It's a date!

It's a date!

What to wear on a date? It's a dilemma that we have been trying to solve for decades now. Sure, to some, it sounds like a no-brainer, but when it gets down to the wire, we all experience some form of first date wardrobe panic, when the 'dress to impress' pressure is on.

The start of a new year inevitably brings with it an entire gamut of fashion trends to try to get ahead of. This year's trends are truly heading for more and more comfort; fashion is retaining its sense of fun, its colour and glamour, always with a sense of determination and self-assuredness. In short, this season, it's all about celebrating the individuality of style through the multitude of trends waiting to be worn.

Some of the must-follow trends for women include check print, fringe, structured suits, stand-out pieces in the Pantone colour of the year - ultra violent, ensembles in red, floral midi dress. For men I'd have to say colour block, athleisure, loose tailoring, black, navy, dark denims and graphic tees.

Here are some of my dos and don'ts for both, men and women to bear in mind while dressing for a date:

Always check out the venue online to get a feel for the setting. A great rule of thumb to bear in mind while dressing for your date: choose a colour or outfit that you are often complimented on and make sure your look is classy and sophisticated.

Comfort should be your first priority. The last thing you want to do is fidget with your outfit - there are more important things to be thinking about.

If it is a lunch date, wear a nice flowy and easy dress with some sort of jacket; depending on your style - a cropped bomber, a cardigan, a denim jacket is always a great outfit combination. You can do flats or wedges based on the setting and what you are most comfortable in. The ultimate goal is to achieve the effortless 'I just threw this on' vibe.

And if it is a dinner date, wear a nice top with jeans and heels. Stand out on a more formal occasion by adding a statement piece of jewellery or a fun accessory as a conversation starter. Don't be tempted to wear anything that you can't walk in, eat in, or breathe in!

Pick one best asset to show off and that's it. Do you have great arms? Wear a strapless maxi dress. Great legs? Wear a skirt. The bottom line - too much skin can actually be a turn off and look like you are trying too hard. Balance is key - if you wear something short, balance that out with long sleeves and a low heel. If you decide to wear something backless or low cut in the front, wear it with a maxi skirt or jeans. Wear something that fits you! It shouldn't be too loose or oversized - something that shows off your figure but isn't too tight.

Avoid extremes such as overly trendy outfits or heavy make-up. Natural and minimal is always best to nail your 'date look'. Don't dumb down your style for a stranger, but simplify your favourite silhouettes. Toe the line between sexy and boring. Don't overthink and
complicate your outfit with un-necessities.

Wear what makes you feel good. If you feel good in what you are wearing, it will show. Wear something that truly makes you feel like the best
version of yourself. Because when you do that, you will have more confidence. And the more confidence you have, the more you will smile, the more you will engage and chances are, the more dates you will end up having.

Please pay attention to the colours you wear. Black is tempting thanks to its flexibility, but often looks too stuffy and formal; dark grey, however, offers a chic and complementary option in its place. If you want a sharp look that cuts the mould, navy is the year-round colour of choice for dapper men. Navy pairs with almost any other colour exquisitely. Darker, solid colours makes one look neater and sharply dressed.

Kicking things off in a less formal setting means you are in luck. But while it may be in a casual environment, this isn't a hall pass for wearing joggers and a t-shirt. It's about looking pulled together in a head-to-toe ensemble that exudes an air of confidence, but with a cool, calm and collected vibe. And it is also important to feel comfortable with what you are wearing while conversing with your date from across the table, too.

For a casual, coffee date, wear a jacket with a t-shirt paired with jeans and white sneakers. Dark denim works well all year round, but is offset with pastel shirts or nautical jackets nicely. Pay close attention to your wallet, watch or backpack to make sure your outfit works seamlessly together; it's all in the details.

If it is a lunch date, wear pastel coloured t-shirt or a shirt with jeans and espadrilles. There's something refreshing and wholesome about pastel blue or pink, and this is an ideal summer colour palette that is fresh. And if it is a dinner date, wear a formal shirt with pants and loafers.

Grooming

Why go to all that effort to create an excellent outfit if you haven't covered all the bases? Not grooming correctly can be a complete put off. No cologne is a happy mistake. Too much cologne is a problem. Apply cologne an hour before you leave the house, and only use a small amount. You don't want to overdo it.

Less is always more; that goes for your jewellery and accessories. Too much sends a desperate 'try-hard' signal, and won't give off the same cool air of sophistication that a more minimal choice can.

While many men fear the embarrassment of turning up to a date overdressed, I promise you that your date will appreciate the oversight. What won't be appreciated is if you turn up and haven't put in the effort to groom yourself or dress appropriately - avoid ripped jeans as it seems too casual, printed t-shirts, shirts and slippers.

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