What Color Should a Man Wear on a First Date? (w/ Pictures)

The color you wear on your first date can have a huge impact on how the date goes.

What color should a man wear on a first date?

Men should wear black on a first date. According to several reputable studies and surveys of both men and women, black is the most preferred color for men to wear on a first date. Black offers slimming effects and looks attractive on the vast majority of skin tones.

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A man in a black shirt against a yellow background—What Color Should a Man Wear on a First Date
Image by Author via Canva—What Color Should a Man Wear on a First Date?

There are many acceptable colors to wear on a first date, but none compare to the elegance and classiness of black.

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Table of clothing options—What Color Should a Man Wear on a First Date?

You might have other questions, though. If it is summer, what color should I wear? What if it is winter? What color should I wear to the beach? These are all great questions that we will answer in this article!

Let’s start with why men should wear black on a first date.

Why Men Should Wear Black on a First Date? (5 Great Reasons)

What color should a man wear on a first date? Black.

Black looks great on most men, and there is a reason why black is the most dominant hue worn by high-achievers across all fields from politics to sports.

In fact, there are five great reasons why men should wear black on a first date.

1. The Color Black Conveys Power and Masculinity

One reason is that black conveys power through its association with seriousness and formality. Black is a color that subtly intimidates and impresses other people through what it communicates about the wearer.

In this case, confidence and authority make black an attractive choice for men on first dates, as it indicates raw masculinity, which many women appreciate.

2. The Color Black Fits (Nearly) Every Situation

Black can be worn on your first date whether it’s a formal or informal event. Black rarely fails to make a statement and get the attention that you want.

You can wear the color black on a casual first date for drinks, a picnic, or a walk through a local public park. You can also wear black to a formal dinner or to go dancing.

3. The Color Black Is Slimming

Another great reason to wear black is because of how the color changes the way we look to others. This is one of the reasons I love wearing black clothes.

The color black often has a slimming effect because it makes the subject look more like a shadow or blur. The color black also makes us look longer and leaner.

How does the color black make you look thinner? Because of something called perceptive contrast.

Perceptive contrast describes how what we see changes an object’s apparent size and shape. It creates visual illusions, such as the perception that a person wearing dark clothing is slimmer than when they’re wearing light clothing against a lighter background.

This can also work with colors and grayscale versions of photos.

To a large degree, our perception of appearing thinner is just because it takes less time to process dark colors. A simliar thing happens when we see black clothing silhouetted against white backgrounds—things with rectangular outlines are recognized faster than things that have round shapes.

Black also minimizes certain areas we may want to cover up and brings attention to allure points such as our eyes and smiles. Bulges tend to disappear into the smoothness of the color black.

4. The Color Black Conveys a Sense of Mystery

Beyond conveying formality and power, black also offers a certain air of mystery due to its opacity.

You can’t see what’s under the surface until you get close enough (or peel it off). So there is always something unknown, and if there is one thing women love about men, it’s the uncertainty of not knowing what they’ll do next.

5. The Color Black is Backed By Research

Several studies on color perceptions and preferences concluded that both men and women prefer their first date partners to wear black.

We’ll look at the specifics of the data in the next section, but suffice it to say, you can hardly go wrong with wearing black—no matter your gender or the gender of the person with you on a first date.

Three Guys in Black Clothes
Images by Author via Canva——What Color Should a Man Wear on a First Date?

The Research Behind Men Wearing Black on a First Date

Most psychologists who study color say that you should wear black on a first date. When you are on a first date, wearing black clothing can subtly say to the other person, “I’m mysterious, successful, and sexy”. This will help your confidence so that you don’t feel as nervous when you flirt.

There is plenty of data to back up their claim. According to a 2012 study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, wearing certain clothes can improve performance on cognitive tests.

A survey of 1,000 people conducted by a British wholesale clothing company found that the vast majority of respondents connected the color black to positive qualities such as confidence, sexiness, trustworthiness, and intelligence.

