What To Wear On Valentine's Day or First Date

What to Wear on Valentine's Day or a First Date

Everyone wants to meet that special someone who loves them for who they are inside. But it's also a well-known fact that first impressions are important, and a bad one can be difficult or impossible to overcome. With this in mind, what both men and women wear on first dates is important. But that doesn't necessarily make it easy to decide what to wear for that all-important first date.
Fairly or unfairly, men are not known for being as clothing conscious as women or as knowledgeable about what to wear for special occasions, including a first date or a special Valentine's Day date. It's certainly wrong, however, to assume all men are clueless when it comes to dressing sharply for special occasions. But other men do struggle with dressing to impress a date, so here are some tips for those guys who need a little help.

When in Doubt, Over-Dress
As a general rule, if you are not sure what is appropriate for a situation, it's better to dress up rather than dress down. Dressing a little sharper than others in the room makes you look better and can give you an air of self-confidence; underdressing will make you look uncaring and sloppy in comparison to others. Use some judgment here, because it's possible to go too far. Don’t wear a formal, double-breasted suit to a low-key, casual restaurant—it may make you look a little silly. But when in doubt, take your outfit up a notch. Your date will be pleased that you put in the extra effort to look your best.

Comfortable Equals Confident
It may seem contradictory, but wearing something in which you are comfortable will give you more confidence. Just realize that there is a difference between the comfort of beat-up old T-shirts and sweatpants and the comfort that comes from a great casual outfit or a well-fitting suit. Also, a first date is not the time to try out a brand new look. Choose clothing that is familiar to you, but of good quality and in good condition. If you want to reinvent your look, do it when there is less on the line—not a first date or on Valentine’s Day, when your appearance is more important. Try it out with good friends and see how it makes you feel before you spring it on your date
Try Some Colour
Some men are timid when it comes to incorporating colour in their wardrobes. Wearing nothing but neutrals like black, blue, and beige, however, is no way to make you stand out. If you are not sure about choosing a colour, skip over bright, hard-to-wear shades like orange and yellow and stick with classic jewel tones like maroon, forest green, or cobalt blue. Try a solid-coloured dress shirt with nice, tailored jeans or a coloured sweater over a white dress shirt.

Formal Rules
If your first date takes place at a formal event, verify ahead of time what attire is expected. If the event is black tie, wear an appropriate, tailored suit or a good quality tuxedo. If you choose a suit, stick with a traditional style to impress without standing out in the wrong way. A classic navy suit is a good choice, paired with a light blue or striped dress shirt. Your choice of tie can give you a little latitude for individuality, but err on the side of conservativeness rather than something crazy.

Casual Outings
For a casual first date, be wary of looking too casual. Again, it's better to be slightly overdressed than under-dressed. Wear khaki pants or a quality pair of dark wash jeans paired with a polo, other collared shirt, or a well-fitting sweater depending on the weather. Stay away from shoes that are too informal, such as Crocs or flip flops. Sneakers and running shoes can also be unsuitable, unless you and your date are planning an activity like hiking, which requires comfortable shoes. Many women are more aware of appropriate shoes and accessories than you may be, so choosing a nice pair of shoes will help make a good impression.

Grooming Matters Too
Preparing for your first date or Valentine’s Day date begins even before you get dressed. Your sense of personal hygiene and grooming says a lot about who you are, above and beyond what clothes you wear. A woman may pay more attention to details you normally wouldn't, such as whether your fingernails are clipped or whether you are freshly shaven. Take some extra time to get ready for your date, and by cleaning up nicely, you'll prove that you respect her and yourself.

About the Author
Heather Stanford is a long time sales expert with a flair for fashion. She has worked in various retail environments, getting her start in a Men’s Department in a well-known department store. She studied Creative Writing as well as Communications at the University of Central Florida, and has since become the company Blog Writer for Clothing Connection Online. She has a love for personal shopping, as well as a desire to make everyone look his best!

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