by Grace Tesoro
Shoes? Laced. Hair? Combed to the side she prefers. Cologne? Practically bathed in it. Wallet and keys in back pocket? Of course!
But wait---do I go with the shirt and tie, or would she prefer a quarter zip? I hate quarter zips though…but would she hate me if I show up in my favorite football jersey?
These may be the thoughts that are ricocheting through your head like a pinball during an arcade game before you await picking up the girl of your dreams for your very first date. Pre-date nerves are normal, but sometimes they get even more unruly when you don’t know which shoes go with what pants and what shirt shows off the fact that you’ve been working out for the past month or so.
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Or worse-it can be especially nerve-racking when you’re the guy that just likes to kick it in whatever comfy clothes you found in the back of your closet. You were never a Versace or ASIAS Brands kind of guy, maybe you’re more of a ‘let’s grab whatever off the clearance rack’ kind of guy. But, fear not! Even the most fashionably challenged can find a style that works for them while simultaneously putting their date in a rosy haze at first sight.
You can still present yourself as that aloof, casual, chill guy that attracted your lady in the first place—but here we spell out the do’s and don’ts for dressing for a first date when you’re a casual guy. It isn’t rocket science that clothing can leave a lasting impression on whoever you decide to take out to eat. Making a good impression on a first date is something you want to achieve, so let’s break it down to make it simple.
First things first, consider the key factors such as the location of your date; are you taking to her to a fancy restaurant in the city or a local pub near your place? The location of the date matters when you are considering your outfit.
According to an article from The Modest Man, even the time of the day is another factor to address: “If your date is in the daytime, then you’ll probably want a more casual outfit. Generally, nighttime dates call for a slightly dressier look.” Okay—so location and time of day are ideas to consider; but what about the actual clothes themselves? Good question.
Men’s Journal, “The Man’s Guide to Dressing for a First Date” states “It’s all about the fit”. Maybe when you’re out with your boys you’re sporting your favorite jersey and worn-out khaki shorts that you wear when you mow the lawn. But that isn’t the outfit that is going to score you a second date; when it comes to ‘the fit’ we aren’t talking fitness; we are talking about how well your clothes fit you. Tailored! Tailored! Tailored! Pick something that fits correctly, women are just as curious about your figure as you are about hers. If she were to show up to the date in an oversized nightgown, I don’t think you would be calling her up again, now would you?
So, wear something that is going to fit you properly; you don’t want to be swimming in your clothes and you don’t want to be nearly bursting out of them either. “The last thing you want is for your date to be distracted by your loose and baggy getup,” wrote style and grooming writer Mario Abad for Men’s Health. Abad also throws in some simple yet specific do’s and don’ts for men who don’t know what to wear on their first date.
“LEAN TOWARD DARK OR NEUTRAL COLORS: Understated, muted colors keep your entire look grounded and sophisticated. Think navy, gray, white, and black. It puts the focus on you and your conversation and not on what you're wearing. This applies to your jeans as well. Dark wash, always,” Abad said.
Abad expressed this kind of style for a night out—but claims daytime has more room for you to ‘play around.’ So, what if your date is smack in the middle of the afternoon in a park?
Like we went over earlier, the time of day is important to keep in mind when you are finding the perfect fit to impress your lady. So, if your date is scheduled for maybe 2 p.m.; a nice, casual look would suffice. “For more casual daytime dates, throw a button-up shirt over a t-shirt for a relaxed yet refined look,” a fashion tip taken out from The Modest Man.
Likewise, Abad also emphasized the importance of ‘LEAVING THE HOODIE HOME’ and ‘NO OPEN-TOED SHOES’ in a rather evident manner. “Nobody wants to see your toenails—no matter how well-groomed they are on a first date.” Yes, please guys, no flip-flops or explorer sandals. The only viable exception to this rule is if you’re taking her to the beach.
It’s also super important to keep in mind that just because you want to dress fancy, that doesn’t mean you have to drop your entire paycheck to be dressed to the nines for only a couple of hours. So, if you’re browsing the latest department stores for that perfect button-down shirt or what have you, it’s important to keep budgeting in mind.
We aren’t all billionaires, but that doesn’t mean we cannot present ourselves as one for a night in an outfit that only costs us $16.99.
Dressing nicely shouldn’t be a challenge when you aren’t a quote-on-quote “fashionable guy”. But honestly, going the extra mile to impress your lady with your new, dapper fit will go a long way. It shows effort on your end; a quality that we women can never seem to get enough of!
Following these helpful tips, hopefully, will help you for the next time you have a big night coming up.