Last night, Match.com’s Stir events hosted its first ever women-only soiree for stylish single ladies at the Rebecca Taylor store in NYC, where women sipped, noshed, and learned all about the hottest new trends and accessories for perfect first date fashion. Style for Hire, a national network of personal stylists all handpicked by Stacy London of TLC’s “What Not To Wear,” provided stylists to help the ladies choose items that highlight their best features and make a lasting first impression.
So what are the secrets to women’s perfect first date fashion? Style for Hire stylists Samantha Brown and Kim Naci put together a list of 12 styling tips for women when choosing a first date ensemble- see below for slideshow and full interview with the stylists!
-An interview with Samantha Brown and Kim Naci of Style for Hire-
1. What is the best type of romantic outfit to make a lasting first impression?
Samantha: The best outfit to wear on a first date is something that you’re completely comfortable in. Show a little skin, but not too much! If you have a favorite color, or one that makes you feel particularly confident, this is the time to wear it.
Kim: A dress. Always a dress. Any season and any time, a dress is the fastest way to make yourself approachable. I don’t care if it has bloodthirsty dragons splayed across the front (a conversation starter, at the very least) a dress is a tease and comes equipped with confidence.
2. What type of date is it “OK” to dress a little casual?
Samantha: You can dress casually for any date that takes place during the day, for a movie, or to an athletic game. If you’re wearing jeans, make sure to pair them with fun or interesting accessories–its good to look like you still made some effort, even if you’re just amping up denim and a casual top. Opt for ballet flats, boots or wedges–stay away from sneakers.
Kim: “A little casual” has many different interpretations. For some, it means downgrading from a heel to a flat. For others, it means (ack!) sweatpants. Men are not complicated. A big turn off is fussiness; too much make-up, hair that can’t be touched or risk getting wet running from the cab to the restaurant. Both put a damper on how the guy imagines the evening will end! If you’re watching a soccer game in the park or going to a beer garden, choose a flat, stylish boot and pair it with tights, a skirt and a soft sweater. Even if the date is a casual, it’s still a DATE.
3. Where and how to find the perfect jeans to fit your body? Can you recommend any faves that are not “mom” jeans?
Samantha: The most flattering denim line that I’ve come across is AG Jeans. I always recommend bringing in multiple styles and sizes–not all jeans are created equal! It’s important to ignore the sizing and purchase the pair with the best fit. Mid-rise, dark wash and boot cut are the most flattering.
Kim: Let me destroy the myth right here. There may not always be a perfect pant. Just like when choosing a mate, the pursuit of perfection is futile. You will have find things you love (“my tush looks amazing in these!”) and things you could do without (“you know, they’ve made tremendous strides in tattoo removal treatments”) in both circumstances. The magic lies in tailoring. If you find a jean that fits perfectly through the leg and thigh but too big at the waist, have your tailor take in the waistband. An easy adjustment. Too much flare at the cuff? Again, a quick trip to the tailor can tone them down.
4. What type of outfit/shirt is seen as too revealing?
Samantha: When dressing for a date, choose one area to show off instead of multiple areas. Stay away from short hemlines and low necklines at the same time. If you feel like you’re self conscious or tugging at your top, its probably too low cut. You always want to leave something to the imagination.
Kim: No crop tops. You know exactly what I’m talking about. Unless it’s 1984 and you’re on stage signing about being “touched for the very first time”, revealing your navel is a no-no.
5. Is a dress/skirt the best option to go with for the first date?
Samantha: If you’re a woman who typically dresses in skirts/dresses, than yes, it’s totally appropriate. A great pair of jeans with heels and a flirty blouse is also a great option. Wear something that shows your personality and that makes you feel confident.
Kim: In the wise words of Diane Von Furstenberg, “Feel like a woman. Wear a dress.”
6. What type of outfit is best to wear when meeting the parents for the first time?
Samantha: What to wear for this important meeting has a lot to do with the location and context of the meeting. If its dinner, you can’t go wrong with a nice sheath dress and accessories that show off your personality. If it’s a more casual setting, trouser jeans and a nice blouse (nothing revealing!) paired with a cute shoe will do the trick.
