Here are some style tips on dressing well for a first date as a man who is aiming to impress.
Don't be overly formal
There's a time and place for a shirt/tie combo, but a first date isn't really it. The look, although timeless, can appear stuffy and overly formal for a first date. If your date happens to be at an elegant venue such as the theater or an exclusive restaurant, a pair of tailored pants, a blazer and a nice shirt can be dressy enough for the occasion without being too much.
Do wear muted colours
Muted, dark shades such as navy, gray, and black are timeless and elegant. They can be dressed up or down but always offer an air of sophistication. They are also super versatile and can be paired with anything. Sometimes understated can be best on a first date as it gives your date the opportunity to get to know you as a person rather than be too focused on the statement that your outfit is trying to make. That’s why it is best to keep it grounded.
Don't wear garish patterns
Similarly, garish or busy patterns are a no-no on a first date. It's distracting and offputting. First dates aren't about concealing or altering your individual style, but it's best to let that shine through your personality. If you do want to express yourself through your attire, opt for a subtle accessory rather than a full-blown outfit.
Do opt for a good fit
Good fit is everything when it comes to men's fashion and can elevate (or destroy) an outfit. A pair of tailored chinos or a slim-fit shirt will extenuate your natural assets. Oversized or ill-fitting pants, however, can look sloppy and unflattering. Tailored clothing is more expensive but the results speak for themselves.
Don't wear a hoodie
Day dates are a popular option these days, and while it's fine to dress casually for these, there are some items that are best left at home. The humble hoodie, for example, is a wonderfully versatile and comforting piece of clothing, but for a first date, it shows a real lack of effort and imagination. A better option would be a bomber jacket, cashmere sweatshirt or denim jacket. They are still casual but show a lot more intent.
But do wear jeans
Jeans are a pretty good go-to staple for a first date. These days, they are available in so many different styles and washes that it can be difficult to know where to start. There's nothing wrong with a traditional pair of stonewashed, slim-fit jeans for a picnic in the park or a stroll around the lake. However, darker wash jeans are slightly more formal and can be teamed with more stylish and dressy items on the top half.
Don't wear hat/sunglasses indoors
In addition to being poor etiquette, wearing these things inside can make it look as if you're trying to hide something, such as hair loss or crow’s feet. If shades and a beanie are part of your look, that's fine - but make sure you remember to be a gentleman and remove them when you go indoors.
Do wear cologne
A subtle spritz of your favorite cologne is all you need to make a lasting impression on a woman. Don't go wild and overpower her with your scent, but do spray the inside of your wrists and neck to show her that you've made an effort to impress.
Don't forget to polish your shoes
Again, it's basic manners not to arrive in anything tatty or dirty. Polishing your shoes shows that you've made an effort for the occasion. No matter how suave your outfit is, a pair of grubby shoes will totally bring the look down.