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What should I wear for a first date?

What should I wear for a first date?

Going on a first date can be nerve-wracking. You want to make a good first impression and look your best, but you also don’t want to come across as trying too hard. The key is finding an outfit that is stylish yet comfortable – something that reflects your personal style and gives you the confidence to just be yourself. Here are some tips on how to dress to impress for a first date.

Consider the date details

The first thing to think about is where you’ll be going and what you’ll be doing on the date. This will help determine the level of formality you should aim for with your outfit.

Date Activity Outfit Suggestions
Casual coffee date Jeans or casual pants with a nice top or sweater
Walk in the park Jeans or leggings with boots and a jacket
Movie and dinner Smart casual – nice pants or skirt with blouse/top
Fancy restaurant Cocktail dress or dressy separates like a skirt, blouse and heels

If you’re not sure where you’re going, it’s smart to opt for smart casual clothing that can be dressed up or down as needed once you get more details.

Pick comfortable fabrics and fits

While you want to look stylish, comfort is also key on a first date. Pick clothing in materials like soft knits, breathable cottons and stretchy denim that will keep you from fidgeting all night. Make sure everything fits well and allows you to move freely without anything too tight or restrictive.

Some comfortable first date outfit ideas include:

  • Dark skinny jeans with flats and a blazer
  • A wrap dress with ballet flats or boots
  • Slacks or chinos with a sweater and booties
  • A midi skirt with a tucked-in top and sandals

Focus on flattering styles and colors

You want to wear pieces that play up your best assets and give you an overall put-together look. Some flattering options include:

  • A-line dresses and full skirts if you want to highlight your waist
  • Off-the-shoulder or boatneck tops to show off nice shoulders/collarbone
  • Tailored pants or skinny jeans to flaunt your legs
  • Wrapped styles that cinch your waistline

Stick to colors that compliment your skin tone – colors you get the most compliments in. Neutrals like black, navy and tan are easy, versatile options too.

Add key accessories

The right accessories can elevate any first date outfit. Some accents to consider:

  • Shoes: Heels, wedges or dressy flats. Make sure they are comfortable!
  • Handbag: A clutch or nice leather bag.
  • Jewelry: Simple and minimal – small earrings, delicate necklace.
  • Jacket/coat: Depending on weather. Choose something stylish.
  • Scarf or belt: Add visual interest to basic pieces.

Skip distracting noisy jewelry or accessories. You want the focus to be on your outfit, not your accessories.

Show off your style

While you want to look polished, you also want your individuality to shine through. Wear pieces that express your personal taste and style sensibilities.

Some ways to inject your personality:

  • Wear a band or graphic t-shirt under a blazer or cardigan
  • Choose bold printed pants or a statement skirt
  • Opt for retro inspired or vintage accessories
  • Show your quirky side with funky patterned socks or shoes

Feel empowered to be yourself – if your date doesn’t appreciate your style, they probably aren’t the right fit for you anyway!

Check the weather

Keep the weather in mind when planning your date outfit. The last thing you want is to be shivering in a sleeveless dress or sweating in a sweater. Check the forecast and prep accordingly:

  • Cold weather – Opt for leggings under dresses, tall boots, wool coats, scarves and gloves. Choose fabrics like wool and cashmere.
  • Warm weather – Wear breathable natural fabrics like linen, short sleeves or sleeveless styles. Swap full pants for skirts or short. Bring a jacket in case it gets cool at night.
  • Rainy weather – Water-resistant jackets and umbrellas are a must. Avoid suede and delicate fabrics/accessories that can get ruined.
  • Snowy weather – Bring a warm wool coat, waterproof boots, scarf and a hat/earmuffs to stay comfortable and dry.

Having weather-appropriate clothing will allow you to focus on your date, not on being too hot/cold/wet.

Layer for versatility

Layering your date outfit is a great way to add versatility from the start of the date to the end. Some layering ideas:

  • Button-up shirt under a sweater, then add a jacket or blazer on top
  • Camisole with a cardigan or blazer over it
  • Leggings under a dress or tunic
  • Blazer over a sleeveless dress
  • Scarf over a basic top

Layers give you flexibility to dress up or down for errands before/after the date. You can remove pieces if you get warm or add them if you get cool.

Take a test spin

Wear your planned date outfit for a test run before the big night. This could include running errands, walking around your home, sitting for a meal, etc. Check that everything feels good and moves with you well. Make sure blouses stay tucked in when you sit and pants don’t slide down.

If anything pinches, pulls or needs adjusting, you have time to try other options. You want to know your outfit will be comfortable no matter what you do on your date.

Do a smell check

Smelling fresh and attractive is an important part of your first date prep too. Here are some tips:

  • Shower before getting dressed using scented body wash
  • Use unscented deodorant to avoid clashing with your fragrance
  • Spray perfume on pulse points like wrists, neck and décolletage
  • Avoid scented lotions before perfume – let fragrance stand out
  • Finish prep early so scents don’t turn musty
  • Keep gum or mints on hand for fresh breath

Smelling clean, inviting and like your gorgeous self will make a wonderful first impression.

Do a test-drive makeup look

You don’t need a full glam makeup look for a first date, but you do want to look polished. Test out your makeup a few times before the big night to find a natural look that highlights your features and brings out your best self:

  • Even out skin tone with tinted moisturizer or light foundation
  • Add definition with brow gel, neutral eyeshadow, mascara and blush
  • Try a sheer lip stain for a pop of color
  • Set makeup with powder so it lasts
  • Blend well – you want makeup to look seamless

The right makeup will give you a beautiful version of your fresh face. Avoid overdoing it – less is often more on first dates.

Style your hair

Styling your hair can completely change up your look for a date. Experiment with some options:

  • Sleek blowout with part or pixie bangs
  • Big loose waves for volume
  • Slicked back ponytail or intricate updo
  • Natural texture with defining products
  • Half-up style to show off your face

Choose a look that works with your outfit, face shape and hair type. Feel free to ask your stylist for first date styling tips too!

Give yourself plenty of time

Rushing to get ready will only make you stressed for your date. Give yourself ample time to relax and get ready without feeling pressured:

  • Shower and wash hair (let air dry if needed)
  • Thoroughly cleanse and moisturize skin
  • Do your makeup in natural light
  • Style your hair meticulously
  • Get fully dressed and check your look
  • Spritz on perfume

By giving at least an hour to get ready, you can ensure every part of your look is polished and date-ready.

Pack date essentials

In addition to looking stylish, you want to come prepared for date mishaps. Bring these key items:

  • Breath mints or lip gloss – for fresh breath/lips
  • Blotting papers – to control shine
  • Compact mirror – for quick touch ups
  • Bobby pins and hair tie – for hair emergencies
  • Band-aids – for blisters
  • Portable phone charger – avoid low battery

Having essentials easily accessible in your bag will give you confidence if anything goes awry.

Snap some test shots

Before the date, take a few test photos of your full outfit including hair and makeup. This serves a few purposes:

  • Lets you see if all elements work together as expected
  • Shows if anything needs a quick ironing or steaming
  • You have a record of your look if your date goes well!

Use the photos to make any last tweaks to have your first date outfit be picture-perfect.


Dressing for a first date is exciting – you get to make a fabulous first impression and show off your unique style. With these tips, you can nail your outfit from head to toe. Most importantly, wear something that makes you feel confident, comfortable and ready to have a great time getting to know your date!