Here’s Why First Date Dressing Is BS

Words: Ellie June Goodman

Everyone has a solid first date outfit. You can ask any of your friends what hers is. There are hundreds of articles online to tell you exactly what to put on to make that other person fall in love with you, all with advice from editors who each in turn have their go-to. The struggle of figuring out what to wear on a first date is something that unites almost all 20-something women.

Recently at dinner with a group of friends, talk turned to first date dressing. One friend, after the end of a five-year relationship, was going on her first real first date and asked the group for their sage advice on what to wear. There were suggestions of the classics –  black skinnies with a white shirt, bra peeking through; a simple tee-shirt dress with a killer pair of heels – and more out-there ideas; your sexiest top and skirt combo or figure-hugging dress (but with trainers so as to not be too OTT). What these recommendations failed to address was that many of these options might not make the wearer feel most comfortable, most like themselves.

‘many of these options might not make the wearer feel most comfortable, most like themselves.’

So often today, due to apps like Bumble being one of the main ways that we meet potential partners, (one in five relationships now start online) the first date is the first time your match will lay eyes on you in person. This is when we really get to make our first impression, and we now have more control over this moment than ever. We should be more concerned about being comfortable enough with letting our personalities shine through in both our choice of outfit and our actions on the date than whether or not the other person will be put off by an outfit that others may deem too much or not enough.

If you feel most like yourself dressing like Leandra Medine – then go full Man Repeller. If you’re most comfortable in and a baggy tee then there’s no reason you shouldn’t wear that. We’re supposed to be showing our best selves on first dates – so why would we dress as anything else? If a man is put off by what you would wear day-to-day then why adorn yourself differently the first time you go out? You owe it to yourself to think about how you feel first. You shouldn’t have to phase your “crazy” outfits into a relationship if it’s what you wear day in day out, the same goes for those with a more toned-down style. Wear those spangly shoes, the shirt with the frilly sleeves or your favourite band tee. Put on an outfit that would confuse your dad. As long as your lewk ™ makes you feel fulfilled and brings out your inner Carrie then all is well. If your date is put off by you at your sartorial best then they can hit the road. It would’ve probably never worked anyway.