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Runway Rundown: first-date fashion

Before heading out for a night on the town, most women probably spend a good amount of time getting ready.

But what do college-age guys look for in terms of style on a first date? Many have their opinions about what is attractive for their dates to wear, and a few male students at USF provided insight into a man’s mind on that crucial opening night out.

Jake Stead, a former USF employee who was eating lunch on campus, said he preferred women who say more with less. He doesn’t look for anything too flashy.

“Classy, but not necessarily dressed up,” he said. “People take classy as different ways.”

An outfit that complements your personality is important. Separates make it easy to add pieces that stand out without seeming overdressed, depending on the venue. Perhaps a good route would be a fancy top paired with jeans for a dressed-down look.

Knowing your personal style is an important part of understanding what makes you comfortable. A good place to start is to think about what attire is appropriate for where you’re going and the message an outfit may send.

Other students, like George Clark, a senior majoring in marketing, felt differently about first-date style, saying his idea of dressing classy was “a dress, period. Something that shows off your curves.”

Clark’s clichd mantra for a first-date ensemble is, “If you got it, flaunt it.”

Evening and cocktail dresses come in a variety of styles. They are easy to dress up or dress down and are comfortable. Chiffon gowns are great for the summer, whether it’s a date by the beach or a fancy night out.

But first-date attire should never direct attention toward your clothing and away from your conversation. Leave out talking about how uncomfortable your attire is – like the pain of six-inch stilettos – said David Dean, a senior majoring in mass communications.

“I like when girls wear stilettos, but I don’t like when they complain about them,” he said. “I like natural looks, don’t make yourself look like someone you’re not … stick to your style.”

Keep it simple, and don’t stray too far from your everyday look. And certainly don’t sacrifice comfort.

Rick Wright, an employee at the campus Beef O Brady’s, shared his feelings about flip-flops and accessories.

“Flip-flops or slides, I hate those,” he said, “and I don’t like too many accessories – sounds like a whole bunch of cans dropping.”

Too many accessories can be overpowering and distracting.

Limit your flair to one piece of extravagant jewelry like a tribal necklace, a bright bracelet or a detailed clutch.

Heels – not uncomfortable stilettos – are also a great way to flaunt the legs, as opposed to flip-flops on a first date that’s not at the pool.

There are so many things to wear on the first date, especially with warm weather finally here. But keep it simple and stay true to your style.

After all, if the guy asked you out in your everyday attire, he probably wants to spend time with you – not your outfit.