A Complete Guide to Date Night Outfits for Men (2024)

Whether you're meeting someone for the first or fourth time, you always want to make a proper initial impression, especially within the early days of a relationship. Thus, this means focusing on every little detail when planning out dates, including the outfits you ultimately choose to wear.

Even if you don't put a lot of thought into your physical appearance on a daily basis, what you wear on a date is crucial as it has the ability to showcase that you truly care about the other person. In fact, research has found that even small changes to your appearance can positively or negatively affect how others see you, and this is particularly true in regard to date night outfits for men.

However, we also understand that many people do not have a general awareness of standard style rules when putting together a decent look. And if you're used to wearing your old favorite jeans and sneakers everywhere you go, trying to come up with a suitable getup for a nice restaurant might feel like a big struggle. Therefore, to help you select an appropriate ensemble for any outing, we consulted with stylist Michelle Barrett on how to put together the best men's date night outfit. Read on to learn more.

Meet the Expert

Michelle Barrett is a personal stylist who has previously worked with celebrities like Katy Perry and Ewan McGregor. She is also known for helping her clients build capsule wardrobes via her company Capsule Closet Stylist.

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What to Consider When Selecting a Date Night Outfit

First and foremost, deciding what to wear on a date should never be completely random. Sure, there are some go-to looks that will come in handy in a wide variety of situations (more on that in a minute), but you also need to make sure you're dressing appropriately for the type of date you're attending. And in order to make crafting a men's date outfit as easy as possible for your next outing, here are a few factors to keep in mind while searching through your closet or hitting the mall.

Time of Day

Is your date in the morning or in the evening? Morning dates, like grabbing coffee or brunch, tend to fall on the casual side, therefore casual attire is best suited for these types of dates. (Simply put, do not wear dress pants and a button-down shirt for a daytime lunch.) Evening dates, on the other hand, typically call for more dressed-up looks, although it ultimately depends on where you're going.

Venue

The venue and location of your date are two factors that are extremely important when figuring out what to wear. For instance, if you're going to a fancy restaurant, you should opt for a more dressed-up look and leave the jeans and sneakers at home. A walk in the park? Nice jeans and a shirt will suffice. And if you're going to an event or a country club, be sure to research if there's a dress code so there are no surprises upon arrival.

Your Date

You never want to wear something that feels completely inauthentic to who you are. That said, you should also pay attention to the type of person your date is when selecting an outfit. "Try to compliment who your date is," suggests Barrett. "If your date is very [elegant] in all his or her profile images, then you should be too. If not, then you can afford to go more casual."

How Neat Your Clothes Look

You could be wearing a gorgeous button-down shirt in the perfect color, but if it's wrinkled and/or stained, the effect is pretty much gone. "Make sure the clothes are clean and pressed," Barrett says. "There is looking casual and then there is looking unkempt."

Date Night Style Tips and Advice

As mentioned above, finding a good men's date outfit can easily leave you feeling overwhelmed, especially if you are a fashion rookie. To make things more manageable, though, keep these general tips in mind before heading out on your next outing.

Get Advice from a Friend

Barrett recommends getting style advice from a friend you can trust, if possible (or maybe a sibling or cousin). "A good friend will look at you from the perspective of your date," she says. They can tell you honestly what they think of your outfit or they can help you put one together.

Keep Colors Simple

While there's nothing wrong with bright colors, if you're trying to make a certain impression, you may want to stick with a few basic hues. Barrett recommends going for a navy, white, charcoal grey, dark green, or stone suit, noting that they're all a good starting point for nearly any type of outfit and accessory. Avoid splashy logos or graphic designs that can easily look too casual or gaudy, as well. "Make sure your outfit does not speak louder than you do. Keep it classic and simple," she reminds.

Be Yourself

Finding the right outfit doesn't mean pretending to be someone you're not. If you're the guy who is always in jeans and sneakers, just find a way to elevate that look instead of wearing a suit you feel awkward in. "If you dress in something that is too far removed from who you are and end up going on another date, you will have to keep that up," Barrett points out. Plus, wearing something you genuinely like will leave you feeling more confident.

