Dress to Impress

How to send all the right signals with your style

So, it's five minutes past the time you were supposed to meet your date at the restaurant and, instead of rushing out the door, you're home ‑- wiggling out of the tenth outfit you've tried on tonight. Your room's a mess. Your nerves are shot. And you're too busy bemoaning your boring wardrobe to get excited about the guy waiting for you around the corner. When it comes to making a fashionable first impression, frustration and indecision seem to come with the territory. But it doesn't have to be that way. You can show up for a first date (on time) looking and feeling good ‑- not to mention calm. We turned to professional matchmaker Samantha Daniels and asked her to share her secrets to making a great first impression. Here, she explains what you should keep in mind when dressing for a first date:

1.Pick clothing that fits your body type and concentrate on choosing things that flatter you. Don't just go with the current trend. A trend is only good if it works on you; otherwise, it's a mistake.

2.Wear clothing that enhances your look, and make it a rule not to wear anything that detracts from it. If you have a unique, quirky personality, let that personality come across in your interactions with a guy rather than through your clothing. You don't want your outfit to be the only thing the guy notices about you.

3.Make sure you have one go-to outfit in your closet that you know fits you and looks good on you. That way, if you're pressed for time, are having a "fat day" or are indecisive about what to put on, you can always grab it in a pinch. Think of it as a first-date uniform of sorts. You'll have a lot more fun on a date if you feel confident because you know what you're wearing looks great.

4.Ask yourself, does your clothing scare men off? If you have expensive taste ‑- and reveal that through your outfit on a first date ‑- a man might be hesitant to take you on a second one. So consider saving those designer duds until you go out again. You don't want his first thought to be concern that he'll have to take a second job to support your clothing habit.

5.Dress appropriately for the kind of date you're going on. If you're going out for casual drinks, then pass on the skin-baring dress. If you're going to a work-related cocktail party with him, leave your corduroys in the closet. Always dress appropriately for the occasion ‑- men don't want you to stick out like a sore thumb any more than you want to.

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