The minefield of what to wear when meeting a lady friend is littered with casualties, from the guy with legs that resembled hairy pipe-cleaners who wanted to wear a kilt to a Highlands wedding, to the guy who discovered limegreen mankinis when his mate was forced to wear one on his stag weekend – and then decided to buy his own for his next holiday in Spain. Disastrous style choices, we can all agree.
Should we stick with the tried-and-tested combo of jeans and t-shirt in which we feel comfortable and most like ourselves, or should we dress to the nines in order to convey the impression of being successful, even when most of our working day is spent covertly reading football websites or planning the next weekend away? The answer is, at least when you first start seeing someone new: go smart.
What women want
Although you don’t want to generalise, when a couple are just starting to date, it’s thought that most women would prefer their guys to be dressed more on the formal side than overly casual. A quarter of women who answered one survey liked their men to dress in stylish leather loafers most of the time, over half liked to meet for dinner when their date was wearing a structured blazer over smart jeans, and when it came to meeting her parents, the ‘straight from work’ look, while not ideal, was far preferable to going too scruffy in jeans and t-shirt or hoodie.
Give the future in-laws the right idea, without needing to spend too much by finding the right look for you with a professional menswear retailer – high-quality outfits from Dobell men’s suits will have Dad breaking out the best wine and Mum blushing at your compliments, rendering you premium boyfriend material.
Legendary rocker Rod Stewart, while having a reputation for sometimes bizarre sartorial choices on stage, nevertheless has undoubted seductive powers. At one point he castigated men who didn’t make enough of an effort when dining out with women, as well as restaurants that didn’t enforce dress codes anymore. He clearly felt that standards are beginning to slip, and he’s right that despite a resurgence in men’s tailoring in recent years, dressing down whether at the office or on the town has become something of a norm.
When you wear business dress: a suit, or a pair of formal trousers with shirt and blazer, tie optional, you obtain an aura of success, confidence, good grooming. All characteristics that are obviously attractive to women. Business wear allows you to slip effortlessly from the office to a bar situation, a restaurant, even a high-end nightclub. You needn’t worry about looking stuffy or over-formal. Pair a dark business suit with a brightly coloured shirt and tie, add a pocket-square for a bit of pizzazz- you can even add a hat if you’re really feeling the look.
Alternatively, you can just smarten up your casual style. Dressing down doesn’t have to mean ripped jeans, baggy shorts, and t-shirts that show off more of your pecs than most people would really care to see, if they’re being honest. Bring in a clean pair of loafers or deck shoes that you can wear either barefoot, or with dark socks. Several polo necks in a range of different colours. Some fitted dark jeans that will just about do in a restaurant if you really must. And pay close attention to what colours suit you best, and what is the right fit. It doesn’t take much to completely change your appearance and make yourself more attractive to the opposite sex.
At the end of the day you want someone who will be happy with you whether you’re in a tuxedo or a pair of beach shorts, but there’s no shame in giving your image a bit of a pop once in a while.