“What Do I Wear?”
Your Style Guide to the First Date
A Christmas Special
There’s something about December. Nippy evenings. Twinkling fairy lights. Warm, mulled wine. Secret Santa. Terrace parties. Hey, even a gift-wrapped hair trimmer from your boss gives you the feels.
Well, in our opinion – ‘tis the season to make merry – and more the reason to meet new people. A lasting impression, much like a good date outfit, may not be hard to create. But when your wardrobe is in sweet harmony with your etiquette, remember: it’s making the same impact as a Scorsese-DiCaprio film.
This December, we enlisted expert advice for you to look simply irresistible. Here’s where you pay attention.
India’s best known menswear and
luxury blogger – and magazine editor.
His Instagram posts @urbaneye,
will give you some serious FOMO.
If a ‘celebrity’ says “Divyak who?”
– it means they’re not really one.
When he’s not dressing the stars,
the Fashion Stylist and Consultant is cracking people up on @divyakdsouza
Q: What’s your go-to first date outfit?
Scenario: ‘Let’s have a coffee’
Riaan: First things first – a pair of sunnies. I’d probably wear linen or a nice cotton shirt. I prefer to stay away from tees.
Karuna: If you’re comfortable in your outfit, you will look good. I’d opt for an easy dress and team it with some chunky, Indie jewellery. Your style should be effortless – not like you’ve tried too hard.
Divyak: I love simple, light tailoring. I’d usually wear a light blazer with a simple shirt and a pair of well-fitted jeans. A good pair of sneakers would complete the look for me.
Tanya: A pair of well-fitted jeans according to your body type, teamed with a pastel top. To accessorize, I’d tie a printed scarf neck, carry a tote and slip on spunky wedges.
Scenario: ‘Meet me for cocktails?’
Riaan: Throw on a blazer or a light cotton jacket to dress up the look. A fitted pair of denims and cool shoes will do the trick.
Karuna: The first thing that I’d wear is a bright red lip colour. I’d put on a pair of comfy metallic sneakers and slip on a cool jacket over my dress or jeans and top.
Divyak: Shoes are one of the easiest accessories to elevate a basic look to something special, like a pair of well-crafted leather lace ups. I love coats and scarves and would wear one to a snazzy cocktail night.
Tanya: A pair of well-fitted jeans teamed with a basic top (that has a flattering neckline) makes a great cocktail night outfit. Enhance your look with heels and a clutch.
Q: I’m at work, and just found out I have a date later this evening.
How do I spruce up my 9-to-5 look?
Riaan: Roll up your shirtsleeves neatly to loosen things up a bit. Check your grooming – wash your face, re-apply hair product, and maybe throw on a blazer if you have one. Spray on some more cologne to look and feel fresh.
Karuna: I cannot stress enough on the importance of a bright lipstick and what it can do to enhance your entire look. I’d slip on chunky, long earrings or a necklace and a trendy jacket to go from drab to fab.
Divyak: I always keep a navy blazer in my office for such nights! It need not be a suiting fabric, nothing too formal – maybe chino or a nice, soft cotton-blend. Pull on a crisp white shirt (a complete must have) and smart tan leather brogues. You’re sorted.
Tanya: Accessorize with a statement necklace. The way you wear your hair makes a big difference. Undo that bun and let your hair down. A pop of lip colour adds that oomph factor. If you’re wearing an ‘office blazer’, please part ways with it.
Q: Top three tips for fashionably staying warm this season.
#1 I love scarves. I think they are the most stylish accessories a man can own.
#2 Nothing says it better than a well-fitted zip-up sweater. You can wear it with just about anything – a shirt and tie or even shorts and a tee.
#3 I sometimes even pair my formal shirts with a sporty hoodie.
#1 I think everyone should get themselves a pair of retro ankle boots this winter, aka the shoe of the season. Zara has some really funky, metallic silver ones.
#2 A fabulous way to keep warm is with a beautiful scarf with an Indian textile print. It will add colour and layer your outfit.
