6 things men should avoid wearing on a first date


6 things men should avoid wearing on a first date


First dates are always stressful; you're pumped up on a potentially lethal mix of excitement, the pressure to be charming, and the prospect of getting bedded, with the added risk of being wired on coffee or drunk on alcohol.

So the last thing you need is to be concerned about a style faux pas that would result in your date openly feigning the squitz just to get away. Even after Tinder, first impressions matter, which is why we've compiled the definitive list of what not to wear. On all of them, swipe left.


Stop right now if you're the type of person who buys his essentials in a tourist trap in downtown London.

Any motto or image on your chest that has to be defended with the words "Chill out, it's just banter, innit" is a turn-off.

Save your 'FBI: Female Body Inspector' and 'Sex Instructor: First Lesson Free' T-shirts for painting the house or, you know, when you're out of kindle for a bonfire.

In fact, we're going to propose that any kind of slogan T-shirt, even one that says "Pick flowers, not fights," should be prohibited. In other words, it's you, not your outfit, who should be amusing.


"On a first date, a guy's major goal is to avoid scaring (or offending) his date right away. Opt for a shirt in a light colour like white or sky blue instead of a slogan T-shirt or anything with a bright eye-watering graphic – it's the perfect in-between to avoid appearing too sophisticated or too casual." Topman's creative director, Gordon Richardson


Perhaps controversial, but mankles are like Marmite in the dating world, so it's advisable to err on the side of caution and cover them up for an initial meet.

An ankle without a sock conjures up one of two visions of what lies beneath that of the very polarising trainer sock — a piece of apparel that, while necessary, can never be regarded as sexy.

Alternatively, your date may believe that you are, shockingly, sockless. Given that it's date one and they don't know how thorough your hygiene routine is, it could be interpreted as pongy toes. It's never a good idea for your date to receive even a whiff of your feet smell.

Save that flash of lateral malleolus for those future dates that are a lot more likely to happen now that you've listened to us.


"If you're wearing brogues, opt for a vivid flash of the sock." Tube socks are your best friend if you're wearing sneakers. Wear socks that are the same colour as your trousers if you are a shorter gentleman. This will make your legs appear longer and improve your overall silhouette."


While a date can cause you to experience the same devastating levels of dread as a job interview, keep in mind that it isn't one. The whole thing should be enjoyable, and you should feel (or at least appear) calm rather than fidgeting with the tie that you've been knotting since 9 a.m.

Of course, if the date is on a weekday, coming home from work to change isn't always an option. Show some insight and make a few sartorial alterations deskside to prevent making your date feel underdressed or making yourself appear uptight.


"A few little alterations can dramatically affect the perception of your outfit." A nice pair of trainers and a smart T-shirt or lightweight crew neck knit to substitute a shirt and tie can be game changers."


It's advisable to toss the badge and leave the tote bag at the door unless you're a genuine card-carrying member of a political party who is adamant about never dating anyone who holds opposite beliefs.

Politics and religion, as every good dinner party host knows, are two topics that should never be discussed at the dinner table. The same can be said of dates. Few things are as irritating as someone forcing their political beliefs on you. Furthermore, you don't want to dismiss your date just because they admire Theresa May's shoes.

Things that might be important when moving in together or about kids such as- your thoughts on private education – are not first date talking stuff, so don’t even tempt yourself with a sartorial segue into conversations of that type.


A statement purse is a lot more secure topic of conversation. The messenger satchel should be avoided since it can make you look like a '2006 IT technician.' Instead, pair a nicer clothing with a stylish document holder or a tiny rucksack for a more casual look. Head of the River Island Style Studio, Giles Farnham


We've all seen the TV commercials when a man emerges from a cloud of asthma-inducing body spray to be met with a hundred objects of desire. Who doesn't want to believe that a strong spritz of perfume may have such results?

Too much, on the other hand, is more likely to leave your date gasping and spluttering and running for the hills. Grooming for a dating night should be understated. Overdoing it on the fragrance front also communicates to the mind that "I couldn't be bothered to shower, so I'm hiding my musk."

As previously stated, do not give them the opportunity to criticise your personal cleanliness. After all, a first date is a moment when you're supposed to at least act like a gentlemanly type.


You want your date to lean in close and catch a whiff of your scent, not just sit there inhaling through their mouth." Choose a scent that you like and spritz one on each wrist or bicep, as well as one in the dip of each collarbone.


As you fasten your wooden watch, you think to yourself, "Oh, how charming." "She'll think this is brilliantly cute," you think as you slip your iPhone into your pants pocket, safely wrapped in a whittled cover. Wrong. So, so, so wrong.

Remember how we mentioned ironic T-shirts aren't appropriate for first dates? Pretentious accessories that are from a bygone era aren't either.

You don't want to bring anything that smells of a desire to leave the present in a scenario where everything you do will be over-analyzed.

Finally, you don't want to convey the appearance that after a few months of dating, you'll want to rush away to the woods to get your whittling on and hide from the world.


Wear just mild accessories like a minimal watch or simple jewellery in classic colours and metals to avoid the blingy effect, just as you should keep your attire simple.

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