Most will never forget the slightly-nauseous nerves that mount before a first date. It can be utterly petrifying. What’s even worse? Running more than fashionably late because you had a wardrobe meltdown.
Dresses find themselves tossed in the bin, tears track down your freshly done makeup and you feel about a million degrees Celsius as the stress to find the perfect outfit impacts you physiologically. Let’s just say, it’s hell.
The good news is that planning and process can make dating, especially as you’re probably going to have to go on a few first dates to meet someone you like, much easier.
Of course, there are different types of dates out there. Covid saw a rise in walking dates where activewear was the go-to, dates in swimwear or even at golf. We can’t help you plan for all eventualities, but here are some tips to guide you to the perfect first date outfit.
1. Feel Comfortable
It can be tempting to wear the dress that shows off your body the most, or the pants that are slightly too loose but have a cute pattern.
Make sure you can sit, stand, walk and feel comfortable in what you’re wearing on a first date. You want to feel at ease, and worrying about keeping your outfit ‘just so’ won’t help that.
2. Dress Smart
The general rule of thumb with dating is to go slightly nicer than you usually would. This is the first time you’re going to meet someone, so you want to make sure it looks like you cared enough to put in the effort.
On the flipside, it’s not the Met Gala. Choose something that befits the location you’re going: smart casual for dinner and drinks, cute activewear for outdoor activities, and don’t forget to consider the weather!
3. Choose An Outfit That Represents You
While it’s nice to put on a show for your date, they’re there to get to know the real you. Let some personality shine through in your look.
Are you an all-black outfit girlie? That’s fine, lean into it. Do you prefer a more eclectic style? Maybe throw on an interesting sweater or shoe. There’s a fine balance between looking put together and looking phony.
4. Consider Focal Point
You might have lots of favourite items, but they don’t all need to go together. If you’re going for a patterned pant, maybe opt for a top with simple, clean lines. As Coco Chanel once said, “Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.”
5. Keep It Clean
First dates seem to spring up at the most inopportune times. If your favourite shirt is in the wash, forgo it this once. Having clean, laundered, non-wrinkled clothing is always helpful to get off on the right foot.
So, without further ado, what are some first date outfit ideas to actually try?
What Should Girls Wear?
We will caveat that there is no should when it comes to dating. Everything has to feel natural to you. However, if you’re completely stumped, here are a few thought starters:
Dinner: Statement top, a simple pant and low heels
Drinks: A silky maxi skirt, textured top and chunky flats
Beachside: A maxi dress and cute sandals
To A Gig: Interesting pants, a denim jacket and fashion trainers (extra points for a band shirt)
For A Walk: Cute long leggings, a peek of a patterned sports bra under a tank, with white sports trainers
Shop The Look:
Veiled Top In Dolphin Blue, $545, Christopher Esber
Madison The Label Layla Midi Skirt, $99, The Iconic
Alias Mae Zayn Mules, $229.95, Alias Mae
Printed Poplin Pant, $160, Venroy
Nike Air Force 1 ’07, $180, Nike
What Should Guys Wear?
As with the women, wear what makes you feel your best. If you’re in a panic and have a date next week, we’ve popped some options below:
Dinner: A button up shirt, jeans and leather shoes
Drinks: A simple white shirt, chinos and white trainers
Beachside: Boardshorts (if swimming) or linen shorts, and a surf-tee with a cap
To A Gig: A leather jacket, band tee and straight-legged denim jeans
For A Walk: Active shorts and a well-designed T-shirt with sports trainers
Shop The Look:
Tailored Pleat Trouser, $260, Venroy
Short Sleeve Linen Shirt, $80, Assembly Label
Wrangler Portobello Slacker Tee Devils Lettuce, $69.95, Universal Store
Old Skool Pig Suede, $159.95, Vans
Jack & Jones Joel Leather Jacket, $349.95, The Iconic