What to wear on a first date: our top tips for looking (and feeling) great!
But, for those wondering what to wear on a first date - fear not! We’ve compiled a list of things to consider for both men and women to help you choose a first date outfit for any occasion.
What to wear on a first date: tips for women
Picking cute date outfits for a first date can be just as stressful as the date itself. Should you wear heels or flats? Fitted skirt, smart dress, skinny jeans? And how in the world do you even coordinate jewellery anyway? Sometimes it’s understandable to be envious of men. Surely, they’ve got it easy. (We’ll get to why that’s not true later.) The first step to narrowing down what to wear on a first date is to figure out the setting for the date so that you can dress for the occasion, and then it’s just a matter of following a few simple guidelines.
Casual first date outfits
Meeting for coffee means you’ll be in a more relaxed setting compared to other dates, so go for something casual and stylish. The key is to look effortless, a feat we all know is easier said than done. This date should reflect what you would normally wear on a day-to-day basis, meaning you should definitely stay in your comfort zone. This is not the time to try something new or wear expensive designer brands to show off. Instead, go for the girl-next-door look by letting your hair down and wearing the cute date outfits you know you look good in. It doesn’t matter if that means jeans or a skirt, a swing dress or a jersey, flats or boots, just so long as you’re comfortable and feel confident.
What not to wear – That being said, you don’t want to come across as too confident, and that goes for both extremes. This is not the right time to show off that little black cocktail dress and six-inch heels, nor will it be ok for you to saunter in with active wear and jandals.
Dinner date outfits
An elegant, ritzy date night is the right time for that black cocktail dress that shows off your figure and flashes those sexy legs. But be careful not to show too much skin. Ideally, and this goes for any first date, you’ll want to choose only one asset and highlight that, especially with your dinner date outfit. For example, if you do go for a short dress, you’ll want to keep your arms covered so they won’t compete for attention down below. Or if you want to accentuate your chest, wear a dress that at least reaches your knees or opt instead for form-fitting pants. Finally, add some elegant high heels to complete your ensemble.
What not to wear – Skip the shorts and leave your scuffed-up flats at home. You don’t need sky-high stilettos to look good (in fact, sometimes it can be too much) but a nice pair of kitten heels can add elegance. That said, if you're not comfortable in heels, opt for some elegant flats - just avoid anything resembling a sneaker!
Outdoor date outfits
Not every date will be at a café or restaurant. Sometimes the best dates happen outside, such as having a picnic in a park or going to a rugby game or even strolling through a farmers’ market. Remember though, it's hard to feel attractive if you're cold or sunburnt, so if you’re going to go for shorts to show off your legs, consider wearing a lightweight cardigan and sun hat. During the winter, you'll want to keep warm and comfortable, of course, but consider wearing something elegant underneath your layers - you may well want to take your date into a café to warm up afterwards!
What not to wear – Of course, you should dress according to the weather, but that doesn’t mean to don a bikini top and short-shorts during a hot summer’s day (sunburn isn't a great look on anyone!) or to bundle up so much in the winter that you can't be seen beneath your scarf, woolly hat, and puffa jacket.
Don’t forget: makeup and jewellery
Makeup can be tricky. How much is too much? Some women prefer to go au naturel and others like to make their eyes pop with plenty of eyeliner and mascara, so there are no hard and fast rules here, other than to stay in your comfort zone. If you don’t normally apply a lot of makeup, don’t start now in an effort to impress your date. You’ll want to feel confident, and it’s difficult to do that when you feel the need to run to a mirror every five minutes - instead, wear what makes you feel attractive, and the confidence will follow.
Jewellery can be that little, extra final touch that turns ordinary cute date outfits into stunning ones. Jewellery catches and leads the eye, so use it to bring attention to those assets you want to highlight. If you opted to wear something with a low neckline, wearing a big brooch or ornamental necklace would be the best way to focus all eyes on that part of your anatomy. It is important to match with your carefully chosen first date outfit, though, so be sure to co-ordinate.
What not to wear – In our survey of first date deal-breakers, NZ singles revealed that too much jewellery is a definite no-no. In fact, ornate jewellery is considered even more of a fashion faux pas than turning up in active-wear!,1 so it might be best follow in the footsteps of Coco Chanel and take one item off before leaving the house!
ABOVE ALL: Wear what makes you feel relaxed - 88% of Kiwi singles think that the ideal first date is a casual one2 so it's fine to wear a first date outfit that lets you feel more comfortable (and helps you focus on your date!).
What to wear on a first date: tips for men
Men have it easy, right? All that’s needed is a clean button-up shirt, nice pants, and maybe a blazer if you’re going somewhere fancy. And that’s it, isn’t it? Well, not exactly. (For example, did you even notice we didn’t mention shoes yet?) An uncomfortable majority of men think fashion need not apply to them. Yes, your personality should ultimately be the deciding factor in what to wear on a first date, but women do appreciate a man with a personal style. The following tips will help you nail that first date outfit.