What to Wear on a First Date

Choosing what to wear on a first date can feel like a lot of pressure! First dates and first impressions don't have to cause panic, though. Whether you're going on a blind date, meeting up with a dating app match, or finally kicking it up a notch with a longtime friend, putting your best self forward is important. Give yourself a chance to get that chemistry going with these simple style steps for a great first date look!

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Make an Impression

Couple on first date
Getty/Taxi/Michael Heffernan

Just like if you were going on a job interview, to a networking event, or on TV, you want to make a great first impression with your first date. That doesn't mean you need to overdo it, but your outfit, hair, and makeup are worth spending a little extra time on. Keep in mind that this is your shot to show them who you are, and you want to put your best foot forward.

Give the date some thought and consider where you're going, what activities you may be enjoying, and even what you'll be eating. You may even set aside time before the date to make sure your nails are done (or at least chip free), or get a blowout at a local salon or Drybar. Even if you're exhausted from going on lots of different dates (hey, it can take some trial and error), that little extra effort for the first meeting can make all the difference in your confidence level. You'll show up feeling your best and ready to win them over! Did I just hear a request for a second date? 

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Wear What's Most You

Woman getting ready
Getty/Blend Images/Peathegee Inc

Though you do want to look your best, you also want to look like you! If you met online, it's a good idea to stick with something close to your profile photo. And you may want to skip shopping for a new look.

Though it seems like a fun idea to invest in something new, Stylist Sandy Hapoienu suggest that you do not buy a new outfit for a first date. Instead, go through your closet and find the look that feels the most "you". This may also be the dress or outfit that gets the most compliments, or makes you feel like dancing. Just make sure it feels true to you.

If you do want to uplevel your style, perhaps do so a few days before the date. That way you can wear it around and decide if it feels like "you". If not, skip it on the first date and show up wearing the clothes and makeup that feel authentically you. That way you can feel more comfortable and confident. And that comfort will show in how relaxed you are, which is attractive and can lead to ease of conversation and the freedom to focus on your date and how you feel. Lilli Morton, Co-Founder of FirstSeven Consulting, agrees when she says: "First dates are fun and exciting, but you don't want to go overboard with your look. You want the focus to be on you, not your outfit." 

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Update Your Work Outfit

Kari black bodysuit Tobi

If you're going from your office job to a first date, make sure you plan ahead. Wear an outfit to the office that is both work and date appropriate or can easily transition with a simple update. You can stash the extra digs in your tote or at your desk, and make a quick change in the restroom before heading out.

If you need something easy to transition from office hours to first date, try taking a bodysuit from day to night. You can wear this Kari Black Chocker Bodysuit from Tobi with a pencil skirt or pair of slacks, flats, and a blazer at the office. When 5 o'clock rolls around slip on a flirty skirt and update to heels or add in some jewelry for your evening out on a date! Mortan suggests, "make it your own by choosing a cool necklace or pair of earrings. If you have a piece that is special to you - maybe a bracelet your grandmother passed down to you - wear that! It will give you an extra confidence boost and can make for a nice talking point." Not only will you look and feel great, you'll have something to talk about if there's a lull in the conversation, too!

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Let Your Lips Do the Talking

Neutral lip color
Pinch of Colour

If you feel your best in a bold lip color, go for it! But Lockwood Style manager, Maria Chavez, has a good point about what to put on your lips for a first date. She says, "Use natural lipstick color in case there's a chance for a kiss!" That way you won't have to panic about smudging your look, and can avoid the awkwardness of having to tell your kissing partner that there's lipstick on their face. 

Try a color with less colorful pigment or something close to your skin tone. You can even use a matte, smudge free formula like the Matte Velvet Waterless Lip Colour in Perla from Pinch of Colour Cosmetics

Or, some would suggest wearing a bold, sexy color so that you don't go for the kiss on the first date! If you think there's a chance you may take things too fast, or too far, keep those lips sealed with a bold color. Just be prepared for some smudging if you change your mind and find yourself locking lips! 

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Wear Comfortable Shoes

Koolaburra Saige wedge

Sometimes first dates can be spontaneous! Perhaps you met at the movies and it's going well so you go for a stroll, or take a walk for a nightcap. Don't get caught wearing shoes that can't make the trip with you. Engie Hassan, fashion stylist and CEO of EngieStyle, suggests wearing comfortable shoes. That way you can avoid pain and wobbling your way through a leisurely first date stroll by wearing foot attire that's comfortable and cute.

That may mean searching for a good pair of comfortable heels, or opting for a sturdy boot or casual sneaker. Wear whatever will help you stand tall and on two sturdy feet so that you can feel top notch. That may mean sky high heels or a sensible, stylish, (and cozy!) wedge like this Saige Fringe Wedge from Koolaburra by Ugg. Just make sure you feel your best in whatever you wear on your feet!

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Pay Special Attention to Undergarments

Sculptresse Chi Chi

Whether you plan on sharing what's underneath with your date or not, wearing undergarments that fit well can make a major difference on your first date. First, if your strapless bra is slipping down or your underwear keeps riding up, you'll constantly be adjusting and fidgeting all night due to the discomfort. Make sure you're wearing a bra size and style that supports your unique shape, and underwear that works with your outfit and your comfort level. 

Second, your undergarments can be a major part of your first date outfit! When it comes to learning the different options to wear underneath a plunging neckline, or even what to wear underneath leggings, what's underneath is just as important as what's on the outside. 

Even if no one sees your bra and undies but you, wear something that makes you smile. Try something beautiful and supportive like this Chi Chi set from Sculptresse. It just might be that extra confidence boost that can turn a first date into forever. 

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A Smile and Confidence

Woman smiling on a date
Getty/Taxi/Portra Images

The best thing to wear on a first date? A smile! Putting yourself out there time and time again can be wearing on the soul. But showing up to each first date with hope and friendliness opens up the opportunity to create connection. Whether they're a dud or soul mate potential, you'll know that you showed up willing and with a full heart. 

And don't forget confidence! Confidence doesn't have to mean cocky. It can come from really digging yourself in a compassionate and beautiful way. That always helps you glow from the inside out. And that is the most attractive thing ever. Whether they ask for a second date or not, you can stand firm in knowing you're a pretty great catch. So put your best foot (and outfit!) forward and remember, you got this!