In this day and age, dating is a rough business. All of these apps and blind dates can make just about anyone relish the idea of spinsterhood. Especially if you're ten tinder dates deep and have just realized that every guy who puts their height at 6' in their bio is actually 5'10"--on a good day. So how do we make it easier on ourselves? By wearing a great outfit of course! Getting your outfit right eases your nerves, and when you are less nervous you are more likely to be your fabulous self. Here are a couple of pro tips for looking and feeling great during the first date--or any date for that matter.
The most important outfit tip is pretty easy: dress like yourself. I think it was Dr. Seuss who said "there is no one alive who is you-er than you", and by golly was he right! You want to be as genuine as possible, especially if your goal is a full blown, real life relationship. If you wear an outfit that doesn't reflect your style, firstly you'll feel like a fraud (which will wreck your confidence), and secondly your date will likely notice that you are uncomfortable. No bueno. Instead opt for a spruced up version of your usual uniform. If you are a jeans and tee girl, wear a flattering cut in a darker wash with a cool black t-shirt in your favorite style. More of a boho babe? A pretty patterned skirt goes great with a stylish cami and leather jacket. Love a good floral? Maybe cool it on a full Laura Ashley moment, and instead focus your florals on either the top or bottom. You know what you like to wear, so don't stress. Plain and simple, if he doesn't like your style he's likely not the one for you. He probably only has a La-Z-Boy and 60" TV in his apartment anyway. Honestly, how do guys live like that?
Personally I hate surprises, especially the kind that requires I wear a blindfold; so in an effort not to go blindly into a date, I always ask what the agenda for the day is. Not necessarily a play by play of where we are going, but like a general tone so I know if I should wear the strappy heels or the combat boots. Weather will play an important role in how many layers you might wear out, so knowing ahead of time if you'll end up outside for a good portion of the date is key to planning a killer outfit. No one wants to get caught in a rain storm in their favorite dress, no matter what Taylor Swift has otherwise warbled (I kneel at the alter of T-Swift, but not when it comes to potentially contracting pneumonia).
Casual dates are just that: casual. Think grabbing a cup of coffee, seeing a movie, or brunch. That's not to say you should show up wearing sweatpants with your hair in a messy bun, but there is no need to go full out glam. You want your outfit to reflect how light and breezy you feel (read: pretend to feel) while also being properly ventilated for all the terror sweating you might possibly do. Especially if he's the type to ask some hard hitting questions, like if you are a fan of the Office, or if you like your martini shaken or stirred. Oh wait, that's my James Bond date fantasy. Generally speaking, sticking to a pretty cotton dress and denim jacket combo, or your favorite jeans that make your butt look fantastic paired with a flattering blouse/sweater, is a good way to go. Shoes should also be casual, think a cute pair of booties or a strappy sandal. Save the body-con dresses and sky-high heels for the fancier dates.
Speaking of fancier dates; if your rendezvous involves any restaurant with a French menu you can't pronounce, a gallery opening for an upcoming artistic genius, or tickets to the opera you'll need to be adorned appropriately. This is where a kick-ass LBD comes in handy. There is a reason why women have been gravitating towards the little black dress for decades when it comes to cocktail attire. It's chic, always on trend, and always appropriate for any event where denim is a no-no. The style and price point of your LBD is completely up to you, but having one in your closet is essential! Now on to another important outfit component: footwear. Heels are not a must for any date, but if you can stand them, a good pointy-toed pump looks sexy on just about anyone. If the thought of wearing a stiletto gives you hives, instead opt for a simple black leather ballet flat--Audrey Hepburn vibes for days! As silly as it sounds, your handbag can make or break an outfit. No date wants to see you lugging a suitcase to a Michelin starred restaurant, so leave the casual over-stuffed tote at home and streamline your necessities to fit into a nice clutch or wristlet. Your shoulder will thank you for the break.
Meeting the parents is one of the most daunting parts of beginning a new relationship. In most cases it solidifies that you are, in fact, a couple and not just casually seeing each other until one of you gets bored and ghosts the other. That is why picking out an outfit that shows off your personality, while making you look like a good influence on their first born, is so challenging. Making a good impression is important, and I guarantee showing up well dressed will give you a leg up with the parentals. Again, a good head's up on what kind of evening is planned is beneficial to getting it right. You don't want to show up in a cocktail dress for an intimate dinner at home. Nor do you want to be wearing yesterdays jeans to a nice Italian restaurant. No Olive Garden does not count as a nice Italian establishment, it can barely be considered Italian food (although, those bread sticks are delicious). I digress, when the pressure is on stick to these three key concepts: classic, appropriately covered, and not too flashy. You definitely don't have to go full pearls and twinset, but opt for ladylike and demure in a modern way. Think midi skirts, blazers, collared blouses--dear god leave any look that is mini, cropped, or overly accessorized at home.
Whether it's a Tinder date, a date with the cute guy from work, or with the guy you bumped into in the frozen aisle at your local grocery store, you've now got some good outfit ideas sure to wow them! Remember be yourself! He's bound to see your crazy eventually. Although, maybe leave the photo collage of your planned wedding at home until at least the third date.