A gentleman’s guide to dating: 4 style and grooming tips for first dates

First dates are nerve wracking enough without having to worry about your appearance. Luckily Steve Cochrane, Managing Director of premium meswear retailers Psyche, knows how to make a good first impression. In this article, he shares his tips for what to wear and how to look your best.

In a lot of ways, the hard part is over: you’ve taken the plunge, asked them out, and organised your first date. Now, all you have to do is focus on the person you’re meeting and try to really get to know them.

Of course, they’ll be trying to get to know you too, so your first impression really counts. Details like what you wear, your grooming habits, and your personal hygiene will all come under scrutiny, so it’s important to do everything you can to show you’ve got your stuff together. Below I’ll be taking you through how to prepare for a first date, including what to wear.

Picking out an outfit
This is an occasion where your clothes really do matter, because a flattering and appropriate outfit can help you to make a good impression as well as look your best. It’s important to consider the type of date you’ve organised: is it a daytime affair, or an evening rendezvous? Day dates are a bit more casual, so you can get away with smart jeans and a button-down shirt. However, a date in the evening requires something a little bit smarter, so you should consider wearing chinos or a suit jacket to make sure you look the part. If you’re unsure, err on the side of caution and always lean towards a smarter option. It’s better to be overdressed than under.

Getting the right fit
Impress your date with the quality of your fit and the materials your clothes are made from; even a plain t-shirt will do the trick if it’s made to a high standard and fits you well. So, stick to reputable brands to make sure your clothes are well designed and likely to fit better. To make sure you’re buying the right size, look to your shoulders. A well-fitting shirt or t-shirt should sit perfectly on the shoulder without hanging over the edge or pulling underneath your armpit. Don’t forget to check the length, too: the hem of your top should reach the front pocket of your trousers to avoid flashing any skin.

Grooming tips
Cleanliness and good personal hygiene are major factors in attraction. Your outfit should be coming together by this point, so you’ll want to make sure your skin, hair, and nails look the best they can be too. Get a haircut and trim your beard and nails so they’re nice and neat, then develop a skin care routine if you haven’t got one already. You might want to consider starting to use beard oil about a week or so before the date, as it can nourish and moisturise your facial hair to keep it looking healthy.

Last minute prep
The night before your date, make sure your clothes are clean, ironed, and hung up on a coat hanger — including your trousers. Get into the habit of doing this because not only will this keep creases at bay, but it can help shape your garments and keep them looking newer for longer.

Before you go, comb your hair, style it, and use a light hairspray to keep it in place. Tame fly-aways and shape your facial hair with beard balm, then finish off with a cologne — but not too much. 59% of women think too much cologne is a turn off (Fragrance X), so splash a small amount on your wrist, rub your wrists together, and dab it on your neck. That should be enough to keep you smelling fresh without being too overpowering. Then, you’re ready to get dressed and go.

The tips in this guide can help you look at feel your best before a first date. Remember, if you look after yourself, your confidence will increase and you’re more likely to hit it off with your date. Good luck!

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