[This post is written for the fellas but it can apply to ladies as well]
If you're thinking about putting some thought and intention into upgrading your dating profile photos, wardrobe will definitely come into play. In fact one of the questions I get most often from people hiring me to be their dating photographer is "what should I wear?".
For general tips on dating photo wardrobe, check out my posts: What to Wear in Your Dating Profile Photos and Men's Style Tips from an Image Consultant.
But this post isn’t about what to wear for dating photos in general; it’s specifically about why you should dress up for at least one of the photos in your dating profile.
Let’s start with the premise that “dressed up” is a spectrum. I’m gonna go ahead and put TUXEDO at the far end of that spectrum for men– maximum dressed up. Relax, I’m not asking you to wear a tuxedo for your dating photos, lol! Although it might not be a bad idea, but we’ll get to that.
On the other end of the spectrum…well, that’s a little more subject to personal interpretation. Depending on where you grew up and your current budget and lifestyle, the other end of the “dressed up” spectrum could very well be anything that’s not sweatpants. I’m kidding but also kind of not kidding #PNWstyle
But let’s get a little more clear. When I say I want you to choose at least one outfit that is “dressed up” for your new dating profile photos, I mean I want you to choose something that you could respectably wear into an expensive restaurant or as a guest at a semi-formal wedding. At the very least, something that wouldn’t embarrass your mom or your date, but ideally something you look and feel really handsome and put-together in.
Because here’s the thing:
Even the chillest, most casual woman doesn’t want to show up to a nice event with a scrub as her date.
It’s totally okay if 99% of the time you wear jeans and a T-shirt. Notice I did not say sweatpants and a T shirt? In my opinion, sweatpants should be reserved for home and the gym but that can be a topic for another conversation (and yes I’m aware they make “fancy” sweatpants now, in fact I own some myself) But I digress.
It’s okay if 99% of the time you dress super casually. It’s even okay if you wear casual clothes in most of your dating photos (although I don’t advise it– hitting multiple points along the dressed-up spectrum is a better strategy–you’ll come across as more multi-dimensional).
However casually you typically dress, I strongly advise that one of the outfits you wear in your dating profile photos is at the far end of *your* dressed-up spectrum.
If, when you dig deep, the best you can muster is jeans and a polo shirt– hit it! That’s better than nothing. But if you can take it a step further and upgrade to a well-fitted button-down shirt with a collar–even better!
Things start getting really good when you take that polo or button-down collared shirt up another notch and pair it with a jacket, whether that's a blazer or sport coat, a nice wool coat, etc.
In fact, there is one recipe that women across the board seem to love on men (and it's the reason tuxedos have been so iconic for so many generations):
Something about the contrast of the light and dark, and the structure of the jacket just…works. Its classic, timeless, masculine. Women dig it. It could be a full-on matching suit but it could also be slacks or dark denim and that combo up top, even a white T-shirt + blazer. You can play with the details but the light/white shirt + dark tailored jacket is always good.
I’ve even heard it said that a (well-tailored) suit is like lingerie for a man. Mmmhmm.
Let me say that part again for the folks in the back– a suit is a slam dunk but it needs to be WELL TAILORED (this means–it fits you just right). Matter of fact, all of the clothes you wear in your dating profile photos should fit you just right.
Bottom line: don’t make women guess whether you clean up well when the occasion calls for it; *show* them with at least one dating profile photo where you’re looking dressy and polished.
For more real-talk one-on-one advice about what you should wear in your dating profile photos, hit me up! It comes free when you hire me as your professional dating photographer 😉