Praise be! That hottie from the gym finally asked you out. Wait, does that even happen anymore? Debatable. A more likely scenario is one of your Tinder matches wants to take you out for dinner and drinks. Naturally, this means you’re going to spend the days leading up to your date searching through your closet for the perfect outfit.
I can’t definitively tell you what you should wear on a first date, but I can give you a list of things you should absolutely NOT wear when you’re going out with a new guy or gal. Here’s my list of hard limits when it comes to first date dressing, plus some input from my single guy friends on what they think you should wear.
1. High heels you can barely walk in
Your favorite pumps are undoubtedly sexy, but what happens when your date is going flawlessly and he wants to take a stroll down the boardwalk to prolong the night? Are you going to hobble along, wincing with every step? You never know where a first date is going to take you. Wear comfortable shoes so you can be up for anything.
Plus, you don’t want to make your date feel short — especially if this is the first time you’re meeting him — so high heels aren’t a good choice in that respect, either.
“Guys can be self conscious about a girl’s height, so don’t wear your highest heels. — Cory, 28
2. Messy, unflattering clothes
It’s important to be comfortable on a first date, but you don’t want to be too comfortable. This isn’t “Netflix and chill,” and if it is, that doesn’t count as a first date so you can go ahead and stop reading.
The same rules that apply to interviewing apply to dating: If you show up looking like a hot mess, it will seem like you don’t care about or respect your date. Pass over your wrinkly tees, stained jeans, sweatsuits and yoga pants.
“I think something simple works well, like a pretty dress or nice jeans with a top and some kind of necklace — put together, but nothing that takes away from the person. First dates shouldn’t be too complicated. It should be to get to know someone, period. — Yianni, 25
3. A too-short skirt or dress that’s going to ride up
There’s nothing wrong with showing a little leg on your first date, but don’t wear a skirt or dress that you’re going to have to keep pulling down all night. If you’re preoccupied with worries of your skirt riding up, you won’t be paying much attention to your company.
Wear something comfortable. If you’re worrying about what you’re wearing, your body language can be a bit cold and uncomfortable. If you feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, your body language is much more warm. — Cory
4. A brand-new outfit you bought just for the occasion
If you really have nothing to wear, I guess you can buy a new outfit, but in general, it’s better to opt for a tried-and-true getup. You never know how new clothes are going to perform until it’s too late; your brand-new outfit could be impossible to sit in, highlight your sweat stains, keep coming unbuttoned or just be plain uncomfortable. Plus, guys would rather you just be your usual everyday self.
“If it’s a casual first date, I’m not looking for the girl to, like, go crazy coming up with a killer outfit. Casual means casual. I’m just gonna wear some of my favorite jeans and one of my better tops, so I might feel a bit weird if the girl’s out-of-control put together. — Sam, 27
5. Twelve layers of makeup
Obviously you’re going to want to cover up your stress pimple and make your lips look kissable for your big date, but less is definitely more when it comes to makeup. Before you get all offended, know I’m not judging — I think you should wear as much makeup as makes you comfortable. But, the bottom line is it’s a turnoff for guys when they can’t see the real you under all the cosmetics.
Don’t wear too much makeup. I shouldn’t be able to look at you and be like, ‘Whoa, she’s wearing a lot of makeup.’ — Cory
6. Anything that’s not you
If I learned anything from asking my guy friends about first date attire, it’s some men are assh*les who don’t take anything seriously. Just kidding. (I’m not, I actually did learn that.)
What I learned is guys just want their dates to be comfortable and be themselves. You don’t have to look like a video vixen or a fashion blogger to impress a guy. If you’re comfortable in an oversize cardigan and skinny jeans, that’s exactly what you should wear.
“Wear something that’s comfortable for you. Don’t try and go overboard in order to impress me. You already have the date, so I like you for some reason, right? — Miles, 25