First Date Fashion Part II

by Caryn Alper under Date Night,Online Dating,Single Life

Last week, I talked about some general dating fashion tips, but this week, let’s get specific. How do you know what kind of date calls for what kind outfit? Check out the list below for some guidance:

Coffee date: Asking someone for coffee means “you’re a decent online conversationalist, and I’m ready to meet you in person, but I’m not willing to commit to anything involving time or money in case we don’t click in real life.” Due to the casual and brief nature of the coffee date, you’re allowed to look casual. However, because of the brief encounter, your first impression is even more important here. This means that you should take care to look good and presentable, even if you’re wearing casual clothes. Do not wear gym clothes, leggings, or anything that shows you clearly stopped by the date on the way from an activity that involves sweating.  A sundress, jeans, or a sweater dress and boots in the winter is perfect.

Drinks and/or dinner: I put drinks and dinner in the same category, because, if a drink date goes well, it will often lead to dinner.  Assuming this dinner date doesn’t involve a drive-thru window, look extra nice!  Ladies, this means a dress and heels (unless your date is shorter than you, in which case, use your discretion), or something equally dressy. Guys, slacks and a shirt always work – and tuck it in and use a belt!

An “activity” date: This can include bowling, hiking, rock climbing, or any extreme adventure from The Bachelor that doesn’t actually happen in real life.  You will be moving around, so you want to be comfortable (i.e., not pulling up your strapless bra or tugging at your dress), but this is NOT an excuse to wear some ratty old gym clothes.  ‘Athleisure’ is a thing for a reason.  Leggings (in good condition) plus a bright colored top and tennis shoes will do for the ladies.  Guys, clean clothes without holes and tennis shoes in good condition are acceptable. You might decide to go to a casual restaurant afterward, so make sure your outfit is versatile.

Wild card: In this scenario, all you know is that you’re getting picked up at 8. You aren’t sure where you are going or what you’ll be doing.  Unfortunately, you must be prepared for a multitude of situations.  You should be safe wearing something on a level between your coffee date and dinner date.  Wear semi-comfortable shoes in case you end up walking more than expected, and for either gender, you can’t go wrong with nice jeans and a cool jacket.


New Experiment

by Haley Plotnik under Date Night,Judaism,Relationships

In the last year, I’ve learned a lot about modesty in Orthodox Judaism. While I don’t follow it, I am finding that I like a lot of the principles behind it. About a month ago, I started covering my body more on a first dates.

Why, you ask? Dating is supposed to be fun, maybe a little bit flirty if you feel chemistry. But first dates in the long run are also about looking for a life partner. I evaluate men based on character, manners, values, and other traits that typically require having an engaging conversation.

Looking presentable and being hygienic are important in that they show effort, but they’re not everything. “Presentable” for women, especially in the summer, doesn’t have to mean “mostly naked.” I am generally more comfortable in my skin when it’s not all on display.

With this in mind, I’ve begun a new experiment. I try to look fashionable, but without showing my thighs, knees, shoulders, or any cleavage. Some guys are more receptive to this than others, but I think it’s become an easier way to dodge a bullet. If a guy seems bored or distracted by me, or he checks out scantily clad women while on a date with me, I can cut my losses and move on. I’ve been in situations before where I was keenly aware that a guy was only interested in me in a physical way. While it can be flattering, it’s not good for my self-esteem in the long-term. I like to be appreciated for my internal qualities, which can easily be overlooked on first dates.

I don’t have any data to prove it, but I think I now get more compliments related to qualities other than my looks on dates. I found them to be a rarity prior to my experiment. I’m also finding it easier to connect with people on a more personal level, and I think I’m going to stick to my new plan indefinitely.