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Despite the common notion that only women do a lot of prepping before a date, many men find themselves in the same boat. What you decide to wear on a date can say a lot about you. After all, this is a chance to make a good impression on her. Having your best foot forward is not unusual and this can start with looking good and wearing the right outfit.

First Date Outfit Tip #1 – Casual Cool

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Dates where you do not need a dress code can be pulled off with casual clothing. Of course, there is a fine line between dressing casually and looking sloppy. Although you may be dressing more for comfort, you will still want to keep clean lines. Denim pants and chinos are both good choices in terms of bottoms.

Pair these with a sports collared shirt or a light jumper. Crew neck shirts topped off with a cardigan or a plaid button down are also good choices.

First Date Outfit Tip #2 – Keep Things Smart

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On the other hand, if you’re looking to dress things up a bit but do not want to go overboard, a smart-casual attire is the key. To get the look, think dressed down corporate wear. A coat will always be appropriate, if not called for in formal dining establishments.

Since a date is not a business meeting you can skip the entire ensemble and just wear the jacket with dark jeans or chinos. This can be worn with a plain undershirt or a button down without a tie. A sweater over a button down will also work.

First Date Outfit Tip #3 – Shoe Sense

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Regardless of what you wear, you also need to pay attention to your footwear. Shoes can make or break an outfit-even for men. Not to mention that your date is likely to check out your shoes too. First off, you’ll want to make sure that your shoes are clean no matter what they are.

Even if they aren’t spankin’ new, if it’s clean it will look good too. Both casual and smart casual outfits go well with classic footwear such as loafers, sneakers, chukka boots, boat shoes and slip-ons.

First Date Outfit Tip #4 – Add an Accessory

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Details can make the biggest difference in putting together an outfit. Even a simple outfit will benefit from an accessory or two. Since men aren’t really big on accessories a watch is the most common item used.

If you do wear a coat, make sure to tuck in a pocket square into the breast pocket. Not only is it proper, but it will look nice too. Depending on the weather, a scarf, beanie or hat can also be thrown in.

First Date Outfit Tip #5 – Consider the Location

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Before you roll out your tuxedo or settle for a shorts and flip flops put a little thought into where you’re going. What you decide to wear for a date will depend a lot on where you’re headed.The movies, a park or a coffee shop will often call for something that is more on the casual side. On the other hand if you are going out to dinner, having a few drinks or going somewhere fancy, you may want to dress up a little bit.

While these style tips will help you put together a simple yet impressive outfit for a date, don’t forget to let your date look beyond what you wear. Charm her, humor her, make great conversation and be a gentleman. After all, looking good is just the tip of the iceberg.

Author Bio: Fashion and style writer Regina keeps up with current men’s wear trends and shares these with readers through blogs. Check out some of her favorite items at Ties and Cuffs.