First dates can be terrifying (cue over-thinking about every possible scenario going into overdrive). There’s the obvious: What if we realise we have zero in common. Practical: If we realise we have zero in common, when is polite enough to ditch the guy altogether and make sure the night isn’t totally wasted i.e. rush home to catch up on S2 of Master of None / grab a drink with nearby pal. But, even before The Date you’ll no doubt have stumbled on the inevitable what to wear ‘mare: Are faded jeans too casual? Is a red mini slip Clueless-style too dressy?
A couple of months ago, I went on a first date to Franco Manca straight from work. I had spent the morning trying on about 11 different outfits, before reverting back to my first option: A ‘60s-style A-line dress I’ve worn a million times (he’d never seen it), red leather ankle boots and a suede jacket. And a not-so-chic red face, as I was running 30 minutes late. Unintentionally, I might add.
‘Days before my first date with my now-boyfriend, I stressed over curating the perfect look,’ says Danielle Fowler, Junior Digital Writer at Grazia. ‘In the end I opted for a fail-safe Zara striped blouse, black skirt from & Other Stories and trusty block heels. I had convinced myself that I couldn’t go out in platform boots and equally didn’t want to scare him off in my sock/loafer combo just yet... By the second date, I seemed to have forgotten all about first date fashion etiquette and went wild with snakeskin ankle boots, a metallic gold mini skirt and my favourite floor-scraping duster from Monki.’
There is no one-style-suits-all formula with it comes to what to wear on a first date, but these are some rules every single girl can take away before the ‘big day’…
Research your location
Are you meeting for a picnic in the park? Your local pub? A plush three course dinner at that restaurant that’s just opened? Deciphering your date spot will help with the wardrobe planning no end. Also, if it’s the latter option, we suggest vetoing those super-tight skinnies.
Stick to your staples
While it may be tempting to blow half of your pay-packet on a splurge in Topshop (we’ve all been there), do not forget about your go-to pieces that always make you feel good. Be it that cool ‘Winona’ tee and jeans combo or a colourful tunic dress. ‘Being confident and most importantly comfortable is massively important,’ Dr Carolyn Mair, Reader in Psychology at London College of Fashion tells Grazia. ‘Feeling good in whatever you are wearing, makes you look good.’
Don’t be afraid of colour
If you’re all about the black on black layering a la The Olsens this need not apply. But, if primary colour blocking / La La Land yellow / Lady Danger dresses makes up 80% of your wardrobe - but you’re worried it will be too ‘out there’ on a first date. Think again. ‘Research in the past has shown that when women (and men) wear red they are rated as more attractive,’ according to Carolyn. ‘They even found that just wearing red can make you feel more sexy.’ So, go forth! Embrace your pick-me-up palette…
Still in need of some date night style inspo? Shop Grazia’s edit of the best summer picks in Zara, Mango, & Other Stories and more below…