What's more, while your date will likely pay attention to your outfit in some way, it won't be the only factor they remember while they're trying to get to know you. "Do not worry about trying to impress your date with expensive clothes or fitted clothes to show off your body," Barrett adds. "The first date is about you both deciding if you want to see each other again." So make sure your personality comes through your clothes, while also dressing appropriately and staying true to yourself.

Stay Comfortable

We can't stress this enough: Make sure your outfit feels as good as it looks. That means avoiding anything that fits too tight or requires a lot of adjustments. If you're literally uncomfortable in your clothes, it will affect your confidence and can leave you distracted, which is the last thing you want.

Build a Capsule Wardrobe

A capsule wardrobe is essentially a set of basic clothing that can be mixed and matched into a bunch of different outfits. They generally focus on classic, timeless items rather than anything too trendy. And while it might take some time to build a good one, a capsule wardrobe can make getting dressed a lot easier in the long run.

What Not to Wear on a Date

While self-expression is important, and wearing something unique can be fun, there are still a few things all men should avoid wearing, especially in the initial months of dating someone. "Avoid anything too bright, patterned, or controversial," Barrett warns. She also advises against anything too trendy or inappropriate for your age. "If you are back in the dating game after a divorce, do not try to dress like a teenager before you got married. That does not mean you have to dress like your dad, you can still be fashionableand stylish."

A Complete Guide to Date Night Outfits for Men (1)

Standard Date Outfit Ideas

Searching for a list of go-to outfits to add to a capsule wardrobe? Here, Barrett suggests stocking your closet with the below items:

  • A plain white button-down shirt
  • A mid to dark wash pair of straight-leg jeans
  • A knitted or jersey hoodie in a solid shade with no huge logo
  • A dark slim suit
  • A few solid-colored or striped T-shirts in navy, white, black, or grey
  • A pair of black brogue shoes or similar
  • A pair of sneakers in a neutral color (think: navy, grey, black, white, or charcoal)
  • A casual checkered or plaid shirt in navy, bottle green, grey, or black
  • A casual pair of chino-style pants
  • A polo shirt in a solid neutral

"Depending on your date and where you are going, you could create a range of outfits from this small collection," she says. For example, "If you are out for dinner with a smart date, you could go for the dark suit, brogues, and plain white shirt. Alternatively, if you want to appear smart, but not like you have just come from the office, you could still wear the suit, but team it with a t-shirt or the polo shirt."

A Complete Guide to Date Night Outfits for Men (2)

Casual Daytime Date Outfit Ideas

As previously noted, daytime dates typically require more casual attire (unless you have an event or daytime wedding, of course). "I would keep it less dressy and more casual or smart casual," Barrett says. "To define smart casual: you have made an effort and do not look like you have just gotten out of bed." Some easy outfit ideas using Barrett's capsule wardrobe selection include:

  • Dark, straight jeans with a striped T-shirt and sneakers
  • Dark, straight jeans with a casual shirt and sneakers
  • Dark, straight jeans with a hoodie and sneakers
  • Chino-style pants and a hoodie or T-shirt

Make sure the clothes are neat and clean, and stick with solid colors instead of graphic designs to keep the look elegantly casual.

A Complete Guide to Date Night Outfits for Men (3)

Evening Date Outfit Ideas

An evening date will usually require you to put more effort into your look. "You are more likely to be going somewhere which might require a dress code," Barrett notes. "Check before you go, particularly if your date has suggested the location." More specifically, a few evening attire pieces from her capsule wardrobe include:

  • Jeans, a suit jacket, and a white shirt
  • Jeans, a striped T-shirt, and a suit jacket
  • Chino-style pants with a casual shirt
  • Chino-style pants and a polo shirt

10 Romantic Date Night Ideas for Married Couples

A Complete Guide to Date Night Outfits for Men (2024)

FAQs

A Complete Guide to Date Night Outfits for Men? ›

For pants, opt for stylish business or dress pants paired with a white button-down. Make sure to add a blazer or dress coat and a clean pair of dress shoes to keep the outfit on point. For accessories, add a tie or pocket square, a watch with a metal band and a classy belt to tie the outfit all together.

