You Don't Have to "Dress" to Impress on a First Date

Wear these pant options and he'll definitely ask you out again!

When it comes to first dates, most women follow the unwritten rule: Wear a dress. But what if you want to wear pants or, gasp, jeans? Are you violating some out-of-date girl code clause if you don't show some leg? And, more pointedly, do guys really care? To find out, I decided to conduct a completely informal, unscientific survey, asking men what they really thought of your outfit.

"As long as what the girl is wearing makes her feel relaxed but really confident, I'm into it," said one fella. While another participant added, "it's more important [for the woman] to be witty, charming and friendly."

And even jeans can prove to be a date-winning look. "They can be dressy, alluring and casual all at the same time," confirms one single guy. "It projects a state of mind that's more easy-going and up for anything!"

Of course, this doesn't mean you should empty your closet and donate all those cute frocks and skirts to Goodwill! Bottom line: Wear what you love, show off your individual style and maybe rebel a little. "Now that I know it's an unofficial rule," explains another guy, "I would have a preference for someone breaking the rules!"

To help you land that second date, here are some pant options to fit any look -- and any type of guy:

Boy Next Door
Ali Fedotowsky, ABC's most recent Bachelorette, knows a thing (or 20) about first dates and all-American style. The newly engaged reality star scooped up lots of outfits for the show at Alys Grace -- one of her fave boutiques in the San Francisco area -- including the DL 1961 Cindy Slim Bootcut Jean ($158). Wear the basic dark-washed denim with a simple tank and your fave kicks for a pitch-perfect ballgame outing. Or get flirty with a feminine top -- like the Spot Blended Silk Blouse ($27.80 at Forever 21) -- for a casual drinks date.

Looking for a jeans alternative? Try these adventure-ready Aviator Pants. The slim-leg cargo style will look fab on those just-around-the-corner fall meet-ups (pictured, $59.50 at Eddie Bauer).

Classic Bloke
Show up looking super chic with Theory's high-waisted Alleen Pants ($255). The wide-leg, stretch-wool trousers work well with a silky sleeveless top and piles of pearls. Or, for those posh restaurant outings, pair with an eye-catching Sequin Blazer ($159 at Victoria's Secret) and killer heels. 

Rocker Dude
If your perfect match prefers leather to loafers than wow him in Tie Dye Blast Jeans with Suspenders by L.A.M.B. (pictured, $260 at ChickDowntown). The grey denim pair features ankle zippers and studded suspenders (to be worn up or down). Complete your ready-to-rock look with the darkly romantic Skeleton Heart Tee ($30 at AllSaints) or your go-to striped shirt.

Indie Scenester
Show off your quirky fashion sense with the trendy Button-Up Safari Romper from Staring at Stars (pictured, $68 at UrbanOutfitters). The subtly sexiness of the all-in-one get-up will surely steam up his dark-rimmed glasses. Or grab his attention with wild Premium Digital Floral Hareems ($110 at TopShop). To tame down these Fruit Loops-colored pants, pair them with a plain tee or tank.

Do you prefer to wear pants or a dress on a first date? Chime in now!

Like This? Read These:
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- Style Inspiration Gallery: Skirts We Love
- This Weekend We’re Shopping For: Stylish Sneakers

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