Feel cool, look sharp and stay classy – with these wardrobe essentials for a fair-weather date
The ‘Don Juan’ of Dinners
Dressing for a fancy restaurant date is always a bit of a balancing act, you want to look awesome but not so good you throw shade on you dining companion. A solution is to break your outfit down into a 50/50 split, smart on the top, casual on the bottom, a bit like the clothing version of the mullet haircut.
Do: Pull out the chair of your date and offer to pay the bill. This is not some kind of outdated show of ‘gentlemanly’ masculinity, but because you’re generous and have impeccable manners.
Don’t: Order spaghetti. Judge the possible risk factors of your meal. This Italian classic could leave your white shirt looking like Jackson Pollock painting. Stick to the steak.
The Outdoor Romeo
A spot of fresh air and a stroll through the grounds of a country estate is a great way to spend a weekend, and even better if you have your style amour with you. Think practical but not to the level of unstylish hiking boots and a grubby cagoule. This lightweight three-quarter mac from Wax London is ideal to keep the rain off your back, or double up as a festival blanket for your better half.
Do: Avoid any awkward silences by learning some interesting facts about where you’re going. “Did you know that on this very spot, King Henry VII beheaded an entire village for getting his bar order wrong?” Very romantic.
Don’t: Get lost in the wilderness. Have a plan and know where you’re going. Spending the night under the stars in a makeshift shelter made of twigs might seem a good idea now, but when you’ve a hangry date on your hands and only a discarded Mars Bar from 1983 to eat, you’ll be thinking again.
The Cultured Casanova
Galleries and museums make excellent date spots, whether it’s a first one or your 50th, these hushed environments allow you to talk as little or as much as you like without feeling awkward. Make an impression by teaming a blazer with a tee and finishing it off with a pair of trainers. Casual yet stylish, comfortable yet classy, what more could you wish for?
Do: Wear trainers. There’s nothing quite as awkward in a quiet museum as a clomping shoe, your every step reverberating around that silent hallowed space as disapproving gallerists and security guards cast grumpy-faced looks your way.
Don’t: ‘Mansplain’ your way through the gallery. It’s great if you have knowledge to impart on how existentialism in the late 19th century went on to influence the discourse of post-war European artists such as Bacon and Giacometti, but chances are, no one wants to hear it.
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