checklistThe first impression is extremely important for both men and women. While you do not have to change who you are or pretend to be somebody else, it is advisable to observe a minimum standard of appearance. The following are suggestions only, but it is difficult to imagine that lower standards of grooming would be appealing to many women.

    1. What do your clothes say about you?

      Your clothes should be appropriate for your body type, age and your (eye and skin) colouring, as well as comfortable, clean and of good quality. They show your attention to detail and your good taste, as well as your ability to keep up with the times. A bit of colour or pattern can be refreshing, and the fabric should be appropriate for the season. If you wish to attract a woman much younger than you, you should take fashion into consideration even more. Avoid shapeless, cheap, outdated and drab clothing. If you have pale colouring, steer clear of white, cream and light grey clothes.

      Also pay attention to your shoes – bouncers often decide whether to let people into establishments based entirely on the quality and style of their footwear, and women NOTICE shoes.

      If in doubt, shops like Country Road can provide good basics. As a general rule, do not wear anything more than a year old. Your favourite shirt can wait for a later meeting.

    2. What about your hair?

      Your choice of hairstyle is a personal one, but bear in mind that it is often the basis of the first impression for both men and women. Short and clean is always safest, but if you are more adventurous, ensure that it is well kempt. Comb-overs are not recommended. If you have not been to a barber in the last month, now might be a good time to go!

    3. And facial hair? Especially nose and ears!

      Again, this is a personal choice. However, nothing is more susceptible to fashion than facial hair. Sideburns and moustaches can be very stylish when neatly trimmed, but disconcerting when too long or bushy. Ear and nose hair should NEVER be able to be seen and any stray eyebrow hairs should be trimmed. A small amount of Vaseline can keep your eyebrows groomed if necessary, and nobody will ever know.

    4. What about teeth?

      The importance of clean teeth cannot be underestimated. Nothing is a greater turnoff than bad breath caused by bad teeth, to say nothing about missing or grey teeth. You should ensure that you have been to the dentist in the last 6 months, as well as flossing regularly. While this may sound obvious, it is the single most neglected factor by many men, and women repeatedly complain about it.

    5. Do you look well?

      This not only includes your weight and general fitness, but standing up straight and carrying yourself well. If you are carrying a bit of extra weight, try to buy clothes that are tailored and do not pull open at buttons. You should also wear darker colours. Keeping in shape will also make you look healthier and more relaxed.

    6. Do you have enough money on you?

      The most confusing aspect of modern dating is “who pays?”. Wherever you stand on this subject, you should ensure that you have enough money to cover the costs of the date. If you are meeting for a drink, you should have at least $50 on you and be prepared to spend it! Offer to pay even if your date tries to contribute. A sign of gentleman to start with – most women these days still appreciate men who behave in the old fashioned way at the first date. ( remember don’t arrange an expensive first date anyway )

    7. What about your hands?

      Many women notice a man’s hands relatively quickly. They should be clean and any ragged nails should be cut and filed. If you have any thickened, rough or overgrown skin or cuticles, these can be removed easily and cheaply with a manicure. If you have never had one before, you might like to try a basic manicure once a year and then maintain your hands yourself. Ink, nicotine, grease and other stains do not look good dipping into the peanut bowl!

      Of course, you probably knew a lot of this already. Or you might have just remembered that it has been while since you visited the barber, dentist or shoe store. If you meet all these basics, your date will not be distracted by housekeeping issues and will be able to truly enjoy your company and personality. All the best!