Here are some common dating scenarios matched with outfit suggestions that will help you relax and enjoy your date (without silently cursing yourself for wearing a suit to that coffee date or a sequined mini-dress to the pub).
The Coffee Date
You’re best off with casual day or night attire, as the time of the date dictates. For guys, this means a clean, wrinkle-free T-shirt and tidy jeans. For girls, a soft, subtly sexy sweater and jeans or pants is the ultimate in laidback coffee date chic.
A ‘conversation piece’ also makes a nice addition – an heirloom watch, a quirky umbrella (only if it’s rainy or you’re incredibly pessimistic), or a worn leather bag all complete an outfit and give the wearer a great conversation starter should the need arise.
Fashion hazards: Don’t wear anything made from delicate (read: dry-clean only) fabrics. There’s too much opportunity for you to get into a mess with coffee, chocolate and sticky cake residue, so stick to clothes you can toss in the machine on wash day.
Museum /Gallery Hopping
An easy-going option is jeans or pants and a quirky, patterned shirt for guys or well-fitting blouse teamed with an interesting necklace or brooch for girls. Just remember that good walking shoes are a must; you can cover some serious ground traipsing through various exhibitions on multiple floors.
Don’t forget a lightweight jacket as museums can be notoriously chilly (and guys, you’ll be the picture of gallantry when you offer yours to your shivering date.)
Fashion hazards: Girls, leave the strappy heels at home. Not only are they hell on your poor feet, but your fellow patrons will be thrilled they don’t have to listen to the incessant clip clop of your footwear on the shiny gallery floors.
Market Day / Antique Trawling / Second-hand Bookstore Browsing
Something old, something new is the order of the day when market scouring is the date plan. A pair of well-loved jeans teamed with a vintage T-shirt is great for him, and for her an ethnic-inspired dress or skirt teamed with a fitted T-shirt and arty necklace is a great look.
Fashion hazards: There’s nothing more frustrating than trying on clothing at markets – except trying on clothing at markets when you have worn too many layers and fiddly lace-up shoes. If you’re in the market for some bargain retro clothing, make sure your outfit is easy to get in and out of.
Bowling / Cycling / Outdoors Activities
Action-packed dates require clothing fashionable enough to make you look appealing to your date while at the same time, offering you the level of comfort and flexibility your activity requires. A favorite pair of jeans – a snug (but not too snug) fit, and a preferably ones with a little ‘stretch’ in them, works well.
Team these with a cool polo shirt and a pair of trainers (street-style are fine unless you’re doing something really athletic that requires a cross-trainer).
Fashion hazards: All that activity can sure get you hot under the collar, so make sure you don natural, breathable fabric and plenty of deodorant. Keep in mind that many lighter shades can show up sweat marks, so stick to deep or dark-colored tops.
Pub Bistro / Pub Trivia
Just because you’re at the pub doesn’t mean you have to dress scruffily. Guys, now is the time to bust out that funky collared shirt you got for Christmas. Teamed with your best jeans and a pair of dressy trainers, you’ll look smart and feel comfortable. Girls, keep makeup natural and save the shiny, glitzy outfits for the dance-floor.
A sexy fitted top or shirt and pants are fine and a pair of ballet flats or a tiny kitten heel on your feet.
Fashion hazards: Ladies, unless you want the whole world to see your knickers when you’re seated on a bar stool, leave something to the imagination – and leave your miniskirt in the wardrobe.