Last night I was struck by a strange realisation. It occurred to me that when choosing that perfect date outfit, my choices become more and more eccentric, experimental and… repulsive, if that dreaded feeling of first date cold feet sets in. Does anyone else get that, or is it just me?
I am known for being the most fickle person in the world, as far as my love life is concerned. It has to be said, it’s entirely true. I can wholeheartedly accept a man’s offer of a date one day, and within twenty-four hours, frantically spend a sleepless night trying to think of a genuine reason to cancel. Genuine, so that I’m not suddenly that bitch who lied to get away. It doesn’t matter how much I fancy the pants off of him, I get nervous about dates in the same way that I get nervous about job interviews, business meetings, dentist appointments and basically anything that requires me to behave like a grown up.
Somewhere along the lines, this ‘fear’ of
first dates commitment has manifested into a strange inner Iris Apfel who pulls together the craziest outfits my usually conventional wardrobe can muster; a combination of stripes and spots, neon and print, over-sized and extravagant, all in a strange hope that it will send him running. It’s extreme, but it works like a charm. No man wants to date a glittering, glimmering, animal-adorning traffic cone who jingles with every step due to the sheer amount of jewellery stacked from fingertips to armpits.
I’ve spent my evening giggling as I ponder over which of the latest runway pieces would send any man running to the hills fastest…
1. Excessive amounts of fur/wool/feathers/general fluffiness.
If you walk into a restaurant wearing this scarlet Prada fur dress, for example:
You could probably chase him out of the building so fast, you wouldn’t even have chance to ask about the specials. It’s no secret that men do not like fussy fashion, and while a fur coat can definitely be sexy, there’s fur… and there’s Muppet. Equally, while shearling lined jackets reappear every autumn, this fluffy blue item would have the same effect… wear the two together, and you’ll definitely not have to worry about stammering over his offer of a second date!
If he can see you from miles away, the two million hand-sewn sequins of your evening dress sending millions of tiny beams of light into the sky like Tinkerbell on LSD, it only means that he’ll have plenty of warning to make a run for it before you even arrive. If you actually like your date, a sequin skirt or a sequin-encrusted lapel on a silk blazer would look amazing (but not together – that would be too much), or equally, a crystal bracelet or necklace (again, just one) can really complete an outfit, but something like this…
Marco de Vincenzo
…will probably a) blind him, and b) repel him.
3. Glitter Boots
In the same strand as the sparkly, sequin coated garments of above, but these deserve a point all to themselves… they’re just so… disco.
4. Strange geometric patterns
The mysterious creature that is the human male is easily startled, confused and extremely judgmental. If you’re walking around looking like a walking set of traffic lights, a human puzzle set for children, or generally just like someone who is overly fond of your basic shapes, they will get spooked. Maybe it’s a lasting trauma of all of those hours that they spent stuck on a ‘peg-and-hole’ game at nursery (sorry.. kindergarten?)
5. Orange or Purple lips
I tend to stick to the two signature shades of nude-pink or bold red, and while I’m yet to meet a guy who doesn’t like red lipstick, I can still see that wary glance at my lips if every they have been coated in lashings of MAC’s Ruby Woo before they lean in for a kiss. Nevertheless, those glances only last a moment, but as soon as I step into experimenting with more daring shades; hot pinks, oranges, purples… no more kisses for me. It suddenly just isn’t worth the lipstick marks, and the strange explanations that would have to take place if anyone were to noticed that bright purple stain on his neck.
While I’m a 90s kid, I have always strongly believed that what happened in the 80s, stays in the 80s. They can keep their big hair, big shoulders, big, noisy, flashy clothes. They can keep bright leg warmers (but blacks and neutrals, however, are acceptable) and parachute pants and disco-gym gear, and they can definitely keep Madonna. We don’t need such nonsense here, regardless of what the trends tell me. It will only end if tears if we allow the 80s trends back into our lives, I can tell you. Are we so incapable of learning from our mistakes? Walk into a bar dressed as Bananarama, and he’ll be sure to make his excuses. Especially if you go for a matching haircut, but let’s not go that far…
8. Monsters Inc.
Do you suspect that he’ll prove to be particularly difficult to get rid of? Go couture, in the fluffiest sense of the word, and take a very large leaf from the Monsters Inc book for your evening’s inspiration. Seriously, what man would want to be seen walking down the street with a character of a Pixar movie?
8. Bag Lady/Homeless Chic
The clue is in the name with these two…
Most often known as the signature style of the Olsen twins, very few people can pull off homeless chic like they can. For one thing, drop the sunglasses – they are a vital part of making the look work, and you’re going for a look that is one step too close to actual homeless person.
9. The Walking Laundry Bag
While tartan is in, I had no idea that tailoring a plastic laundry bag into a dress or coat was acceptable? If you add a well-told tale about how this is your only outfit, because you had to give your clothes to a [insert ridiculously eccentric character here] on your way to the laundrette, he’ll disappear quickly enough. It brings a whole new meaning to the term ‘crazy bag lady’.
Wear these five items together in a crazy mis-mash of tartan, and you’ll be somewhere close to the Celine laundry bag outfit.
10. Runway Beauty…
Runway makeup is all about art and extravagance, and therefore, as we all know that the average man’s understanding of makeup is limited to a more natural look, 80% of the looks that emerge on catwalks will chase any guy away…