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What to Wear on a Date

September 26, 2014

Yikes! The date has been set, but now comes the most important part…dressing to impress. Whether your plans include brunch and a beach stroll or Friday night drinks and a late dinner, your Newport Beach boutiques have you covered. Getting dressed for a date—especially if it’s a first date, or even a second or a third date—is pretty second nature. A clean shirt, a un-wrinkled dress, a nice pair of shoes all seem like obvious decisions, but do they really matter? As it turns out, what to wear on a first date actually matters a whole lot—more than any of us probably want to admit.

Whether you’re a man or a woman, you want to make a great first impression on dates. Of course, we all want to be loved for both our finer innate qualities and our physical attributes, not just for being a snappy dresser. But what we wear says a lot about our 3 personalities and our day-to-day lives, too. Good clothes may have no effect on a date, but bad clothes almost certainly will.

So, what to wear… or avoid at all costs? Women can poll friends with mixed results, depending on those friends’ taste and ability to stay objective while being emotionally supportive (and still giving you an honest critique). Guys usually only know other guys who are just as clueless as they are, but can save themselves some embarrassment by checking a restaurant’s dress code, for example (jackets and ties might be required), or picking a date that requires a certain type of clothing (camping, a trip to the beach, or other activity dates practically dress themselves, so to speak).

For the ladies, I suggest heading over to Bardot on 17th and Westcliff. Dana, the boutique’s owner and buyer has a flare for finding the most perfect feminine pieces and she never lets you down with a plethora of outfits to choose from. Bardot carries lines such as ALC, Korovilas, Tibi and TBags, to name a few. But I love this Bella Luxx two piece ensemble available at Bardot, because it’s so versatile. Wear the whole look to be glam for your date or mix and match both pieces with your wardrobe staple for lots of great casual looks.

Bella Luxx outfit

Let’s admit it, men have it so much easier then woman, throw on a great suit or a pair of slacks and a clean top and voila you have your date night look. But for those men that want to put a little more effort into their appearance I suggest shopping at Gary’s in Fashion Island. This men’s boutique is chalk full of the right pieces fit for any date. Try a suit for full sex appeal (who doesn’t love a man in a well tailored suit), or a casual chino and button up top, if it’s chilly go for a light weight sweater or a sports coat.

gary's NPB

4 Rules to wear by when dating…
1. Dress for comfort
I don’t mean donning some sweats or (god forbid) Crocs, I simply mean that you must be comfortable in whatever you’re wearing, physically and emotionally.
2. Keep the mystery
By revealing just enough to get him interested, but not enough to ruin the sense of mystery you can be sure to almost hear him dialing your number for a second date as you walk away.
3. Be yourself
Never try and dress like someone else on your first date. If you’re a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl then don’t go and force yourself into a fuchsia bodycon. Or for the men, if suits aren’t your thing then wear those cargo pants with a great collared shirt.
4. Feel Amazing
The most important piece of advice to give is to feel amazing in what you’re wearing no matter what. If you can do that, then your date will get that vibe too and will respond well to your confidence.

Written by Leslie Christen

Leslie Christen is one of Southern California’s most sought-after personal stylists and the founder of the region’s leading independent styling company: Leslie Christen | LifeStyling. Leslie’s stylish and educational Web site, LeslieChristen.com , gives her audience inspiring tips and showcases cutting-edge trends and images on the latest in designer fashions. Leslie spent years as a personal stylist and costume designer in the fashion and entertainment industries, and is also a fashion contributor for several local publications. Her extensive experience in the fashion world has given her the talent to quickly assess strengths, minimize body challenges and authentically express her clients’ individuality.

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