I am no fashion plate. While I appreciate others’ investment in wardrobe craftsmanship, I am much more comfortable with comfort than with keeping up with couture. But my color theory is on fucking point, if I do say so myself. I may be wearing jeans, a t-shirt, and a v-neck sweater, but there is no doubt that I have put a lot of thought into whether the saturation levels of that midnight/ turquoise sweater match the levels of that citrine tank top. And of course, I’ll be wearing my favorite Macbeth sneakers.
On a recent first date with a current person of interest (POI), we were meeting at a birthday/dance party/benefit for some badass friends—several of whom you have seen on this very blog. I have never been a get-dressed-up-to-dance sort of person. I like to do it up right: I want to sweat wantonly, I want to move freely, and I want no restriction whatsoever. I want no makeup—it would just disappear, and I don’t normally wear it anyway. And I haven’t worn heels in well over a decade. I don’t want to worry about being uncomfortable, falling off heels and twisting an ankle, or losing straps. I want to worry about moving with musicality, anticipating the breaks, and even singing along—no judgment, please. I want to get down with the get down. Me gusta bailar, motherfuckers.
So when faced with meeting (for the first time) someone in person whom you met online, what is a girl (who usually hates dressing “like a girl”) to do?
My solution to the first date/first dance conundrum: wear whatever I would wear if I were just going dancing with my friends. READ: jeans and a t-shirt—in this case, a long-sleeve t-shirt (it was January, after all). I am reminded of the conversation over the past several summers revolving around beach bodies. If you have a body, it is a beach body. No crash diet is gonna make me thinner in time for the summer.
And no trip to Sephora or clothing boutique (that’s what they call them, right?) is gonna make me “more presentable” for meeting a new person. Why do some bullshit makeup-and-heels routine I never do in my everyday life? (Bullshit for me, that is.) Because if the POI can’t handle seeing me how I am on a daily basis, it is not gonna work out anyway. My original conception for this blog post was “Set the bar low, so you always either meet or exceed the standard set on a first date.” And I’m at least half-serious about that. But really my philosophy is that if you are ready for meeting the day, you are ready for a date. If you normally wear makeup on a daily basis, by all means, do what you would normally do. But if like me, you have a more casual attitude about self-presentation, why go against your own grain?
Tiffany Salter is a goofball who rocks jean, tees, and sneakers but, like, with panache. She loves winter when she can pursue her long-time love affair with v-neck sweaters, cardigans, and argyle socks. When she is not dissertating about experimental literature and histories of U.S. imperialism, she is probably playing cards, video games, or board games. Or hanging out among the plants and trees.