Originally published on Swipe Life March 12, 2020. Article written by McKenzie Schwark

When it comes to dressing to impress for a first date, personal stylist Susie Hasler says it’s important not to stray too far from your usual style but to still add a little something extra to make your outfit feel special. For example, if you don’t wear high heels in your everyday life, don’t wear them on a first date because you’re risking your comfort. A T-shirt without holes is a different story.

According to Nicole McCance, M.A.C. Psych, a clinical psychologist and relationship expert, the inclination to show up as the best version of yourself on a first date is totally normal, and how you do so can communicate a lot about who you are.

“It may even show your date how much you care and how seriously you are taking dating,” she says. “As long as you portray yourself as you normally would, it can work. If you spend time trying to portray yourself in a light that is not authentically you, this will become evident over time.” That’s why, difficult as it may be, it’s best to present your real(ish) self in your profile and on a first date.

Ali, a 27-year-old living in Chicago, believes socio-economics play a role in the way she tries to present herself early on. Growing up in what she calls a “lower-class household” has made her more aware of the way she looks and dresses on a date as well as the topics of conversation she engages in.

“Growing up I always felt like my peers had it better,” she says. “I still worry I’m not good enough, which makes me overthink what to talk about and how to dress.”

It is that same pressure that I find myself struggling with. How do I build a profile and persona that feels like the best version of me, but also one that is authentic and that I can realistically live up to? For now, I think I’ll continue to show up in my black sweater with the holes, order whatever I want off the menu, and share what I’m thinking about even if it seems like too much. When the right person comes along, I am confident I’ll score that second date.

Complete original article can be read here