How to Build Confidence Before a Date

Update Your Look Before a Date

In her book, "How to Date in a Post-Dating World," Diane Mapes keeps her advice on what to wear on a first date simple: "Something that's comfortable, something that's flattering and something that fits." Though this is great advice, it covers anything from your favorite pair of sweats to the most revealing lingerie, not to mention that dress you bought five years ago but never wore. You can still wear that dress as long as it's comfortable, flattering and well-fitting. However, you might want to add a couple of newer accessories, like a stylish pair of shoes, an updated haircut (yes, your hair is an accessory) or a trendy belt.

Updating your look doesn't require a major overhaul of your closet by an expensive professional stylist, or going on a talk show to get a head-to-toe makeover. Here are some dos and don'ts for how to freshen up your look when you've got a hot date:


  • Hair: Try a different hairstyle, color or, for the ladies, a hair accessory. If you're going for a radical change, like long to short, or brown to blonde, do it with enough lead time so that you can fix it if you don't like the new look. Nothing undermines your confidence like a bad hair day.
  • Makeup: Get some makeup tips from an expert. The salespeople at the makeup counters in department stores would love to match you up with a new shade of lipstick or blush. Make sure you test the new look in different kinds of lighting before your date.
  • Clothing: Invest in a fabulous new piece of clothing, or enliven a favorite outfit with a new accessory.


  • Don't radically change your look unless it's part of your style to do so regularly. It may be a good idea to leave your "wild" clothes at home and avoid extreme styles.
  • Don't dress outside your comfort zone. If jeans are appropriate for where you're going on the date, wearing them may help you feel more comfortable.
  • Don't reveal too much with your clothing. "Sexy" is more than just the way you dress. Choose one feature to accentuate rather than trying to show it all off at once.