I recently had the pleasure of meeting with Laura Gub, founder of Brand You Max, an online image and dating consultancy which is dedicated to helping individuals bring out the best in themselves for a better, richer and far more exciting dating life. With so many of you out there dating and starting your journey to meeting your someone we thought it would be a great idea to get a few tips from Laura about styling yourself for dating success. Here’s what she had to say…
Dating has never brought so much angst and what to wear was never that crucial than these few days preceding it. I once read somewhere that men spend more on clothes then women, when they start dating someone new. Especially Scottish men, the article said. Curious, I asked my then boyfriend if that was true, and low and behold, he told me that he had gotten a couple of stylish shirts and some jeans exactly for that purpose. I was really surprised. I had never imagined that men would put too much thought into it. And yet they do. Even though they have it easy. I mean there isn’t much chance of getting it wrong in their case, is it? Sometimes a decent shirt is all it takes. And some good shoes. They can get away wearing a suit at any time. What’s more, many men are truly eye candy in their suits.
However, for us women, dressing for a date is a mine field. We’ve got tonnes of aspects to consider. How much lipstick is not too much, how much eye shadow? Should there be any eye shadow? Hair up or down? And that’s just the beginning. Because, like it or not, each and every decision, each and every piece of clothing tells a tale about us. And as much as we’d like to ignore it, fact is that a date, especially a first date is pretty much like a job interview. And whereas we’re quite confident that smart casual is universally accepted at job interviews, most of us are really stuck when it comes to styling ourselves for a date.
Let’s look at the building blocks of stylish dressing? What are they? Well, shoes come to mind to start with, choosing your colours second, then you’ll have to decide how loose or tight your outfit should be, how revealing, that’s also a nut to crack and last but not least, your hair, make up and accessories.
Let’s look at what your aim is? Your aim is to be the best version of yourself. Not the corporate you, who’s just out of a meeting, not the sweaty you just after a run, not the coach potato you when watching Netflix, not the lay about you who popped out to the shop to buy bread, and definitely not the glamorous you, who’s going to a black tie event or a wedding.
Your best version of yourself is the you at your must comfortable, with a bit of added glam.
I met a girl who wears the same outfit to every first date, an elegant pale pink blouse and a casual black skirt. That’s what she feels most confident in. And that’s your aim. Wear what you feel most confident in. Just don’t overdo it.
I met a guy who wore a fading t-shirt for our first date, as that’s what he felt most comfortable in. At least that’s what he told me when I challenged him on it. Because I did challenge him. Why? Well, I made an effort to be elegant and he came across as if he couldn’t give a damn.
There is also the issue of colours. Many women like black as it makes them look slimmer. Some choose grey as it’s a neutral colour, and just like black, goes with almost any other colour. I suggest keeping the black and grey at bay. Make sure you combine these with vibrant colours, that suggest energy, vitality and a positive vibe. Wearing red, if it suits you, can convey just that.
What about figure hugging clothes? Skinny jeans are all the rage nowadays. Does this mean we should go with the flow? Far from it. How about going in the opposite direction, wearing really loose clothing? That sounds safe, whatever our figure, isn’t it? As safe as it might be, it’s not that much appealing. Assuming we have both loose and tight clothes in our wardrobe, best is to combine the two. How to combine it very much depends on our figure, whether we’re apple, hour glass or pear shaped. Sometimes best is to get independent advice, possibly not from girlfriends, unless they are actually stylists.
Now, the thorny issue of hair and make up. Hair is really important, therefore, even if make up and accessories are not your thing, doing your hair and adding some lip gloss could sometimes be all you need.
If you tend to go heavy on the make up, now is the time to ease up on it, just a touch. Your aim is to be recognised even after removing “the mask”. Men often talk about their “shock” at seeing a woman without any make up, after initially seeing her in “full battle gear”. Quick tip; it’s usually really flattering to go light on the lips if you’ve gone heavy on the eyes and the other way around. Another thought : there are men who are really into long red nails, it’s a kind of fetish for them. But most men get a bit baffled when you struggle to pick up your coffee cup or button up your coat, because of your long nails.
Accessories are a tough one. You can do whatever you feel like, when you’re out and about with the girls. Earrings, nose rings, twenty bracelets or more, they’ll fully embrace, what’s more, they’ll even imitate you. However, too many accessories can be a touch intimidating for men, so go easy on them if you can, especially on first dates.
In conclusion, if you want to feel sexy, comfortable and confident on your date, choose clothes that communicate this about you. And if you find yourself struggling to find the balance, don’t shy away from consulting with a stylist. After all, you’re putting yourself out there and that’s in itself a most courageous act. Make your efforts worth it.