Dating is hard enough, and when you have to throw in the age-old question of "what should I wear" into the mix, it can become downright maddening. The truth is, what you wear does matter because you only get one chance to make that good first impression so that you can get to that second date. I have spent some time asking men (I have thousands of them in my database) what turns them off about what woman wear on a date. And from those opinions, I have constructed this " Don'ts" list. Please don't shoot the messenger...
Don't wear black. I know that you prefer to wear your little black dress on a date. However, men just don't like women in black because they think it makes women seem older and unhappy. If you absolutely have to wear your LBD, then, at least, complement it with a colorful pashmina or a bright necklace to add some life into your look.
Don't wear a trend if it doesn't look good on you. I know you read Women's Wear and Vogue religiously, but a date is not the time to test out that new Alexander Wang look unless you absolutely know it looks great on you. A guy would rather see you rockin' your old standby than the trend of the moment that doesn't do justice to your figure.
Don't choose anything too va-va-voom to wear. Trust me, this will sends out the wrong message. You are better off teasing him with a hint of sexy and then leaving him wanting to see more.
Don't choose an outfit that looks like it came out of his closet. Men love clothing that looks feminine and flirty--lacey things, florals, soft fabrics; they are drawn to this. Men do not want you to look manly or overly conservative in something like a man's suit, an army jacket, or baggy clothes.
Don't forget to wear a dress. Men love women in dresses, especially ones that accentuate your best assets. Choose a shorter one if you have good legs, a sleeveless one if your arms are buff or a cinched one if you have a tiny waist. You want him to be a man, so go ahead and look like a woman.
Don't wear anything too expensive. Save your furs, expensive jewelry and elaborate outfits for a girl's night out or for a formal evening. Men don't like women who are overdone, as this translates to high maintenance to them. Men much prefer simple and elegant.
Don't wear your hair pulled back. And if you are thinking of cutting it short, don't. 96% of all men I have spoken to on this subject say that they prefer long hair to short hair. That's not to say that if you look like Karlie Kloss or Anne Hathaway, he won't date you. However, if you weren't as genetically blessed, try to keep your hair longer rather than shorter and wear it down.
Don't go completely au naturel when it comes to wearing makeup. Even if it's just a little bit of blush to add some rosiness to your cheeks and a dab of mascara to brighten your eyes, you should choose to enhance your natural look. Lip gloss is especially key because it draws a man's eyes to your lips and makes him want to kiss you.
Don't forget to wear dangly earrings instead of studs. If you wear hanging earrings, a man's eye will be drawn to your neck and to your collarbone. Statistics show that your collarbone is the sexiest part on your body, so it can't hurt for a man to be looking at it.
Don't wear stilettos if you can't walk in them. Attention fashionistas: there is nothing a man finds less attractive than a woman who is limping along and complaining about her feet. Do the shoe test: if your feet hurt before you even leave your house, they are the wrong shoes for a date.
What other fashion dating tips would you add to my list?
Samantha Daniels is a well-known professional matchmaker and relationship expert. She is the President of Samantha's Table Matchmaking, a bicoastal matchmaking service which caters exclusively to busy, successful professionals who have no trouble getting dates, but who have yet to find that one person with whom to spend the rest of their lives. She is also the author of "Matchbook: The Diary of a Modern Day Matchmaker" (Simon & Schuster). You can follow her on Twitter @Matchmakersd. You can also follow her on her Curator page on OpenSky, where you can get advice and picks for shopping from Celebrities. For more information, you can go to www.SamanthaDaniels.info.
Follow Samantha Daniels on Twitter: www.twitter.com/MatchmakerSD