“YOU are what you wear,” somebody once said.
But when it comes to dating, does it matter?
It was something I was keen to explore after a recent lucky escape from a man who had a penchant for wearing bobbly ribbed jumpers, too short black work trousers and work shoes — even though he didn’t have a job.
That wasn’t the only reason I wasn’t too keen — but it was a glaring issue and one I’m not afraid to admit (braces for trolls).
Don’t get me wrong. I love clothes more than most, but I’m certainly not bothered about designer outfits — you can look stylish in Zara, H & M or even op shop with a bit of effort.
Jumper man also complained, by text, I never stayed out more than a couple of hours, but never actually asked me out for dinner, just drinks after work, so what did he expect, really?
He ended up ditching me by passive aggressive text message which actually made me cry on the Fast Ferry on the way home, but it was probably for the best and I’d got over it with a wine by the time I arrived in the city)
Anyway, my pals agreed what a bloke wears is an issue they’ve debated too (a married pal said she once threw out her partner’s ratty old T-shirts) so I decided to ask some fashion and dating gurus — does what we wear really matter when it comes to dating?
If you meet the perfect partner, do you care if they’re wearing a bin bag or Balmain?
Meanwhile, can a sharp suit transform a loser into someone attractive?
THE DATING COACH
“Life is about love, connection, having passion for what you do, making a difference to people, building and caring for your tribe, and having amazing people around you.
“Nothing else really matters.”
He’s right, of course, but we’re not really THAT bad, Andrew.
“It’s not just about being superficial, but these judgments do allow us to see what kind of person they are,” said Nikki Goldstein, author of #Single but Dating.
“I think there’s research which says our attention span is down to one tenth of a second. When you see somebody you immediately go up and down them,” she said.
“We are looking to work out very quickly if somebody is right for us.
“If it’s a first date and a guy rocks up, hasn’t put any pride into themselves I would be so turned off.”
However, if the chemistry is there, it doesn’t matter Goldstein said — laughing she once had a boyfriend she loved despite a pair of terrible cord trews he owned.
However, she said it’s important to consider if you’re actually going into dating looking for reasons to reject somebody — possibly before they reject you.
“I had a friend who was not sure about a guy, she was looking for reasons to back up her mind and one was his dress sense,” she said.
“If you feel chemists, those sparks, you meet somebody, they could be wearing a potato sack if that chemistry is there.”
Dan Thomas of The Image Doctor specifically helps men dress for dating, and believes Aussie blokes don’t see the importance at all.
“Most women will consciously or unconsciously judge a man’s dress sense on a date which is evidenced by yourself and this bloke who dressed terribly,” he said.
“I think women would like their partner to be a positive visual reflection and extension of themselves, and this can’t be achieved if the man is dressed poorly.”
Thomas said getting clothes tailored to fit (hello 5ft 6 ins bloke I met recently wearing jeans which pooled on the floor around his shoes) but choosing classic staples — which don’t need to be expensive — are key.
Stylist Annie Sophia, who works with both men and women via anniesophia.com on style revamps, also urged daters to make more effort.
“Think about the type of person you desire,” she advised.
“Your date will only be as successful as the effort you put in — and remember, it begins the very second you first see each other.”