What to Wear On a First Date: Guide for Women

Dress with the weather in mind.

If you're suffering from those all too familiar, I have nothing to wear! jitters, it's time to get acquainted with our "what to wear on a first date" guide for women. Putting together an impressive outfit may be important, but your comfort is what truly matters most.

The First Date Outfit

Most women understand all too well the nerves that accompany a first date. Whether it's a blind date or a date with that special someone you've had your eye on for a while, chances are it's causing a few butterflies to take up permanent residence in your stomach. That's okay - it's normal. If you're concerned about the fact that you seemingly have nothing to wear…well, that happens to be completely normal, too.

Truth be told, your outfit can make a big difference in your confidence level on date night. Think about how great you feel when your hair looks perfect, when your makeup is flawless or when you're wearing that flattering dress that never fails to turn heads. You stand a bit taller, walk with a more confident stride and generally feel fantastic about yourself. Now imagine feeling that way on date night - yes, that very same date you're slightly antsy about right now. Your outfit can have a great effect on your peace of mind!

What to Wear on a First Date: Guide for Women

Getting to know your date and discovering just how compatible you are may be goal number one of the date itself, but you have your work cut out for you beforehand, too. First things first: location. You'll want to dress appropriately depending on where you're headed. You'll also want to consider the weather. Check the forecast and dress accordingly. With these two bits of information at your disposal, you can work on choosing the right ensemble.

In general, the key is to keep it somewhat casual, unless you're heading somewhere that demands otherwise. You don't want to go over the top, nor do you want to appear sloppy. A well-edited ensemble is generally on the laid-back side, makes you feel comfortable, fits well and exudes just the slightest hint of sexiness. Here are some outfit ideas to get you started:

  • You can almost never go wrong with a cute, easy jersey dress. Opt for black if you're headed out for dinner and a movie (or any evening event). It's easy to accessorize with a light, colorful scarf, drop earrings, low heels or flats and a complementary clutch to finish it off. Slip on a cropped contrasting cardigan (and skip the scarf) if you tend to get chilly.
  • Jeans may not be job interview-worthy, but they sure are first date-appropriate. Though they're casual, they're easy to dress up. A pair of dark rinse jeans is especially flattering. Pair them with strappy metallic heels, a flirty satin tank top and some matching metallic jewelry. A chic clutch or light shoulder bag completes the look perfectly.
  • The dilemma: It's 100 degrees and you're going to be outside. Jeans are out, and you'd honestly be most comfortable in a pair of shorts. The good news? You can get away with that if you're spending the majority of time outdoors. Choose a pair of dressy trouser shorts and pair them with a simple, contrasting tank top. Finish with a focal accessory, such as a few chain necklaces, and a pair of cute flats or gladiator sandals.
  • On the rare occasion that your first date is especially dressy, choose your colors based on the season. A spring or summer fete demands a colorful cocktail dress; try a cream or ivory base etched with a floral print and heels. During the winter, a more dramatic dress with tights, Mary Jane heels and a fitted coat is appropriate.

Helpful Tips

Just like dressing for the occasion and weather are appropriate, there are a few extra tips you should consider when dressing for that first date. It wouldn't be a "what to wear on a first date" guide for women without them:

  • Nix the sloppy attire. There is no reason to show up in baggy T-shirts, sweatpants, yoga pants and the like. In fact, lose the baggy clothes altogether; they generally are not flattering. Of course, if you're doing something active you will need to choose your outfit based on that, but avoid the "I-just-rolled-out-of-bed" look at all costs.
  • Don't go the all-black route either. Even if your main color is black, a pop of color will serve you well.
  • It's fine to reveal some skin, but don't go overboard. Balance a short skirt with a more modest top, and vice versa. Leaving a little to the imagination is always a good thing.
  • Don't forget the ever-important focal point accessory. It serves to add some visual interest to a simple outfit and provides contrast to a more complex one. Great examples include a piece of bold cocktail jewelry, a vibrant clutch or a colorful scarf.
  • Most importantly, be yourself. There are no actual hard and fast rules for first date dressing beyond that. Don't be someone you're not and don't dress in anything you don't feel comfortable wearing. If it's meant to work out, your outfit won't prevent that from happening. Your only job is to make a great first impression!
What to Wear On a First Date: Guide for Women