Friday, June 10, 2011

Interesting first-date fashion tips for men

Let’s face it: Women love clothes. Why else are they constantly shopping and complimenting their girlfriends on that incredible new dress or pair of pumps? And while you may be wondering, “What does this have to do with me?” I’ll tell you: More and more, women are expecting — even demanding — that the men they date look as good as they do. In other words, showing up at a swanky gallery opening in your college hoodie and lucky sneakers may make that first date your last.

But passing their scrutinizing standards isn’t as hard as you think... nor does it involve blowing your bank account on a whole new wardrobe. Just keep these simple tips from fashion experts in mind to show women you do indeed have a clue when it comes to style.

Tip #1: Whatever you do, don’t wear khakis
To many men, khakis may seem like the perfect first-date standby, being that they are dressier than jeans but more casual than dress pants. But experts adamantly stress men should avoid wearing them on dates. “Khakis scream ‘casual workplace,’” explains Bruce Pask, style director of the men’s fashion magazine, Cargo. “They just don’t seem sexy.” Jeans, on the other hand, are — and they’re perfectly acceptable these days in nearly any dating scenario (barring a really fancy restaurant with a dress code). Just be sure to stick to the basic dark pair of jeans — no matter how much you paid for the overly distressed, hole-riddled, “rumpled,”
 bleached, faded or torn ones.
Tip #2: Give the striped dress shirt a rest
When it comes to impressing a woman, standing out from the crowd can be key — and on that front, nothing kills your chances quite like a striped dress shirt. Look around at a coffeehouse or restaurant. Aren’t stripes visible everywhere? That’s why you’ll do much better wearing a shirt with a subtler pattern. “Open it up at the neck and lose the tie, which can make a guy look a bit choked up,” says Pask. A nice polo shirt is a more casual alternative that also works well under a blazer. And last but not least, your shirt should be tucked in. “A shirt halfway in, halfway out is a big pet peeve of mine,” says Kelly Rae, fashion and grooming director of Stuff magazine. “I like a guy who knows to tuck it in.”
Tip #3: A little color goes a long way
Unless you’re heading out to meet an emo chick, dressing all in black is a bit morose. “And don’t wear beige,” says Rae. “Neutral colors are boring.” On the other end of the spectrum, too much flash could be a glaring distraction, so don’t try to stand out with a hot pink T-shirt, fire-engine red sweater, or shirt covered in some designer logo. A jewel-toned sweater (maroon, forest green, cobalt blue, etc.) over a white dress shirt will make an attractive, not-too-staid but not-too-flashy statement.

Tip #4: Give attention to your footwear
Women, as you well know, are shoe-obsessed and will immediately take note of what you’ve decided to step out in this evening. The good news? Barring “work shoes” (like wingtips or loafers), any footwear — even sneakers — can look fine, especially with jeans. Boots are also appropriate; Pask says anything from motorcycle boots to a more refined version are fine. Now, the bad news: You’d better make sure those shoes look great. Polish them, and remove any scuff marks or crud that’s collected on the sides or in your soles. A man who maintains his shoes can be trusted to be detail-oriented in other areas of his life, from his home to a new relationship.

Tip #5: Don’t forget the details
Shirt, check; jeans, check; shoes, check... think you’re in the clear? Not quite, say our experts. Paying attention to the particulars is what will really convince a gal you’re a cut above the average. “What you wear should speak to your individuality,” says Rae. “If you’re wearing a shirt with French cuffs, wear interesting cufflinks.” And don’t overlook your socks. “White gym socks belong at the gym,” says Rae. “Anything with a pattern can be fun.” She suggests looking for something with a design, like hearts or diamonds: “If he can pull the right socks off, he’s a winner.”