7 Mistakes People Make When Dressing for a First Date

29. December 2010

Preparing for a first date can be a nerve-wracking process. A first date only happens once, and a second date may not happen at all. For this reason, the stakes are never higher and the pressure is never greater than when prepping for that first meeting. Because of the overwhelming tension, many people make bonehead mistakes while getting ready; mistakes that can easily be avoided by paying attention to these seven rules.

1. Deodorant on a Shirt

FIX IT: Rub the shirt against its own material and deodorant will lift off.
The biggest and most embarrassing of the offenders on the list, there is no more tell-tale sign of spazism than the zebra-striped Secret stain.

What makes this offense so unforgivable is the fact it is so easily avoidable. By simply putting on a shirt and then diving under the surface to apply deodorant, you can make sure that the deodorant rub-off stays inside your shirt where nobody can see it. For those who much prefer to apply the anti-stink-stick while topless, simply rolling the bottom half of your shirt into an inside-out position will also easily ensure that none of the shirt’s exterior touches the pits on the way down.

2. New clothes sticky stripe/tags

FIX IT: Pre-wash your clothes, or carefully wet the strip where a sticker was placed.
Although buying new clothes for the big night is perfectly acceptable, leaving traces of the purchase is an amateur mistake. One that makes you look like a tool.

Not only should all tags be cut and removed, but all new clothes should be ironed to get rid of that “fresh from the store” look. Here’s a helpful hint to eliminate a tell-tale sign of new clothing: when removed from a shirt or pants, the size sticker often leaves behind an adhesive residue, which over the course of the night can collect lint and create a sticker-shaped shadow.

3. Obsessing and Restyling

FIX IT: Get a private stylist, like Tyra, or primp until good enough and quit.
Nobody is perfect, and trying to look as though you are is a futile task. Most importantly, it is also a time-consuming task, which is why stressing over the slightest details should be avoided at all costs.

Trying to keep each strand of hair in the perfect place, or shave every square inch of your face will usually result in having to start over or bleeding profusely. While attention to detail and taking your time is important, it is critical to remember that nothing is ever perfect. Even if you manage to put yourself in ideal condition, the wear and tear of moving and breathing over an extended period of time will undoubtedly ruin it.

4. Too much Perfume/cologne

FIX IT: Spray your perfume once into the air, and walk through the cloud.
Smelling good is a crucial part of the courting process. Smelling like a French whore is slightly more off-putting.

For women, a hint of perfume is just enough to stay fresh and sweet-smelling all night long. For men, one spray is all you need. Remember, the point of perfume and cologne is to enhance your natural pheromones, not to drown them out. Perfume and cologne are nice, but making your dates eyes water is not.

5. Too Much Makeup

FIX IT: Take a warm cotton towel, and press against powders. Use eye makeup remover for creams.
Once again, the point of makeup is to enhance natural beauty. Nobody wants to date a clown (except maybe another clown).

Makeup should be used to highlight features, not to paint-by-numbers around them. While many women falsely believe that more is better, makeup is definitely a situation where less is more. The goal is to one day feel comfortable in front of the other person without wearing makeup. If that goal is never achieved because he can’t pick you out of a lineup without the face paint, then you may have some real problems on your hands.

6. Trying too hard

FIX IT: Wear something you own already with new accessories.
The point of a first date is to put your best foot forward. This point is moot when you are actually putting somebody else’s foot forward.

Leather pants, low-cut tops and three-piece suits may be your style. However, if those things have never come within 50 feet of your wardrobe, a first date is not the night to start. For a first date you should look like yourself on your best day; no more, no less. This means picking an outfit you are comfortable in, and that represents your all-around style, NOT something you saw on MTV that day. Obeying this rule will help you feel more relaxed and comfortable and greatly increases your chances of the date going well.

7. Not Trying Hard Enough

FIX IT: Put twice the amount of time you usually spend getting ready on your date, or he might not recognize you (yeah, you, Mischa!)
People should look nice and show that they are putting forth the same effort as their date. This can be as simple as wearing your “nice jeans” or as complex as wearing a tie or cute dress. Once again, overdoing it is not an option, but you definitely want your date to think that you are taking the night seriously.


Although it is most often the result of nerves, there are some first date dressing mistakes that are simply unforgivable. By reviewing this list and remembering that keeping it simple is always the best choice, you can ensure that your first date get-up will only help you to get to the second one.


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