Larah Hunt, from the footwear retailer Charles Clinkard, shares her top tips for nailing your first date dress code this festive season.
We all know dates can be pretty nerve-wracking, particularly if it’s your first time meeting a new person. And, while your mind might be preoccupied thinking of the venue, activities and even how to fill any awkward silences, it’s important to remember that first impressions count. So, whether you’re planning on heading to a posh restaurant to wine and dine your date, or you’re wanting to visit the Christmas markets, you’ll need a stylish outfit to wow your date with this festive season. And here, I’ll be showing you just how to do this.
Select on-trend colours
Before you pluck out your trusty sweatshirt from the wardrobe, you might want to give your outfit some more thought. The winter season, and Christmas especially, is a time to try out warm, rich colours like burgundy, camel and bottle green. For men who are planning on wearing their most flattering black jeans, incorporating a seasonal colour somewhere into your outfit won’t go unnoticed: a camel scarf, a deep checked tartan shirt or a burgundy knit will be perfect statement pieces for this and will ensure you look winter-ready.
For women looking to stay stylish and warm, picking a dress can be difficult. So, why not take some inspiration from the A/W18 catwalks and incorporate corduroy into your date night fit? Pinafores are all the rage at the moment, as are A-line skirts, so I recommend choosing one of these in a corduroy fabric. Pair them with some complementary ankle boots and tights for extra style points. Whatever you choose, just remember that for a first date, less is more. You won’t want to startle your date with an overload of clashing prints and patterns!
Choose suitable shoes
The British winter is notoriously unpredictable, so you’ll need some stylish shoes that are also practical. With plenty of wet weather to contend with, you should be thinking smartly about the shoe material you’ll choose: unprotected suede can get ruined quickly from downpours, but treated leather will be much more weather-resistant. So, if you’re a man looking to impress with some undeniably smart shoes, I’d recommend checking the weather forecast ahead of your date and selecting your footwear accordingly.
For ladies being whisked to a posh restaurant who are wanting to impress with their best heels, it’s worth considering whether a block heel or platform shoe might be better. These styles are a bit easier to walk in and so will be less hazardous on any wet ground.
Pick stylish layers
It can be difficult to feel your best when you’re bundled up in coats and jumpers, but no date is worth freezing for! You’ll want to keep warm during the colder months leading up to Christmas and a great way to do that and still stay stylish is to pick thin layers.
For both men and women, this could include putting a T-shirt underneath your jumper so that you’re cosy when wandering the Christmas markets: this way, you can shed some layers and still look great when you’re sat inside toasty bars and restaurants. You could even choose to wear a larger coat, like a puffer, so that you don’t have to wear as many layers. And, as big coats are bang on-trend this season, you’re guaranteed to look stylish.
Co-ordinate your accessories
The festive period is a great opportunity to get some stunning knitted accessories that’ll really tie your outfit together. I recommend opting for matching sets, such as co-ordinating hats, gloves and scarves for the perfect finishing touches that’ll keep you cosy throughout date night.
If you’re wanting to impress with jewellery, it’s key to remember that sometimes it’s better to be subtle. Men might prefer to stick to one statement piece like a designer watch, or to finish off their dinner shirt with a pair of stunning vintage cufflinks.
Women can get away with wearing a bit more jewellery, as long as you pick out understated items which complement one another. Draw attention to your décolletage with a delicate necklace and wear the matching earrings too for a chic aesthetic. The little details can make the biggest impact, so think carefully about these!
Dressing for a first date can seem daunting, but with my top tips and some forward planning, you’re bound to impress your date this festive season.