An SMS pops up on your screen – it’s a response from your crush. “Sure, it’s a date!”. At first you’re excited that the first date is happening soon, but then you begin to wonder whether or not your fashion sense is adequate. There is no definitive rule on what you have to wear to a date, but it always helps to follow simple guidelines to sweep your date off their feet.
Deciding on a venue is the most obvious point of departure. Choices are ample, but can be placed under two categories; the Formal Date and the Casual Date. Each with their own requirements, deciding on where your date will be assists in navigating this tricky fashion-related obstacle course.
Palesa Kgasane, blogger and trend reporter for The Keegan B Show on Hashtag Radio, says that The Formal Date doesn’t necessarily dictate that you wear a three-piece suit and appropriate lace-ups, leave that for the office. It still does not mean you can arrive at a Michelin-approved restaurant in tattered sneakers and the pair of loose fitting jeans you bought three years ago. The trick is finding a simple blazer (tailored so as to skim your torso), a long-sleeve button down shirt, a tailored pair of pants and a classic pair of leather shoes.
The Casual date gives you space to move. Your favourite pair of comfortable faded denims are acceptable. Pair them with a plain t-shirt and a bomber jacket – your date may last way into the night and there is nothing romantic about shivering because you didn’t take the cold into consideration.
“To complete your outfit (to the Casual Date), throw on a pair of sneakers or more casual leather shoes” Kgasane advises. Make sure your shoes are comfortable, maybe your date is spontaneous and decides that a night of dancing is order.
Your grooming is as important as the clothes you are wearing. A clean and presentable haircut is more desirable than one that looks like you just woke up and had ten minutes to get ready. Don’t try a new hairstyle the night before your date and don’t visit a different barber: worst case scenario, you are stuck with half a head of hair and you look nothing like your Tinder profile picture.
Your scent needs to strike the balance between being understated and distinct. You want your date to smell you, but not be drowned in your cologne either.
Lastly, carry a pack of gum. You don’t want to have to dodge your first kiss because of garlic breath.
Words by Tshiamo Tiger Maremela