Many men have trouble deciding what to wear when they are getting ready to go out on a date. This can be quite a challenge, but if you take a close look at the things you should be taking into consideration, dressing up for a night out can be easy. We encourage you to create and affirm your own style, so don’t be afraid to break the “rules”, as they are just guidelines to help you look and feel better. It’s all about being yourself and feeling great in your skin. Let’s answer the “what should a man wear on a date” question!
As you know, we always say how clothes express who you are. A date is a perfect example of how this rule works. You want to make a good impression, but you also don’t want to lose yourself. It is very important to express who you are through the way you look, not only through what you do and say, because it is said that about 80% of human communication is done non-verbally. There was a saying, “what you see is what you get” and this applies in the case of making a first, a second, a third or a fourth impression.
We wondered whether there are different rules when it comes to what a man should dress like if he is dating a woman or another man. The conclusion we reached was that no, it doesn’t, but if two men are dating, the way they dress should not be the base of a competition: declaring a loser and a winner is not what dates are about.
What to wear
When you are out on a date with a person you know more or less, you want to look your best; the key word here being “your”. Don’t try to imitate someone, as it can look quite ridiculous.
Our main advice is to be put-together, but not in an exaggerated way. Trying too hard can make you feel uncomfortable, and result in a negative impression. However, if you are, let’s say, a rather sloppy guy, you shouldn’t look like just finished cutting the lawn. It’s important to look respectful to the person you are with, who offered you their time.
Another key aspect of dressing up for a date is to dress for the occasion and environment in which the date will take place. Some people like to go to a restaurant, while others like to go to an amusement park. Going to a restaurant should involve a business casual outfit involving a blazer and a casual shirt, or a nice shirt and a vest paired with brogues, wingtips or even dressy moccasins or another type of relaxed shoes, while a date at an amusement park can look great in a casual shirt and pants. There’s nothing wrong with checking with your date on how you should dress. Don’t go into details such as “Should I be wearing the argyle socks, or the black ones? Well, will you be looking at my socks? Do you mind if I wear a tie with checkers? Will it match my socks? Does my tie need to go with my socks?” Simply decide on “casual wear”, “formal wear” if you are going to a play for example or “outdoor clothes” if you are having a picnic.
When it comes to colors, we can recommend that you put together a color scheme using the color wheel. It’s very easy and anyone can do it. Also, it is said that if you wear a (dark) suit with a pink shirt, the pink shirt will calm your date down (unless you are dating a woman who is very fond of stereotypical associations and will debate with herself for the entire course of the date whether you are a gay guy looking for a beard). According to some studies, the colors worn by men that are most likely to attract a partner are grey, black and blue.
If you feel that you are a person who tends to scare people off, but you think that you can “win them over” with your personality later, try to tone down the things that scare people off. As we said, we don’t want you to be another person and then seem bipolar when your date gets to know you better, but if you are a little on the eccentric side, try to tone it down a little. People usually don’t expect to see spectacles unless they’re on TV or on a stage, so if you tend to be a little weird, we’re not saying you should change, but you should tone it down a little when you meet people. Just a few notches. One or two.
The fabrics you wear can also have an impact on the person you are dating. Wearing a cashmere scarf for example, will stimulate touch-sensitive neurons in your date’s brain, so always make sure to consider well before putting something on: do you want to come across as smooth or too rough. Also, needless to say, perfume has a huge role when it comes to human interaction, as it is mostly associated with memory. If you smell like sweat, each time the person will smell sweat, they might remember you, so make sure you smell nice.
Also consider how your outfit looks in terms of main pieces and “drawing the eye”. Check yourself out in the mirror and see if you are wearing boring lines or too crazy lines in terms of the cut of the pieces your are wearing and where do you lead the eye of your viewer? Which piece stands out due to its color, fabric or pattern? Do you want them to point in that direction? Try to emphasize your best features.
What not to wear
When you are going out with somebody you don’t know very well, you want to look dressed-up, but you don’t want to look to formal. Saying it’s a first date, you don’t the woman or man you are dating to feel that they are giving a job interview or that they are auditioning. It’s important to make the person in front of you feel comfortable.
This being said, there are some things that are clearly out of the question: Hawaiian shirts, flip-flops, boxers on display and other type of way-too-casual wear is not recommended, as it might look like you don’t actually care. What is the point of dating if you don’t care about the person in front of you?
Also, don’t even think of putting those sweatpants on if you are trying to show respect and/or interest for another person. Unless, of course, the date means running around the park. But is that a date or just a get-together? Just imagine: a woman in a nice dress, waiting in a restaurant, when her date shows up in sweatpants and a see-through t-shirt. How tough do you have to be not to feel at least a little embarrassed?
Another big “no-go” are joke t-shirts. Just imagine if your date were to show up in a t-shirt that says “I’m with stupid”. It’s not often to find someone with such a sense of humor that they don’t feel shocked. Wearing too short pants will also have your date running for the hills.
In the end, clothes are just a part of the way you present yourself. Don’t forget to comb your hair, trim your nails, brush and floss and try to avoid garlic or a sandwich with extra onion. Put on a watch to make sure you don’t stay more or less than your date expects and if you get bored, be so nice and leave.
Bottom line is that there are no exact rules, but what you should be taking from this article are the following: try to look your best, ask yourself if you look respectful (even if you are not very fancy) and if you feel comfortable in the clothes you are wearing so that you can let your true beauty, which comes from within, shine.
Dating can be a complicated thing, but it can also be fun and easy, if you are sincere. What we want you to get very precisely is that you don’t need to try to be or look like somebody else; we just want you to look and be the best you can for the person standing in front of you.
Fraquoh and Franchomme