By Jane Hoskyn
Clothes make the man or the woman, and they can make or break your success in the dating game.
It’s not because the world is full of shallow fashionistas. It’s because first impressions are all-powerful, whether we like it or not.
Your clothes make a statement about you. They send a message about your mood, your body image and whether you regard washing and ironing a shirt as a priority. And they can be tribal: think of hooded tops or white stilettos.
Your outfit can also make you feel good or bad about yourself. Clothes have a huge say in your confidence and behavior – both pretty important in a social situation.
So there’s a lot at stake, but our lucky 13 simple rules will help you get it right.
Rule 1: Be yourself
All our rules matter, but they can be relaxed to accommodate Rule Number One.*
When you dress in a way that clashes with your personality, you don’t feel comfortable. And when you aren’t comfortable, you aren’t confident or relaxed.
Dressing in a way that’s true to yourself will also help attract a lover who’s on your wavelength.
Once you’re seeing someone, don’t change your style just to please them. They’re your lover, not your school uniform supplier.
(* I’d advise against relaxing Rule Two, unless you’re dying to meet someone who’s driven helpless with lust by B.O.)
Rule 2: Keep it clean
Whether you’re on a first date, tenth date, at a party or meeting your future in-laws, a little washing powder goes a long way.
Turning up in a smelly, crumpled T-shirt won’t make anyone think that you’re laid back and lacking in vanity. They’ll think that you’d rather be at home, alone, eating a Pot Noodle in front of the telly.
Scruffiness is especially damaging if your companion made an effort to dress up. They may feel very embarrassed that you didn’t do the same.
It doesn’t take much to wash and iron an outfit. Your effort tells your date that you value their company, and that’s half the battle won.
Rule 3: It’s not a job interview
You can overstep the mark when making an effort. On a date, you’ll fare best if you’re both feeling relaxed, and you probably won’t feel relaxed when trussed up in pinstripes and a starched shirt.
This rule also applies to parties, where a starchy get-up will make you look and feel like a geeky outsider.
Rule 4: Think about who you’re meeting
One of the main rules of attraction is that people like people who are like themselves. So dress in a way that connects with the style of your date, or with the people you’re likely to meet at a party or other event.
Rule 5: Dress to fit the venue
You’ll also feel more confident if you fit your surroundings. Jeans and T-shirt are fine for a few drinks down the pub; a smart restaurant requires more finesse.
Remember to temper this with Rule One. It’s not about being a sheep, it’s about subtly adapting the real you to fit your surroundings.
Rule 6: Comfort equals confidence
Don’t set yourself up for hours of torture in killer heels or too-tight jeans. A grimace isn’t a good look.
Of course you want to look your best, but you’ll be at your most attractive when you’re psychologically and physically comfortable.
You may not feel comfy in either sense if you’re wearing a brand new outfit, especially if the price tag is digging into your back. Wear a trusted wardrobe staple that makes you feel confident about yourself and your body.
Rule 7: Stand up straight
Whatever you’re wearing, you’ll look more confident, slim and attentive if you improve your posture. Gently straighten your back and keep your shoulders relaxed.
Rule 8: Easy on the labels
Style is not about designer brands or bling, it’s about making the best of what you’ve got. Smothering yourself in labels will make you look desperate or intimidating, depending on whom you’re dating.
However, if your date is another fashion fiend, go for it. Good luck with the joint overdraft.
Rule 9: Easy on the slap
Lashings of lippy and enough foundation to float a yacht may do the business in certain nightclubs. Elsewhere, it’s a turn-off. You’ll also look as though you’re hiding the complexion of an old sandpit.
Rule 10: Easy on the perfume, too
Strong perfume or aftershave is another no-no. Gents, be warned: women’s sense of smell tends to be more sensitive than men’s, so your dab of aftershave may register as a choking stink.
Rule 11: Beware the hairdresser
Don’t have your hair cut just before a date. Stylists rarely leave it just how you want.
Rule 12: Keep ‘em covered
You may have the finest set of boobs, biceps or thighs within a five-mile radius, but that’s for your lover to discover when you’re alone together.
If you flash the flesh on a date, your companion won’t think you’re dressed for them, but for anyone who fancies a look. Besides, goosebumps aren’t sexy.
Apply even more wrapping when meeting your lover’s parents. To them, your cleavage, shoulders and knees are throbbing erogenous zones and they don’t want to see them. Ever.
Rule 13: Be prepared
Stick a couple of fabric plasters in your bag or pocket, in case those new shoes start to rub. If you’re wearing tights, take some clear nail varnish to stop any snags. Also take a comb and, if you wear contact lenses, your glasses.
It may sound like a hassle, but these things don’t take up much space – and they could rescue your comfort or confidence just when you need it the most.
Note: this is Guest Article from one of finest writting by Jane Hoskyn