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  • Writer's pictureMairead Loughman

What to wear on a date

We’ve all felt the pressure of not knowing what to wear for a date.

We want to put our best foot forward, but we don’t want to try too hard, or not hard enough.

This is because style is important to all of us. In fact, most of Mairead’s clients tell her they’re looking for a partner with a good sense of style.

You may be thinking, how do I show off my style for my next date?

Mairead spoke to men's style expert Louis Copeland and influencer and former stylist Yvonne Melin to get their take on the perfect date outfits.

With these expert styling tips, you’ll be able to dress for your next date like a pro.

What to wear on a date: Fundamental styling tips

Dress comfortably, and be yourself

When asked what style means to them, Yvonne and Louis agreed that style is all about comfort and authenticity.

According to Yvonne, it’s important to be comfortable in your own skin, and this involves wearing something that’s true to who you are. Don’t try too hard, and avoid wearing things that are out of your comfort zone. Dress in outfits that make you feel your best, as this will allow people to see the real you.

The same is true for men. Louis advises against wearing a suit and tie if it’s not something you’re comfortable in. If you aren’t comfortable, you’re not being your true, authentic self.

So ditch the dangerously tight dresses, tone it down, and dress in a way that makes you feel free. Before you head out on a date, you should look in the mirror and think “this outfit is very me”. If you feel like yourself, then chances are you’ve made the right outfit choice.

Look for clothes that flatter your body type

When it comes to fashion, Yvonne highlights that women should be dressing in ways that suit their body types. Nobody is the same shape, and everyone has their own insecurities. Yvonne also states that it’s important to accentuate the parts you like. If you have a great chest, show it off, and if you love your legs, wear something that emphasises them.

The same is true when it comes to men's fashion. Louis recommends going into reputable stores, as they’ll be able to help you find outfits that fit perfectly. Wearing a flattering outfit is the biggest confidence booster, so don’t be afraid to ask for help.

Outfit suggestions for different dating scenarios

Outfits for a dinner date

When it comes to dinner dates, it’s difficult to strike that balance between being overdressed and underdressed.

For women, Yvonne says that dinner outfits should be cute yet comfortable. She recommends a midi dress with boots, or the classic jeans and a nice top combo. With dinner outfits, less is always more. If you feel a bit too overdone, take something off. You don’t need to go all out just yet.

For men, Louis recommends a nice, clean shirt with nice jeans and some aftershave. He states that suits and jackets are too dressy for a dinner date, and like Yvonne, he recommends to tone it down. Put in some extra effort, but don’t over do it.

Getting ready for a dinner date doesn’t end with the outfit. Make sure your clothes are clean and you smell good - without spraying a suffocating amount of perfume. Cleanliness is just as important as a good outfit, so don’t forget to brush your teeth, no matter how nervous you are.

Outfits for a first date when you really want to go all out

Sometimes, you want to go that extra mile to woo your date.

For special dates, Yvonne recommends wearing a black dress or a patterned midi dress with heels, but she advises against going crazy with the sequins.

When it comes to dressing up, remember to stay true to your style. Wear what you enjoy, and don’t try too hard to be someone you're not, especially when it comes to impressing a man. Your date wants to get to know the real you, so choose an outfit that highlights your personality.

For men, Louis recommends dressing smart, and not wearing brand new shoes, or anything that could cause physical discomfort. You want to be present, rather than thinking about your aching feet all night.

Outfits for smart casual dates

Smart casual is a fashion term that’s met with confusion, particularly from men, so Louis and Yvonne describe the perfect outfits to wear on smart casual dates.

For men, Louis recommends a nice cotton shirt with a half zip sweater, sneakers and chinos. If you're not a fan of a half zip, a blazer could work too.

For women, Yvonne recommends a nice pair of dark wash jeans paired with a blazer and a cap sleeve chiffon shirt. And for the warmer months, a midi dress or a shirt dress with tights and boots is a great smart casual date outfit.

Outfits for a walk and coffee date

Even though lockdown is well and truly over, walking dates have proved that they’re here to stay.

For men, Louis recommends a smart casual outfit, with a puffer jacket, a scarf and a baseball cap.

Yvonne takes a more casual approach, as she states that leggings and boots make the perfect walking combo.

Outfits for a weekend away

When it comes to travelling dates, Louis and Yvonne recommend bringing along a capsule wardrobe.

For women, Yvonne highlights that women should bring the following items:

  • A dressy outfit for nights out

  • Heels

  • Jeans

  • A cashmere jumper

  • A coat

And for men, Louis recommends packing a soft, easy fitting navy blazer to wear with jeans during the day, and chinos during the night.

The key is to bring along versatile items that can be worn in multiple ways, so you can mix and match without overpacking.

When it comes to date outfits, it’s important to be comfortable, and to be you. No matter how many fashion tips you hear, don’t forget to wear what makes you feel good. Getting ready for a date can be nerve wracking, but with these expert tips, and a bit of personal flair, you’ll be able to rock up to your date in style.

Want more advice on how to nail that first date? Book a consultation now.

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