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On what men should wear on a first date…

Well people of the internet, it has been a while since I’ve written any dating advice and I mean in all seriousness, who wouldn’t want to read dating advice from a permanent (now 30+) resident of the single living? Well yes, I know, it doesn’t sound like I’m the type of person you’d go to in these situations but the theory, the theory I do well, it is just the practical I stink at.

A few months back I had a date and she wrote all about it and pretty much lambasted everything about me, from the fact I was too talkative, to the fact I had elderly neighbours, that I was, ‘so far away from Prince Charming’ and then on to the obvious fact that I was ugly. Some new ones in there for me (and one big whopper that is kinda par for the course and I’m still pissed off about the fact I have elderly neighbours is an issue to diss me, I mean come on…) but she also used a paragraph to disparage what I wore and that is what I’m going to address right now (he says whilst typing in PJ bottoms that have a giant hole where there really shouldn’t be a giant hole, this is why I’m single folks, well amongst many, many other reasons…)

Having read the review of our date, I shared the link with a few friends expecting to get resounding backing that I wasn’t as terrible as she described, alas the feedback was indeed mixed and the big bone of contention was my clothing. For those of you who knows me in real life, I’m not a shirt, tie, shoes or suit guy. I just don’t like them and feel stuffy in them. I’m lucky to have employment where I can dress how I see fit so this isn’t an issue in everyday life for me.

So when it comes to dates I have a couple of issues, even if I wanted to dress smartly, I don’t own any smart clothes, like none. I don’t have a suit, I may have a couple of shirts somewhere in the back of the wardrobe but I never wear them, I don’t own any formal trousers and whilst I do own a pair of shoes (£11) they are generally only used when I cba to do up the laces on my trainers and I’m only popping over the road to the local shop. Now all this is bad enough but here comes the whopper…I don’t even own a fecking coat. I own two university hoodies that I wear. Trust me in a date situation, when you are 31 and turning up in a hoodie, the likelihood of a second date has already decreased ten-fold (although in the interests of fairness, I have actually had two second dates on the back of a date where I was wearing a hoodie – amazing scenes!).

So word to the wise people of the internet – do not be stubborn like me if you actually want success on a date and potential second dates and so on.

They say, ‘dress to impress’ and in these scenarios they are right. As much as I hate the fact that clothing and first appearances are important, they indeed are. Now of course a first date going for a drink in a pub should induce different clothing to a first date at a restaurant, if you turn up to a pub all suited and booted then you’ll probably look a bit out of place (although taking off the tie and unbuttoning your collar will save you quick sharpish). Putting thought into what you wear will show your potential beau that you’ve thought about it and that you’ve put thought into it. If you show that you’ve put thought into these things then you’ll put thought into the relationship and so on, it is all a matter of bloody subconscious mind games.

If you turn up looking like you’ve just picked up the top thing off of your bedroom floor then again, not a good look. At this point I should throw in a caveat, some women would like to see a guy on a first date show off their personality, if they are a jeans and t-shirt guy then so be it, some though want to see a man make a special effort. My best advice here is to do one of two things, either try and work out the type of personality your date has before you go and roll with what she would be more impressed by/happiest seeing or do this instead, ask yourself, ‘what would Neil do?’ and do the exact opposite. In a 50/50 situation in a dating scenario, I’ll be wrong 90% of the time, which is statistically difficult to pull off but I’m special.

Also smell. Men are supposed to smell nice (well unless the woman prefers a ‘real man’ and they want him to smell that way) so aftershave, cologne, something that makes you pop when you greet them with a hug or that awkward kiss or that just general awkwardness. It won’t surprise any of you that know me that I own neither of these projects and never have, yet just another reason why I’m single. Smelling good though is surprisingly important. Not smelling bad is a prerequisite but smelling good is a huge tick in the box in your favour.

Time to recap this rambling tale of advice folks. Don’t turn up in ‘outrageous trainers’ because apparently that is a thing (oh my Nike Air Max 95s sunset limited edition I still love you and always will, despite what people say), don’t look like you’ve just picked whatever is top of the pile, maybe if you own an iron (I don’t) actually use it, wear something you feel comfortable in first and foremost but if you are going to a classy place and don’t feel comfortable in posh clothing then ask yourself, ‘why am I having a date here in the first place?’ Clearly in this situation you are trying to impress someone well back it up with your clothing numpty. If you are having a more relaxed drink/coffee date then the clothing rules are much less strict but still iron, no to the crazy trainers and smell good.

A good piece of advice is to get a female friend to take you out shopping and let her dress you up with three or four clothing choices for a variety of dates, something more formal and some more relaxed choices. They themselves have probably had many dates in their lives and they know a good and a bad first impression when they see one so this type of assistance is invaluable.

If you follow these rules then you’ll do better than me because I’m a stubborn prick that believes that my clothing choices and appearance shouldn’t dictate if someone likes me or not. The reality is of course completely different but what can I say? I’m a moron. Of course clothing and your appearance isn’t the be all and end all but you’d be surprised how much the first five minutes count for, after five minutes you could already be done no matter how witty or interesting you are so folks, follow my advice and don’t follow what I actually do. Following what I do in a dating setting is just stupid but read what I have written and take it to heart then you might not end up like me, sitting writing a blog post about dating whilst sitting in PJ bottoms that have a hole so big everything can flop out whilst looking at a desk with remnants of chocolate doughnuts spread out all over it (although the double chocolate doughnuts are so good…)

And with that I wish you good luck in your dating endeavours. I’m off to have the Neil special of pork, leek and mustard sausages in finger rolls with chilli sauce. I’m such a catch…

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