So you've jumped the first hurdle, and asked somebody out. Now comes the hard part. What wardrobe choices will you make to reinforce the impression you've already made? It might have been your self-confidence that first appealed, or your sparkling repartee, or your excellent sense of humour; even your suave, 007 good looks, but now you need to dress the part to carry it off!
Maybe you haven't even met yet, if you found your prospective partner online, which makes it even more important to reinforce positive first impressions. Clothing and accessories say so much about you, but you also need to feel comfortable, so choosing the right outfit requires careful thought.
First off, it depends where you're going. If it's dinner at a high-end restaurant, then you can't go wrong with a nice suit, like this summer-weight silk blend suit from House of Fraser.
Pinsent Toni Silk Suit at House of Fraser
Photo by House of Fraser
Team your suit with a crisp Egyptian cotton shirt and a contrasting silk tie, such as this one from a wide selection at John Lewis, and you'll have an outfit that looks top-notch, at an affordable price.
Photo by John Lewis
With simple, clean lines and a cut you can be comfortable in, the traditional suit always has the advantage that you can make it progressively more casual as the date goes on. Once you've accomplished the preliminaries and are getting to know one another, you can maybe loosen the tie and unbutton your collar. If the restaurant rules allow, the tie can even come right off and you can go for the open-neck semi-formal look. Later on, you might want to remove the jacket and roll up your shirt sleeves - and after that it's up to you!
Let's not forget that the most important thing on a first date is to be on time - or, if the date turns out not to be going so well, to be aware of how soon you can leave. It's all very well to use your phone as a timepiece, but it will be embarrassing (not to say rude!) to keep getting it out to check what the time is. To be discreet about timekeeping, what you need is a stylish watch, and you can do no better than to look to Royale Timepieces to find the perfect choice to accessorise your outfit. The Regal Silver, with stainless steel construction and analogue display, will set off your suit perfectly, while being equally easy to wear with other outfits.
Perhaps dinner is too formal for a first date, and you'd prefer to keep it more casual - maybe a meeting in a coffee shop or wine bar, or a stroll in the park, if the weather looks favourable. Then you're going to need an outfit that says something about the kind of guy you are. Whether it's leather or linen, there is a fabulous range of choices available to the stylish chap today, and fashion options that are a lot more flexible than just the standard sports jacket, or polo shirt and jeans. Artokingo are a UK company offering a range of fun and cool t-shirts with designs by elite artists, easy to wear with jeans, shorts or chinos, so you can make a statement and initiate conversation about it at the same time.
Don’t be a Dick T-Shirt by Michael Buxton at Artokingo
Photo by Artokingo
You can find a watch for this outfit, too, with Royale Timepieces' comprehensive range of styles, such as the beautiful gold Armada, continuing the nautical theme with a large analog display and leather strap.
Last, but not least, is the question of footwear, and the priority here is comfort. Whether it's a formal dinner or a picnic in the park, your date will be less than perfect if you develop blisters or your toes are being pinched all evening. Shoes are some of the most important accessories, and choosing the right pair for the right occasion is not too difficult, provided you wear them in before your date. Choose comfy loafers for jeans or chinos and sneakers for shorts, and if you have the opportunity, a solid pair of leather brogues for your suit, and you should be equipped for any occasion. Log in to Schuh at Covent Garden for a great selection of fab footwear and you'll be all set - even if it's just for running away!
Converse Street Hikers at Schuh, Covent Garden
Photo by Schuh