Let's face it, a man's outfit is generally fairly standard, according to the season and the occasion. But for that first date, could the choice of the right accessory make a difference? In making a positive impression (all else being equal), or, heaven forbid, being a total turn-off, totally destroying his chances right from the first minute?
This was the subject of the LUXOS survey on men's accessories likely to foster success on the first date. The outright winner was for something to avoid at all costs, namely short white socks, and this is mentioned by many recipients. "The classic white socks worn with dark trousers and shoes mean millions of points lost for him." "Short socks are horrible." "Not even tennis players wear white socks any more!"
To continue in the same area, shoes are also important, and for many women are actually crucial (how come no-one ever told me about this before?): "The number one accessory for me has to be shoes. They should be in good condition, clean, well-cared for." More details: "Men's shoes, and I love the classic styles." "Shoes are important for a good first impression. If they're pointed, it's a bad first impression." "Well-crafted shoes, definitely." "If shoes are made in low quality materials or are just scruffy, no chance at all." "Shoes are one of the few things that I notice, above all in crowded locations... even though perhaps, on the first date, I'd be looking for something else!"
Moving up to the other end, headgear has a certain importance. "I can't stand bluetoothed men. On the other hand, I don't mind men wearing hats." Again, opinions differ. "I hate wide-rimmed hats, like the ones grandad wore." "Hats on a first date absolutely not!"
Some girls are attracted primarily by the style of clothing. "I definitely am a fan of layers, I don't like it when men wear just one layer like a polo or a shirt. I much prefer seeing a T-shirt, with a dress shirt layered on top and then a jacket - or a shirt with tie and jacket + handkerchief."
Others are attuned to detail accessories. "I really notice the watch, because it shows the difference between someone with no sense of taste and a real gentleman." "As regards the wristwatch, I don't mind whether it's plastic or gold, quartz or automatic, old or modern, but the really important thing is that he mustn't look at it! That would be a really bad sign." Another warning on watches and jewellery: "If they he's wearing over-flashy watch or jewelry I will be sick!" "Black marks for gold watches and various types of bijoux, oversized and flashy belt buckles."
Shirts have a certain importance, and in particular their accessories. "I give good marks to cufflinks, high-quality braces and at any age - they are a little old-fashioned, and so unconventional, and therefore interesting." Likewise, Ascot ties are considered positive. Bad marks for white T-shirts worn under a shirt ("We're not at the north pole, he won't die of cold!"
Surprisingly, only a few women mentioned perfume. One girl in particular mentioned Acqua di Parma as a positive factor on a first date. She had very individual tastes with respect to the majority: her positive features are a white shirt, a good pen, a quality briefcase, and a scarf in winter.
The turn-offs: apart from the white socks, these include bandanas, baseball caps, bluetooth ("on the first date it makes him look like a bodyguard"), body jewellery/piercing, bow ties, braces, fanny packs, linen handkerchiefs, money clips, tattoos, a vest under the shirt, a bag with a shoulder strap, and cufflinks (showing that one girl's turn-on is another girl's turn-off).
Could hair be considered as an accessory? We're getting onto dangerous ground here, but a combover is a definite no. Other "personal grooming" hates are salad caught in your teeth, and long and scruffy fingernails...
In conclusion, when you're getting ready to meet her for the first time, remember that "tie and hat can make a man into a clown or a gentleman," in other words, it's not so much what you wear, but how you wear it. One thing is certain: take an extra look at your shoes... and throw out all those white socks!
Mens' accessories that make a good impression on the first date
Suede moccasins, no socks 4%
Long-sleeved shirt 4%
Other likes (all below 4%): Ascot tie, bluetooth, briefcase, dress sense (colour matching), flip-flops, glasses (smart frames), layered clothing, necklace, pashmina, pen, pendant on shirt rubber thong, perfume, pocket watch (antique), rubber bracelet with silver insert, scarf, white shirt.
Mens' accessories that make a really bad impression on the first date
White socks 16%
Flashy jewellery and bijoux 10%
Fanny pack/belt bag/bum bag 7%
Cycle clips 5%
Swiss penknife 4%
Other hates (all below 4%): bag with shoulder strap, bandana, baseball cap, bow tie, combover, cufflinks, ear phones, earrings/ear-studs, handkerchief (linen), mobile phone in prominent view, moccasins, money clip, piercing/tattoos, pipe, pointed shoes, ring, sandals with socks, scruffy shoes, short-sleeved shirt, skin-tight trousers, tie-clip, tie with duck pattern, vest/T-shirt under shirt