Men’s fashion tips: What to wear on a first date

Getting out of those sweatpants and into fashions that look and feel good is the goal. Stylist Darcy Camden says authenticity matters when it comes to our clothes.

SEATTLE — New Day’s stylist and Founder and Chief Stylist of Styled Seattle Darcy Camden is back with more fashion tips! This time, she’s here with do’s and don’ts if you’re a gentlemen dressing to impress on a date. Getting out of those sweatpants and into fashions that look and feel good is the goal Darcy wants you to set for yourself. Here’s how you can: 

#1. DO wear something you genuinely like that feels comfortable to you. I’ve been helping a lot of men re-enter the dating world, and the very first thing we talk about is authenticity. It’s good to be open to change and new ideas about style, and branching out can be exciting and even fun, but you should never buy or wear something that you really don’t like. In the dating world, you’re trying to attract someone who likes the real you, and your style should enhance and flatter your best qualities.

#2. DON’T be afraid of “hard pants.” I’m hearing a lot of men complaining about hard pants, i.e. any pants that are not sweatpants. I get it. Sweatpants are comfortable, and many people who work from home have no reason to wear anything else most of the time. The mistake is assuming that nice jeans or other dressier pants are going be uncomfortable. I love a brand called DU/ER that makes the most comfortable jeans. They’re soft and stretchy, but they look really nice. (Shopduer.com)

#3. DO have a “third piece” ready. Third piece is a fashion term for something like a jacket or a blazer that you wear in addition to your shirt and pants. I think third pieces are essential to a dating wardrobe. A blazer is a must-have for nice dinners, and I recommend dark blue or grey that pairs well with dark jeans or tan pants. For more casual dates, I recommend a Shacket (shirt+jacket). Shakets are lighter than a coat but more substantial than a shirt, and you wear them open over a nice t-shirt. (Madewell.com)

#4. DON’T forget about shoes. Shoes make the outfit. I always say that shoes are like the punctuation at the end of a sentence. They can change the whole thing! And I’m surprised how many men have gotten away from wearing anything other than slippers or running shoes. When it comes to dating, you can never go wrong with a leather sneaker. It’s grown-up and elevated without being too serious or overly formal. (Good Man Brand Edge Lo Top Sneaker, thehouseoflrc.com)

#5. DON’T be afraid to ask if you’re not sure what to wear on a date. After 2-plus years of pandemic, everyone is feeling a little out of sorts when it comes to dressing up for anything. If you’re going on a date with someone new and you genuinely don’t know what to wear, it’s OK to have a light conversation about it. “I’ve never been to that restaurant before. What should I wear?” If anything, you’ll bond over a shared confusion.

Finally, if you’re venturing into the dating world and setting up an online profile DO consider hiring a professional photographer. In addition to providing high-quality current photos, it can be a real confidence booster and a fun experience to work with a pro to get some really great photos of yourself.

Darcy Camden is Founder and Chief Stylist of Styled Seattle: Your Personal Wardrobe Stylist. Watch New Day Northwest 11 AM weekdays on KING 5 and streaming live on KING5.com. Contact New Day.