6 Style Mistakes That Can Make a Man ‘Undateable’

We’re not going to sugar coat it for you: First dates are hard. While you hope that he or she actually looks like their profile pic, you have bigger romantic fish to fry. Do you have several small talk topics to whip out during those awkward silences? Do you smell OK? Do you have jokes that are equally funny and politically correct? Is your outfit date-friendly? Ah, the last part. Unless you’re on a date with a Kardashian wannabe, nobody is going to reject a great guy with poor taste; however, practicing proper date dressing will instantly up your confidence and probably merit some compliments from your potential flame. Not sure where to start? Read on for six style mistakes that can make a guy undateable.

1. Tight shirts

man with muscular wearing white shirt

Muscles are nice, but a tight shirt will make you look like you’re trying too hard. | iStock.com

Let’s not be coy: It’s 2017. Dates no longer consist of taking a guy or gal to the sock hop and making sure your date is home by 10:00 p.m. (even if they no longer live with their parents). Blame it on Tinder if you must, we wouldn’t be surprised if some of your dates end with an impromptu trip back to his or her place. No blushing, gents — it happens! But just because your date is mentally undressing you over a martini doesn’t mean he or she wishes you were wearing a skin-tight button-down. Quite the opposite, actually. Sporting a shirt of the tighter variety looks desperate (and dare we say a little creepy). Instead, opt for a dress shirt that is fitted and doesn’t show your abs.

2. Man jewelry

Lenny Kravitz wearing a lot of man jewelry

Only celebrities can get away with this much jewelry. | Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for CB2

They say that a good date outfit is in the eye of the beholder, but one thing is basically unanimous: Man jewelry on a first date is a no. Earrings on guys, however, is a little more polarizing: Some people love it while others don’t. Our suggestion? Play it safe and ditch the jewelry. Trust us, your date will appreciate it.

3. Accessorizing with a zesty hat

a man wearing a hat and sunglasses

Sorry, but a fedora can look a bit cheesy. | iStock.com

As we’ve mentioned before, hats are a great way to bring your personal style game to the next level. However, we can’t say that hats will bring all suitors to the yard. Toppers, similar to earrings, are either a hit or miss. Unless you’re taking your potential beau out to the ball game, baseball hats read as casual and nonchalant. Derby and fedora toppers, on the other hand? Those may look like you’re trying too hard to stand out to your date. Wait until the second or third date to showcase your selection of hats.

4. Graphic tees

man wearing a funny shirt at a testicle cooking competition in Serbia

Save the clever shirts for cooking competitions. | ANDREJ ISAKOVIC ANDREJ ISAKOVIC/AFP/Getty Images

Let’s be honest: Who is going to want date a guy whose shirt reads, “Gettin’ Lucky in Kentucky?” Nobody, dear reader. While some of these — like a vintage Superman-adorned tee — read childish, those with zippy oneliners are just awkward. Plus, you’re setting yourself up for failure if your shirt claims that you’re a sweet talker but you’re having a hard time breaking the ice IRL. We get it: Some guys just don’t like wearing stodgy dress shirts after hours. For garb that’s equal parts cool and comfortable, opt for a preppy polo or plain T-shirt. That way, you’ll be a blank slate and able to freely woo your date (with no preconceived notions).

5. Baggy jeans

blue jeans

Those baggy pants are going to make you look extremely sloppy. | iStock.com

Once upon a time — aka the early aughts when NSYNC ruled the world — wearing baggy pants to a date would make your partner in question feel like they’re hanging out with Justin Timberlake circa 2001. Now? Voluminous trousers will make your date feel like you couldn’t care less about this romantic venture. Nobody is telling you to dress in a full tuxedo; however, baggy pants look like you rolled out of bed 15 minutes before the date and threw on the first pair of pants you found (which incidentally was part of last year’s Halloween costume).

When selecting a pair of pants for a first date, think about what you’d wear to a job interview: You wouldn’t wear super baggy or tight pants when meeting a potential employer, so why would you sport either of the extremes to your first date? Whether jeans or a pair of trousers, your pants should be a happy medium between the two fits.

6. Some sneakers


Sneakers are fine, just make sure they are tasteful. | iStock.com

Truth be told, we’re definitely a big crew of sneaker-heads. (Author’s note: I find every excuse possible to wear my Stan Smiths and slip-on Vans). And while a sleek pair of gym shoes may be appropriate for a more casual setting, those dirty kicks you wear for your morning runs should never be pulled out for a date.

Listen guys, going on a first date isn’t hard: Most of the time, your prospect just wants to know that you’re a normal, appropriate guy with basic manners. However, your date will definitely take notice on those dirt-embellished sneakers. Play it safe with a pair of leather lace-ups. Even if you’re a hair overdressed for the occasion, he or she will be flattered that you put some extra effort into your ensemble.

Follow Kelsey on Twitter @KMulvs