WORDS BY JON CLARKE
Dating. Depending on your experiences, the very word can strike excitement or peril into anyone. Whether you’re new to the scene or a seasoned veteran, dating offers up a romantic roulette wheel of questions to answer and questions to ask. It’s a sizing up exercise - analysing each other to see if there’s something special there.
Dating is basically an interrogation with a chance of sex at the end.
Fear not though, with Valentine’s Day around the corner, we bring you some essential tips on making a great first impression. You can only make them once, so it’s imperative you get them right.
1. The ‘gone the extra mile’ outfit
Outfits for any first date are always dependent on the activity. You wouldn’t turn up in a tux if the plan was to go ice skating. Likewise, you wouldn’t rock up in hiking boots and a raincoat if you were going to the theatre. So, naturally, a bit of common sense always plays a part.
‘Going the extra mile’ could be a risky approach but, if successful, delivers maximum impact. But be warned: if you overdress you could end up making her feel a little awkward and underdressed. She’s going to feel uncomfortable holding your hand walking around a shopping centre if you’re in a three-piece suit and she’s in her jeans. It’s a total outfit mismatch that can instantly call into question a personality mismatch.
To go the extra mile without leaving her behind, just add small details to an outfit. Instead of a three-piece suit, just wear a blazer, add a dash of colour to it with a pocket square, and pair with some smart jeans, dapper shoes and your best watch.
If you want to ramp it up a notch without turning too Mr. Corporate, add a knitted tie. Knitted ties are great if you want to make an outfit look extra special, without making it too formal.
Good date locations to use the ‘extra mile’ outfit: theatre, restaurant, cocktail bar.
2. The ‘easy like Sunday morning’ outfit
This outfit works well for a first date, as it can relax the early nerves and make her feel at ease. Why? Well it shows that you’re an easy-going kind of guy that doesn’t take himself too seriously. What we’re not saying here fellas, is to turn up in your trackies or a onesie. For heaven’s sake, this is not what we mean.
Wearing a polo shirt or a jumper, chinos or jeans, and some casual footwear will not only break the ice well, but you will emanate confidence. The reason being is: guys who can wear a casual outfit like that to a first date, and wear it well, are showing that they don’t necessarily rely on styling tweaks to get them over the finish line.
Good date locations to use the ‘sunday morning’ outfit: coffee shop, shopping mall, beach stroll.
3. The ‘born survivor’ outfit
What would Bear Grylls wear to a date? Rugged boots? A Jack Wolfskin coat? After all, in Blighty, there’s a chance of rain out there. If your plan for a date involves the great outdoors, such as walking or camping, it’s still possible to look stylish. Step away from the kagool, fool, and get yourself a nice wax jacket. Put the cumbersome hiking boots down and get yourself a pair of Sorels.
From jumpers, scarves and flat caps, there is no shortage of ways to look the part when you’re out in the wild. A nice little touch would be to take an umbrella - not for you, but for her. Even if she brings her own, this shows you planned ahead. Girls like guys that plan ahead.
Good date locations to use the ‘born survivor’ outfit: a hillside, a picnic site, in a forest.