What’s in your closet that you absolutely love?

Diving back into the dating scene? Whether it’s your first (or second) date, you’ll feel more confident and relaxed when you look your best.

Let’s start with the basics. What kind of date is it? Casual outdoors? Dinner date with drinks? Choose your outfit based on where you are going and be sure you wear something that you really love and you feel comfortable in. (And I’m not talking about sweats!)

What colors do you love? Steer away from anything too loud or bold. You want your personality to stand out and not the pattern on your shirt. Don’t go overboard with cologne or perfume and make sure your hair is clean and you are well groomed.

First Impressions Are Everything

First impressions are everything on your first date. Wearing your most ripped jeans might not be the way to go on a first date. Avoid visual distractions. This can be makeup or a stain on your clothing, teeth that aren’t white enough, a plunging neckline, an ill fitting bra, too much cologne, all can add to visual distraction. Use discretion! Remember, you want to be seen for who you are as a person and to come through in a very authentic way to be heard. 

Ladies, wear shoes that you can walk in comfortably on a first date. Guys, make sure your shirts are pressed! (Try taking a few of your favorite shirts to be laundered and pressed. It’s cheap and it makes all the difference.) Are your shoes scuffed and beat up looking? Clean, pressed fresh-looking clothing is the way to go.

You want to be able to relax and be yourself. Isn’t that the point? So what is in your closet that will allow you to feel really good when you go out to meet someone for the first time. 

The Outdoor Date

Let’s start with the basics by keeping it casual. Outdoor dates call for your favorite pair of jeans, as long as the fit isn’t too tight or too baggy. Casual clothing should always have a little stretch for comfort. Wear a comfortable top and add a layer such as a puffer vest or jacket. Choose shoes based on the activity, and make sure you have cute socks to show off if you end up taking your shoes off to change into skates or other special equipment.

When you look good, you feel great. How you feel is worn on your sleeve, especially when you’re diving back into the dating scene. Whether it’s your first (or second) date, you’ll feel more confident and relaxed when you look your best. Leave your anxiety behind with my expert tips on how to dress for any occasion.

The Casual Date

For an indoor date to an art gallery or a coffee shop, start by being yourself. If you normally dress for comfort, wear slacks and your best pair of flat boots.

Once you’ve chosen the “security blanket” portion of your outfit — a favorite piece that makes you feel gorgeous every time — plan the rest of your look around it, but give it a stylish boost. Add a tailored blazer left casually unbuttoned over jeans, or dress things up with a great new scarf or necklace. Sticking to one layering piece and one signature accessory (blazer or cardigan, scarf or necklace) will keep things clean and casual.

The Dressy Date

Dinner at a fancy restaurant is actually the easiest kind of date to dress for because you get to wear a dress! If you already have a favorite knee-length dress, wear it. If not, it’s time to get one. You’ll feel sexier and prettier in a dress than in a slack.

Choose a dress that flatters your figure — a wrap dress is always a great choice — in a color that compliments your skin tone. Leave loud patterns alone. Accessorize your look with a sparkly necklace, earrings, and heels. Changing accessories gives dresses you already own a second life. Leave your big handbag at home this time — a small clutch or shoulder bag is enough to hold your phone and lipstick without detracting from your look.

Last, but not least: don’t forget to smile! It’s a major part of your style, and it works with every outfit. After all, dating should be fun, especially when you’re dressed for the occasion.