What’s the worst thing to wear on a date?

Everyone can identify with the nerves of getting ready for a first date – especially when you find out that 38 percent of surveyed Brits would decline a second date with someone who wore a bad outfit on the first.

That’s why style experts at Thread have conducted a survey to find out what are the absolute no-go’s when it comes to dressing for a first date.

First impressions count

The results are in and, according to the survey, the official worst first date outfit is a matching tracksuit and crocs, with 62 percent of Brits voting this as the worst overall ensemble (31 percent each).

The top 10 clothing items to steer clear of, according to Brits: 

Matching tracksuit (31 percent)

Crocs (31 percent)

Clear plastic/perspex shoes (27 percent)

MC Hammer trousers (27 percent)

Hot pants (23 percent)

Biker shorts (23 percent)

Dungarees (23 percent)

High-heeled trainers (22 percent)

Ripped jeans (20 percent)

Ugg boots (20 percent)

Coincidentally, the top two items are currently trending…matching velour tracksuits have seen a recent revival, with monthly google searches for ‘velour sweatsuit’ rising by 52 percent in the last 3 months. 

The resurgence of crocs has been a recent thing, with a year-on-year change of 82 percent, not to mention #crocs having nearly four billion views on TikTok.  Despite their popularity, they were deemed the worst first date outfit by Brits. 

Following the top two was the perspex shoe, still in podium position.

This item had its cultural hay day last summer (with average monthly Google searches peaking in August 2021 at 47,740). But with the latest ‘vibe shift’ we’re apparently turning back to ‘indie sleaze’, meaning the clear plastic shoe doesn’t quite fit the bill.

Making up the top five are ‘MC Hammer trousers’ and ‘hot pants’. 

What do all the top 10 have in common? Well, none are particularly smart nor traditional. Typically, people like to make an effort for a date, and to be made an effort for. 

Overall, women were generally more bothered than men about the clothing choices of their date. 24 percent of men said ‘nothing in particular’ when asked what would bother them about a first date outfit, compared to only 18 percent of women. 

Also, women are less likely to go on a second date (from a bad outfit on a first) than men are. 41 percent of women are likely to decline a follow up date, whereas only 34 percent of men said the same.

To help you choose the best outfit for a first date, Millie Rich, Stylist for Thread offer their top tips to nail the look.

Make sure your outfit says something about who you are

Whether you realise it or not, the various decisions you make when you’re getting dressed can give little clues into your personality. Data even shows correlations between fashion brands and personality traits, so choose wisely. 

You want your date to think ‘she looks great, she dresses well’. That doesn’t necessarily mean that they need to be able to recall every single thing you wore. In fact, if they remember your clothes more than your chat, then you’ve done something wrong.

Dress for the occasion

Use the plan as your main informant for what you wear. If it’s chilled drinks, you have more wiggle room with your choices, but if it’s an activity date, opt for comfort and flexibility.

Regardless of how it kicks off, we never know exactly where a night can take us, so try and choose an outfit that’s ready for all occasions.

Don’t just ‘dress to impress’, and go straight to your highest heel, or stiffest jeans, as these won’t allow you to chill out. Instead, think about combining comfort and style.

Something like a fuss-free dress and clean, white trainers is perfect for dating in the Spring.

Make sure you’re wearing something that you feel comfortable in

Probably the most important thing you can be on a first date is confident, but this can be hard to even fake. 

However, if you’ve made an outfit plan but it’s just not working on the day, don’t feel you have to force it. Play with the contents of your wardrobe, pairing things you wouldn’t usually try. Follow your instincts and make sure you’re able to relax in what you choose.

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