Going on a first date? 5 great outfit ideas that guarantee success

Young couple among the love symbols

So, you’ve planned your first date. Congratulations! You have picked the time and the place and made your reservation. Well done! But what are you going to wear? Do you have effective outfit ideas?

A challenging aspect of a first date is creating the best first impression. Should you look casual? Semi-formal? Bold and colourful? Or mellow and laid back? Picking that single outfit for that first date can be a twister. But you can get around that.

Here are tips and ideas to help you make that great first impression:

1. Colour code

When it comes to first impressions, colour has a significant role to play. Colour sets a mood, makes a statement, speaks a language. So, think for a minute about these before you pick a colour. Red is a favourite pick on a date because it symbolizes energy, action, and vitality. But it’s also a colour that demands truckloads of confidence to carry it off. If you are not bold, an extrovert, think twice about red because it may conflict with your essential nature. According to a study published in Evolutionary Psychology by Robin Kramer of Lincoln University in the UK, both black and red are seen as attractive colours for a date, but red signals a higher degree of sexual receptivity, say several studies.

The authors of the Lincoln University study say their work “provides the first evidence that people choose to display red when meeting a potential mate for the first time. Importantly, we found this same pattern of behaviour for black clothing, and indeed, our results suggested that black may represent a more utilized signal than red in dating contexts.”

The golden rule? Stick to the colour that does it for you, no matter the type of outfit. So, if blue is your favourite colour, go for it. The idea of picking a colour is to know that you enjoy wearing it and that it looks good on you.  So be loyal to your choice of colour regardless of what anyone else thinks.

Relationship. Lovely couple in cafe

2. Go to gown with it

Gowns aren’t exclusive to dinners and galas. They can be a good choice for a first date. And when wearing a gown or a dress, going sleeveless is a great idea. Sleeveless gowns give you a great outline and help you ooze confidence. But it is essential to keep it simple. The simpler, the better. You don’t want to wear a gown that is like a Christmas tree.

Pick a gown made from soft fabric, so it drapes you with grace and elegance and helps you look fabulous, alluring, and comfortable. Contrary to perception, ‘comfort’ and ‘classy’ are mutually compatible terms. There is little point in wearing a gown that looks good but which is not comfortable.

Another advantage of a gown as an outfit idea is it does away with the time spent on selecting the top to be worn with a pair of jeans or a skirt. It gives you more time to focus on the gown’s colour, design, length, and cut.

With a gown, you get a one-stop solution for a trendy outfit that drapes you with confidence. First, however, pay attention to the gown’s length. It must not be too short or too long, trailing behind you.

A simple gown, or dress, that reaches a little above your ankle is perfect.

3. Casual chic

A first-time date can be a casual event, and there’s a lot to be said about going casual. Being informal signals an open, friendly, no-fuss attitude, and for two people getting to know each other for the first time, this is a great way to begin. It lightens things up and keeps everything going at a leisurely pace.

The thumb rule for casual outfit ideas is to keep it simple. What can be simpler than a pair of jeans teamed with an attractive top? Also, if you would rather not wear dresses or gowns, and jeans are your go-to attire, feel free to wear them for your first date. Jeans, when teamed with a great top, can look terrific on a date. Just make sure that your top flatters you. Why? Because jeans are jeans, black or blue, but the top is what will draw attention to you. But don’t overdo it in a frilly, flouncy top that can be a bit overwhelming. Instead, pick a simple design for the top in a colour you prefer (remember what we said about colour?).

Also, colour can be a conversation starter. For example, “That’s a nice colour you are wearing”, to which you can say, “What’s your favourite colour?” And you have just spun a thread of interest in each other’s tastes. And yes, just in case your date wants to go for a walk after dinner, make sure your footwear is comfortable. Wearing stilettos may make that evening stroll a pain in your heels.

4. Look at the light side

We spoke about the choice of fabric earlier, remember? It’s a hit or miss in outfit ideas. If you wear material that allows your skin to breathe, feels soft to the touch and sits well on your body, it not only makes you feel good, but it also looks like a million bucks. But fabric that is heavy, rigid, and smothers your skin will simply bother you all through the date, leaving you feeling uncomfortable.

Whatever your outfit idea, shirt dress, camisole, skater, cocktail, tunic, or sheath dress, make sure the fabric is light and friendly to amplify your confidence and make you glow.Remember, lightweight outfit ideas don’t have to be frumpy. They can be classy and fabulous. You can wear lightweight fabric on casual, semi-formal or formal dates. There are plenty of lightweight materials such as chiffon, cotton blends, viscose, and light silk, that give you the liberty to swerve into a formal setting if need be while on a first date. It’s always great to be in the middle for outfitting – neither under-dressed nor overdressed.

Wear, clothing shop during sales, summer or autumn collection. Young women looking for new attirew

5. Second skin rule in outfit ideas

Okay, we have figured out the colour, type, mood, and ‘weight’ of the outfit. Now comes the most crucial part: your relationship with it. There is a saying, ‘Is the dress wearing you or are you wearing the dress?’ There is a lot of wisdom in this question and it points to the second skin rule in outfit ideas.

How to pass the second skin test in date outfits? Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does the dress look better on the hanger? Often, we get carried away by a dress, top or outfit on the hanger, and we believe that it will look equally good on us. But it doesn’t have to be so always. The dress should look good on you, not on the hanger.
  • Will it look like a second skin? It does not mean the dress has to be tight. It means it should feel natural, comfortable, and relaxed. You must feel at ease in the dress.
  • What’s your comfort cut?  Do you prefer snugly fitting clothes? Flowy garments? Asymmetrical lines? One-piece items? The best match on a date is between you and your dress. Everything else comes later. So be clear about what makes you feel good. Jeans and tops? Skirts and tops? Kaftan dresses? Pinafore?
  • Fashion victim or victor? It’s great to be trendy, but not at the expense of fashion victimhood. Blindly following fads and sacrificing comfort may not work. You can devise your outfit ideas based on comfort and look classy, stylish, sophisticated, or charmingly casual.

Get ready

Going out on a first date is a lovely occasion, and your confidence begins with your outfit. But, of course, if you get it wrong, you go off the mark. So let these five first date outfit ideas guide you to stay firmly on the path of success.

Go on, broadcast your confidence, and make a great impression.

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Sean Garfield

Sean Garfield

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