Welcome to Stylewhipped's newest column from me, Editor-in-Chief Alison Stewart. Having helped so many clients create dating-friendly wardrobes and event-specific outfits, I figured I'd bring a new twist to the advice I give. "Dressing For Dating" will give you (that means all of you...men and women!) straight-from-the-opposite-sex's-mouth tips for what to wear (and not wear!), my picks for every imaginable dating scenario (first date...being a business-dinner date...meeting the parents...), and even cute video footage to best direct you!
So to start off, I got to have a little fun (this job has to have a few perks, right?!). I asked 15 straight men 12 questions about what women wear on dates. Their responses were funny, not-so-predictable, and actually super helpful. The guys ranged in age from 23 to 38, and include actors, recruiters, accountants, musicians, and financial executives. Read on for what they had to say...
Ever think guys don't notice what you're wearing? Well, think again. Because 12 of the 15 I polled notice "immediately" what a girl has on. And the other 3 only needed five minutes to take it all in. So clearly first impressions (or immediate impressions in this case!) really are important! Now that being said, 10 of them will automatically tell you that you look nice, whether they really mean it or not. The remaining 5 only say it if it's what they actually feel. (And now I'm not sure how I feel about that!)
So, what is it that makes them want to compliment you? To start, wear color or black. Those got the most votes for "most enticing & approachable." White got the fewest votes, but then again, 13 of the 15 men find white to be "summery & flirty"...so maybe just keep it to a beach date in the summer! In the same vein of questioning, 11 of the 15 find pink to be "feminine" (the remaining 4 thought it was a bit "child-like"), 12 think red is sexy (3 think it makes you look like you are trying too hard), and only 2 find black to be a bit intimidating (13 think its "cool & sophisticated").
Want to show a little skin? Well, they want you to also! (Um, shocker...) And they were split right down the middle (er, in thirds...) about what skin to show. There were 5 votes each for a plunging neckline, a short skirt, or something backless. The unanimous feeling, though, was to only wear one at a time. Anymore than that, and we apparently very easily make our dates feel uncomfortable. (I've always said this...glad to know I was right!) Oh, and if you are going to wear the plunging neckline, the guys were perfectly split on padded push-up bras...half thought it was a bonus, half thought it was false-advertising. And just fyi, they can all spot when we're wearing one. So we aren't kidding anybody anyway!
- DO wear heels. Even though they don't want us to complain about our feet hurting, men still find a high heel much sexier. (Just don't complain. Seriously. They all mentioned this.)
- DON'T wear Ugg Boots or Wellies. (While there were a few votes for these being cute & quirky, the overwhelming -- and might I say dramatically phrased -- response was that these are simply horrific.)
- DO wear (nice) jeans and a (fitted) t-shirt to a sporting event. Even though they still want us to look feminine, 90% of the men also don't want us to dress up and look ridiculous at a basketball game.
- DO wear your hair down and straight. I personally beat my naturally curly hair into submission every day...because I know it is seen as more touchable and sexier (and less high-maintenance...even though we know it isn't!)
- DON'T forget to spray tan. Only 2 of our guys said they prefer pale skin. But also DON'T overdo it, as they all mentioned a "healthy glow"...because, um, no one finds oompah-loompahs attractive!
- DO wear whatever you prefer when it comes to red lips or clear gloss (the guys were split on this one, but all acknowledged that we should know what works best on us), as well as knee-high boots vs strappy sandals (they were again split, but firmly in their own camp...very few didn't have a preference - so basically get to know what your man likes!)
And while they all do notice what you're wearing, they aren't so good at noticing the details. A huge percentage never notice manicures and pedicures. The ones who do prefer neutral or bright colors. There were only two votes for dark colors, and one adamant "never wear black nail polish!" The answers about whether they notice our accessories (jewelry, handbags, etc) were actually pretty interesting. While many (10 of the 15) claim to not notice accessories at all, they also all had something to say about them (so maybe they just don't realize how much they really do notice!). Of note were "don't carry a big designer bag...we know what Gucci is and it makes you seem high-maintenance," "too many rings are really a turn-off," and "when everything is sparkly and bling-y, it's hard to notice the actual woman" (wise words to remember, ladies!).
I hope this was as helpful to you as it was enjoyable for me to put together. A huge thank-you goes out to all of the awesome men who "submitted to the interrogation" and took the time to help us with some insider intel. Next up, 15 incredible women will offer similar advice to the guys...can't let only one side have the advantage, right?!
So go get dressed for your date...just a little better armed than you were earlier!