Almost everyone has experienced this: it’s the night before meeting up with someone for the first time and you’re stressing out. On top of the nerves about how the date will go and if you will get along, there’s the added anxiety of what to wear on a first date. Naturally, you don’t want to dress too formally but casual date wear can also make it look like you made no effort. And then there’s the question of what colour to wear. You might not think this aspect matters much but the psychology of colour plays a massive role in how we perceive the world – and especially people!
The effect that colour has on our perceptions and choices can be traced back all the way to when our ancestors were learning to walk upright. Take the colour red for example. Did you know that human eyes evolved specifically to see this colour? Being able to see red clearer was critical to our evolution and development. It makes sense when you just think about it.
When we show emotions on our faces and blush, our cheeks fill with blood turning them red. Seeing red helped us pick up on social cues like excitement or attraction. Food also plays a role here. Our foraging ancestors would look for berries and fruit that were red, indicating they were ripe and ready to eat. When we began hunting for food, red was present there too for obvious reasons. Ever wonder why most restaurants and fast food chains use so much red in their logos?
Colour and the associations that come with each of them helped us navigate safely through the years. It showed us what was dangerous and needed to be avoided, as well as what was benign and beneficial to us. These subconscious choices to survive slowly trickled down through the millennia to where we are today: the dilemma of wearing the perfect date night clothes to attract a mate!
It might surprise you to learn that the number one most attractive colour to wear on a date is black! Put aside your fears of looking like a goth or someone who’s in mourning, this is one colour you can’t go wrong with. Not only is it a slimming colour but it gives off an immediate feeling of confidence, sophistication, and even a slight air of intimidation.
Just think of the famous “little black dress” that every woman is supposed to have hanging in their closet. Or a man in a monochrome tuxedo. Striking right? Tone things down with a pop of colour and you are sure to make a winning impression without even saying a word!
Coming up in a close second is, unsurprisingly, red. Picture someone in a well-coordinated red outfit – immediately passion and love come to mind. This is something we can’t help because, as we’ve said, our eyes developed specifically to see red in order to pick up on social cues!
It’s also the colour of danger so this might be why men generally find women wearing red to be sexier and more appealing. Use this to your advantage on your next date and watch the sparks fly!
If red and black or too bold for you, then blue is always a safe option. This colour instantly creates a sense of trust and friendliness – perfect for creating a comfortable and relaxed atmosphere on your first date.
Women tend to find this to be one of the more attractive colours for a man to wear because it has a very masculine quality to it. If you want your date to open up to you and be themselves, blue is the way to go!
This might be the perfect colour to wear if you are worried about nerves getting in the way of a good date! Green is a relaxing colour and is associated with positivity, creativity and compassion.
A lighter green can show off your fun and quirky side while a darker green can be bold and impactful. Just make sure not to overdo it otherwise you could end up looking like Kermit the Frog!
Yellow has long been associated with happiness and energy, so if you only want to give off good vibes then this might be perfect for you! Vincent van Gogh even said, “How wonderful yellow is. It stands for the sun.”
A yellow colour shirt or dress is immediately eye-catching but be careful as the brightness might be a bit much to look at for a longer period of time. Pick wisely when going for the right tone and shade and, if you feel you need to, wear a neutral or complimentary jacket or accessory with it.
Now that we’ve covered what colour to wear on a first date you might be wondering which colours to avoid on a first date! Without going into too much detail, the main turn-offs when you start dating regularly appear to be brown, white, orange and grey.
Brown clothes can, unfortunately, convey a sense of being unclean (think of mud or dirt) as well as being boring. Wearing white can come across as if you are trying to hide something or you are being insincere while orange is often seen as being unpleasant and distasteful. Orange is also a very loud and in-your-face colour. Wearing grey could send a message that you are passive and uninterested – in plainer terms: they might think you’re boring and not into it before you even say a word!
However, just because some people say these colours don’t work, doesn’t mean that you should rule them out completely! And on the other side of the equation, the colours that people say do work might not be the colour that looks best on you.
At the end of the day, it all boils down to what makes you feel confident and is a true reflection of who you are inside.
So, if you’re still frantically asking yourself “what should I wear on a first date”, hopefully, we’ve given you a few tips on what to reach for in your closet. And remember, while your clothes say something about you, it is the person inside of them that matters most!