In the Internet age, more relationships get started with the click of a mouse or the push of a button than ever before. One in five people who start dating meet online, according to Chadwick Martin Bailey research, with just as many married couples reporting having met their spouse through the Internet. While you can browse the Internet wearing any choice of clothing you desire (including none at all), there’s certain protocols for actually meeting a potential mate for a date.
DO: Wear Well-Made Clothing
When it comes to a first date, you want to project a sense of style and an investment in your wardrobe. There’s plenty of psychology behind it: First impressions — whether at a job interview or on a coffee date — can be heavily influenced by what you wear. When you want to woo a particular gentleman, wearing well fitting quality clothing (with link) increases your chances of looking neat, organized and confident. This isn’t necessarily because of the name on the clothing, but more because of how it fits you and complements your particular body. You also know that good-quality clothes will hold up if an e-date turns into an active engagement like rock climbing or ballroom dancing.
Photo of Michael Kors fashion by CHRISTOPHER MACSURAK via Flickr
DON’T: Wear Anything on your Head
Every character on “Mad Men” looks effortlessly dashing when they put on their fedora to match their three-piece suit, but it’s not the 1950s anymore and the chapeau has fallen out of style just like excessively slicked-back hair. Not only does it look more tacky than savvy, but hats make it more difficult for your date to see your face, and if there’s one thing you want to do on a first date, it’s see each other clearly and maintain eye contact. The BBC reports that staring into a stranger’s eyes makes you more empathetic and attractive to them, which hats, head scarves, visors or caps can impair. Locking eyes on someone you met online creates an identity beyond a mere screen name.
Photo by SanFranAnnie via Flickr
DO: Color Coordinate
“Seeing red” means more than you may think. Our minds respond instinctively to certain colors without us even realizing it. While red is the color of love, it’s also emotionally intense, which isn’t recommended on the first date. Instead, go with a soothing blue to put your date at ease, or a darker green that indicates wealth and responsibility. Hues opposite on the color wheel will clash, so don’t wear a purple shirt with yellow trousers or orange socks with blue jeans.
Photo by Robert Sheie via Flickr
While you may want to look sophisticated and professional, you also don’t want to wear something that would be out of place at a laid-back party. A suit may say that you make a lot of money, but more importantly it says that you don’t know how to treat someone to a good time. Likewise, a woman shouldn’t wear a dress that would be better suited for an opera than for a few drinks after work. It’s important to be yourself and wear an outfit that reflects your online personality offline as well. Wear something light, comfortable, and a little bit formal so that you appear easy going and responsible at the same time. Just make sure it fits well and is well-made, as mentioned above.
Photo by kevin dooley via Flickr