Dating can be hard enough for busy singles and when you throw in the age old question of ‘what shall I wear’ into the mix, it can get downright stressful! Even more so when meeting your date straight from work, the pressures of converting professional work you into fun, flirty and sociable you in a matter of sometimes minutes can be enormous.
With a few strategic changes you can transform an outfit, without having to treat your colleagues to a fashion show of your extended wardrobe. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to try and help ease the pain.
Do try your outfit on a couple of days before the date, making sure that you feel confident, can eat and drink in it and crucially can move in it without assistance. This is not the time to experiment with a new trend or shape, go with styles that you know suit and flatter your body shape. Ask a good friends opinion if you are unsure.
Don’t wear all black. You don’t want to look like you are going to a funeral and it is not always the most flattering colour. It can make especially those with fair colouring look drained, sad and can send out a sombre downbeat message. I’m not saying don’t wear black at all, on the contrary, just try to limit it to a jacket, in a print, or on your bottom half.
Do wear a brighter colour. A friend of mine has great dress sense and regularly gets compliments from both men and women. She mostly sticks to a palette of blacks and neutrals, but when she puts on her bright pink or red dress it’s a game changer! Compliments double and come from everywhere. Brighter colours send out warm approachable positive messages. If you are wary of colour, stick to one shade with black or neutral accessories, or try a blue tone to ease you in gently.
Don’t wear jeans if you can help it. There are so many other opportunities in life to wear jeans this doesn’t need to be one of them, show off your feminine side. Add some edge and East London attitude to your work dress by teaming it with a leather jacket or an oversize duster coat. Why not swap your work shirt for a not too cropped top (Whistles have some great styles) and wear with a high waist pencil skirt and killer heels. Keep hem lines on or just above the knee as it’s the most flattering length for all figures.
Do swap the trousers of your trouser suit for a leather skirt, printed trouser or ‘I know I said not to’ skinny jeans (only if it really is a jeans type date). Make sure it is a one button, long and lean fit, with narrow lapels that sits just above the thigh; a shorter boxier fit looks dated. Wear with a relaxed shirt or simple fitted top and contrast colour pointy stilettos.
Don’t wear shoes that you can’t walk in. If you can’t do a high stiletto go for a block heel or a narrow wedge. High ankle boots or fierce sandals when paired with a solid colour work dress or slim fit trousers instantly take an outfit from work into play. For those of us with less than model like leg proportions go for a neutral boot or shoe when bare legged, as it gives the illusion of longer legs.
Do add a piece of statement jewellery; a detailed coloured necklace will transform any outfit adding a touch of glamour. Don’t go overboard though; stick to one bold piece, otherwise you could end up looking like a set of Christmas lights.
Don’t take along your enormous tote bag that has all your discarded clothes etc in it. Arrive at the date with a clutch or shoulder bag giving the impression that your look is effortlessly thrown together, your date doesn’t have to know the full story. Well not until much further down the line………………………
Lisa O’Shaughnessy is the founder and owner of Always Stylish a personal stylist and shopping agency. Prior to this she worked as a Fashion Designer for 15 years for luxury and high street labels alike. Using her design experience she coach’s and styles a wide range of clients from successful professionals , to busy parents and high profile individuals of all ages. For monthly style tips and fashion advice subscribe to www.alwaysstylish.co.uk