YOUR hair is cut, your breath is fresh, and you’re dressed to the nines. It’s clear you’ve gone out of your way to look good for this date. And hopefully, the person you’re meeting has, too.
Sure, you can’t control what she decides to wear, but with any luck, the labor she put in will align with yours.
Whether you’re hitting up a classy cocktail lounge or seeing the premiere of a new rom-com at your local theater, it’s not about the price you’ve spent on your outfit. Instead, there needs to be a greater focus on the look itself. According to Peter Nguyen, a private personal stylist in New York City, “Dressing well on dates is more about the effort.”
While women often have their her go-to items that they prefer men to sport, a few fashion-forward gentlemen gave their take on what they think ladies should opt for when getting dolled up for a date.
Listen closely, gals. These experts know what they’re talking about.
A Signature Perfume
While some women may not think much about their scent, it’s something that a lot of men take note of as soon as you enter into their space. If you’re looking to catch his attention, don’t be shy with the spritzing. For Nguyen, there’s “nothing sexier than a woman that smells really good.”
“I hope she doesn't kill me for sharing this, but my wife wears Mojave Ghost from Byredo and it drives me nuts,” he admits. “I often find myself smelling coats and scarves she leaves around. Scent is one of the strongest triggers for memory, and if you spend the time to find your signature scent, you'll literally be unforgettable.”
Now, if you’re thinking, “I already wear perfume, so I’m set,” we’re not talking about any old perfume. The more lavish, the better.
“I highly recommend spending a bit more on a luxury scent,” says Nguyen. “They'll have less of a chemical nostril burn cheap scents tend to have, have more complex layers, and there's less of a chance another woman will be wearing the same thing.”
A Bold Accessory
Whether it’s the first or third outing, you want to make sure you leave your date with a lasting impression. Obviously, you’re hoping they remember you for something such as your impeccable taste in clothing, and not because you forgot you were allergic to peanuts.
Guys are observant, and frankly, they are often fans of things that pop or stand out. According to Beau Hayhoe, a fashion PR expert and menswear blogger, it’s important for women to pay attention when accessorizing before their big night out. Whether you believe it or not, he’ll notice.
“I always find a neat pair of earrings (conversational, eye-catching, often with a cool story behind them) are a nice added touch,” he says.
“The same goes for, say, a lovely, understated necklace — something personal, and with a story behind it, that shows she’s put attention and thought into her outfit. Anything on the accessories front with personality, something that’s not too minimal — but not too flashy! — is something I appreciate.”
Pro tip: Leave the Apple Watch at home, ladies. “It’s not on my list, personally,” adds Hayhoe.
An Unexpected Outfit
While he suggests dudes should opt for a clean white sneaker and solid tee with a tailored suit if they’re trying to switch it up, for women, he says spicing up the classic all-black outfit with a dress is a surefire win.
“A woman in a leather jacket, t-shirt, [and] tight black jeans is expected,” says Nguyen. “You know what she’s about. But the dress throws that narrative off.
"She's feminine with a bit of badass edge (or [a] badass but can still rock a dress). It's a bit unexpected, and that creates mystery. And that's sexy. It makes me want to lean in and get to know her more.”
And if he wants to lean in… it means you’re doing something right.