When you’re inappropriately dressed for a date

black dressYou feel stupid. You forgot to ask about appropriate attire and just made an assumption. He’d invited you to dinner and you mistook the name of the restaurant for a high-end one with a similar name to this tavern. You’re in a flirty, low-cut cocktail dress with glittering accessories and high heels, which is totally out of place for the shorts and t-shirts you see all other diners have donned. Your date is a tad dressier than they are, as he has on jeans and a long-sleeved shirt.

What to do?

First, acknowledge your faux pas to your date, as it will be obvious you misunderstood. Don’t try to blame it on him for not telling you the appropriate dress. It’s your responsibility to ask or to call the restaurant and inquire.

At this point you can’t really change clothes or restaurants, as he’s not appropriately dressed for a high-end place. If one of you lives nearby, you could suggest dashing home to change.

You can reduce the disconnect by removing some of your sparkles (bracelet, necklace, earrings), and/or letting down your hair if it’s in a chignon.

Or you could laugh it off and have a great time. You will be the center of attention in this beer joint, so why not enjoy it?

ball gownAs a high-school senior, I was invited to join my best friend and her fiancé on a double date with his best friend. I’d met my date once and knew he was a few years older than me and had a good job. We would go to a nice restaurant for dinner, one I knew nothing about. I asked my friend what to wear.

“Wear that dress you wore to your friend’s college ball.”

“The full-length gown?”

“Yes, that would be perfect.”

I spent the better part of the afternoon getting ready, putting my hair into a French twist and applying evening make up to go with my floor-length prom dress. I was nervous as I hadn’t dated much. So I didn’t really know how to handle it when my date arrived at my door wearing a sports jacket and open-collared shirt.

I stuttered and stammered as I explained that this is what Gayle had told me to wear. I told him I’d go change, and he graciously said I looked great and I was fine as I was.

However, at the restaurant I observed that my friend was in a sundress and other diners were similarly attired. I tried to make the best of it and ignore being so out of place. As a seventeen-year-old I didn’t have the wits to know how to dress down my gown even a bit.

I was mad at my friend for misguiding me. But I could have asked my date directly for the dress code. Which is what I do now when I have any doubt.

What would you do if you found yourself inappropriately dressed for a date?

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4 responses to “When you’re inappropriately dressed for a date”

  1. nysharon Avatar

    Who cares as long as you look fabulous and have on a smile. I hope she didn’t stay as your friend–mean girl.

  2. Sei Avatar

    I met a guy at a New Year’s Eve party at a local hotel bar. I was under age (a high school senior), so wasn’t drinking. He was a college boy. I gave him my phone number and was very surprised when he called and asked me out for an afternoon date. I was inexperienced in the dating arena and wanted to look perfect for this gorgeous “older man.” He didn’t say where we were going and I didn’t ask, I just assumed we’d see a movie or something like that. I donned velvet pants, a nice blouse and high heels. Much to my chagrin, he showed up in jeans and a t-shirt and we went out to a local cave to wander through. *sigh* I figured I’d never see him again. I was wrong. He called and asked me out again. This time he told me we were going to see a movie at the theater on the university campus. This time… this time I wasn’t going to be taken by surpirse. I wore jeans, a t-shirt and sneakers. Him? He came in casual slacks and a button down shirt.

    Both times I was embarassed by my erroneous choices. However, after a few minutes, we were chatting and laughing and basically, I forgot about what I was wearing and just enjoyed the time I spent with him.

    Unfortunately, that movie date was the last time he asked me out as he decided I was too young for him. Dammit! 🙂

  3. Jan Avatar

    I had a very embarrasing first date when I first moved to California. I’m English and quite used to dressing up for dates. I had been in the US for just 1 week when a friend of my sisters asked me out. He was a VP at Intel and a very interesting guy. I assumed he would be taking me out somewhere up market for dinner so I dressed up, satin blouse, velvet pants, high heels etc. He turned up for the date on a motor bike with a spare helmet, he was taking me to a biker bar and restaurant. Once I got over the shock we had a great time.


  4. Ellen Avatar

    Gee, I always ask “Where are we going?” and “What’s the dress?” Never fails to get me the answers I need! Let’s be bold, ladies, and ask questions!!!! I’ve been hosting free singles parties in L.A. with close to 100 people attending, invited by email – and the only ones who ask me what to wear are the guys!!!

    No matter what, dates are to learn about the other person and have FUN!

    xo Ellen