This is a response to Gaga’s sartorial post.
Actually it’s never occurred to me to do the ‘I am wearing’ chat beforehand. “I will be the gentleman in the scarlet fedora drinking Baileys from a shoe.” But then I’m not arranging dates with J-girls at the NY Asian Film Festival, so the task of identification is generally pretty easy. Take a good look at those profile photos before leaving your apartment.
Swapping phone numbers before the date is essential though. Did I tell the story of how I once arranged a date at a bar that did not exist? Oh how I laughed.
Tip: your date venue should actually exist in the physical universe
This was how I arrived at one of the vital first-date rules, specifically ‘at least one person must have been there before.’ As a young n00b I thought I would do some exploring at the same time as the date. Two birds, one stone. I fired up yelp.com to locate a venue. I trusted the internets.
So I turn up at this UES address – which appears to be a hotel – and ask the front desk lady if this was bar X. She looked at me a bit like Marty McFly had stumbled in from another century wearing an orange life preserver. Her bemused response was along the lines of, ‘that bar closed over a year ago.’ Turns out the last yelp review was over a year old and I didn’t notice. FAIL.
Without phone contact that extremely embarrassing incident could have been a deal-breaking disaster. As it was, I got away with it, just. Again I’d say the critical thing in the face of an almighty fuckup is to be mostly amused and briefly apologetic, rather than dwelling on it with cringing embarrassment.
Get to the clothes already
So here’s the thing: I am a bloke. I do not recognise designer. Well apart from if the article has those cutesy little wingding shapes on it, then it’s Louis Vitton. That’s about it.
That said, what you ladies wear absolutely makes an impression, even if I couldn’t tell you what the label inside says. It does register.
In fact as an exercise, let’s see if I can reconstruct from memory what some 2010 first-dates were wearing, and what effect it had on me.
What they wore
Annie turned up all in black: black sweater, black jeans, black boots. Like a ninja costume, an absence of information, I could fathom nothing about what lay underneath. She could have been any shape really. At the same time it struck me as classy and somehow adorable; I just wanted to put her on a sofa and cuddle. Big earrings looking cute under her hair.
Bertha had a punky-but-feminine thing going on. Lip piercing, bangs. Pale pink dress, a hint of cleavage and an abundance of skirt over chunky boots. Definitely got the impression this was someone in charge of their look.
Celia was similarly into the dresses, long patterned skirts this time. On top there were so many layers that again it was impossible to get a sense of her build; a definite negative if you’re trying to inspire lust in someone.
It was after meeting Daphne that it really occurred to me how important your choice of date clothes is. She struck me immediately as being shockingly under-dressed for the occasion; in the sense of, I just whacked on a pair of black leggings and this top, nice to meet you. Top marks for the low-cutness of the shirt, but the rest of it didn’t make me feel special at all.
Erica told me about how her friends had prepped her for the date. Their advice included the gem, ‘don’t wear a skirt or you will come across as easy‘. I disagree. Hawt yes, slutty no. So given that restriction she had a fairly vanilla setup with dark blue jeans over brown boots, and a nicely cut navy blouse with pulse-firing cleavage on show.
Farrah I’m kind of blank on, which is weird as it was recently. She wore a long summery dress and possibly-home-made artsy jewellery, I remember that. Nothing that blew me away or made me want to kill myself anyway.
What’s the summary from this? Feminine is good; don’t bury your shape unless there’s a good reason; boobs are important.
Tips for blokes
I mostly agree with everything Gaga said for guys; though personally I’d never go with anything involving a suit unless you have to come directly from work. A tie, maybe, but on the condition it’s loose and casual, not all Dwight from The Office (Gareth for British readers).
A shirt with a collar is pretty much the safest bet you can make. Roll the sleeves up, job done: sexy and relaxed. A great T-shirt can just about be pulled off (if you see what I mean) but frankly it’s a bit Jersey Shore.
My favoured setup is dead simple:
- Clean shave
- Dark-rimmed specs
- Plain white buttoned shirt, skinny fit, sleeves rolled up neatly just below the elbow
- Dark blue Diesel jeans, get some that fit you properly and don’t hang off your ass in shapeless fashion!
- Slightly battered brown leather shoes, dignified without being too fancy