Studies reveal we have just 7 seconds to forge a first and enduring impression, making your choice of outerwear crucial—it’s the initial thing your date will notice. So, ditch the notion of grabbing any jacket purely for practicality. Instead, explore my top picks that master both style and functionality.

Harrington Jacket
If you can wear what you like to work then a Harrington jacket is a versatile casual wardrobe staple. More suitable for a spring/summer date a Harrington is lightweight, yet structured and can be dressed up or down really easily. Most Harrington’s have patterned linings and look great when left unzipped and will add depth and interest to your outfit.

Suede/Leather Bomber
A step up from the Harrington, a leather bomber jacket brings an edge to your look across all seasons. It’s not just a jacket; it’s a statement of quality and style. Leather exudes luxury and sophistication, suggesting you’re someone who values investing in himself and is confident. Plus, it’s culturally iconic, often associated with the effortlessly cool, rugged and the romantically appealing, potentially shaping your date’s perception of you positively. The unique texture of leather and suede also subconsciously invites a closer connection, possibly encouraging more physical interaction if the date goes well.

Blazer/Sports Coat
For unmatched versatility, a well-fitted blazer is key. Choose an unstructured style to dial down the formality, making it appear less rigid and more suited for post-work fun. Fit is crucial; a blazer that hugs your frame correctly speaks volumes about your style quotient. Navy is a safe, yet strong choice that pairs well with almost anything.

Top Coat
If you’re bound by a formal work dress code, a nice top coat can seamlessly transition you into the evening. Sometimes referred to as an overcoat but traditionally lighter and more flexible, it adds a touch of sophistication to your outfit. Its length offers a style variation from the other pieces, and allows you to make a bold statement or stick to classic lines, depending on your preference.


I’ve chosen 3 classics here that can be worn equally well during the day and on your night out.

White Shirt
From an Oxford button down to something with a bit more evening flair, a well-fitted white shirt should be a core staple of every man’s wardrobe. Leonardo Da Vinci wrote; simplicity is the ultimate sophistication a well fitted white fits this bill. Its neutral palette ensures it pairs flawlessly with any layer, just ensure to choose one that fits with your personality and the dating venue.

Merino Wool Roll Neck Jumper
A roll neck offers a very put together and sophisticated look, as well as being practical if it’s cold. It works supremely well with any of the jackets above as well as in isolation. I’ve singled out Merino wool because of its propensity to regulate your body temperature and also not itch. Cashmere is also a strong alternative here.

White T-Shirt
Similar to the white shirt, a white t-shirt offers classic, timeless and sophisticated styling if you get the fit right. Find one that cuts halfway across and fits your bicep well for the best look. To add a little more structure and depth to your look, opt for a mid-weight material which will flatter your physique more.


Jeans and chinos are ideal for a casual evening date. However, if you need to wear trousers for work and can’t change your bottom half easily, consider some wool or flannel trousers that aren’t too formal and then consider softening the look by switching your shirt for a jumper or t-shirt to relax things a little.

My go-to would be a dark inky blue denim in a slim fit or straight leg. Avoid the distressed look or any rips or fading and you have a pair of jeans that will go with most outfits.

A good pair of chinos is a good solution for any work outfit unless you’re suited. They’re also extremely versatile across a variety of date outfits. Navy is an easy choice, although consider olive or grey as an option too.


This might surprise you, but I’m not going to bang on about the perfect pair of shoes, the most important thing to remember is make sure they are clean, in good condition and work with your outfit. With that in mind, here is some great versatile footwear.

Chukka or Chelsea Boots
Depending on your preference for laces or not one of these two boots are a must in your shoe collection because of their versatility. They’ll work with all the aforementioned trousers and will also instantly elevate a more casual look.

Suede Brogues
I always find a pair of brown or grey brogues effortlessly stylish and a suede variant can elevate a whole outfit. You’ll also find suede easier to wear pair with most trousers including denim.

Minimalistic White Trainers
You’ll find a clean pair of minimalist white trainers will go with almost any outfit. They are great at toning down a smart look and making your style effortlessly casual but considered. Avoid branding and too much detailing and you have another absolute wardrobe staple.


As we all know, success in life comes with working hard and understanding the finer details. Feeling great and impressing on a date is no different. With that in mind here are some of the accessories you need to consider storing at work or taking with you to stay on top of your game all day and night.


Scientifically wearing a fantastic scent is not only good for hopefully delighting your date, but also for you. When you know you smell good, it naturally elevates your self-perception and how you carry yourself in social situations, this reflected in your behaviour and interaction with the people around you.

Scientific studies have also shown our sense of smell is closely linked to the limbic system, the part of the brain responsible for emotions and memories. It can also have a psychological effect on our or those in close proximity’s mood and stress levels. A well-chosen scent can enhance your attractiveness and your perceived effort in grooming and personal care, traits often valued in potential partners. When you elevate the way you carry yourself, you enhance your attractiveness and appeal.

Scent is subjective, so its impact will ultimately it will depend on your individual preferences and the experiences of your partner on the date, so always ensure you go for a scent that’s appealing to you first. It’s worth remembering not to overdo it and be smart and carry an atomiser with you to ensure you can get a boost of fragrance when you need it!

Other grooming must-haves

Invisible deodorant

Look after your clothes and always use invisible deodorant, it will stop the white marks appearing on the arm pits of your tops which turn into permanent stains.

Comb and hair styling product
Need I say more!

Portable Steamer
Life hack unlocked; well, it was for me. If you’re using clothes that have been folded up in a bag all day or you’re sticking to what you’ve been wearing, give your clothes a quick steam. It literally takes seconds and you’ll appear fresher, feel cleaner and be crease free that evening.

One last word of advice before you pack your things in a bag and leave.
The BAG… if you’re going to be taking it with you on the date, please consider the bag you use. Don’t just throw it in your practical backpack, make sure you have something considerate of the way you are dressing and won’t ruin your look. Lastly, enjoy your night!

Would you like to understand what makes the perfect date outfit from the clothes you already own, or do you feel it’s time for a bit of a wardrobe refresh. You can book a free 15 minutes consult with Nick and ask any questions you have: https://calendly.com/nickhemsstyle/15min or visit his website https://nickhemsstyle.co.uk/ for more information.