When you’re getting into the dating game, it’s vital that you feel as confident and comfortable as possible. And, one of the best ways to give yourself a timely boost is to update your personal style. In this article, Christopher Legard, from menswear specialist Joseph Turner, shares five essential fashion tips that will help you nail the ideal look for your big date.
Keep the occasion in mind when planning your outfit
One of the golden rules of dressing for a date is to keep the occasion in mind when planning your outfit. For example, the clothes you choose for a nice dinner date in the city will be different to the ones you need for a casual stroll in the country. Don’t just throw something together at the last minute — keep the theme of your date in mind and dress to match.
Having said that, if you’re not sure, it’s always best to aim for a smart look rather than going too casual. There are many looks that are versatile enough to work in both a trendy and a more laid-back scenario. A good go-to is a nice Oxford shirt paired with a well-fitted pair of chinos — you’re likely to look the part no matter where you venture.
Dressing up? Make sure your suit fits just right
Should the occasion be a little more formal — maybe you’re going to an upmarket restaurant or attending a function — you’ll need to be ready to dress up your style. If you already own a suit, you should take the time to check it still fits you. Alternatively, if you need to shop for a new one, finding out how a suit should fit can help you choose one that looks the part.
When you’re trying on a suit, the jacket should lie flat over your shoulders with no pulling or bagginess and it should fasten comfortably without feeling too tight or too loose. Ensure that the trousers give you just enough room to move around easily and that they’re long enough to just rest on the top of your shoes. If you’re buying from a tailor or a shop that offers a tailoring service, you may be able to get your suit adjusted to perfection, though this will cost extra.
Pick out the right footwear for your outfit
Usually, guys pay more attention to the clothes they will be wearing, with footwear considered as an afterthought. As the old saying goes: “you can always judge a man by his shoes”, and this still applies to modern dating. Not only should you ensure your footwear is clean and tidy, but you should also try to plan your choice with the context of your whole outfit in mind.
There are no set rules to what will go well with certain types of outfit — a pair of casual plimsols can still look smart and stylish if paired with the right suit, for instance. But, if you’re stuck, there are some versatile shoes to consider: a pair of leather brogues can go with jeans, chinos, and even many suits.
Play it safe with your grooming routine
When you’re preparing for a date, especially a first one, you want to feel as comfortable in your skin as possible. That’s why trying out a new grooming style — like a haircut or a new beard trim — is generally not a great idea if you want to avoid feeling self-conscious throughout the evening. If you’re feeling doubtful, remember that your date agreed to go out with you based on your current photo or looks, so don’t feel pressured to switch things up.
If you are planning to wear aftershave remember that less is more; you don’t want to overpower your new date in a cloud of cologne. Stick to two or three squirts applied to the sides of neck and wrists to strike the right balance.
Remember that accessories matter too
Much like shoes, it’s easy to overlook accessories when planning your clothes. But, it’s often the little touches that can really tie your look together. Think about all the ways that you can personalise your outfit and express your unique sense of style.
If you’re dressing smartly, consider adding a pocket square to your suit jacket or blazer, or you could even go for a formal shirt paired with some striking cufflinks that reflect your personality.
A well-chosen watch is always a winner. Just remember to match the type to your outfit: dress and diver’s watches work with suits, while more casual styles, like pilot and field watches, can go with a dressed down look. Digital sports watches should only be worn casually, too.
Consider these five key tips and you’ll be able to head out on your next date feeling stylish and confident. Good luck and enjoy!