Byron Bradshaw examines the do’s and don’ts first date attire
Recently, I received a frantic text message from a friend who was getting dressed for a first date with a woman he met online. “What do I wear?” he lamented.
Now, I’ve never been one to be dumbfounded as to what to wear on any occasion. Those who know me intimately can confirm that in whatever free time I can come up with in my day, I try to think of new and interesting ways to make my wardrobe fresh and appropriate for any event. Think of it as my own personal version of the Boy Scout motto, “Be prepared.” Except instead of using flint and kindling to make a fire, I’m using bow ties and pocket squares to create the perfect mix of patterns.
In haste, I described my ideal first date attire (white jeans, chambray shirt, navy blazer, chukka boots) and went on about my day. But it really had me thinking: “How do people dress for dates?”
Last year, the Mail Online reported that in a survey of 2,000 people, 60% of women said that clothes are the top dating deal-breaker. In the same survey, it was found that most women prefer their suitors to wear purple. Yes, that’s right: Purple. The same color as eggplant, gay pride, piety, royalty, and Wimbledon. Apparently, British women like their men to be a vegetarian, tennis-playing, noble who is both queer and religious? I digress.
For most men, I think the absence of square-toed shoes or pleated pants is a “win”. Thousands of New York City barflies might agree. As my grandmother used to say,:“[He’s] the kind of [boy] who can benefit from dim lighting”. But clearly, women are expecting more from their arm candy. So in order to help you guys out, I’ve compiled a quick 5-step rule process to ensure at the end of the evening it’s your headboard banging against the wall, and not just your head.
Rule #1: Be comfortable, but not lazy:
Simply be yourself. Unless you’re a slob. Then be someone else. (Me, maybe?) Leave overdressing for amateurs and underdressing for strippers.
Rule #2: Utilise your tailor:
Man’s new best friend. Or you teach the dog to handle a sewing kit. Either way, your clothes should fit.
Rule #3: No shoes, no shirt, no service:
Flip-flops are not shoes and tank tops are not shirts. Enough said. Save the gun show tickets and foot fetishes for the bedroom.
Rule #4: Accessorise without being messy:
A watch is enough for most guys. Maybe a bracelet or ring if it fits your personal style. Perhaps a singular chain…unless you’re 2 Chainz. Then you do the math.
Rule #5: Wear clean underwear:
You would never imagine this to be a problem, but it is.
Well, there you have it. What do you think, dear readers? Ladies, am I forgetting something? Fellas, what are your personal secrets? I’m looking forward to hearing your comments.
Byron Bradshaw is a New York based fashion entrepreneur who has variously worked for Cameron Silver, Inc. and GQ Magazine. He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin.
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