Well, you did it. You took the leap, swiped right, asked out the girl, or convinced your co-worker to set you up with Janette from accounting.
First off, congratulations. That might have been one of the toughest things you’ve ever had to do.
That is, it was the toughest thing you ever had to do until you had to pick out your clothes for the occasion.
If the idea of dressing for a date scares you as much as going on one, don’t despair. That’s why we’ve put together a man’s guide to dressing for a first date.
Start With Hygiene
For most people, this should be obvious. But sometimes, the obvious is worth saying.
Take a shower and brush your teeth before your date. Seriously.
You may have gone nose-blind to your bad breath and B.O., but your date certainly hasn’t.
Along with that, it pays to take the time to use a face wash and trim any facial hair. Along with making you feel fresh, the clean-cut look will give you a more “put together” look.
Consider Your Venue
Most of the time, how you dress for your first date as a man will depend on your venue. Here’s a quick run-down of where some common first-date locations fall on the casual to dressy scale.
- If you’re going for a run or to the gym, you can go for tasteful athleisure wear
- Going to the bar, a movie, or a casual outdoor date, like a carnival, is a more casual scenario
- A restaurant is usually “smart casual,” in other words, one step below business casual
- Seeing a play, musical, ballet, or opera is a collar-shirt or suit scenario
But some clothing choices aren’t appropriate for any venue.
Have a really funny shirt with a crude comment on it? Bad call.
Have an outfit that you think looks awesome but is uncomfortable or hard to move around in? You won’t have a good time.
Many men don’t realize that choosing clothes that look good isn’t just about the clothes themselves.
You can have the best shirt, coolest shoes, and the tightest color coordination game in the world. If your clothes don’t fit, the outfit will look awkward.
If you aren’t sure if you have an ill-fitted outfit, look at the edge of sleeves or bottom of pants.
Sleeves should hit just above the wrist unless it’s a suit jacket. Pants should hit the top of the shoes.
Reconsider Statement Pieces
A statement piece can be a bold way to express your personality on a first date. Or it can make it weird.
When deciding on whether to wear a bold piece, think of the scope of the piece and the venue.
A smaller piece, like a nice watch, can go everywhere. If you’re thinking about wearing something like a fedora, consider the dos and don’ts, such as whether you’re going somewhere formal, before adding it to your ensemble.