Countless of articles have been written about what you should wear on a date. Especially first dates.

If you are a man, you've probably read dozens of times that, unless wherever you are going has a formal dress code, you should look smart but casual. A nice pair of dark jeans with a stylish top and a well cut blazer, casual slacks with a sweater that compliments your skin tone... 

And if you are a woman, you've certainly heard it all, from "look good but not edgy, lean towards romantic", maybe choose heels but not extremely high, a dress is usually a good option... And so on.

Dating has evolved a lot during the last decade, now it's not just about meeting someone by chance or perhaps being introduced by common friends. There are dating apps and websites that make meeting people with common interests easier than ever before, dating agencies, speed dating events (I'm looking at you meetup), Tinder, etc.

Times have changed but one thing hasn't, our aim to please in that first meeting. Looking our best in the hope of a potential promise to see our date again.

We are used to the concept of dressing for success in business and in the context of our careers. If dating is something that is important for you, you should put as much thought into your attire as you put every morning before you leave the house. It's the goal that changes, and you need to take that into consideration when you pick an outfit.

I've talked many times before about how the way you dress is a language. Your clothes will be speaking for you and you want to make sure that the message they are sending is one that benefits your interests.

Because of how people connect in the 21st century, it's very common for two people to not know each other well on a first date. Perhaps they haven't seen each other in person ever, just pictures and messages. That makes my point even more important. You don't want to give the "wrong impression" so to speak. Your clothes should enhance what you like about yourself. And I don't just mean your favourite body attributes. I mean the kind of lifestyle you live and want to live, your personality.

Of course you need to make sure every garment is well paired, fits you well, is appropriate for the place you are going to, and generally makes you look your best. But I expect you to only keep outfits that follow those rules in your wardrobe anyways. So the important part is that they send a flattering message but not a loud one.

The art of dressing well is the art of turning down the noise (in most cases) so all that is left is you and your charming personality. 

If you have insecurities (most people do!) or there's something about your physical appearance you aren't happy with at the moment, wearing the right clothes and accessories will give you a blank space so what you have to say and share is the main focus of attention.

Quite often I read about failed dates from dating agencies. Everything was perfect on paper. The potential couple was a lovely match, but something went wrong and none of the parts could put a finger on what it was. I would venture some of that is the clothes: the first impression we have of someone when we get together is visual. Our brains catch things from that initial impact that unconsciously affect the way we perceive anything else related to the other person. 

Style is a powerful tool when used correctly. There's a reason why people suddenly "become attractive" after a makeover. Nothing essential about them has changed, just the message.

 

Paola

 

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