Dress for a date
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How to Successfully Dress for a Date

By:Aliza Rath

Image is everything.  In some cases, clothes make the man and when it comes to date night, it is crucial to make a lasting impression. Most men find it easy to put together a business professional outfit but struggle when it comes to casual clothes.  A date is usually a casual interaction so dressing appropriate for the occasion is a must! Clothes say a lot about your personality, morals and capabilities. So when it’s that time of the week to take a moment and enjoy your partner’s company, what will you wear?  Date night is also great time to get dressed with your loved one and go out on the town. Whether it is to dinner, a film, the opera, a museum or a concert, date night is a fun way to connect with your loved one or new acquaintance to unwind and interact socially.  It is a special time to show your partner, why they chose to be with a great person and remind them what is so special about you! So how does one dress for date night?

Choosing the right garments will depend on the location of the date. It is important to dress for the occasion without trying too hard to impress your date.  The most important thing to consider is fit. When a garment fits your body structure and everything comes together in regards to cut, color and style; you will look well put together and organized. If you struggle with fit, an image consultant can teach you how to find garments and brands best suited for your body structure and weight placement.  You may look into your closet and see the same old boring stuff, but an image consultant can reinvent your look just by taking what you already have and make it more stylish and up dated. If you recently have lost weight and want to start dating again, an image consultant can show you the best way to dress your new body and help you stop dressing behind all of your old clothes. Below are a few scenarios that could be helpful for your next night out on the town.

First (Blind) Date/Dinner and Drinks:
A first date can be very nerve racking. While your mind is busy trying to plan the perfect first date or your busy wondering what will he/she think of you, it may be difficult to plan the perfect date outfit. The first rule of thumbs is to make sure you have breathe mints.  Secondly, make sure your image, clothing and grooming are spot on! A great first date outfit should speak to your personality, be comfortable and make you feel confident. You want to reveal yourself with a positive look that will make you stand tall and exude confidence with a bit of sex appeal. Nothing screams sexy like a man who knows how to dress. So a great D&D look can be anything from slacks, a signature sweater, a shirt and blazer to a dark denim jean and a button down shirt. The in between can be determined on how dressy the restaurant is. Look the restaurant up online to see what type of place it is.  If the restaurant is bright with white table cloths dress more elegant like a velvet blazer with a shirt and tie. If the location is a lounge the look can be more relaxed and fun. Lounges tend to have dimmed lights so a pop of color is a must. Whether it is your tie, your shirt or a scarf make sure you don’t get lost in the crowd.  If the location is more masculine like a steak house, casual dress still can be dressy. Try a tweed sports coat or vest with a collared shirt and a dark denim jean would be perfect. If you still are not sure, call ahead to see if they have a dress code.  Most places do not have a dress code, but it is better to be prepared than sheepishly walk out because you are underdressed. 

It would be considerate to let your date know the dress code when inviting them to dinner. She would certainly appreciate the thoughtful gesture.  You don’t have to go into detail simply say: casual, elegant, or sexy chic.  She will know what to wear! You don’t want her to feel underdressed while you are in a jacket and tie. If jeans are acceptable at the restaurant it is still important to look like you put effort into your image. A dark wash jean would be great with a blazer, sweater, and shirt and tie combo.  You can even wear a vest with a button down shirt and loose tie.  These are great options for your first date. Don‘t be afraid of color either. Some men are afraid to use color. If you need some extra help selecting colors for your wardrobe an image consultant will teach you to find and wear colors appropriate for your skin tones. With the right color, your eyes, face and teeth all appear brighter. This may seem elementary but as soon as you wear your colors you will hear a flow of compliments coming your way. You will notice when you are not wearing a good color for your skin, people start to tell you, you look tired.

Menswear can be a bit monotonous so if your wardrobe is living in the brown, grey and black family, brighten the frumpy colors with a accents like lilac, cobalt, red, green or orange. Saturated colors look great on men with fair skin while pastels look beautiful on darker skin. The saturated colors bring out the eyes on men with light skin while dark skin looks amazing with pastels. Choose a color that compliments your skin tones and personality. 

Coffee and a Museum:
An afternoon date to the museum can be an educational and a relaxing second date. There is something is very romantic about taking a step back in history with your partner, it can be telling of your future. Visiting a museum is a good way to get to know your partner creatively and share a learning experience with them on a different level. Also the atmosphere is much more relaxed than a restaurant so your outfit can be as well. Dark wash jeans, brown or black ripcords, or a tweed pant are great bottoms for a museum exhibition. All three bottoms still say polished as long as they are paired with the right top. Perhaps a sweater vest or cardigan would be good with either of the bottoms. A green tweed sports coat with elbow patches with a brown rip cord would be great for a museum date. A bold plaid scarf would be a great pop of color and add interest to the look. By bringing color, texture or pattern, you will create sophisticated and relax image that is appropriate for an afternoon date.

The Opera and Dessert:
The opera is a very special date night.  You should appear polished, sharp and put together. The perfect look would be suit pants with printed sweater, plain shirt and textured tie. If you are coming from work, just remove your jacket and pack a sweater with you so you can be comfortable while sitting but still look classy. After the opera, take your date out for dessert or a drink to discuss what you have just shared. This allows you both to spend a little one on one time together and enjoy each other’s company. 

If you are going to a concert movie or play, your outfit should be casual. Jeans are completely acceptable as long as the fit and color are right. The best all around jean would be a dark denim wash. It is the most flattering on all body types and it works best with a wide variety of colors for top options. If you are under 5’7” and wearing a dark denim jean, make sure the top is a dark color as well. If you do something bright like cream or white it will just separate you and make you look shorter. So grey, navy, green, and black would all look great with a dark jean. If you are having an issue finding the right length in jeans, whether you are too tall or too shirt, an image consultant can direct you to a tailor and to help you fit the needs of your body. The length on a jean leg should come at least down to your heal without shoes. If they do not they will definitely be too short once shoes are on. This will totally throw off the look. Although this is the most casual dressed date it is a still important to look put together.

Black Tie Event:
A black tie event is the dressiest of dates. A tuxedo is mandatory with only the best accents. First and foremost the fit should be flawless. When wearing your tux, it should appear clean and smooth on the body. If there is rippling in the fabric that is a sign it is ill fitting in a certain area. Your tuxedo should fit you like a glove and move with you not against you. The most classic look is white shirt with bow tie or silk tie. If you are looking to spice this up, try a white shirt with a black embossed vest, and an ascot. The ascot is an oldie but goodie that will always strike up conversation.

Dressing for date night can look like so many different things to different men. As long as you stay true to yourself, look polished and put together your date will appreciate your effort. The whole idea on dressing up is to keep you feeling confident and mature. Make sure that you are comfortable in your clothing and send a positive message about your capabilities. Whether it is a first date or the 4th date nothing says happy like a person who takes care of themselves and looks great!

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