First Impressions Are Everything: Here’s How to Make a Great One

Posted by in dating after divorce, dating in midlife, first date success | 0 comments

first impressions Dating. For some, it can be a four-letter word. Others jump at the opportunity to date as much as possible. Whether you fall on one side of the spectrum or the other—or land somewhere in between—one thing is true, no matter how cliché it is: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. Recent studies show that first impressions are often made in an incredibly short amount of time, perhaps even less than a second.

The reality is (and everyone is guilty of this to some degree) that human beings are judgmental creatures. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as there are good judgments as well as bad ones, and understanding this can be to your advantage when meeting someone for the first time. Knowing that first impressions are made before you even have a chance to say a single word, take a little extra time on your appearance.

First Impressions Matter: Dress to Impress

The business world has a saying: Dress for the job you want, not the job you have. This can be equally true in dating. Dress for the man you want: sporty, casual, formal, powerful, outrageous. The clothing options are endless and can be adjusted to fit any situation or environment. Don’t be afraid to pick up a new dress or outfit that says exactly what you want to say, rather than falling back on “old faithful” and hoping it works this time. Companies like Free People offer easy, breezy dress designs for every situation and almost any budget.

Don’t forget to accessorize, and do it tastefully. Mix and match your favorite combinations and styles. Remember, though, that accessories are there to enhance the outfit, not outshine it—except shoes. Shoes can define an outfit. Make sure yours are not only stylish but comfortable, so as not to take your attention away from the night if your feet begin to hurt. And consider bringing a second pair in case the night’s activities don’t support the ones you are wearing.

Finish off your look with a great bag. Respected designers like Coach makehandsome shoulder bags that punctuate your style with a classy panache. And remember, just because he doesn’t mention your shoes or bag, that doesn’t mean he didn’t notice.

Be Authentic and Confident

One of the biggest turn-offs for men is when a woman is trying to be something that she is not. Authenticity is attractive on a subtle level, so make sure your outfit fits who you are. If you’ve never worn a dress in your life, a first date might not be the time to start—not because you wouldn’t look fabulous, but because you might not feel confident. The last thing you want is for your outfit to become the focus rather than you. If you are uncomfortable and fidgeting, he will notice.

Remember that your outfit is as much for you as it is for him. If you are comfortable and confident, it will come across in your personality and energy, and few things are more attractive to men than a woman who is confident and likes the way she looks. Dress to impress you, not him; if you do it right, he will be impressed as well.

How do you dress for a first date?

Photo credit: Shutterstock

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