Valentine's Day is approaching and if you're unattached, your thoughts might be turning to dating. Whether you're going to a single's party or have been busy online and ready to meet your date, you need to create the right impression with your clothing and appearance. Here are my tips how:
1. Ensure your clothes fit well - the cuffs of shirts and jackets are not too long, trousers are hemmed to the correct length, your jacket ends at your shoulder line and nothing is too oversized or baggy. If you're a large man, keep detailing to a minimum, so the eye can travel up and down the body with few distractions, therefore making you look taller and slimmer.
2. Think of your face as a piece of artwork that you're framing with the colours of your clothing - if you have strong, bold colouring (like an oil painting), then opt for sharp, crisp colours and lots of contrast. Or if you have softer more delicate colouring (like a watercolour) then go for muted, lighter colours in toning shades.
3. Wear a collar shape that suits your face shape and neck. If you have a round face and short neck, wear a longer, lower set collar to elongate it. If you have a long thin face and neck, a cutaway will widen and broaden.
4. Wear a modern up to date cut - the current silhouette in menswear is for fitted slim shapes. You don't need to follow fashion but even the classics change shape over time. Also update your hairstyle and glasses, as if they're out of date they will negate any clothing choices.
5. Consider where you're going on your date. Most ladies will appreciate a suit if appropriate but a smart casual jacket and trousers will cover most occasions. Scale up or down depending on the formality of the occasion.
6. Add some accessories to your outfit - a knitted tie, pocket square, a sleek belt, coloured socks, a smart pair of brogues or cufflinks all help to give a polished and finished off appearance.
7.If you're wearing a jacket and trousers, contrast the colours so that one is lighter and one darker - otherwise you're in danger of looking like you have a mismatched suit on. The exception is if you're wearing dark jeans which could go with a dark jacket or if you have on a pattern or texture like tweed or check which will help to break up the colours.
A few months ago I carried out a survey to see what women liked to see older men dressed in for dating - you can see the results of this survey on the Grey Fox blog. Or for some further information and tips on what to wear for dating check out Mr Porter's advice here and here.