In 2018, another research article published in Evolutionary Psychology supported previous studies. The data clearly showed that both men and women prefer to wear black on first dates.

What Color Should a Man Wear on a First Date in the Summer?

Many people think you should avoid wearing black in the summer.

However, a black-colored shirt is a good choice for a first date in the summer because it helps sweat evaporate quickly. Black also does not form stains and retains its shape better than other clothing colors in hot temperatures.

Black colors absorb heat and do not reflect it. Just make sure you don’t wear a super thin black shirt because that might actually make you feel warmer.

Certain colors, like white, reflect the sun’s rays and heat, making you hotter. White can also form stains that can be embarrassing in hot temperatures.

What Color Should a Man Wear on a First Date at Night?

A man should wear dark clothes on a first date at night. That may seem strange, as dark clothes may make it harder to see you.

However, darker colors can make men look taller, leaner, and stronger. The contrast between light and dark can also be very attractive on a man.

You definitely have options:

  • A dark t-shirt
  • A dark polo shirt
  • A dark sweater

In some instances, a dark coat with a light shirt can be the best option for a man to wear on a first date at night. The darker colors will make you seem taller and slimmer, while the contrast with the lighter shirt makes you look more youthful.

This combination of two opposites can be very attractive to men or women.

When Should a Man Not Wear Black on a First Date?

There are certain times when men should not wear black on a first date.

While these occasions are rare, they do happen. And I thought it would be a good idea to include some exceptions in this article in case they come up for you.

Here is a list of reasons:

  • Dark-colored dress clothes might have negative cultural meanings in some cultures or social contexts.
  • Special events that have color themes for their activities, such as a “white-out party”. It may be best to select colors more specific to the occasion.
  • When your date asks you not to wear black for any reason.

I don’t think many first dates will make a request for what color clothing you wear. But if they did, and the request seems understandable, then this might be a reason not to don black clothing.

Other Colors Men Can Wear On a First Date

The best colors for men are black, white, and blue because they show masculinity. Red is another option for when you want to display a certain sexiness or spiciness.

As we’ve already seen, black shows sophistication and power while also slimming you down.

White clothing is the color of innocence. It also symbolizes honesty and openness, because it stands out so well against any other background. White is a color of celebration. We wear white to weddings or other important events to signify joyous occasions.

If you’ve ever been outside on a winter day when there’s snow all around, then you know that white snow looks especially beautiful and fresh against the blue sky above!

Blue conveys trustworthiness, honor, loyalty and intelligence.

All of these colors can work for you, depending on your skin tone. As a pretty white Caucasian man, darker colors naturally look better on me because of contrast. When I get a tan, lighter clothes look nice because of the contrast.

Yet, the safest color to wear for most men is still black.

Colors a Man Should Never Wear on a First Date

You might want to avoid wearing brown or orange on a first date. The same survey from the online retailer BuyTShirtsOnline clearly suggests that many people associate negative traits with these colors.

Three guys in orange shirts
Image by Author via CanvaWhat Color Should a Man Wear on a First Date?

Brown can look overly serious, boring, or too much like a funeral suit, which is not appropriate for going out and having fun on the town with someone you are trying to impress.

Orange has a very loud vibe that can be overwhelming to some people, as it may seem like an attention-grabbing color so they might feel put off by your outfit. That’s not to say you can never wear orange, but perhaps save it for the second or third date.

The same goes with brown.

No color is off limits, but keep in mind the location, season, and what color looks best on you. When in doubt, always wear black.

Final Thoughts on “What Color Should a Man Wear on a First Date?”

Phew! We’ve reached the end, at last. Black is an elegant color that can easily be worn as formal attire or extremely casual clothes— perfect for first dates where you don’t know how the other person is dressing.

This blog has covered all types of shades and hues, but black never lets you down.

It’s an untouchable classic that can match any outfit type in every situation. So, gentlemen, be sure to throw on a black shirt, sweater, or pullover for your next first date!

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