You have followed all the dating tips and rules on flirting - the eye contact, the body language, the hair flipping - and you have achieved success! You have your first date with the object of your affections, but the age-old question of what to wear is putting a snag in your perfect fantasy. And, of course, you'll want to wear the perfect outfit for this occasion!
Here's how to embrace, and look the part, of the fashionista you truly are.
- Consider Place, Weather, Time, etc. The first step to building that perfect look for your first date begins with where you'll be going. If it's at a swanky restaurant, think chic and sexy; if meeting for coffee, think cozily seductive. (Try a sweater in a touchable fabric like cashmere paired with jeans. The key is to look fresh-faced.) Aim to fit into the environment as much as possible (since comfort always aids confidence) and this will help you relax into the date. The same maxim holds true for time and weather. A softly colored cardigan may be perfect for a late dinner, but overkill in the sweltering June sun. Use common sense and let your instincts be your guide.
- Shop in Your Closet. Often, we rush out to go shopping while the perfect outfit hangs in the closet (or under the hamper, as the case may be). Go to your closet, take everything out and examine what you do have. Think about pairing items together that you normally wouldn't, like taking that grey blazer you always wear to work and wearing it with dark blue jeans. You'll be able to know what you're working with only if you're able to see it.
- Think About First Impressions. By now we all know the cold, hard, ugly truth: People judge us on how we look before we ever even get a chance to say a word. As disenchanting as this truth might seem, it may also be our greatest ally. Here you have the perfect opportunity to present who you are to the outside world without ever having to actually tell them. Focus on what you want your clothes to say about you. Are you sporty? Subtly confident? The free-flowing boheme?
Say sporty is your favorite look. Convey this by leaving the leg warmers at home (as well as the John McEnroe-inspired sweatband) and opt instead for a tennis racquet pendant on a pretty gold chain. Not only is this a great conversation piece (why didn't I think of this when I was dating?), but it subtly tells your date a little bit about your personality. Like being flamboyant? Try an incredibly polished handbag in eye-catching red. Feel free to incorporate key pieces into your outfit that speak toward the uniquely lovable you.
- Do Your Research. If you're still floundering (and having heart palpitations), thumb through a few current, reputable fashion magazines and dog-ear the looks you like best. Then, see if you have similar pieces in your wardrobe to help you recreate the look you fell in love with. Instead of trying to replicate the exact outfit, aim for a similar look or feel.
- A Word on Shoes and Topcoats. Many a gorgeous gal has had a carefully selected outfit fall flat due to the wrong shoes or topcoat. Shoes and topcoats should complement - not compete - with your outfit. Along with this, you can successfully utilize these accessories to dress up an otherwise (for lack of a better word) plain outfit. More importantly, however, savvy girls know that a nice form-fitting black dress is made sensational by a pair of high-heeled scarlet shoes.
- No-Fail Outfits by Season. Further still, here are some outfits that shine as a Plan B.
Summer: A tennis dress, flat shoes and a cute bag.
Fall: A turtleneck, skirt, textured tights, and knee-high boots.
Winter: Form-fitting trouser pants with a fitted top.
Spring: A blazer, jeans, and a lacy cami in an eye-catching color.
Keep in mind that these are just a few outfits and guidelines to get you started. If you are still nervous, remember that your date liked you (not your clothes) when he first saw you. After all (survey your gorgeous self in the mirror), how could he not?