What to wear speed dating

Yes that’s right, as part of a New Year’s resolution (in which I wrote down “try new things”), I’m off speed dating next week with a couple of friends. But, until now I haven’t really thought much about what to wear.

I can think of a lot of things NOT to wear, but after going through my wardrobe I started to realise that it may prove more difficult than I’d first anticipated. Here are some tips I’ve come up with on the journey to finding a perfect speed dating outfit:

Naughty Necklines

Beware of provocative necklines – even if you’re not wearing a particularly seductive piece, it could fall that way.

What I mean is that you’ll be sitting for the majority of the night (except for the occasional break where you may visit the bar or the bathroom), so all the other person is going to be able to see is your top half – more specifically, your bust, shoulders, neck and face. So I would steer clear of deep V-cut necklines, any wrap-over dresses/tops and instead choose something that won’t give when you sit down.

I’m not saying you have to go all out Victorian style, but just make sure you’re comfortable. Apart from the embarrassment of flashing a little too much cleavage there is always the danger of focussing or worrying too much about whether they can see too much or if you bra is on show. All this worry will just mean that you are not giving the other person any attention and they’ll probably remember you for all the wrong reasons!

Hazardous Hair

You love your luscious locks right? You’ll make sure it’s fresh, styled and looking perfect for all those mini dates you’ll be experiencing, so what could go wrong?

Well this may seem a minor point, but style is important – you may not think it, but the majority of men notice a girl’s hair and will make a judgement based on it. Although wearing your hair in an up-do is completely fine, it’s probably best to stay clear of tight buns, which are very office-like and regimented, which can be off putting.

Even for those with long hair that love to wear it down, you need to think of your name badge. You’ll have to display it on your torso and linking in with the neckline situation, may not want to draw more attention than necessary to your bust. You also don’t want your hair to cover your name otherwise who will be able to tick ‘date’? And of course you want to avoid any embarrassing situations like your name tag getting stuck in your hair!

Silly Shoes

We all love shoes – no matter the shape, style or colour, we have our favourites, but you need to choose yours carefully.

I’m 6’ 0” and even though I’ll be sitting down, I will be getting up during the break and do not want to tower over people, so I’ll be opting for a modest heel – which is no fun, but I’d rather sacrifice heels than feel like an Amazonian! That said, even shorter women may want to keep away from their killer platforms as you’re not on a night out with the girls.

Even if you dress casually I think that no trainers, Converse or other sneaker-like footwear should pass through the door. If you are more comfortable in flats then I would definitely recommend a cute pair of ballet pumps or flat wedges.

After Work Dilemmas

The event I’m going to in Liverpool starts at half 7 and I’m going to a friend’s after work to get ready, so I’ll have about an hour to eat, get ready and go. If however you’re going straight from work try and adopt the smart/casual approach.

If your workplace is über laidback then wear fitted jeans, some gorgeous ankle boots and if you want to wear a tee try one with some embellished detail to it. Coming from an over-smart office? Try adding colours or patterns to your look – a bodycon high waist skirt in burgundy with a tailored black shirt and a pair of pointed toe court shoes.

Memorable Make up

Memorable for all the wrong reasons. Once again, this is not a night out with the girls so avoid heavy eye makeup and definitely don’t over-do it on your eyes and lips!

I like spending time on my eyes more than my lips so I’m going to wear a very light eye shadow from Bourjois (Intense 01) which will delicately catch the light, giving my lids a subtle shimmer. With BarryM liquid eyeliner in black I’ll draw a thin line on my top lash line, arching slightly from the middle to the end to make my eyes look larger. Finally I’ll finish with Maybelline’s Falsies Volume Express mascara for a naturally thick and gently curled look.

Of course, if you prefer making a feature of your lips then I’d suggest a deep rouge for subtle seduction. Although I love red lips I think it may be a bit much for this type of occasion, especially if the lighting is dimmed. If you love colour though why not opt for a shade that has a hint of purple, or depending on your skin tone, coral?

It's all in the eyes!
It’s all in the eyes!

And last but not least, an unforgettable accessory

Speed dating is all about meeting new people and starting many different conversations – oh and of course trying to find a match or two. So it is my belief that a cute or cheeky accessory will both prove a talking point as well as making you memorable to that person sat opposite you.

However, depending on your neckline I would avoid necklaces as they draw attention to your bust and there’s already a name badge to contend with so there may be too much going on around that area already! Large hooped or dangly earrings are another no no, but interesting and quirky studs would work well.

I’m stuck on what to wear for mine, but I have gorgeous bird studs from Topshop as well as elephant stud earrings from Republic that are pretty cool. To avoid animals, I also have a stunning vintage style ring with a striking stone, which I think could work really well as my hands are going to be on the table and moving around (but not excessively) as I talk.

I was also thinking about painting my nails – as you can tell from my other posts I love nail polish – and so an interesting colour or pattern may well attract the attention of a perspective date!

Here’s what I may wear – I’m still undecided, but will let you know how it goes next week. Wish me luck and I hope I least get one match haha!

On the left is ananimal print by Oais and on the right is a patterned Dorothy Perkins number from one of their external labels.
On the left is ananimal print by Oais and on the right is a patterned Dorothy Perkins number from one of their external labels.

Let me know your tips for what to wear speed dating or share your stories, thanks!

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