Scientifically Proven: What should I wear on a Tinder date?

When it comes to dating, timing is everything. Pulses might be racing, but minds move even faster. Your subconscious brain can create first impressions of something — or someone — in as little as 1/10th of a second.

With a mere fraction of a second to make the right impact, choosing a strong look is crucial. Romance hangs in the balance and the right outfit can mean the difference between a lonely cab ride for one or a horse drawn carriage for two. Or at least a second date.

Thankfully, our Tinder Date Style Cheat Sheets give you quick style suggestions based on your vibe and what you want your outfit to say about you. Whether you’re a quirky creative or a quick-witted comedian, they’re here to help you nail that all important first impression, while taking into account your state of mind. Whether you’re feeling uber confident, or you’re wringing your hands ahead of tonight’s date, we’ve got you covered.

Read below the flowcharts for the scientific insight behind these cheat sheets, which comes courtesy of Kate Nightingale, of Style Psychology.

Men's Cheat Sheet

Women's Cheat Sheet

Power

According to Kate, if you want to convey strength and confidence to your date, a key indicator of your power status lies in the colour – and colour combination – of your outfit:

“Black, red or strong contrasts, such as black and white together, signify power. The lower the contrast in your colour scheme, the less power you convey.”

Women

If you want to show your date who’s boss, you also can’t go wrong with sleek tailoring and bold contrasts to show that you mean business.

“Ultimate power can be expressed with tight fitting, black tuxedo trousers and a silk, straight line cut top,” says Kate. Add high heels and geometric clutch, she tells us, to complete this powerhouse look.

For dates that call for a little more confidence, Kate suggests going for a loose-fitting dress in black or red. It’s an ego boosting look that oozes understated power and draws in your date’s undivided attention.

Men

Strong contrasts and refined accessories are must-haves for any man who wants to dominate a room.

“Status symbols are your ultimate go-to as they show you’re an alpha male. Wearing black works great for men, too.”

For the full effect, Kate advises going full-on debonaire with a double-breasted jacket, complete with an interesting pocket square and a great watch.

But something simpler, such as sleek chinos, a chambray shirt and one “stand out” accessory will do the trick too. A key piece of advice from Kate is to wear the clothes you like the most, as these tend to be the ones you feel strongest and most confident in.

So, go ahead and whip out your favourite leather jacket or overcoat for extra panache. 

The Creative

Creative charm works best when key pieces do the talking and Kate advises making individual, bold choices to show off this side of yourself.

Women

If you want to make a bold creative statement, an unusual pair of shoes (like these Eastern Art Dr. Martens) or a quirky handbag make for great conversation starters. And floaty garments like an expressive shirt dress or some eye-catching culottes are the perfect way to show off your creative side.

According to Kate, if you’re not feeling too confident, a bright, patterned skirt could give you the boost you need. She also advises picking an item that’s guaranteed to perk you up like a favourite piece of jewellery or fun pair of trainers.

Men

Creative guys should make bold colours and statement accessories their go-to. Start from the feet up, pairing stand out socks with trainers. But, warns Kate, the trick is not to overdo it.

“Your date’s subconscious is already processing 11 million bits of information a second – So, try not to put too many colours or patterns together as this just confuses the brain.”

Not feeling 100% confident? Kate advises against going too tailored.

“If you’re trying to fake it, people will notice it. Our subconscious brain notices when something doesn’t work.”

Instead, she recommends opting for looser trousers – as wider legs and relaxed fits will help give off a casual vibe.

The Chiller

Comfortable clothes and relaxing colours are Kate’s secret to sending out calmer signals.

“Pick calmer and lighter colours such as green and turquoise – but definitely not red if you want to appear chilled out.”

And it’s a simple piece of advice that often goes ignored, but, says Kate, if you want to look relaxed, “just don’t wear uncomfortable shoes.”

Women

If you want to feel calm and collected, the best place to start is at your feet.

“Footwear is a big indicator of character; pointed toes say you’re an extrovert, rounded toes do the opposite.”

“For laidback charm, rounded toes or platforms beat out stilettos every time. They’ll make you feel stable and grounded.”

Tailoring with a bit of intrigue also says you’re chilled out and in control, so try mixing fitted trousers with a statement blouse and a cool accessory. Kate suggests small studs and a delicate pendant for the ultimate laidback look.

Men

Guys looking to keep things chill should – says Kate – opt for softer colours and pastels and aim to keep contrasting patterns to a minimum. A simple graphic tee and some comfortable shoes is all it takes.

A good looking watch or sophisticated pair of glasses (like these Cutler & Gross frames) can amplify the outfit instead, but it’s important to make sure it matches your taste and style.

“Invest in your accessories so they perfectly communicate who you are and give your style that boost to keep your date’s attention.”

Looser fitting trousers are great if you’re lacking a little confidence but combine them with a tighter shirt that puts your shoulders on display. Lighter colours and minimal accessories are key on dates you’re slightly nervous about too – but Kate advises putting your main focus on grooming, paying attention to hair, skin and nails.

The Comedian

According to Kate, if you want to make a lasting impact, the place where you can pack the most punch with your personality (especially if you’re a man) is in your accessories.

“Accessories are the best communicator of personality. The patterns, colours, and textures you go for are all indicators.”

Women

Having a good sense of humour means being comfortable with yourself. Kate advises the best way to achieve this balance is to opt for “comfort with a twist” in your wardrobe choice, by mixing up a looser fit with lively flats and bold accessories.

Comfort is still the main focus on dates you’re not totally convinced about, but make sure to throw in one brighter element. Jazzy brogues or a statement bag are perfect for an extra confidence boost…or comedy material. Try adding a charm to your bag to make it a talking point.

Men

Bold advice, but Kate says funny guys should lead with the unexpected. Unleash your inner comedian and opt for a shirt in a quirky pattern or bold colour. Accessories are the easiest way to show your funny side, so go all out with a loud pair of sneakers or an out there pocket square.

According to Kate, socks say a lot about a guy so don’t be afraid to mix and match with different patterns and colours. Your style elements should have your date laughing for all the right reasons.

Mobile

Learn more about the Lyst app on your iPhone or iPad

Privacy Preference Center