First date duds and mistakes. Wardrobe ideas for men and women

While it’s not true that the clothes make the first date, a bad ensemble sure can kill the chances for a second.

Wardrobe ideas for first dateWhat to wear, what to wear? Flowers are blooming, birds are singing. Is it spring? Well yes, but it could be snowing and you’d still see butterflies and sunshine; you’ve finally got a date with the person you’ve had your eye on for the entire semester. You’re even catching yourself spontaneously breaking into renditions of Frank Sinatra tunes.

You’ve probably pictured the whole date in your mind, right? You know exactly what you’ll do, what you’ll say and what you’ll — oops … what will you wear? The clothing is critical; it can make you look attractive but not too sexy, smart but not stuffy, interested but not desperate, trendy but not immature. But how to strike this delicate balance of ultimate desirability? If you’re suddenly panicked, do not fear. The following will provide you with inexpensive wardrobe ideas that will help you make a great impression.

In search of a solution to the college student wardrobe problem (too many pairs of jeans and hiking boots, not enough cash for anything else), you’ve probably thumbed through the fashion magazines to find a solution to the wardrobe problem. There, you’ve seen a bunch of women with two-hundred dollar feathered boas and spiked heels. They’re no help. What you need is something practical that fits your budget. Here are some ideas that you can choose from, depending on where he’s taking you.

The Casual Date: Coffee
Dates in cafes are more casual than others, so your clothing can be a little more casual. Take the khaki pants idea one step further by wearing khaki drawstring pants (you can find inexpensive ones at Old Navy), or try a pair of Capri pants, one of this season’s favorites. Wear a black cardigan sweater, with a matching black shell underneath, and you’ve got a classic look that’s neither too dressy nor too casual. If you do want to dress it up a bit, you can add a silk scarf from The Gap for less than twenty dollars.

The Cliche Date: Dinner and a Movie
If you’re going to a nice restaurant it’s a good idea to scrap the pants and go for a dressier look (it’s always smart to call the restaurant ahead of time to inquire about their dress code). You can find a short, just-above-the-knee skirt for under twenty dollars at Target or Mervyn’s California. Pastels are always perfect for springtime, so look for something in a light blue or pink with a soft floral print. Pair this with a solid colored top and you’ve got an outfit you can wear again and again. To compliment this look try a soft pastel eye shadow like Seashell Pink from Clinique and a coat of black mascara.

You want to look good but you don’t want her to think you spent too much time on it, right? Check out these ideas that are sure to impress.

The Casual Date: Coffee
You can never go wrong with khakis. They convey a very clean-cut look. You can also try neutral-colored corduroys, in beige or green. Wear a solid color button-down shirt opened, over a white T-shirt and a belt, and sandals. Or try a polo shirt and cargo pants or shorts (Old Navy has inexpensive ones). This is casual yet still shows that you put time into looking nice for her.

The Cliche Date: Dinner and a Movie
What you wear on this date depends on where you’re taking her. If you’re going to a bar and grill sort of place you can wear a cleaned-up version of the coffee date look. Button the shirt and tuck it in, and instead of sandals wear shoes with laces (not sneakers.) If it’s still somewhat cold outside you can wear a sweater over the shirt and always take it off if the restaurant is warm.

If you’re going to a fancier restaurant wear dressier pants — the sort you’d wear with a sport coat — and a dress shirt. Stay away from stripes or plaids and go with something simpler, like a solid blue or green shirt, and a basic tie.

It’s not necessary to spend a lot to look good. You probably have most of these items in your closet already, it’s just a matter of putting them together. If you do need to buy something check out stores like Target and T.J. Maxx. They often have current fashions for cheaper prices. Also scan the sale racks at The Gap and Banana Republic. You’ll often find in-season clothes on sale because the stores introduce new items many times per season and need to make room. So … now that you’ve got the outfit, you can concentrate on getting that second date.

In Case the Right Clothes Aren’t Enough

“I say, if the date is going so badly that both of you are miserable, it is up to you to make it weird. Just snap. Lose your mind. Start singing out loud in the middle of dinner. Order chesecake and offer to feed it to him/her. Play ‘catch’ with the dinner rolls.
Or, you could do what one girl did to me. This was a first date, and she was insane, so it threw me for a loop. After dinner, after some rather strained conversation, she told me to take her home, which I started to do. On the way, she directed me into the worst part of town imaginable, a place full of abandoned warehouses, alleys, and run-down businesses. She directs me to drive down an alley, gets out of the car, walks over to the wall, and opens a garage door. I drive in, and we play hide and seek for three hours in a warehouse full of sex toys. . . naked.

Of course, that requires some preparation.

Why was this a bad date? The whole time we’re running around like lunatics, she’s screaming at the top of her lungs. Later, (we never did have sex), she tells me about her awful childhood, and how much she wanted to kill her parents.
Yes, kill.
It didn’t salvage the date, per se, but it certainly made it more entertaining. And, that was six years ago — I’m still talking about it.” -Cooter

Got advice for salvaging a first date going badly? How about a juicy first date story? Talk about it in our comments