3 Style and Grooming Hacks To Try on Your Next Date
She’ll be impressed and you’ll feel great. Win, win.
Let’s play a game. Take a moment, and think back to a time when a woman you were seeing – or, you know, married to – showed up for a date, and she looked…not just good, but exceptional. Maybe her hair was different…down instead of up in a ponytail like usual. Maybe the dress she had on really showed off her runner’s-toned legs. Or maybe she just smelled really great.
It’s possible you have no clue why you found her so dang beguiling—but I can promise you this, she knows exactly why. The little things she did, the extra effort she took? They totally paid off, because she felt awesome and you noticed. Here’s a small, personal example: Last year I dated a guy long-distance, and wanted to look extra special when we picked me up after about a month apart. I wore a new, super-feminine dress in a color he’d never seen me in before. Since I usually rock black, skinny jeans and sneakers, I felt confident and pretty as soon as I put it on. When I arrived, he was surprised and flattered that I made the effort for him and voila, everyone won.
Trust us when we say that deliberate date night effort on your part—however small or subtle—will not go unnoticed. Finding the sweet spot between not even trying and trying way too hard will set you up for a successful, romantic evening.
The good news is, date night prep can be a breeze – even if you’re coming straight from the office – with just a few small wardrobe and grooming tweaks. Whether your next night of romance includes dinner and a movie with the missus, or a “let’s feel this out IRL” Tinder match, get a little daring with your look, tighten up your grooming routine, and show your date that she’s almost as lucky to have you as you are to have her.
3 style and grooming hacks to try on your next date:
1. Refresh your hair without changing your look
This could be as involved as swinging by your barber for a quick cut on your way home from work, or as simple as taking a few extra minutes to trim up that Winter BeardTM you’ve been letting grow – err, “cultivating” – since December.
Be mindful that scratchy hairs that are sharp and short feels harsh against softer skin, so when it comes to body hair maintenance, shaving your entire chest in the shower that night might not be the best idea (we have it on good authority that just a little trim goes a long way in that department).
2. Try “the invisible tie”
Even within the ranks of Style Girlfriend HQ, there’s been some debate over the merit of this men’s styling trend. Some—including our fearless leader and EIC—aren’t necessarily onboard, but I stand by the move simply because it doesn’t involve buying anything new, and it’s a great way to make any old button down feel new again.
For the uninitiated, the “invisible tie” is when you button your shirt all the way up (usually with a true button down collar shirt, or OCBD for short), the way you would if you were to tie on a necktie.
The look works especially well with chambray shirts, casual shirts that have a playful print like swiss dots or florals, and solid shirts in a wintery color like burgundy or olive. Rock your invisible tie under a shawl collar cardigan or a tweed sportcoat for a seasonal, slightly dressy date night look that’s just outside your comfort zone but not a complete 180.
3. Go with a subtle scent strategy that’s sure to win her over (without being overpowering)
We don’t have to tell you that overdoing the cologne or fragrance is never okay, regardless of whether or not you’re going on a date—and it’s definitely not an acceptable substitute for slacking on your laundry.
Your fragrance should enhance your natural scent, and be perceptible only to those who come in close enough for physical contact.
Selecting a scent is highly personal and can take some trial and error, we know. If you don’t already have one you like, ask a few buddies what they use for direction, but you can’t beat pounding the pavement and trying a few on for yourself.
While we’re at it, let’s drop one more truth bomb: Dressing and grooming tips like these are timely and inspiring for date night, but they can – and definitely should! – be applied on any ol’ day or night your confidence could use a boost. Whether it’s a big meeting, traveling for work, or visiting relatives that still think of you as a twelve-year-old with braces and a bowl cut—a little extra attention goes a long way with just about any audience
How do you up your game for dates?
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This article was originally published May 2016