Kim: Something that looks like you made an effort but did not try too hard. A sweater dress is a flat boot is the right amount of approachability. It says “I’m nurturing and a good listener” but not “I bake apple pies and will be a good surrogate mother to your son.”
7. Are there any rules for wearing color and dating?
Samantha: When you first start dating, you want to show your “true colors” through your personality and not necessarily your wardrobe. Your clothing is a great tool to enhance and set the tone for the type of person you are, just make sure not to overshadow that by having your outfit make more of an impression than your conversation.
Kim: Try to keep brightness around your face. If you want to wear black, make sure the neckline doesn’t come up to your face. Choose a fail-safe neckline, like a V-neck or jewel neck. Add a necklace with a little sparkle. This brings visual interest and youthfulness to your face. If you want to do a bold color, THIS is the season to do it! The jewel tomes are great and can be paired with so many other hues. A bright pink is universally flattering and brings out the natural hue of our cheeks. Like we just emerged from yoga class with Gwyneth and Julianne Moore.
8. What type of outfit can be transitioned from day to night for a date?
Samantha: A great pair of jeans with a silk blouse and a leather jacket can still look very daytime but when the jacket is removed in the evening it can transition easily. Same goes for a graphic t-shirt for day, layered with a well-cut blazer for drinks in the evening. A sparkly necklace or dangling earrings can also make an outfit more evening appropriate.
Kim: A wrap dress is the perfect choice in this circumstance. Switch out your bag for a sexy clutch. Smoke up your eyes or pout out your lips. Already in a fun shoe? Great! If not, throw on a bold color or a snakeskin and strut your way to Date night.
9. Heels or Flats – what is best for a first date?
Samantha: A heel always looks a bit more dressed-up than a pair of flats, not to mention what they do for your posture and leg length. Make sure you choose a pair you can walk and stand in!
Kim: Shoes you can walk in. Him carrying you over a puddle is an act of gallantry; carrying you 12 blocks is torture. Depending on the location of the date, choose a shoe you feel and look good wearing. Designers have begun to listen to women and the cute + comfy shoe has become a reality. Some of my most deceptively comfortable heels are Coclico, Alexander McQueen, Rag & Bone and Kate Spade.
10. How can you look casual but classy in the same look for a date?
Samantha: Mix color and pattern with texture for a well-rounded, thoughtful look. Choose a statement accessory, and stay away from anything oversized to avoid looking sloppy.
Kim: If you’re going short on the bottom (micro mini with heels or boots) pair it with a simple top that’s not too form-fitting, such as a slouchy cashmere sweater. Or if you choose to make cleavage the star of the show, pair it with a trouser or tuxedo pant. Don’t overdo a bold lip by piling on necklaces / earrings. Let your lip color be your accessory.
11. Are there any rules for dressing according to your body type?
Samantha: Yes, like: You always want to feel at ease on a date, so avoid anything that doesn’t fit perfectly.
Kim: Simple formulas apply. At Style For Hire, we have been trained in both the art and science of styling. Creating a silhouette that enhances and draws attention to our best features. Smaller on top? Bring on the one-shoulder blouses. Smaller on the bottom? Twirl around in a flirty full skirt!
12. What’s your perfect first date outfit? Which celebrity character got it right based on a movie that you’ve seen?
Samantha: A perfect first date outfit is something that you put on and feel instantly beautiful and confident in. Choose a color palette that highlights your hair and eye color, keep the makeup soft and natural, and don’t wear anything that could have a wardrobe malfunction.
Kim: For some inexplicable reason, the only thing I’m seeing in my brain is an outfit SJP wore in a movie I’m embarrassed to admit having seen (not even in a plane!) called “If Lucy Fell.” She wore an A-line cap sleeved sweater dress in a winter blue shade. It was mohair, which is why I liked it so much. It was begging to be touched. The belt, I could have lived without. (Please…oh please don’t look at the rating this film scored on RottenTomatoes.com). I’d like to redeem myself – mildy – with another SJP feature in which the entire film was based on dates. Narciso Rodriguez was the costume director for “Failure to Launch” and choose the perfect outfits as the relationship escalated. Starting with a blush-toned dress in the early stages. Gearing up to a casual but fitted shirt (inarguably perfected by James Pearse) during casual dates with friends and swooping in with a sexy cocktail dress at the height of romance.
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