No, you don’t have to play princess dress up just because you got a date. Leandra Medine of Man Repeller shows how to get date-ready while keeping your personal style.

Look, I'm no dating coach.

I spent the three years that my now-husband and I were broken up phoning him on an unrelenting weekly basis to check whether his temperature on the thermometer of love-for-Leandra had changed in my favour.  Through the course of those three years, it never changed UNTIL ONE DAY, when he saw me exiting his building on Mercer Street with an English man, with whom I was about to embark on a first date.

I was wearing a shin-length skirt with a white button-down blouse, which I had taken from my youngest brother's closet, and a pair of devastatingly basic gladiator wedges.

I went over to say hello because I am a gentlewoman and he reciprocated the pleasantry. Then he text messaged me to say that the encounter had "physically hurt," to which I lent absolutely no credit to the handsome English man who stood to my left during the encounter, and surmised that CUHLEARLY my outfit incited his heart to start singing an *NSYNC song and (guitar solo please), want me back.

Now that I am factually married, I don't think it's in your worst interest to take my dating advice. Especially, I might add, when it is deeply imbued with the sartorial pursuits of a first date outfit. Because, think about it:

When you're about to go on a first date, you don't really know who you're meeting and he (or she!) doesn't quite know you either. Without using your mouth, it seems like your prerogative should be to convey a point about who you are.

And how do you do that?
With clothes.
If you fancy yourself a man repeller, the first date seems like high time to experiment with two of the most boring silhouettes with which a woman can engage: the button-up shirt and the pencil skirt. Why? Because nothing says I am a ball of ecstasy (the non-narcotic kind!) like making said boring silhouettes look like Fun with a capital F. Enter the photographed embellished skirt from H&M and the corresponding striped shirt.

Because it's 2014 and currently de rigeur, I'd also suggest a pair of mules, sparkle heel notwithstanding, but again, think about upping the fun factor. Take a handbag (in case he sucks and you need somewhere to throw up) and a pair of reflective lensed sunglasses because even though it might be night, for the sake of thematic consistency (speaking without your mouth), in the event you do like him, you might want to put them on to demonstrate how bright his future is. Who knows, maybe you'll run into your ex and proceed to get married.

Worst comes to it, the date sucks and you don't run into a man you're still in love with. But the way I see it, you still win. Hard. Why? Because your outfit rules.


”The Date Outfit” is part two of a collaboration between H&M Life and the Man Repeller. Visit the website here or follow @manrepeller on Instagram
Read part one of this collaboration here.