With Valentines Day looming and dating and love being on our minds, some first date tips might be useful. I have teamed up with Personal Stylist Natasha from Appearance and Attitude @tashappandatt to talk about all things ‘first date’.
Be confident, be yourself!
People talk a lot about being confident on a first date. Whilst I totally agree with this sentiment, I believe it is important to highlight that confidence is about being true to yourself, acting naturally and being YOU. It is not about being more chatty, more funny, more assertive, or more anything, it is about being you and feeling comfortable with that. You want to see if your date is attracted to you, not to a fictitious character that you might feel is a more interesting version of yourself. Be yourself, be yourself, be yourself! At the same time, it is perfectly ok to be a little nervous before or during a date. For many of us it is a natural reaction to the unknown. I personally feel that a few butterflies in the tummy make the whole experience more exciting! The chances are that your date is feeling exactly the same and will be put at ease to see that you are both in the same boat. Why not tell your date you are a little nervous – it can be a nice ice breaker and if you are a little slow to get warmed up they will understand why.
Whether it’s a coffee meetup, a dinner or a walk in the park, only accept a formula that you feel comfortable with. Pushing yourself slightly outside of your comfort zone can end up feeling rewarding when all goes well, but agreeing to a wine tasting tour for your first date when wine makes you queasy is not a good start! Go somewhere that you can actually talk without having to shout – avoid gigs and karaoke bars I would say! I usually advise clients to go for a first date that is not too long, such as a coffee or early evening aperitif. If you hit it off then there is plenty of time to schedule a second date, and if you don’t then nobody needs to feel awkward as they try to escape.
Strike while the iron is hot
If a first date is on the cards then it’s best to get it in the diary. Letting too much time pass can not only dampen enthusiasm but even more risky is that the fantasy of the perfect date has brewed for so long that the actual date is a disappointment.
It is polite and constructive to contact your date afterwards. If you are not feeling it and do not want a second date then it’s a chance to thank them for the first date and gracefully let them know where you are at – although they may be disappointed, they will not feel disrespected. If you enjoyed the date then there is no shame in showing it! We are all adults, there is no need to wait a week to text because you don’t want to appear desperate.
Don’t take the date or yourself too seriously!
It is a date, not a space shuttle launch – it’s supposed to be a bit nerve racking and anticipation is high but there is no real risk of crashing and burning. Let’s face it, if you are going on a date then you are probably looking for a meaningful relationship and that can increase the pressure. The more pressure, the more likely you are to not be yourself during the date. Some of you may believe in love at first sight, but often a connection takes time to develop. Don’t feel that you have to fall head over heels on the first date in order to accept a second one. Love can be like a flower, you need to water it for it to bloom!
What to Wear on a First Date…
It’s a dilemma that we single girls have been trying to solve for decades! And one that I get asked about on many occasions! Sure, to some, it sounds like a no-brainer but when it gets down to the wire, we all experience some form of first date wardrobe panic when the “dress to impress” pressure is on!
First off, here are the “first date” style rules you should abide by
Always check out the venue online to get a feel for the setting! (I always do this for my clients if I’m helping them choose an outfit.) A great rule of thumb for the first date: Choose a colour or outfit that you are often complimented on, we all have a top or a dress that we feel great in, first rule is you need to feel confident and happy in your outfit.
Comfort should be a priority too! The last thing you want to do is be fidgeting with your outfit—there are more important things to be thinking about!
Also, show off your best bits – pick one best asset and that’s it. For example: Do you have great arms? Wear a strapless top or dress. Great legs? Wear shorts or a skirt. The bottom line—too much skin can actually be a turn off and look like you’re trying too hard.
Style don’ts to avoid
Don’t show too much skin! Avoid extremes like overly trendy outfits or heavy makeup. Natural and minimal is always best for the first date. If it requires sucking in, constant adjustment, or double-stick tape, leave it at home!
I always say more is more and by that, I mean don’t give it all away on the first date! If you wear something short, balance that out with long sleeves and a low heel. If you decide to wear something backless or low cut in the front, wear it with a maxi skirt or jeans.
This might sound obvious, but give yourself plenty of time to plan what you’re wearing and to get dressed. (And enough time to iron your outfit beforehand!) Being disheveled and stressed out until the second your date picks you up is no way to start out!
What to wear to a casual daytime date
From jeans to a casual dress, my best piece of first date advice: Make sure it’s comfortable. An easy dress with some sort of jacket (depending on your style—a leather cropped bomber, a cardigan, a denim jacket, etc.) is always a great outfit combination. You can do flats or wedges depending on the setting and what you’re most comfortable in.
The ultimate goal? To achieve the effortless “I just threw this on” vibe.
What to wear to a chic Restaurant Dinner Date
Comfort is still key no matter what. If you feel good in what you’re wearing you’ll look good; confidence is everything. For me a dressy dinner date means dress up a little, I’d go with a dress or tailored jeans, a silk camisole, blazer, and heels. For a casual dinner, boyfriend jeans, a cute blouse, heels and a great bag are always a great bet.
Stand out on a more formal occasion by adding a statement piece of jewelry or a fun accessory as a conversation starter. Don’t be tempted to wear anything that you can’t walk in, eat in, or breathe in!
You can add a classic nude or black heel to most outfits to dress up your look—a nice mix of dressy meets relaxed. For makeup, it’s all about the balance. Not too much, but not too little. You want to look like you put in the effort to look nice, but don’t want to overdo it! You want to enhance your features, not overwhelm them.
Post Work Drinks
Most important in this instance is not what you’re wearing but that you can relax and get out of work mode! For a mix of office appropriate meets date night, opt for a shirt dress or skirt with a feminine top under a biker jacket. (You can remove the jacket when you leave the office if you need to!) Switch that big work bag to a clutch for an easy transition to evening. Add a bolder lipstick and a dash more of mascara to complete the look!
Parting words for date style advice
Be confident and be yourself. This is what will make a great first impression and guarantee a second date! (That is, if you want one!)
I can’t say it enough—wear what makes YOU feel good. At the end of the day, it’s all about confidence. If you feel good in what you’re wearing, it’ll show. Wear something that truly makes you feel like the best version of yourself.
Nicole and Natasha