Man alive, the weather recently has been fantastic!
And each day some doomsayer proclaims that tomorrow it will ‘go back to normal’. But whether it does or does not, summer really is just around the corner.
So I’ve decided to spread my wings again and somehow pretend I have some notion of what constitutes fashionable attire. In particular, what constitutes fashionable attire for the gentleman about town meeting a young lady for the first time beneath a blazing sun.
So here are my top tips for gents on how to dress ‘cool’ when dating this summer.
It’s all about labels
Those who know me will be expelling whatever liquids they are imbibing back out their nose after reading that title.
So in the interests of safety allow me to clarify. I don’t mean go and buy expensive labels. Check the labels on whatever clothes you’re going to wear. In particular, check if the label has the word ‘polyester’ on it. If it does and this is followed by a number larger than say 15%, discard this item in disgust.
To demonstrate allow me to regale you with a brief cautionary tale.
My Primark gift card – a present from my mum – was burning a hole in my pocket and I was due to meet a particular individual that evening. In I strolled to the resplendent Ealing outlet of this paradise of chic. I promptly purchased an eye catching item of the t-shirt variety (£7! Pay day!).
Feeling rather fetching in my new regalia I rocked up to my date only to spend the next thirty minutes becoming increasingly aware of a rather pungent aroma. ‘Can you smell that?’ I enquired of her only to realise as she answered in the affirmative that my underarms were the offending orifices. Polyester plus heat and sunshine do not a cleanly body maketh. I smelt like a cross between a brewery and a jock strap laundry (pre-wash).
There’s very little that looks better than a classic crisp white shirt to bring out your inner glow. Yet so much can still go wrong.
Let’s assume you’ve picked a light cotton number. Did you choose cufflinks or buttons? It’s a toughy.
My advice is generally to wear cufflinks if you’re going to keep you’re jacket on for most of the evening. It’s rare for men to buy a well fitted shirt and this can show nowhere more prominently on a double cuffed shirt than in the cuffs themselves.
Add the fact that if you wish to roll up your sleeves, double cuffs can end up looking like un-ironed water wings.
Better a more manageable button cuff. You then have a choice. A preppy half way up the forearm roll? The conservative just above the elbow balanced fold? Or the flirtatious Italian cuff with cheeky peak?
Quick Tip: It’s not unmanly to drink white wine in the summer. Do so to avoid stand out spillage stains.
As tempting as it is to wear shorts in the heat, a first date is not the place to reveal your gallantly garish gastrocnemii (that’s your calfs). A full length trouser is far more respectful.
It’s also tempting to titillate with light colours. Cream or beige or a tinted grey for example. By all means do so but beware your underwear choice. Heat is difficult to manage and you may wish to air your parts utilising the age old man friend, the loose boxer. Do not do this.
You will invariably take a break to relieve yourself. The loose boxer will result in a condition called a ‘Wimbledon’. Put simply, a ‘Wimbledon’ is the last drop of wee that – no matter how well you shake your chap – will invariably end up running down your leg. And we all know how unsympathetic a light colour trouser is to liquids. The only solution is to mimic an explosive tap disaster. Funny though how no other gentleman in the establishment had the same problem.
And finally to the shoes
Under no circumstances wear anything vaguely sandal like. Ever. Flip flops will make you look like a stoned backpacker who’s lost his hostel. Leather sandals invite comparisons to a dandruff prone geography teacher circa 1950.
And trainers? If you must and you have a suitably fashionable shoe like pair, for the love of god wear socks. The smell of a teenage boy’s bedroom is never conducive to romance.
For my money, it’s the classic leather closed shoe, preferably laced and polished. Tan is the colour of preference to my mind in the summer although there are a number of pale blue models emerging as a jaunty alternative.
So there you have it gentlemen. Dress well, date well. That’s my motto. So tally-ho and toodle-pip. I’m off for a refreshing glass of Pimms and a quick pass around the croquet lawn.
Until next time, what!
Gentlemen, now that you know how to dress to impress, why not head along to one of our very fine dating events where the dashing new you will become the talk of the town.
WORDS BY JOHN DAVIS