by Jennifer Smith October 01, 2018 5 min read

Have you asked a girl out for coffee in hopes of getting to know her better? A first date can be a stressful experience. First impressions matter, that why a lot of focus goes in deciding the perfect outfit. According to research by Princeton, it only takes the brain a mere 1/10th of a second to make a quick judgment of someone. It means that she’s already made up her mind about you even before you’ve uttered a single word. So, it’s in your best interest to use your style to impress in that brief 1/10th of a second window.

Regardless of gender, a first date outfit can be a deal ‘maker or breaker.’ Instead of risking it and jeopardizing your chances, learn how to make a lasting impression on your coffee first date. Lucky for you, it’s easier to kick off things in a less formal setting, such as a coffee house. But remember, this isn't a hall pass for showing up wearing a pair of joggers and a t-shirt. A first dateis all about looking polished and pulled together in an outfit that exudes an air of confidence. Also, it is important to feel comfortable and relaxed while conversing with your date from across the table.

Sounds overwhelming, does it? Don’t worry, we have listed 5 outfit ideas that deal with everything- from your hair to your shoes and everything in between. Keep reading to learn how to dress to impress:

1- Pick a casual shirt

On your first date, stay away from bright t-shirts that have a slogan or image emblazoned right across your chest. It can be a huge turn-off if the slogan is misogynistic or creepy like ‘FBI: Female Body Inspector.’ In short, our style experts recommend staying away from any kind of slogan t-shirt.

Your aim on a first date should be to dress in subtle colors. Opt for a smart yet casual shirt in white or sky blue hues that don't need to be tucked in. It is the perfect ‘in-between’ look that can pass off as being too preppy or overly casual.


2- Don a leather bomber jacket

Take advantage of the relaxed environment of a coffee shop and nix the cotton cardigan and blazer look. Instead, go for a sexy leather jacket that boasts elegance and masculinity, which are the vibes you want to exude during a first date. A leather bomber jacket can beat a cardigan any day and also looks sporty and athletic.

Pick a winning outfit by pairing your bomber jacket with a shirt and bring an element of casual back in by adding a pair of chinos. Leather trainers work well and create a smart yet relaxed look!

Read this blog by The Idle Man for 15 ways to style your bomber jacket.

 bomber jacket

3- Pick the perfect pair of jeans

If you are a guy who prefers a reliable pair of jeans over khakis and chinos, then go for it! Assuming they are decent and not filled with holes or overly distressed, jeans are the perfect outfit option for a first date. In fact, according to a recent survey, most of the respondents felt that jeans are a safe bet for a first date in a casual environment.

Nothing beats the relaxed vibe delivered by a snug fitting pair of jeans. As long as it’s a good fit, stretchy and not too flashy- you can trust your jeans to go well with any shirt.


4- Assess the fit of your clothes

A smart looking outfit doesn't have to be very expensive. Anything that fits well will solve 90% of your style problems. However, most men end up wearing a size too big for them because they feel it’s comfortable or they think baggy clothes are considered cool.

Well, let us shatter some style myths here. Ill-fitting or loose clothes can wreak havoc on your figure and overall attractiveness. You’ll end up looking fatter, shorter and sloppy. Even if you’re only dressed in something as simple as white t-shirt jeans, the right fit can do wonders for your style image.

Read more about this guide by The Idle Man that advises how to find the perfect fitting casual clothes


fiting of clothes

5- Pay attention to your shoes

A pair of your trusted white sneakers may seem like a safe choice for a casual meetup in a coffee shop. But women take note of your shoes in ways you didn't imagine. It’s not just the style that matters, but the quality and condition of the shoes make an impact too.

Another survey highlighted that women prefer boots on men because they look posher than sneakers and less formal than dress shoes. In short, a nice pair of Chukka boots is the perfect middle ground.


6- Accessories

One of the most impactful accessories a man can wear is a sleek watch. A classic stainless steel watch can enhance your entire look and take it up a notch. Not only will it show that you value time but also confirms that you have great taste.

Another accessory that your date might notice when you graciously pick up the tab is your wallet. You don't want to kill the mood by whipping out a rusty old velcro wallet. A woman always notices the little details. So, invest in a simple leather wallet that is spacious and sturdy- good enough to last you a while.

For more inspiration, read this blog that suggests the best accessories for men in 2018.


7- Smell sexy

We’re sure you must have seen that TV ad in which a man emerges from a cloud of asthma-inducing body spray. Well, unlike the ad, too much body spray or perfume won’t help you in winning the heart of the one you desire.

In fact, in real life, too much can likely do the opposite. You don't want your date to cough and have a headache by the end of the day. A man’s date night grooming should be subtle yet effective.

Choose a scent that reflects your personal style and preference. Spritz a little on either wrist and the dip of each collarbone. You want her to swoon as she leans closer and catches a hint of your favorite perfume.



If you are well groomed and sharply dressed on your first date, you will automatically radiate a lot of confidence and have a great time wooing your lady. The purpose of dressing to impress is that you make a great first impression and a coffee date slowly grows into something special over a period of time.

Do you have any outfit ideas to impress a lady on the first date? Share your suggestions with us in the comments below:

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