5 First Date Fashion Tips for Making a Great First Impression

DATING & RELATIONSHIPS
Wardrobe Therapy
The Wardrobe Therapy Team

The first date is an occasion to get excited about meeting someone new. Of course, preparing for a first date can be tricky, especially if you - like most singles - are unsure about what to wear to make the best first impression. Second Date Social members are making connections with local singles all the time, but often ask us how they should dress on a first date. So we decided to ask the fashion experts!

We reached out to Christy Walsh, Style Director at Wardrobe Therapy, a fashion consulting firm in Columbus that provides exceptional style and wardrobe services for individuals and organizations nationwide. Here are Christy's first date fashion tips for making a great first impression!

Second Date Social: What are 3 must-haves that men and women should wear to get a great first-impression?
Christy: Fit always comes first! You could have the best designer pieces on from head to toe but if they are ill-fitting (too baggy or too tight) your look won’t land. With that said, my advice for men includes:

  1. A well-fitted sport coat in grey, blue, or a slight neutral print that can be worn over a crisp button-down shirt or a dressy crew neck tee.
  2. Dark slim or straight-fit classic denim (NO holes).
  3. A brown dress shoe that matches back to a good belt that completes the outfit.


For women, I would suggest:

  1. GREAT-fitting denim. We want them to flatter the body without being TOO tight, but definitely not loose or baggy. Avoid distressed denim on a first date!
  2. A silk cami that doesn’t reveal too much, but still feels sexy. This can be worn under a leather jacket or great fitting blazer.
  3. If you want a dressier vibe, go for a dress that fits well and highlights your best features, while creating balance in the body. Again, don’t reveal too much on a first date. Keep it sexy, yet sophisticated.

Second Date Social: What is the best color to wear on a first date?
Christy: Many men will say they are attracted to red on a woman. If red isn’t your best color, choose the hue in your accessories--perhaps in your handbag, shoes, or just a red lip! For men, blue or green is always a choice color.

Second Date Social: Are there any fashion Do’s or Don’ts we should know?
Christy: DO make sure you are comfortable. Ladies, if you’ve never walked in a pair of 4” heels, don’t choose a first date to try them out! Make sure you are comfortable--there’s nothing more distracting than fidgeting with your outfit on a first date! DON’T wear a fashion trend that doesn’t highlight your individual style.. Let the outside speak for the inside. Dress how you would dress. Now isn’t the time to borrow your best friend’s favorite little black dress if that does not feel like you. Also, DON'T overly accessorize. Minimal is best on a first date. Yes, your outfit should say who you are before speaking...but it should never distract WHILE you are speaking.

Second Date Social: Is it okay to wear jeans on a first date? If so, do you suggest a brand & style for men/women?
Christy: Absolutely! Most of the time, a first date is in a comfortable environment where jeans are certainly appropriate. Again, they should fit well and be a wash that is flattering (when in doubt, go with a dark wash). Ladies, if you wear jeans, make sure you are in a dressy shoe. A heel or ankle bootie works well. If you don’t enjoy heels, make sure your flats are dressy. NO sneakers here. Men, a dressy loafer with a matching belt is a must when opting for jeans on a first date. If the environment doesn’t call for a sport coat, be sure you have a nice button-down shirt paired with your denim. Some brands we love for women: Madewell, Mother, Kut, and Paige. For men: Paige, AG, Gap, and Levi’s.

Second Date Social: Why is what I wear on a first date so important?
Christy: Like it or not, your appearance is the first thing someone notices about you. Especially on a first date! In those first few initial seconds of meeting, you are sizing up and being sized up based on your exterior. It's important to come across on a first date (and second, third, fourth, and so on!) showing that you took the time to care for yourself. Grooming, hygiene, and wardrobe all come into play here. Your wardrobe not only speaks your personality, but it's also what can make or break the impression you put forth. A well-thought out outfit shows you took the time and effort to care for yourself, which shows the importance of this date for you. Additionally, as wardrobe stylists, our mantra is when you look good you feel good. It's an opportunity to put on the outside what you feel on the inside. Confidence is key on a first date...when you feel good about the clothing you are wearing and the overall look you are presenting, that inner confidence will shine through!


Second Date Social is a membership community for singles worth meeting in Columbus, offering social events, sports leagues, and volunteer outings. Apply for membership today at SecondDateSocial.com.

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