fashion_first_date

ON A FIRST DATE, DRESS TO IMPRESS, BECAUSE YOU DON’T GET A SECOND CHANCE TO MAKE A FRIST IMPRESSION.

First dates are always awkward. Whether you meet the woman online, on the job or at the grocery store, there’s always some nervousness when preparing for the first date. And no matter what some may believe, women aren’t the only ones who ask the question “What should I wear?” But the situation really doesn’t have to be that stressful. With a little forethought, you can look fabulous and have a terrific time on your date.

Look fabulous and be relaxed

Consider the location
Where are you going? Location is the most important factor when figuring out what to wear. Obviously, you would wear something much different if you are heading to the ballpark than you would if you are going to the opera. In general, I don’t recommend a first date that is too formal. Most people are relaxed and comfortable in more casual clothes. If you are uncomfortable or stiff, your amazing personality won’t be able to shine through. Also take into account the time of day: a lunch date is usually more casual than a dinner date, while outdoor dates are generally less formal than those indoors.

Dress to impress
Casual doesn’t mean sloppy. Some men have a problem finding the distinction between the two. Leave your T-shirts, shorts, baseball caps and flip-flops at home. Instead, wear something that you would consider business casual. You can’t really go wrong with a polo shirt and khaki pants or a blazer, button-down shirt and nice jeans. If the weather is cool, a sweater or a jacket and scarf are appropriate choices.

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Don’t get funky
You want to be unique but don’t get too funky or trendy. A bright purple fedora is probably too much. Same with plaid golf pants. Stick with neutral colors for the majority of your outfit — black, tan, gray and navy. You can pick one article of clothing and make it your statement piece. Whether it’s a red shirt, an interesting belt buckle or a classy watch, it should stand out without being overwhelming. Wearing a statement piece is a great conversation starter. (She’ll notice – you don’t need to bring it up.)

The importance of shoes
Many men underestimate the power of a great pair of shoes. If you are going to splurge on one thing in your wardrobe, it should be your shoes. Select a high-quality pair of loafers or lace-up oxfords in brown or black. Women love shoes. They love their own shoes, and almost instantaneously they will notice yours.

Smile and confidence
When your date is not looking at your shoes, she’ll be looking at your smile. So smile genuinely and often. Though many balding men lack confidence, they shouldn’t. Women value a great smile and a man who can make them laugh far more than they do a full head of hair. Do what you can to keep the conversation going and avoid those awkward silences, but don’t dominate the conversation by jabbering endlessly. Ask your date questions about her job, interests and hobbies. Women want to know that you are interested in learning more about them. Have a couple of “go-to” topics in mind if you get stuck in an awkward place. It’s a good rule of thumb to steer clear of politics and religion – you don’t want to get into these controversial and argumentative topics on the first date.

Once you have prepared your wardrobe and planned how you will carry yourself, try to keep your anxiety at home. Realize that any physical flaw you may have – whether it be a hair loss issue or something else – is magnified much more to you than to the outside world. And hey, if the first date doesn’t go quite as planned, chalk it up to experience and prepare for the next first date!