While I’m sure your date wouldn’t complain if you showed up looking just like Don Draper, that sort of look is largely a fantasy – unless you can find a time machine and jump back to the 1960s. So, let’s take a look at dear old Schmidt of the hit show New Girl for a little real-life inspiration.
If you’re a normal guy, sans time machine, you should get a handle on the modern man’s date night outfit. Luckily for you, you don’t need to wear a suit, the tie is optional, and you’ll need about half the amount of hair gel dear old Don needs to get his perfectly coiffed ‘do.
While it’s well known that men are visual creatures, women are too. You’ve got to dress to impress, my friend, and your standard button down dress shirt just won’t cut it. And, for the love of all things fashion, leave your business suit at home.
Your first step is finding a well-fitting pair of dark washed jeans. You don’t want baggy, but you also want to leave something to the imagination and leave the skinny jeans for the girls. If you need to get your jeans hemmed, take them to a tailor offering a European hem – this saves the original cuff and moves it up, rather than making a new and obviously hemmed hem.
For a top, a clean t-shirt can be completely fine. If you have a t-shirt that expresses your personality (a favorite band, place you’ve traveled, etc.) that could be OK too – just as long as it’s free of holes, stains, and isn’t discolored. Nothing kills an outfit faster than a top that isn’t white quite, but is supposed to be.
If the date’s going to be a little more formal, opt for a button down but inject some style into it. Grab something with colored button holes, an understated pattern, and make sure that it fits. Anything tailored and well-fitting
will look ten times better than anything not – no matter how much you pay for the garment.
The type of shoes I’d recommend a guy wear on a date night are leather loafers. They’re comfy, casual, but keep the outfit from crossing that too-casual line. Sneakers should stay at the gym – or at least at home. Dress shoes can look silly against jeans, and sandals are out of the question!
To show that there’s more to you than a great personality and a well-styled outfit, show off a little quirkiness with your watch or sock selection. Have a pair of patterned socks? Wear them. She might catch a glimpse when you
go to stand up after dinner, or while you’re walking. It’s a fun talking point and shows that you’re fun and don’t take life too seriously.
I know it doesn’t sound like rocket science, but it is a fool-proof method to looking good and date-ready in a pinch. Remember, also, to style your hair and brush your teeth. Grooming is essential, or else your outfit efforts will inevitably crumble. Now that you’ve got your outfit nailed down, be sure to brush up on your conversation skills, so you look AND sound the part.
Happy dressing and best of luck on your date!