Picture yourself sitting at the bar of a restaurant, waiting for your date to arrive. It's very rare that you take a first date out for a full dinner, but you already met her before and knew there was a lot of chemistry and attraction, so you decided to invest a bit more into this women. Then you see her come in, her hair is in a high bun, she's in sketchers, yoga pants and a t-shirt. You watch as she walks towards you and you feel the dread of "shit, did I not communicate properly that this was an actual date? No, I told her I wanted to take her out for a nice dinner!" and you feel it... Literally it only takes seconds for your attraction meter to drop to almost zero, both for making you feel foolish for taking this date more seriously than she did and because she looks way less attractive than when you first met her. What is your first reaction to this story?
I know what you're thinking. Looks aren't everything! Maybe she is coming straight from work, and didn't have time to get ready. So what, he should be able to see her beauty regardless of her cloths. Or, That is so shallow, women aren't just your arm candy.
Let me switch things around and paint a picture for you ladies. You meet a guy at a coffee shop, grabbing coffee after going to the gym. He is slightly yoked from his workout and is wearing black from head to toe in well fitted Running Room cloths and a black Nike ball cap. He gets your number and you chat back and forth a couple time before he asks you out on a date. The evening of the date arrives, and you've spent minimum one hour picking out a nice outfit, styling your hair and putting on a nice face of make-up, and you're excited to spend an evening out in the city. You arrive a bit early at the Starbucks on Barrington Street (because its summer and you want some time to cool down before he arrives). Then he walks in and you look at him from head to toe. He has black dress shoes on, light khaki dress pants, and a red button down shirt that clearly he had to buy for a wedding and is the only nice shirt he owns. The shirt is a little too big for him, and he definitely doesn't own an iron and you see it tucked into his khaki's with a black belt. Meanwhile his hair is slicked over to the side in this odd mixture of John Travolta from Grease and Ross Geller from Friends.... who... the fuck... is that? It's nice that he tried to get dressed up for the date with you, yet its unfortunate he missed the mark. I know almost every single women out there has experienced this, and the subsequent feeling of you stomach hitting the floor with dread thinking you have to spend the rest of the evening with a man who dresses like a 12 year old going to his first semi-formal dance. Being a good person, we try to make the best of the date, and stay polite and kind, but still, the attraction left the room in the first 30 seconds, and you know you will never get it back.
Looks ARE NOT everything, people are busy and it is hard to keep a wardrobe maintained. Also it's not our purpose in life to look good at all times, nor do a lot of us have the type of employment where knowing how to dress is essential. Yet we need to be aware of how important first impressions are, and how hard it can be to recover from the disappointment of those first 30 seconds. Say she was coming straight from work, she could have had an outfit in her bag and popped into a bathroom on the way to the restaurant to get freshened up. He could have gotten some helpful tips from a professional on what a great date outfit is, and kept it pressed and maintained for when he needed it. (Or gone to the McGuire Dress For Confidence Workshop on November 19th *shameless plug*) to learn a few tips.
Be aware of the power of the first 30 seconds of a date. Walk into that room looking like a million bucks... Take the time to stop and looking around the room and everyone in it. Once you see your date, allow a slight smile to sneak onto your lips, that gets slightly bigger the closer you get as you walk slowly and confidently towards them. Watch as they take all of you in, unable to peel their eyes off of you. That is how the first 30 seconds is done. "Success comes from standing out, not fitting in" - Don Draper.