We are all guilty of placing unnecessary pressure on ourselves when it comes to dating and everybody feels the anxiety pangs before stepping out the door… Particularly if you’ve had a previously traumatic experience which many of us have. Attending that first date may as well be a step into muddy waters as you never know what you’re going to expect. We all wish for the abs of Channing Tatum, the face of David Beckham and the etiquette of Prince William however, you need to be realistic with yourself as the chances of this happening is none.
Pep talks from friends and family may sound a little like this… “looks don’t matter” … “it’s the personality that counts” and “he should like you for you.” If you’ve been subject to this nonsense, then you know this is not good advice. No matter how many times our most loyal friends can say such rubbish, it will not stop you wanting to doll up in your best gear, blow dry your hair and attempt the almost impossible and apply winged eyeliner Angelina Jolie style. So, our pep talk consists of the do’s and don’ts for your first date. If you look hot, you feel hot which makes you confident, sassy and he’s bound to fall in love with you.
Unfortunately, if there is any awkwardness on a date, it’s beyond your control (no matter how hot you look) and if the layout of the restaurant isn’t suited to a dive out the loo window or a quick getaway isn’t possible, then dating can be a difficult experience… but remember, the poor guy is probably nervous too.

1. Hair

As shallow as it may seem, silky locks get you far in life. If you’re someone who deters washing your hair with dry shampoo for days on end or you slick it back so tight you can only see your ears from your front profile or if you’ve put off a trip to the hairdressers for the last five years because "your growing it long," then it’s time to do something magical to that barnet. The magazine Cosmo did a little online test about hairstyles and found that women follow all the edgy beauty trends and dare to bare some rather drastic styles and cuts. However, first impressions for a man are really important, and despite edgy cuts being in-Vogue, men voted for soft curls with wispy bangs as their hairstyle of choice. So keep it natural girls and blow-dry your hair into lovely beachy locks. If you have a cute pixie cut keep it more Frankie from the Saturday’s as opposed to Britney ’07.

2. Don’t wear anything that is going to cut off your blood circulation

Your discomfort will quickly be sensed by your lucky date so, kill in a slim-fit something-or-other but don’t dress in something that is going to hinder your enjoyment, especially if you’re eating, enjoy the food and the company!

3. Show off your best bits, not all your bits.

If you’re daring to bare your legs and boobs be careful, you want to leave some things to the imagination. Having an open backed dress can look sophisticated, without looking like you’re willing to bare all. It also avoids that common cleavage issue, whereby the man spends a large portion of time staring directly at your chest. This may put you off him, ruining both your chances at falling in love with each other, which is a little unfair… it’s like taunting a child with chocolate.  Also, you want him to notice the time you’ve invested in your hair and makeup and because you look so beautiful. You want him to glare romantically into your eyes with infatuation, not elsewhere.

4. Shoes

Even if your date is an action packed day, full of loads of sporting activities, don’t wear your smelliest trainers just in case he invites you over to his house for a coffee.  If you’re walking a long way, there is also nothing worse than rolling your ankle over in a pair of stiletto heels.  So, chose something comfortable but tasteful and take all measures possible to keep smell at bay.

5. Make Up

We have all been spun the yarn, usually by the media, that men prefer women without any makeup on. However, I personally know, because I own a mirror, that my fresh face isn’t so fresh and I feel a lot more confident with my makeup bag. Over-doing your makeup on the other hand can also be a travesty…you don’t want to pitch-up on your first date looking as though you’ve just performed in Moulin Rouge. Glamour magazine asked a few lads to place their vote. The general consensus was that men are drawn to eyes, smokey eyes, eye lashes and eyeliner, paired with a soft nude lip. Many were a fan of the classic red lip, though there are few practicalities of the red lip whilst dating. The frequent application can become rather tiresome and you will, after your sixth glass of wine, use the ladies and see a smattering of lipstick all over your pearly whites. So, stick with something lighter, even just a tinted gloss, but make those eyes big and beautiful.

6. Dress or trousers or skirt or shirt?

Clothes are part of our identity and when we wake up in the morning, we can decide who we want to be for the day via our wardrobes. No-one should tell a woman what to wear, rest assured, I won’t do either. All I will say, is that it’s very much worthwhile planning your outfit. We all get in a flap (and some of us teary) when we have "nothing" to wear. So make sure you know, before you go.  Also, make it looks like you’ve made an effort not as though you’ve dashed from the other side of town straight after work or like you’ve had to take the dog for a quick stroll just before your arrival.

7. Perfume

Wear it.

8. Jewellery

Jewels are a great way to make you look sophisticated, classy and at a bit of sass, especially if you’ve gone for a muted outfit.  It is a good idea to avoid wearing anything from an ex and if you’re lucky enough to have real life jewels instead of Primark replacements, don’t go dripping in diamonds, in case he feels as though that’s what you’re after… Or maybe, do…

9. Wardrobe Malfunctions

Wardrobe malfunctions are every girl’s nightmare and they are for the large part unavoidable. If it happens, it happens, and you have to ride it out with confidence. You can obviously take all the necessary precautions, tit tape, not wearing anything too tight on the booty, and nothing grey (the last thing you want are sweat patches).

10. Smile

Awh, yes ladies, to finish off with a sprinkling of cheese… it is very important to wear a smile. Smile even if you're unhappy, feeling low and laugh even if something's not funny. This makes you approachable and puts your date at ease.
If you're not sure where to go for your date, you could try London cocktail making or for the more sporty, you could do footgolf in Brighton.