I read an article in Vogue a few years ago in which a contributor revealed how she completely transformed the way she dressed for the purposes of online dating. She abandoned the playful but loud prints she loved, the tomboy silhouettes, crazy colours and eclectic manner of styling which had become her signature.
Instead, she developed a “dating persona”. This involved wearing black Cavalli (read sexy) dresses, spindly heels (read super-sexy) and no statement jewellery (fine
is much more feminine isn’t it?!). Of course, this kind of strictly logical approach (sexy dress + heels = desirable) doesn’t take into account the heart of the matter, which is that it’s as important to dress for your personality as it is for your shape if you want to feel fabulous and have others believe it.
The story did end with a “happy ever after”, although not the conventional one. After six months of dating the lady in question did not meet her future husband, but she did reaffirm that any future worth having involves feeling happy and confident in yourself first and foremost. And this in part comes from dressing to suit the individual you really are, rather than the one you think a man expects you to be.
Changing how I dress to find a man makes as much sense to me as hanging out in bars in the hope that I might find my future husband there. It would be pointless because I’m a very poor drinker and don’t enjoy being in that environment for more than an hour, and I couldn’t think of anything worse than being with someone whose second home is a pub or club (been there, done that in my twenties!).
Similarly, wearing a little black number and sky-high heels would only work for me if I was going to a Halloween party dressed as “generic woman”. I’d feel like a kid playing dress-up. A friend of mine on the other hand who has dark hair, sallow skin and beautiful curves wears a little black dress like nobody else. It’s her signature. If she was to don a colourful print, she’d feel like a clown she told me.
The last time I went on a date (if I can remember that far back … !), I did wear a dress (but not black or fitted) and heels (but not towering), but paired them with black footless tights and a black masculine-cut blazer to offset the girlish vibe. He loved the outfit, which was a bonus, but the most important thing was that I felt exactly like myself, rather than “dating Marie”. I think dressing for a date is really about balancing your sartorial extremes. If you love fashion, show it, but you don’t want your outfit to be the talking point of the evening either.
Of course, all this advice comes from a long-term singleton, so take from it what you will. Obviously, my last date didn’t lead to love and marriage and a baby in a carriage etc, but it was the beginning of a firm friendship, and if I remember correctly that’s more than our friend at Vogue got out of her online dating experience … she wound up calling time on a sweaty kisser! That’s the luck of the digital draw I guess.