What to wear on a date

Whether you are venturing back into the dating world after a break or break up, or you are a few weeks into seeing someone new, the pressure of choosing what to wear on a date can be pretty intense.

Some women I know spend hours combing their closets and scouring the shops looking for the perfect outfit; one that makes them feel comfortable, sexy and confident.

You want to achieve the perfect blend of looking like you made an effort, but not so much so that you subconsciously put mountains of pressure on both yourself and your date for things to be perfect.

When it comes to dressing for a date; I prefer NOT to take a ‘less is more’ approach … unless you’re talking make up. Or fake tan. I’m talking cleavage. Show your legs or a bit of boob … but don’t show both!

You want to look sexy, but not look like you’re getting ready to go do a shift at The Blue Banana.

what to wear on a date

1. Witchery Cut Out Back Dress, $179.95 | 2. Nine West Estrilada, $139.95 | 3. Mimco Bolt Ring, $59.95 | 4. The Body Shop Colour Crush Shine Lipstick in Poppy the Question, $19.95 | 5. Witchery Tina Clutch, $99.95 | 6. Saba Uma 3/4 Sleeve Stripe Tee, $44.25 | 7. Mimco Tightrope Thong, $149 | 8. Country Road Mid Rise Crop Denim Jean in white, $119 | 9. Seed Printed V-Neck Maxi, $129.95 | 10. Mimco Discovery Tassle Necklace, $99.95 | 11. Colette Mini Structured Envelope Clutch, $19.95 | 12. Witchery Rachael Wedge, $149.95.

I’m not a stylist by any means, but I thought I’d share my tips in the hope it makes things a little easier for those playing the dating game.

Less is not more—This tip comes straight from a guy’s mouth … leave something to the imagination. While a guy might take a sneaky second look at the girl walking past in a dress so short you can see what colour underwear she’s wearing, he’s never going to take her home to meet his mum. Let your date put his imagination to work thinking about what may or may not be under your outfit. Respect yourself and they’ll respect you too.

Dress for the occasion—This seems like common sense to me, but not everyone seems to understand it. You don’t wear a mini dress and heels to go ten pin bowling! If you’re going to the rugby, jeans; low heels, flats, boots or wedges; and a nice top will get you over the line. If you’re hitting the city for drinks and dinner, you can dress up a bit—a nice little black dress, heels and clutch will look striking wherever you end up. If you want to be able to dial it down a notch, throw on a denim jacket.

A dating don't!
A dating don’t!

Make out not makeup—There have been hundreds of studies in which men say they would prefer women to take it easy with makeup or go fresh-faced. I’m not saying you should go that far; I’ll always apply makeup for a date, but keep it light. You want to look like your photos. And, if by chance, you wake up next to them the next day, you still want to look like the person they know rather than a deranged panda.

Comfort is key—Bridget Jones confirmed what women already knew … the chances of someone seeing your underwear increases exponentially the larger said underwear is. And we all know that shapewear and slimming underwear is a powerful tool but I will never wear Spanx on a date. Why? Because after a while they tend to hurt, they become uncomfortable and they are a pain to pee in. If you think there’s a chance you’re going to want to pull them off halfway through the night and stuff them in your clutch bag (I may have carried them home more times than I’ve actually worn them home)—just don’t wear them at all!

Choose your shoes—Wear comfortable shoes that you can walk long distances in; nothing is more annoying than trying to walk with someone who is hobbling, wobbling or complaining about her shoes. If you are going for cocktails, choose heels that you know you can stand in for a while, and if you’re off to the movies, brunch or a picnic in the park try a nice pair of flats or even bejewelled or leather thongs. Save the rubber thongs for a beach trip or something super casual (definitely not the first date!).

For the fellas—Always remember that how you present yourself on a date, especially a first date, is incredibly important. You may have made a great first impression over emails, messages and phone calls … but if you turn up for your date wearing ripped shorts, a stained t-shirt or rubber thongs, your date is likely to be disappointed. And yes, she’s going to look at—and probably judge you just a little bit—on your shoes. That’s not to say it’s all about looks; I know many a good woman who has been laughed into bed!

Gosling’s got the goods in the style department.

· Dress to impress. If you’re going out for drinks, jeans are fine, but maybe swap the t-shirt (unless it’s a collared one) for a button up shirt with the sleeves rolled up.
· Size matters. Wear clothes that fit properly and aren’t too tight.
· Be smooth. Make sure your shirt is ironed (and if you can’t iron a whole shirt, then do what my dad used to do and iron the collar and wear a jumper … although that won’t really work during an Australian summer!).
· Give grooming a go. There are lots of metrosexuals out there, but there are also a lot of guys who seem to be intent on rebelling against the use of hygiene necessities like shampoo and conditioner. I was horrified when a guy I was on a date with told me he NEVER washes his hair. Ever. Even with soap. It’s fair to say, I did not want to run my hands through his hair after that. Wash your hair, wear deodorant, check you don’t have dirty nails, clean your teeth. If you have dandruff issues, don’t wear a dark shirt.
· Scent of a man. The other day a mate and I almost received whiplash after a rather delicious smelling man ran past us on our afternoon walk. Women love men who smell nice, it’s something we’ll remember and, if you’re lucky, whenever we smell that aftershave again, we’ll think of you. But make sure you just wear it, don’t marinate in it, you don’t want her to end up with a headache!
· Team pride. We get that you love your footy/soccer/basketball team … but leave your guernsey (or jersey, depending on where you’re from) at home. The same goes for t-shirts featuring slogans or cartoon pictures.

Ladies, if you’re looking for more suggestions on what to wear on a date, check out these posts from my favourite stylists, Chasing Cait and Styling You.

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