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What should a guy wear on a date?

What should a guy wear on a date?

Going on a first date can be nerve-wracking. You want to make a good first impression and look your best, but you don’t want to overthink your outfit too much. The key is finding the right balance between dressing up while still looking like your authentic self. Here are some tips on how to determine what a guy should wear for a first date, for different types of dates, seasons, and styles.

Consider the date location

The first thing to think about when deciding what to wear on a date is where you’ll be going. Is it a casual coffee date or a formal dinner at an upscale restaurant? Your outfit should match the formality of the location.

Date Location Outfit Ideas
Casual coffee shop or cafe Jeans or chinos, t-shirt or casual button-down, sweater or jacket
Casual restaurant Dark jeans, button-down shirt, casual blazer or sport coat
Upscale restaurant Dress pants, dress shirt, tie, sports coat or suit jacket
Movie theater Jeans or chinos, t-shirt, sweater, casual sneakers or shoes
Sporting event or concert Jeans, t-shirt, hoodie or jacket
Art gallery or museum Dark jeans or chinos, button-down shirt, casual blazer or sweater

As you can see, more formal dates call for dressier outfits with pants, button-down shirts, blazers, and dress shoes. For casual dates, you can wear jeans, t-shirts, and casual sneakers or shoes. The key is to match your outfit formality to the location so you are dressed appropriately.

Consider the season and weather

Along with the date location, consider what season it is and what the weather will be like. You don’t want to be overdressed and sweating or underdressed and freezing.

Season Outfit Ideas
Spring Chinos or jeans, light button-down or polo shirt, sweater or jacket
Summer Shorts or chinos, polo, t-shirt, casual sneakers
Fall Jeans, casual button-down, sweater, jacket
Winter Jeans or chinos, sweater, warm jacket, scarf

Lighter fabrics like polos, short-sleeve button downs, and t-shirts are great for spring and summer when it’s warmer. Long sleeves, sweaters, and outerwear like jackets and coats are better for fall and cooler months. Also consider bringing an umbrella if rain is in the forecast.

Dress for your personal style

While you want to look nice, you also want to dress in a way that reflects your personal taste and style. Don’t wear something that isn’t really “you” just because you think it’s what you’re supposed to wear on a date. The date is a chance for someone to get to know you, so you want to dress to reflect your personality.

Personal Style Outfit Ideas
Preppy Chinos, button-down shirt, sweater vest or tie
Hipster Dark jeans, casual button-down or graphic tee, leather jacket
Artsy Black jeans, v-neck tee, casual blazer, scarf
Classic Khakis, polo shirt, casual loafers
Sporty Jeans, t-shirt, hoodie, sneakers

Think about the colors, patterns, textures, and accessories you like to wear that express your personal style. Then incorporate those elements into your date outfit so you feel comfortable, confident, and like your best self.

Pick versatile pieces

Focus your date outfit around versatile, flexible pieces that transition between casual and dressy. This way you can dress up or down for the occasion.

Some versatile items to include are:

  • Dark wash jeans – Polished enough for a casual dinner out, but also perfect for a low-key movie date
  • Chinos – Can be worn for both casual and dressier dates
  • Button-down shirt – Looks sharper than a t-shirt but still comfortable
  • Blazer or sport coat – Easily dresses up a casual outfit to make it look polished
  • Nice leather shoes – Works for both casual and formal dates

Stick to solid colors or minimal patterns for the most versatility. You can also bring a sweater, jacket, or change of shoes in your car or bag so you can adjust your outfit as needed depending on the date activity or venue.

Keep it well-fitting

Wear clothes that fit you properly, not overly baggy or tight. Ill-fitting clothes can look sloppy. When trying on date outfits, here are some tips for getting the right fit:

  • Pants should sit comfortably at your waist without needing a belt to stay up
  • Shirts should be just fitted enough to skim your body without pulling at the buttons
  • Jackets and blazers should fit comfortably across the shoulders and sleeves should hit right around your wrist bone

You don’t need to size down and squeeze into overly tight clothes. Just pick items that are tailored to flatter your natural shape. Properly fitted clothes make you look polished. And feel confident knowing you look great.

Keep accessories minimal

Accessories like jewelry, watches, belts, and bags can complement your date outfit. But don’t go overboard. For a first date, it’s better to keep accessories minimal and let your clothes make the main style statement.

Some simple accessory ideas include:

  • A casual watch
  • A leather bracelet or necklace
  • A basic belt if your pants need it
  • A simple shoulder bag or small crossbody bag, if needed

Avoid heavy jewelry or anything loud or distracting. You want the focus to be on your conversation and connection – not your outfit.

Pay attention to grooming and hygiene

Don’t forget about the finishing touches. Shower, shave, fix your hair, and brush your teeth before the date. Trim and clean your nails. Use deodorant and a light spritz of cologne or body spray if you’d like.

Also check for:

  • No loose threads, holes, stains, or wrinkles on your clothes
  • Clean, polished shoes – give them a shine if needed
  • Hair and face are free of any product residue or shine

Your look doesn’t have to be complicated. Just wear flattering clothes suited for the date location, check your outfit in the mirror for any issues, and make sure you look and smell freshly groomed.


What you wear on a first date is important, but don’t obsess over it. The right outfit reflects your personality, matches the date location, and makes you feel confident and comfortable. Focus on well-fitted, versatile pieces in colors and fabrics that suit the season. Add minimal accessories if you’d like. Don’t forget to groom yourself neatly. Most importantly, relax and focus on making a genuine connection. Your personality is what truly matters, not your outfit.