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My good friend Amy Smith recently wrote an article for refinery29, about first-date ideas, that really got me thinking about the pressures of dressing for these nervous escapades that are your initial encounters with someone. The first few dates are usually a little uncomfortable - if you go to a museum you try to recall all the prehistoric facts you once learned while bored on wiki, if you’re at a bar you may have had one too many glasses of wine and you’re sending the bartender more googily eyes than your date, and if you’re out for dinner he probably has something stuck in his teeth leaving you to tell him. But, if you can get through those first hang outs, and put all of your first impression judgements aside, you may just be heading towards a lovely summer-time fling. 

So to get you through these first few baffling encounters it’s important that you are comfortable in your style choices, so you come across confidently, and especially on heat-wave days like these that you ensure your garments are airy and light-weight so you don’t add ‘sweating profusely’ to the reasons he didn’t kiss you goodnight. 

Some of the key pieces to look for when shopping for your first date, are cotton shirts with interesting details like floral appliques, prints and colour. The light-weight material will wick away any extra heat or moisture, while the embellishments will dress-up a normally casual material enough for a first date. Skirts are a great first-date go-to, and on a 35c+ day like today, it’s important to look for summer-friendly materials such as lace, cotton and silk. Again, look for interesting detailing to make a closet staple flirtatious enough for a date -  you don’t want to come across too formally, so show off your fun side. The first mini skirt featured here has a great fringe detailing on the hemline which takes it from dowdy to pretty fantastic, bringing attention to one of your best summer assets. An embellished block-heel sandal is great if you are going for a first-date stroll, it’s dressed-up enough, totally on-trend and ensures you’re not limping behind him all night. 

If you’ve decided to go for the season’s lace skirt, pair it with a printed tee. The juxtaposition of a super-feminine skirt with a graphic t-shirt takes the look from prim-and-proper to a more 90s-grunge aesthetic. Keep the graphic black and white theme going in your shoes, try a printed wedge like the Yves Saint Laurent ones featured here, and finish the look off with a pop of colour in your purse -  cobalt blue is one of spring’s hottest colours. 

Finally, a cotton shirt dress is probably one of the easiest fall backs for a first date. It’s easy to wear and comes across as casual and approachable, making you both relax a little bit more. The key to wearing a dress like this is to keep it from looking too casual. Don’t wear this type of dress with flats, stick to dressed-up statement accessories. Again, a cobalt blue shoe will make the look standout and a vintage-inspired bold red purse will add more drama to the look. Pull your hair back into a sleek high pony tail to ensure this style doesn’t come across as frumpy. 

Look I: 1. Fringed silk-crepe skirt, Elizabeth and James, $345 2. Embellished floral top, Diane Von Furstenberg, $595 3. Emellished suede sandals, Marni, $462 4. Circle clutch, Jil Sander, $144

Look II: 1. Striped shirt dress, L’Agence, $335 2. Lace-up suede sandals, Jimmy Choo, $696 3. 1973 leather shoulder bag, Gucci, $850 4. Gingham earrings, Miu Miu, $161

Look III: 1. Lace skirt, L’Agence, $455 2. Galo printed top, Clements Ribeiro, $212 3. Riviera embroidered wedge sandals, Yves Saint Laurent, $397 4. Suede clutch, Proenza Schouler, $895 New Markdowns