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What your clothing choices communicate to men

Elizabeth Mitchell is a freelance fashion and beauty writer living in Los Angeles. A graduate of New York University, she regularly contributes to The Fashion Spot, The Luxury Spot and authors the Star Style column for StyleBakery Teen. ...

What do your fashion choices say?

Concerned about what that low-cut top will say to your date? Don’t worry — we called in the experts to find out for sure!
Woman wearing tight black dress on date

Low-cut tops and short hemlines

Tip: Learn how to stay classy in crop tops. Click here!

Anything too short or too low-cut says that you’re trying too hard and that you may be promiscuous, says Alan Au, VP of Jimmy Au’s For Men 5’8” And Under. "If you’re going to be fashionably provocative, wear a shorter skirt or a lower cut top, but not both at the same time. Pick one or the other.”

The “kitchen-sink” look

Believe it or not, guys don’t care about trends, notes Rebecca Raskind, VP of CLD Style House & PR and dating expert for the site ThreeDayRule.com. "You could be wearing every trend in the book — neon jewelry, spiked Jeffrey Campbell platforms, a leopard print jacket, harem pants and a cropped bustier — but unless this is your everyday style and you are completely confident in it, steer clear of mega-trendy items. Your guy wants to date you, not a street-style caricature.”

sweatpantsSloppy casual clothes

Yes, there are occasions where a more relaxed look makes sense, explains Raskind. "For example, maybe your date is taking you to a yoga class and then out to lunch or a baseball game. You would certainly look out of place in a skirt and heels here. However, you should still make some effort. Oversized sweats, a baggy hoodie, messy hair and no makeup communicates that you simply don’t care… at all.” 

Super structured outfits

Women's clothing choices can communicate so many things to men, says fashion stylist and plus-size style expert Marcy Guevara from The Marcy Minute! "Sweats and a messy ponytail may send the message that you're apathetic, uninterested or aloof, while anything too structured or super polished can give off the impression that you’re high-maintenance. When going on a first date, it's important to show that you care enough about the date with good grooming and a nice outfit, yet that you aren't desperate. So save the LBD for a sexy night out or a special occasion.”

Lingerie

Attached? Dimitri James, CEO of Skinn Cosmetics and author of Naughty Makeovers for Nice Girls, urges women to always keep in mind the power of lingerie. "Your husband/boyfriend didn't get in a relationship with the cook or the cleaning lady — he married his girlfriend. Remember to turn it on for your mate. If he sees you walking around the house in old, frumpy sweats all the time, that's the way he’ll start to remember you. I believe that women who take better care of themselves and don't get lax with their looks tend to have better relationships.”

Oversized handbags

Leave the big bag at home! "It will unconsciously send the message that you're 'carrying baggage,’” says stylist Alexandra Suzanne Greenwalt, creator of Iconify Me and author of Secrets of a Fashion Stylist.

Discover more fashion advice

The many lengths of pants and how to wear each
How to tuck non-skinny jeans into boots
3 Perfect outfits for running errands

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