Above: Celebrities demonstrating their inadvisable first date outfits.
What's the biggest problem a newly single woman in London face sartorially?
Dressing well without scaring off the men from the word go. One of my friends experiences genuine moments of distress because she worries that men won't understand her palazzo pants and think she has legs with the girth of tree trunks. Another steers clear of the 'futuristic structure' trend because men kept cracking jokes about her getting lost on her way to Comic Con.
Flick through the magazines with a straight man and they will be both awed and disgusted by the array of styles on show. 'Eurgh those are hideous!' 'What even ARE they?' 'That just looks uncomfortable' they scoff, not knowing that just minutes before you were poring over the fur Celine birkenstocks wistfully, and considering attempting your own Primark purchased version with a glue-gun. Boys like to think that high fashion constitutes the new Topshop catalogue, but see catwalk shows as overfunded novelty performance art. Any direct influences to Pre-Fall Margiela will be lost in translation.
Transpose that same revulsion to high fashion into a night-club context and you have a nightmare waiting to happen. It turns out that men are universally fluent in Herve Leger Bandage dress and super-cleavage, but not so much in COS shift. Basically until you find a man who wants to dress like Walter Van Beirdendonk just regurgitated fabric on them after a lad's night out, you're going to have to focus your efforts on slowly introducing chic to a population of men who are more used to short skirts and crop tops than blanket scarves and ironically ugly shoes. One day it might be an asymmetrical hemline, the next thing you know you're wearing this:
For a date the other night I decided to go all out Igloo ADHD (That's what the internet calls Iggy Azalea these days by the way kids) and wear a Glitters for Dinner two-piece tartan suit... and a Je Suis Charlie T-shirt because as my flatmate summarised: "It's slutty and political. Very you." She did convince me to leave the thigh high black leather boots at home ("do you intend to give him a heart attack?") I hadn't worn anything so short in years, normally preferring to go all-out hobo cat lady on a first date, just to REALLY make sure they like what's coming out of your mouth, not what is falling out of your top.
But when all is said and done, at least there's one inexpensive and very easy to achieve head-to-toe look that men everywhere can process and appreciate aesthetically... But whether you want to reveal that on the first date is entirely up to you.
Shop singularly unstylish clothes for your first date: