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First Date Outfits for Men

by Chance Henson, studioD

First dates are more than just a big deal -- they're a battleground. Your first date can set the tone for an entire relationship or leave you high and dry. You may take comfort in the old saying, "There are plenty of fish in the sea," but if truth be told, those fish won't be interested until you learn to use the right bait. Next to personality and natural charm, the right clothes are your best chance for making a strong first impression and winning the interest of someone special.

Consider the Occasion

First dates for you could mean an elaborate dinner at a five-star restaurant, a picnic at park, or even baseball game. The first step to building an appropriate first date outfit is knowing how to dress for the occasion. For example, a blazer, slacks, dress shirt, and dress shoes are appropriate for dinner at a nice restaurant. A casual button-down or polo shirt with loafers and nice jeans are pieces which would be more appropriate for an outdoor activity or sporting event.

Suitable Colors

Colors can have a major impact on the kind of impression your clothes make on a first date. Incorporate colors that are well-suited to both your skin tone and the rest of your ensemble. For example, if your skin has cool violet, blue or pink undertones, wear a similarly cool clothes such as a green button-down shirt, a blue blazer, or a lavender vest. Conversely, if your skin is slightly yellow, peach or red, stick to warmer shades such as a citrus yellow summer scarf, a soft pastel orange shirt or deep red tie. If you are not inclined to sift through colors then stick with neutrals such as grey, black, white and tan to ensure that your look is crisp and flattering.

Dressy Casual

More often than not, dressy casual attire is appropriate for a first date. For pants, your dressy casual attire can include nice dark-wash jeans, slacks, chinos or khakis. When it comes to tops, a button-down casual shirt, dress shirt or other open collar shirt make appropriate options. Nice dress shoes or loafers and optional suit separates such as a button-up vest or blazer kick it up a notch. Whether you are attending dinner at a trendy local restaurant, or having a leisurely conversation and drinks, you won't go wrong with a dressy casual combination.

Casual Dates

If your ideal first dates tend to be casual, such as a afternoon coffee, a sporting event, or a day at the beach, then casual attire will usually be your go-to style. Casual attire includes jeans that are in good condition, khakis or chinos, clean sneakers, a less formal button-down, a polo, or T-shirt. For example, a nice V-neck T-shirt in a flattering color with good jeans and a pair of well-maintained sneakers are appropriate for a basketball game. Similarly, you can switch out your sneakers for a pair of casual loafers and add a loose summer scarf for a low-key brunch or coffee date.

About the Author

Chance Henson earned a B.A. in English literature and a writing minor from Lamar University. While interning at the "University Press" newspaper and "UP Beat" magazine he received an award for news feature writing from the Texas Intercollegiate Press Association. Henson went on to serve as content editor for "CUSH Magazine," eventually leaving to pursue the development of an online secular humanist educational publication.

Photo Credits

  • Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images