The capsule wardrobe for a new relationship
While it’s always true that it’s what’s on the inside that really counts, it never hurts to dress to impress when you enter into a new relationship. Here are the essential pieces you’ll need to create the perfect capsule wardrobe
Okay, first of all, I want to make it clear that I’m totally on board with the whole ‘someone should love you for who you are’ vibe. I’m definitely not saying that you need to rush out and buy a whole new wardrobe just to impress a potential partner.
First impressions do count, and before your new love can get to know the inner you, they’re going to see the outer you. Ask yourself, would you rather have an outer you that’s nicely dressed and smartly put together, or do you want to turn up to your date looking like a bedraggled mess?
I thought so.
So, what are the key items that you need to have in your wardrobe before embarking on a new relationship? Here are a few suggestions, for both men and women:
An effortless first date outfit
‘What, this old thing?’
It’s during the first date that you’ll be under the most pressure to impress with your clothing, so it’s well worth tackling this outfit first. It depends, of course, on where you’re going, but for a classic coffee or drinks date, you’ll want something smart yet casual, which perhaps hints that there’s something unusual or intriguing about you.
Mix things up a bit; if you’re going to go with a standard jeans and top combination, for example, add a really bold piece of statement jewellery or a quirky hat, to show that you’re not just the same as everyone else.
At some point within your first few dates, one of you is probably going to suggest some sort of outdoor activity. In my experience, this is normally a test; yes, a nice walk is lovely, but it’s even lovelier, in my opinion, if it’s followed by a nice pub lunch or cream tea.
Even so, you don’t want to make it look like you normally spend your Sundays in bed watching Netflix (even if it’s true), so you’ll need to invest in a couple of outdoors-appropriate bits of kit for your wardrobe – a pair of sturdy trainers and a good coat should be fine. Whatever you do, don’t turn up for a casual walk in brand new, head-to-toe hiking gear – if your boots are shiny and new, you’ll give the game away immediately.
Something smart for dinner with the parents
In my opinion, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed when you’re looking to impress. I’d much rather turn up to dinner with my prospective in-laws in a nice dress and heels and find them in jeans and flip flops, than the other way around. At least it shows that you care and want to make an effort.
Men, remember that a suit never goes unappreciated, although please, nothing shiny, and if you wear a tie, do up your top button.
A decent handbag
This is probably just one for the ladies, unless a man bag is your thing; in which case, go for it, you work that man bag. A decent handbag doesn’t need to be expensive, the most important thing is what’s inside the bag (you see, I told you it’s what’s on the inside that counts!)
Picture the scene a moment; you’re out for dinner at a lovely restaurant, you get up to go to the bathroom and drop your bag. Out spills takeaway menus, old tissues and that graphic leaflet you picked up last time you were at the doctors – awkward.
Prepare for your date by giving your favourite bag a bit of a clear-out, before filling it will cool tech, stylish notebooks and brochures from that charity you volunteer with instead.
This tip may become important a little further down the line, but it never hurts to be prepared; you really don’t want the very first time your partner sees you in your underwear to be some sort of Bridget Jones moment. Sure, we know your favourites are the huge ones that have seen better days, but there’s no harm in maintaining the matching underwear illusion, at least for the first few weeks.
Sexy but stylish nightwear
Following on from underwear, there will likely come a point when your new partners is going to spend the night and, for toast and coffee the next morning at least, you’ll need to have some pyjamas or other nightwear that looks effortlessly sexy but casual in that, ‘I just woke up like this’ way.
This can be a tough one but, as a rule, I’ve found it best to avoid anything novelty – put away the Minions onesie – and go for quality fabrics; nice soft cotton and silk. Choose nightwear that reflects you: classy, casual and definitely not cheap.
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