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How to nail that perfect first date look

Well done! You've finally managed to get that hot girl to agree to a date. You're determined that it will go well and that she will be suitably impressed by your wit and intelligence, your sense of humor, and your sartorial style. Oh dear. That last one could be a problem because you really don't know what you're going to wear. It's a good thing that we've compiled this handy guide to help you through the minefield that is 'First Date Dressing.'

Stylish outfit for a date

What you choose to wear will create a lasting impression. There are no 'delete' or 'back up' buttons in the dating world so you need to get it right from the start. They say that you shouldn't judge a book by its cover. They are wrong, (as 'they' so often are). I can tell you that, without exception, women do judge. In fact, they have judgment down to a fine art so you're going to need all the help you can get. Read on....

Step One - The Basics

Before you start trying on your favorite outfits it's vital that you smell sweet and gorgeous. Good hygiene is right up there with money and intelligence on every woman's list of what to look for in the perfect man. Have a good long bath or shower and don't be shy with the shower gel or soap. It's a good idea to be careful with the cologne as a little goes a long way. Aim for subtle scent rather than overpowering stench. Hair should be clean and combed, teeth should be brushed and flossed, and beards should be neatly trimmed.

Let's get this party started

a smart but casual look that worksClean underwear is essential but it may be a good idea to leave the humorous elephant head posing pouch in your underwear drawer. It's worth wearing your best boxers, shorts or briefs because - well, you never know. Now, it's time to decide on the right look for that special first date. Women like men with their own personal sense of style. That doesn't mean that it's okay to wear a weird outfit, it simply means don't dress like one of the crowd. If you wear a suit all week at work, just like your colleagues, going on a date in a suit will look like you didn't make much effort.

What if you have a unique personal style?

Yes, we did just skip over that but it would be remiss of us not to address guys who make style part of their lifestyle. Perhaps you have lots of piercings and tattoos or maybe you have a distinct dress code like lumbersexual or hipster. There is a good chance that your date has a similar look so it's probably best not to go for a full makeover right now. Your look is part of what attracted the young lady in question in the first place so just break out your best bondage pants, trim that beard, or iron your kilt, make sure you're super clean and go for it!

Think about what you're going to do on your date

You're not 15 so you will have chosen a venue or activity for your date. What you're going to do will have some bearing on what clothes you wear, so choose well. Do ensure that you choose a venue or activity that's acceptable to your date. You don't want to turn up in casual jeans and a shirt for a bowling session to find that your date has gone for full-on glamor with spike heels and acrylic nails. A suit is perfect for a fine restaurant but not for a day at the beach. Be bold. Ask her mom or one of her friends what she likes to do and dress for the occasion.

Think appropriate attire

Once you've established what activity or event you're planning for your date it all starts to fall into place. As a general rule, women don't like men who look like they tried to hard any more than they like guys who look as if they grabbed the first garments they found on their bedroom floor. A happy medium is called for. No, not Whoopi Goldberg, it's a term of speech that means 'somewhere in the middle'. Smart casual is ideal for most settings. Think good trousers or jeans and a nice shirt or sweater.

Stylish outfit for a date
Keep things simple and stylish

The trouser question

No, the question isn't whether you're going to wear trousers! Of course you're going to wear trousers (unless you're wearing a kilt - see above). The question is what type, and what should you look out for? Jeans are perfectly acceptable for a first date if you're going to be doing something laid back and easy like going for a coffee, taking a walk in the park or on the beach, or going bowling.

Choose good quality jeans that fit well. Stone washed, skin tight denim never did any man any favors. Think designer jeans with a straight leg. Skinny may well be on trend but if you're short and chubby or a lanky beanpole they just won't work on a first date. Straight cut jeans are far more flattering and they suit everyone. Don't go for bright colors like red and green, you're not Matt Bellamy. Black, navy or regular mid-blue is fine.

More about trousers

If you're going to a posh restaurant, ditch the jeans and choose a well-cut pair of slacks or a good suit. You can be slightly more adventurous here and add gray and beige to your list of approved trouser shades. Steer clear of colors like burgundy, turquoise, and green. They might seem cool and adventurous when you see them in the shop, but in reality, they will look like the worst half of a leisure suit when you wear them. Forget about khaki cargo pants, they're fine for washing the car but not for a first date.

Even more trouser advice

Now that you have a good idea of what type of trousers are appealing to most women, you need to consider the fit. Try before you buy. It's a sound piece of advice but you would be surprised how many men still just pick the size of the rack. Waists should fit comfortably and you should be able to do up zippers and buttons easily. Legs should hang nicely and end just above the heel of the shoe. Add a plain belt and avoid showy buckles and logos.

Let's get shirty

Even if you have a 'unique personal style' (see above), t-shirts with slogans are taboo. If you must wear a t-shirt choose simple black or white or a cool graphic print. Most women will be more impressed if you dress in a nice shirt. It doesn't need to be fancy, just a simple discreet check or plain color in a cotton or cotton mix fabric. Long sleeves are best. Short sleeved shorts have a tendency to make everyone look like Brian from Accounts circa 1976. Unless you're going to a really posh restaurant and wearing a suit, you don't need a tie.

discreetly patterned shirt
Discreetly patterned shirts look fresh and fashionable

The finishing touches

Remember Brian from Accounts? He probably wears slip-on shoes. You shouldn't. Choose good lace up shoes that go with the trousers you've chosen. You can wear stylish footwear like Converse or Vans with jeans or choose sandals for the beach. Some fashion magazines suggest patterned socks (not with sandals) but we prefer plain colors. You can choose a bright color if you're feeling adventurous but trust us, she doesn't want to be dazzled each time you cross your legs. A watch, wristband or chain is a nice finishing touch, but don't overdo it or you'll look like a wise guy. Sunglasses are perfectly acceptable - during the day. Now just swish with mouthwash, give your hair another quick comb, and get ready to enjoy a very successful first date.


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Image sourcesImage 1 Fotolia.com - Minerva StudioImage 2 Fotolia.com - KurhanImage 3 Fotolia.com - Filip ŠimalčíkImage 4 Fotolia.com - tinx