How should men dress for date night? ›

For pants, opt for stylish business or dress pants paired with a white button-down. Make sure to add a blazer or dress coat and a clean pair of dress shoes to keep the outfit on point. For accessories, add a tie or pocket square, a watch with a metal band and a classy belt to tie the outfit all together.

What clothes to wear at a night out men? ›

Some guys choose to dress up with stylish chino trousers, a button-down shirt, and fancy shoes for a polished appearance, while others might want to go for a smart casual approach with dark denim jeans, a good t-shirt, and cool sneakers.

What do guys wear to dates? ›

A timeless outfit will be one that involves a well-fitted sweater, skinny chinos, dress shoes, statement watch and a pair of shades. This will not just ensure you look like someone right out of a movie, also give off the idea that you know what you're doing with your wardrobe when it comes to casual outfits for men.

What should I wear on a date night with my husband? ›

Cute and casual date night outfits can be as basic as jeans and a graphic t-shirt to dresses and flirty sandals for the ladies. For men, jeans are most common and are easy to elevate with a crisp button-down shirt or a sport coat over a tee.

How can a man look attractive on a night out? ›

Wear a nice t-shirt with a blazer or bomber jacket.

You can go for a plain t-shirt again when you're going to the club. Black or darker colored shirts tend to look more formal than white or light colored t-shirts. A nice, fancy looking blazer will work great in a more formal setting.

What should men wear to bed at night? ›

Opt for lightweight boxer shorts and a breathable T-shirt – a modern, summery spin on the classic pyjama two-piece set.

What is the best color to wear at night for men? ›

Wear all dark colors, mainly navy blue or black. In the night time, these are colors that will allow you to match the overall dark atmosphere and won't stand out but rather blend in opposed to bright colors like white, red, bright yellow etc.

What is smart casual for night out men? ›

The Oxford shirt is the very definition of smart casual, acting as a hybrid between a polo or rugby shirt and a dress shirt. Wear it tucked in with chinos, monk shoes and a Harrington jacket for a sleek silhouette, or leave it untucked with jeans and trainers.

What is the dark dress code for men? ›

As etiquette, a dark suit means festive and elegant dressing. Strive for a presentable and polished appearance, and you're all set for this kind of dress code. For men, this means a black or dark-colored suit. The fabric can be moderately striped, but not a clear chalk stripe.

What do guys want you to wear on a first date? ›

Your outfit should reflect your personal style and provide your date with a snapshot of your personality. Wear something that makes you feel like you, whether that be your favorite color, your go-to cologne, or your lucky pair of shoes.

What should a 50 year old man wear on a date? ›

For example, adding a smart trench coat, pea coat or overcoat to a pair of dark blue jeans, white shirt and black or brown pair of Oxfords will ensure you make a perfect first impression on your date. For extra brownie points, include a statement scarf which matches with the coat – just like Mr Bond.

What is date night attire? ›

Basics work beautifully for date nights because they can be dressed up or down, depending on where you're headed. Take a white tank top, for example. You can pair the piece with jeans, a knit cardigan, and sneakers if you're just catching a movie, or add a maxi skirt and wedged sandals for dinner on the terrace.

What is the best color to wear on a date for a man? ›

What colour should a man wear on a first date? Neutral colours are often the safest choice on a first date. Pastel blues and pinks are ideal summer shirt colours, while a crisp white shirt is a year-round staple. Navy, black and dark green are great neutrals for winter for both shirts and trousers.

How can I dress seductive for my boyfriend? ›

Some items you can wear to emphasize your figure is a wrap dress, body con dress, bodysuits, bodycon skirts etc.
  1. Develop a Go-To Makeup Routine. ...
  2. Keep your nails & toes done. ...
  3. Find a perfume that works for your body. ...
  4. Make a habit of pampering yourself.

What do you wear on a casual date night? ›

"Keeping it low-key is the main focus." As jeans are practically the definition of casual, they're an ideal choice. "Light-wash, high-waist denim with a T-shirt is a great look and also very classic," Priyanka notes. She suggests styling with a striped cardigan or bomber-style jacket depending on the weather.

References

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