Choosing the Perfect Date Outfit

So let’s say that Mr. or Ms. Right has finally asked you out on that date you’ve been fantasizing about since Day 1. Now comes the tough part- figuring out what to wear. Although choosing one shirt over another probably isn’t going to be the make-or-break moment of the evening, your personal appearance will certainly contribute to some aspect of the date’s success (or failure). Here are some guidelines to keep in mind before ransacking your closet:

– It’s important to choose clothing that is appropriate for the context of the date, i.e. the time of day and activity. Are you going out for afternoon coffee? Walking on the boardwalk at the beach? Eating at a fancy restaurant? Think about what the general public normally wears in these situations, and err on the side of being more polished.

– Avoid the temptation to take a fashion risk in order to project an image that isn’t exactly “you,” but more consistent with something you want to be-for example, wearing a revealing top to appear edgier when polo shirts are more your style (or vice versa). This is generally a terrible idea. Your date will sense that you are feeling self-conscious, which may make them think that you are insecure or uncomfortable in social situations. Stick to clothing that makes you feel good, and you will look good.

– For some people, shopping for a special date outfit may help them to feel more confident and thus more comfortable about the date. Just be sure that you don’t rush to find something at the last minute, or you will end up wearing a last-resort ensemble and will arrive at your destination appearing flustered.

– Tasteful use of bright colors is eye-catching and gives off an aura of self-confidence. Pairing a bright color with a black or neutral piece keeps the outfit from looking too busy. Jazz up a black ensemble with an interesting accessory, or else risk looking like you’re on your way to a funeral.

– Shirts that make a statement-literally-should be avoided. Even if your date agrees with the statement on your chest, it’s far too in-your-face for this type of social situation. Wait to break out the “I Hate My Life and Want to Die!” shirt until the relationship progresses.

– Finally, don’t worry about all this too much. You can spend hours searching for the perfect outfit, but your date will likely be swayed by something other than your choice of khaki vs. denim. Have fun!