Love to date but stress over the dress?  Are you a clotheshorse without a guidepost when it comes to dating and decorum?  Well, dive into your closets, ladies -- this simple guide, will help you navigate the subtleties of selecting what to wear where and when to wear what.

Today, we’re talking about that most notorious of dating and dressing dilemmas: “The First Date.”  Mountains of anticipation and wonder of the unknown accompany this date, the least of which should be choosing an outfit.  First dates are all about first impressions.  And what says more about a person visually than the clothes in which they present themselve to their dates and the world at large?  Let’s break it down by location of potential first dates:

  • If your first date is at a bar or a quaint cocktail establishment, take advantage of the situation.  Dim lighting and light drinking?  Go ahead and flirt it up a bit with a sexy top.  Black, lacy, slinky or plunging -- this is definitely the right environment to make use of some of your more daring apparel.  But focus on one piece so as not to overwhelm.  After all, it’s just a first date; and it’s always a good idea to leave a little mystery in the air.

  • But what if your first date scenario is something a bit more sober and casual like a trendy espresso bar?  Make sure you come with plenty of stimulating literary anecdotes, and try rocking a sexy secretary or college co-ed look. A flirty dress or a form-fitting sweater gives the visual cue that romance is on the table, even if the conversation finds you dissecting Kafka or Nietzsche.

  • If you’re a more traditional gal, and dinner is your date of choice, take your cue from the cuisine.  Is your date taking you prime time to the most exclusive French bistro on a Saturday night?  By all means, break out your designer wear or notable jewels (but keep it in perspective -- this is dinner, not your wedding).  However, if dinner is more low-budget, and you’re going to hit the taco truck and take a walk around the neighborhood, use your common sense and wear those jeans that fit you like a glove coupled with a top in a color that flatters your face and eyes (and leaves a little extra room for guacamole).

  • Now, if you’re a little shy of one-on-one dates in the early stages, you may try the group date instead.  Take note of who’s making up this group -- is it his friends, your friends, a mix of acquaintances?  In this situation, fit trumps all.  Go with the outfit that flatters your assets and boosts your confidence.  A woman who can feel charming and confident in a crowd stands out as alluring and desirable.  Make a statement about your class and elegance -- avoid anything too trendy that steals focus from your dazzling personality.

Remember - taking the time to make a great first impression should involve some thoughtful consideration from your closet.  But the most important factor is choosing an outfit that doesn’t hold you back and let’s your true personality shine through.


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