Monday, September 8, 2008

Preparing Wears and Outfit for Your First Date

Because your date evaluates your appearance from the outside in, I’m starting with the least important part of you, but the most important part of an initial impression: how you look — what you’re wearing, how you smell, your haircut.
What you wear — your “costume” — counts. A person dressed as a clown is seen as silly; a clown dressed as a judge is taken seriously. Think about the clichés that apply: You are what you wear. Clothes make the man. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There’s a reason these clichés, hackneyed as they are, stick. Though everyone hates to admit it, we’re an externally-oriented society. So expecting (hoping, praying, making a deal with the dating gods) that your date will look beyond your favorite sneakers with the toe hole or that muumuu you bought at the souvenir hut in Hawaii, to the deep, spiritual, real you hidden within is spitting into the wind. In other words, you’re all wet. Get over it. Looks matter . . . no matter how much you wish they didn’t. You can do something quickly and easily without working out, consulting a plastic surgeon, or spending a fortune. The place to start is with your own sense of yourself — your personal style — your statement about yourself. Yeah, you do have one. Your handwriting, laugh, and sleep position are all uniquely you. Guess what? Creating an external, aware style can be really fun. See Chapter 2 for tips on developing and revealing your own style. When you think about what you plan to wear on your date, keep the following points in mind:
  • Comfort is key. Even if your attire makes a fabulous first impression, avoid any outfit that pinches, binds, rides up, or threatens to burst at the seams. Believe in the Law of Murphy: All these things can and will happen at the worst possible moment.
  • Plan to perspire. Even the coolest cat sweats on a date. Even in winter. It’s nature’s way of lowering your overheated body temperature. Choose clothes that are loose in the armpits and on the back. Let air get in there and dry you out before the fabric presses to your flesh like a wet tissue.
  • Save the skin show. Your date doesn’t need to know if you’re an innie or an outie just yet — unless, of course, your date is at the beach.
  • A date is about getting to know you, not your outfit. Yes, what you wear is right up there with remembering to brush your teeth, but if the first thing he sees is your ostrich feather, or she has to don sunglasses to look at your day-glo polyester pants, your outfit may never be asked out on a second date.
  • Avoid “get-ups.” If your mother would dub your date outfit a “get-up” (as in, “You’re going out in that get-up?”), play it safe and get up and get something else on. Moms, after all, do occasionally know best. This is no time to test the truth of the theory.
Now is the time to control your urge to splurge. I know it’s tough. (My favorite four-letter word is “sale.”) But beware of the 50-percent trap (if you wouldn’t buy it for full price, don’t buy it at half price). Ostensibly, this is the first of many dates. You don’t want to rope yourself into a lifetime of revolving debt or watch your date’s face fall after your horsemen have turned back into mice and your carriage is one big fat pumpkin again.

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