#DatingWrapped: Here’s How to Make a Good Impression on a First Date in 2023

With #DatingWrapped going viral on TikTok, as singles sum up the highs and lows of their 2023 dating lives, the fashion experts at Matalan have revealed exactly what clothing combos make the best first impression and will improve your chance of getting a date in 2023. 

It’s the time of year when dating shows such as First Dates Hotel and Married at First Sight take over our evenings, and with the difficulties of the dating scene well documented, how can singletons make a good first impression on a first date as we head into 2023? 

Whether it’s outfit planning, discussion topics, or where to go, there’s so much to think about when planning a first date. That’s why the men’s suits experts at Matalan have analysed 108 real first dates to reveal exactly what you should wear for the best chance of securing a second date. 

Alex Limanowka from RelationshipTherapist.com shared her expertise on the topic: “First impressions count, which is why your outfit choice is an important part of preparing for a first date. Our brain makes thousands of processes during the first seven seconds we meet someone, gathering data on environmental factors and on a range of characteristics such as appearance, posture, tone of voice, and even what someone’s wearing to form our first impression.”

The research shows that for women on first dates, a dress is the best option to increase your chance of landing a second date, with 74% of all women who landed a second date having worn a dress on the first time around.

Of the dresses worn, more than half were black, leaning into the suggestion that more monochrome, classic colour schemes make a better first impression.  

When considering shoes to match the dress, heels are the top choice, with 67% of successful singles choosing to pair their dress with a heel.

For men, it seems that getting suited and booted is the way forward, with formal outfits securing the best results for daters. White shirts are the most common choice for securing a second date followed by blue shirts and black shirts.

Pairing the outfit with black shoes proves to be the most successful option for footwear, followed by brown shoes. White trainers proved less popular, with only 17% of successful daters wearing the more casual shoe. 

Alex continues: “Black dresses are a classic and elegant look, they are a neutral colour that is unlikely to be a turn-off. The same can be said for the men’s outfit too, a white shirt accompanied by black trousers and shoes is a neutral and stylish look for any man. Both of these outfits are a safe choice for a first date at a classy restaurant, other safe neutral colours include white, grey, tan and brown.”

“We all want to make a good impression on a date, and while what you wear can affect the first impression someone has, it’s just one of many factors. The most important thing is to wear something suitable for the date that’s true to your style, and that’s going to make you feel comfortable and confident.” Says Alex.

With this in mind, here are our top tips on curating the perfect outfit for any first date:

  1. Keep it simple

The key for a first date is to not go too overboard, you need to try and get the balance between showing your personality and being true to your style, whilst also being subtle and classy in your outfit. Pairing a black mini or midi dress, with a complimentary heel and silver jewellery gives a sophisticated look without giving too much away. 

For men, a crisp white shirt, paired with either black trousers or black jeans (depending on the venue of the date), teamed with a black shoe, shows you’ve made the effort to look fresh and are keen to impress your date.

  1. The finer details

You want to make sure your date is impressed with all aspects of your outfit, so, be sure to iron those creases out of any shirts to look truly put together, and think about the finer details, such as which bag will best compliment your look, are you opting for a more formal trench coat, perhaps a blazer, or will a more casual jacket suffice? Also, would a watch work well with the outfit, or perhaps a more muted bracelet or necklace?

  1. All about the confidence

Whatever you wear for your first date, the main thing is that it’s something you feel comfortable in, that will allow you to be your best self and have the best chance of success.

Put on your favourite head-turning fragrance, and just be yourself, hopefully, the sparks will fly! Wearing something a little more subtle will also allow your personality to be front and centre, and truly shine through, which is the most important thing on a first date. 

Brenda Kimble

Brenda Kimble is an entrepreneur and mother of 2 daughters and a son, plus their beagle named Duke! She loves blogging, crafting, and spending time with her family.