November 2, 2015


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Being a good date is all about confidence. Whether you’re out with your partner or someone you might be meeting for the very first time, it is crucial that you dress the part. The right amount of preparation can give your night a great start and allow you to breathe a sigh of relief while focusing your attention on present company. Of course wear what is comfortable for you, but if you need a bit of a push in the right direction, try putting together an outfit like this:

Top: Blazer/jacket, button-down shirt, no tie

A well-sized jacket is absolutely key when distinguishing yourself in a more formal setting as an ill-fitting blazer can contribute to a less refined, more juvenile look. If you’re unsure about what looks good on your body, almost any menswear retailer should be able to help you with sizing.

For the jacket and shirt, I prefer to do a more traditional color scheme, perhaps pairing a navy blazer with a white oxford shirt. The more versatile the color, the more often the piece can be incorporated into your outfits. While the blazer might not be the best place for a bold choice of color, your shirt can be a bit bolder if complementary to the jacket.

As a general rule, I like to avoid ties for date nights because they can read as a bit too formal and uncomfortably stiff. If you do choose to wear a tie, make sure you wear a jacket as well to ensure an outfit that looks complete.

Bottom: Chinos

When it comes to pants, there are definitely options to be explored. While conventional wisdom and popular culture seems to insinuate that the standard color for pants has to be khaki, don’t be afraid to try a more adventurous angle. Wine and muted greens are possibilities while maintaining versatility in color matching. As with jackets, make sure that the fit of the pants is right for your body. Consider slim-fit options if you feel like your legs look like they’ve been lost within the pant leg.

Shoes: Casual dress shoes (bucks, oxfords)

Shoes are always tricky as they serve to really tie the whole outfit together. I’ve seen many solid outfits ruined by an ill-thought use of running shoes or cold weather boots. Brands like Bass and Bostonian offer plenty of options that run across levels of formality. In my experience, when it comes to shoes, the simpler the better. Clean lines and classic colors offer this same versatility previously mentioned.

Accessories: Belt and Watch

If worried about looking too formal, a nice brown belt to match brown shoes can add a little color and take away some of the pressure of the black-and-white pseudo-tuxedo appearance that can happen. Try to match the color of your watch band to your belt as best as possible; the coordination of shoes, belt and watch can really complete your look.

In the end, dates should be fun, low stress and really about making sure your date has a good time. Putting together a solid outfit that complements your body and style will take pressure off of you and instill a sense of confidence. Regardless of location, be it a restaurant in the Commons or at Plum Tree or Miyake for a Greek Date Night, you’ll be turning heads and making a great impression.

Jeffrey Breuer is a senior in the College of Arts & Sciences. When he isn’t worrying about what he’ll be wearing tomorrow, Jeffrey can be found cheering on the Big Red at Lynah Rink or digging through books about Cornell’s history for interesting facts to annoy his friends with. The Dapper Man appears on alternate Mondays this semester. Jeffrey can be reached at [email protected].