First impressions can make or break a date. And it only takes a few seconds for a person to form an impression of you based on physical appearance alone.
Although this impression may change over time once your personality comes out more, most people will never forget the initial meeting.
So what color to wear on a date to make sure you leave a positive mark whether you are looking for a potential long-term partnership, or just a “for now” good, fun time?
Very similar to a job interview, the right colors, on top of your personal style, will help make that first impression a good kind of memorable and long-lasting.
Show just enough of your personality to get them interested but still setting your personal boundaries in revealing yourself in a way you are comfortable.
Unlike a job interview though, you would generally want to look relaxed rather than too polished with a blazer. The type of outfit you choose may also depend on the setting or location of a first date. You would not necessarily wear the same outfit to a dinner date as you would to a meet-up over coffee.
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The comparison is not perfect, but think about how food is presented at a restaurant. Food with vibrant colors look more appealing, make the mouth salivate more, and generally signal they are fresh and healthy — or at least look more enticing to eat.
On the other hand, food that is gray, dull, or sporting colors that are not normal or look “off” are unappealing, can induce nausea, and send signals to the brain that alert you for toxins, mold, rot, or other signs that the food is simply not edible anymore.
The Top Two Colors to Wear on A First Date
According to a survey, the best colors to wear on a first date are classic black and bold red. Each of these colors will convey a very different message to your date whether you are a man or a woman.
Here are the main impressions these colors trigger and how they might benefit or disadvantage you as a color to wear on a first date.
Black is a color of classic chic and sophistication for all sexual orientations. Most people associate black with positive traits for both a new hire in a company (which is why it’s the most recommended color to wear at a job interview as well) and to put your best version of yourself forward on a first date.
But too much black can also backfire. An all black outfit may come off as too sombre, too safe, and even boring. So it is suggested to sprinkle in pops of color with accessories like shoes, a scarf for women, or a casual jacket for men – depending on the location of the date, of course.
For women, the classic “Little Black Dress,” as popularized by Audrey Hepburn’s character, Holly Golightly, in the movie Breakfast at Tiffany’s, is the best bet for a first date color and attire that can be dressed up or down no matter where your date will take you.
Red is a color of passion and power which has a very particular effect on men according to many studies. Studies support that on a subconscious, biological level men prefer women who wear red and will even ask more personal questions more quickly and stay physically stay closer to women wearing red on a date than if they were wearing another color.
The effect of red is seen in the animal world too where baboons and monkeys of certain species get red behinds or noses to attract mates.
Research has also shown that men are more likely to remember women who are wearing red on their first date — interestingly, they may forget any and all other details of what their date was wearing, but they will remember that it was red.
On the flip side, wearing too much red is also associated with much more negative traits like less intelligence for both men and women, arrogance when worn by men, and promiscuity when worn by women.
However, even with some negative connotations, it is suggested by dating experts that women wear red on a first date if they are looking for a long-term relationship. Men find women who wear red sexier, confident, and also more powerful.
Qualities that men look for in a woman for a more serious relationship that could lead to marriage. They key is, like with black, to keep it in moderation and also wear other colors to break up big blocks of red that can be too overpowering.
Other Colors to Wear on a Date
Red and black may take the top two positions of colors to wear on a first date, but other colors of the rainbow will also make good choices that will show off your style and personality.
Being the color of nature, wearing green on a date sends off a refreshing and relaxed vibe. Both men and women can pull off wearing this color on a first date to show a more carefree side of themselves that likes to have fun but can also have a soft hearted and compassionate side to them.
If most men like women who wear red on a date, surveys have shows that women prefer men who wear gray on a date.
Although it is a neutral color, gray is able to pick up and enhance the qualities of other colors it is paired with, which makes it very versatile.
As a color most often associated with technology and professionalism, it makes men who wear gray on a date seem more like a successful type of person who would be good for a longer term commitment.
Just like gray, white tends to convey a person who is organized, well put-together, and professional. Too much white though, can make you look sterile and snobby.
Find a balance by keeping white to an eye-catching central piece, like a shirt or a blouse paired over black of a neutral colored bottom. Accessorize with a bold color like red shoes or faux pearls or a casual tie in a coordinating pastel.
Purple was the color of royalty and to this day, still brings an aristocratic and regal energy to someone bold enough to wear purple.
This color would be great for more formal dates or romantic dinner dates where your not only dressed to impress, but dressed to feel like a king and queen for yourself.
Suggested colors to Avoid on a first Date
While some colors are prefered for first dates, these three colors came out in surveys as the top three colors to avoid on a date as much as possible if you want to make a good first impression.
Just like when going to a job interview, orange may seem too loud and obnoxious. If worn carefully, it can make you look more creative, but generally, orange is associated with traffic cones and circus clowns, not dating material.
As one of the colors needed to make orange, yellow is also a color that is most advised to avoid wearing on a date.
Although yellow is normally a color that invokes happy feelings of sunshine and spring, it can also be too bold a choice when meeting someone for the first time.
Brown is another color that is generally suggested to keep away from when planning an outfit for a date. It gives the impression of someone who is either boring, or worse, unkept and even dirty.
Being the color of the earth, brown has a tendency to make people think of clothes soiled with dirt or mud, and being stuck in the mud is definitely a place you don’t want to end up in when trying to look good for a date.
Effort is Everything
In spite of everything, it is generally agreed that the effort put into looking good for your date will make a better first impression that any singular color you should or should not wear.
Good grooming, hygiene, an outfit that is clean with some thought behind it, goes a long way in impressing a future potential partner.
Showing up in a frumpy, smelly, get up that was literally picked up off the floor on your way out the door sends the message to your date that you did now even care enough to put on a clean shirt.
When choosing what color to wear on a date, keep in mind to keep it clean and classy no matter what color you choose. The best colors may be black and red, but don’t be afraid to explore other colors of the rainbow too.
If you really want to make a good impression on your first date, stay away from brown, orange, and yellow, and make sure your date outfit is clean and appropriate for the date location and activities.