First Impressions: Look Good When Dating
In you stroll, looking hot in that new dress or skirt with the Manolo’s or Jimmy Choo shoes. You know you look good — after all, it cost you a fortune. You are feeling confident due to the way you are looking and you know others can see it too. Does that ring true? Well maybe, maybe not. On the other hand, in you stroll, black Armani or Hugo Boss suit, Italian leather shoes, handmade shirt. You are feeling good, you are feeling successful and you are feeling confident. Yes, my friends, in this fatuous day and age we are what we wear.
This is not to say that we need to spend a King’s ransom on the latest designer gear, fashions, style and hand crafted luxury wear from Italy or wherever. But when we dress well we feel good, we believe we look good and we feel we can do anything we choose. So when dating, it’s important to look good because if you do, you will feel good too. Good style means a good level of confidence.
Forget arguing about body shape and expense in your defense against my argument here, it doesn’t wash. You can look stylish and classic whatever your shape within reason and whatever your budget. Black will always be classic and well tailored clothes will always look a cut above the rest. I cannot walk down any high street or through any mall these days without being inundated with a sense of style. Everywhere we look there are shops desperate to dress you well. The fact that you don’t choose to go in them is not the point. Therefore turning up for your first date in a comfy sweatshirt or sports top may make you feel relaxed but it shows absolute contempt for your date who has spent the best part of the last two hours getting ready for your squalid self. Get a grip man.
While our female readership doesn’t need a lecture in self presentation generally, our male readership often does. The first thing for men to remember is that a woman will judge you by looking straight down at your shoes. You may not see what the fuss is about but she may as well be looking straight past your shoes, all the way down to hell. The fact is, the truth is in the detail. You have washed and scrubbed up well, but casting a more detailed glance over you and the small discrepancies are soon revealed. Missing cufflinks, tie all over the place, missing shirt button etc. All mean that deep down either you are a deeply wild and windswept sex god or you are a disaster in the making who has no idea of style and presentation. If you can’t dress yourself buddy, what makes you think you can undress her?
But shoes are the biggest giveaway because men think of them as practical necessities that are comfortable rather than looking at the style involved. It is obvious what is classic and in fashion right now, simply turn your eyes and look through the window of the nearest ubiquitous show store. Once you have bought them, ensure they match the rest of the outfit. No don’t mix brown with black and if shoeshine cream is as rare as diamonds in your apartment then get back to the shop and sort it out. Good shoes mean that you have attention to detail, she has seen and she has noted!
Men often make the mistake of thinking that the woman is relaxed and kind of a casual gal so he doesn’t need to go mad when meeting up. He can be smart but casual. The bad news is most men are casual, not smart but casual. It doesn’t happen in my experience. Men have no idea at all what is like to get ready as a woman. The fact that you look subtle and classically understated is lost on a man. He thinks it took you 5 minutes to get ready. He has no idea. Which is why he threw on the white shirt that needed an iron and a pair of casual trousers in such a carefree fashion.
Do not believe GQ-style magazines, however marvelous they are. While there is a small core of very well dressed men out there, they are not the norm. Take your average guy shopping to the mall on a Saturday afternoon and see how long he lasts. Whilst men have a better idea about appearance and do know some label makes and names, they are still eons behind women. But all is not lost. A man with a career can sort himself out in a few easy steps, he simply needs to get his wallet out.
Every man over the age of 25 should have a black, classic, single-breasted, good-quality suit together with the same in navy blue. He should have a casual jacket and a collection of plain colored well made cotton shirts. He should have three pairs of good quality leather shoes, in black and brown and they should be modern and in good condition. A man should have a good quality masculine watch. This is very important as it is possibly the only piece of jewelry a man may ever display. Okay a watch is a timepiece and a necessity but it speaks volumes about you. Some women have expressed a liking for men with large masculine sports watches, but whatever you do wear, it should be a classic as it will speak volumes about your taste.
You should always carry on you a good quality leather wallet that is not stuffed with receipts, preferably in black which you always wear within a jacket pocket, not stuffed into a pocket of your trousers. Whilst you may begin to think I am trying to describe James Bond, you are not far wrong. You can do far worse than to watch a Bond movie to get a sense of class and style. Neither am I suggesting that you alter your image from that which is really you. But as we are discussing first impressions, then you will need to think carefully about the way you do present yourself.
I can only think of a handful of men in my lifetime who do smart but casual well. For many men, it means jeans and a crumpled shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Take a good look about you and think long and hard about your current image and get some feedback from female friends as to how they really perceive your look. You may get a nasty shock. If you are pleasantly surprised then you are on your way.
Looking good is important, as is feeling comfortable. However along with this you should smell good. For men, Aftershave and cologne of a high quality are essential, and the less mainstream the better. For a start, if it is not one of the perennial brands then your date may not have smelled the scent before and will find it unusual and possibly attractive. She will most certainly notice. This is all part of making a good impression. It shows you have made an effort for her and you care. More than one Aftershave is good, a lemon based on for day wear and a heavier woody cologne for the evening with a hint of musk. But always consult and test because many Aftershaves do not suit some types of skin. So spray and then walk round the store before deciding.
Looking and smelling good is not a one-off situation. For second and subsequent dates you need to keep up the good work so I am not recommending your first impression-making attempts are not really you. Take a long hard look at your current image and begin to change things for the better if necessary. And certainly for the long term. Finally, remember that your efforts will be appreciated even if nothing is ever said. In one short phrase, first impressions count.