#3 Adidas and Zara have some really hip jumpers out this season. Throw one over your dress or even your denims and a vest. Keep it simple, yet stylish.
#1 Invest in a good coat. Personally, I love colour, so a blush pink or a turquoise blue coat works. If you don’t like to experiment too much, stick to classic black or brown.
#2 A beautiful woven ethnic shawl. It adds so much character to a look, especially if you team it with an Indo-Western look (think celebrations, weddings, festivals etc.).
#3 Indulge in good single-malt Scotch whisky. It’s the best (and most guilt-free) way to stay warm this season.
#1 Invest in a good, knitted cardigan – from Zara or Asos.
#2 A pair of booties that accentuate your body type.
#3 A warm, woollen stole you can drape differently for different occasions.
Q: Share a memory from a date you’ll never forget.
Riaan: [laughs] I cannot remember the last time I went out on a date.
Karuna: A really odd thing happened once when I was out on a first date with a guy. We were sitting at a coffee shop, chatting away when suddenly his best friend (who happened to be a girl), decided to just ‘drop by’ as ‘she was in the neighbourhood’. I found that pretty weird and tried hard to not judge my date. Needless to say, we didn’t meet again – but I did find out that they both ended up dating each other shortly after.
Divyak: There was this one time I had to go out on a date but wasn’t really feeling up to it. I decided to go anyway, but didn’t bother making the effort to dress well. I was wearing a pair of well-fitted track pants; I thought I’d just throw on a jacket and a neat T-shirt and get away with it. As luck would have it, my date noticed the track pants – and we laughed at my sheer laziness! However, it was the icebreaker and we had a good time.
Tanya: I was out on a first date, when suddenly the heel of my stiletto gave way. I was so embarrassed; and my first instinct was to just leave, but I knew that would be really rude. I quickly opened my handbag and started rummaging through it for a quick fix. As luck would have it, I found a rubber band, which I used to strap the shoe to the heel. Thinking on your feet has a whole new meaning.
Q: How do I fashionably ring in the New Year?
Riaan: Bringing in the New Year in style sets the tone for a great year ahead. Even if you’re at a simple house party, I think it’s nice to look sharp. I recommend layering smartly – a chic, light jacket or even a sweater / zip-up hoodie does the trick. Dark colours are always preferable for an evening out, with a smart pair of leather shoes. Forget your comfy sneakers for one night.
Karuna: Put on your dancing shoes and dance like no one is watching. I’m staying away from the noisy parties this year – and will be in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands with my loved ones – away from all the hustle-bustle of the city.
Divyak: My motto in life to is make lots of money for only two things – to travel and indulge. Every year, for NYE, I buy myself something indulgent – it could be a fashion piece, expensive whisky or even a gadget. That, according to me, is the right way to ring in the New Year. Indulgence. P.S. I’ve been eyeing this designer coat from Paris for a while now.
Tanya: If you love bling, then just go ahead and buy a bling dress (in a muted colour please), with a sexy back or interesting neckline. And if you feel dresses are not your thing, then team up a nice blouse and pants with a cool metallic jacket.
Q: Three things that impress you on a date?
Riaan: Neat hair. A person that smells good (read clean). Well-manicured hands.
Karuna: Good conversation and undivided attention. Chivalry (why not, ya?). A sense of humour.
Divyak: Someone well groomed (I’m a stickler for neat hair and clean nails!). Etiquette. As clichéd as it may say sound, a good sense of humour.
Tanya: Communication. Humour. And his sense of dressing of course!
Q: A song on your getting-dressed playlist.
Riaan: I’m Too Sexy For My Shirt – Right Said Fred
Karuna: Starboy – The Weeknd feat. Daft Punk
Divyak: It’s a close tie between Cool Girl – Tove Lo and Blow Your Mind – Dua Lipa
Tanya: Girl On Fire – Alicia Keys
And on that note, we at Sirf Coffee wish you a Merry Christmas and very happy 2017.
A fresh start. A new chapter, waiting to be written.
Compiled by Noopur Pal