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Dating Data Study: Fashion and Dating

A couple wearing matching denim outfits who think about fashion and dating.

It’s no secret that fashion and dating have a close connection. When you’re meeting someone, it’s often what they’re wearing that catches your eye and makes a first impression. Whether it’s a sultry dress, a smooth dinner jacket, a great pair of shoes, or a funky accessory, what we wear can be a reflection of who we are. And because of that, it can also send a message to any potential love interest out there. But exactly what that message is saying… Well, that depends on the person. And the clothes.

To get a better idea of how fashion influences the way we date, the online dating platform Zoosk surveyed 6,646 of its members and analyzed over 34,579 profiles to gain insight into how daters dress, what’s proper date attire, and what fashion trends singles like best. Here’s what they found:

Mentioning fashion in your dating profile can get you more messages.
Are you into fashion, clothes, or designers? Then go ahead and mention it in your profile, because it could help you get more incoming messages. Profiles that talk about being stylish or people who say they like dressing up are especially popular while online dating—they can get up to 135% more incoming messages.

Word mentioned in profile

Increase in inbound messages









dressing up












If you have bad style, it could be a deal-breaker.  
How important style is to someone choosing a date, really depends on the person’s age and gender. 54% of women say it’s a deal-breaker if a date is dressed poorly or has bad style, while the majority of men (73%) say just the opposite—they have no problem looking past how someone’s dressed. Millennials also don’t worry about fashion as much. 77% of both male and female Millennials say they can look past someone with bad style.  

Bonus stat: 69% of singles say that the best way to make a good first impression is to look nice and presentable.

94% of women say dressing nice on a first date is a must.
When it comes to getting ready for a date, 86% of singles say it’s important to dress nice. And guys, the majority of women feel strongly about this one94% of women agree that dressing nice for a date is a must. However, once again, Millennials tend to be a tad more laid-back when it comes to fashion. Only 76% of them think dressing nice on a date is important.

Ironing is sexy. Socks and sandals, not so much.
Ok, so we know fashion is important but what are the fashion trends we should avoid? First off, don’t be sloppy. 66% of singles say wrinkled clothes are the biggest turn-off, and baggy clothes weren’t popular either (50% listed them as a major fashion faux pas). So, even though it can be a pain, put in the extra time to iron the wrinkles out before your date. Wearing socks with sandals or Crocs were other big no-nos, which just goes to show that people really do pay attention to what’s on your feet.

The Biggest Fashion Faux Pas for Singles

66% – Wrinkled clothes
55% – Socks and sandals
53% – Crocs
50% – Baggy clothes
45% – Granny panties
45% – Board shorts/swimwear
44% – Dressing too young for your age
39% – Pants that are too short/long
38% – Low-rise/slung pants
34% – Super tight shirts

Don’t underestimate the power of jeans and a t-shirt.
So what outfits do people feel the most confident and sexy in? 36% of all daters said the simple combo of jeans and a t-shirt is the best for feeling confident. However, wearing all black everything was a favorite as well, while men overwhelmingly agree that a button-down shirt is the way to go.

Top 5 Outfits That Make Singles Feel Sexy and Confident



60% – a button-down shirt
36% – a blazer/jacket
33% – jeans and a t-shirt
16% – all black everything
15% – sportswear or athleisure

40% – all black everything
39% –  jeans and a t-shirt
38% – high heels
32% – sexy underwear
31% – a sundress

Bonus stat: Mentioning that you’re a jeans and t-shirt kind of person in your dating profile can get you more messages too. Profiles that mention jeans get 80% more incoming messages than the average, while those that mention shirt or t-shirt get up to 67% more. 

Women typically take longer to get ready for a date than men.
The amount of time it takes people to get ready for anything can vary depending on the individual, but when it comes to dating, 32% of all daters admit that it takes them about 30 minutes to get ready. However, this changes when you compare women’s prep time to men’sthe majority of women (37%) take an hour to get ready, 25% take 45 minutes to get ready, and only 18% take 30 minutes.

How Long It Takes Singles to Get Ready for a Date



40%  – 30 minutes
27%  – 45 minutes
19%  – 1 hour
9%  – 15 minutes or less
2%  – 1 hour and 30 minutes
1%  – 2 hours or more

37% – 1 hour
25% – 45 minutes
18% – 30 minutes
13% – 1 hour 30 minutes
3% – 2 or more hours
3% – 15 minutes or less

Women also try on more outfits than men before a date.
(Which might account for the extra time it takes.) 60% of women say they typically try on 2–3 outfits before a date, while the majority of men (67%) say they only try on one outfit.

Athleisure is the most-popular fashion trend.
47% of singles say that sportswear or athleisure is the 2018 fashion trend they’re most excited about. Another big winner in fashion is Pantone’s color of the year, lavender. It was the second most popular trend with 21% of the vote. And men are also looking forward to seeing more sheer/transparent styles hit the streets26% of them listed sheer clothing as their favorite fashion trend.

Most Popular Fashion Trends with Daters

47%  – Athleisure/sportswear
21%  – Lavender
20%  – Sheer/transparent clothes
18%  – Bold florals
18%  – Art-infused prints
13%  – Vertical stripes
13%  – Plaid/checkered prints
11%  – All pink everything
9%  – Trench coats
9%  – Fringe/ruffles

Bonus stat: 69% of people say that workout clothes are attractive and they wouldn’t judge someone for wearing them on a date.

When it comes to makeup, keep it natural.
90% of daters, both men and women, say light and natural makeup is the best way to go. So when it comes to putting your date-night look together don’t go too heavy. A bit of fun isn’t a bad idea either22% of men also like the classic look of red lipstick.

George Clooney and Jennifer Aniston are the biggest fashion icons.
George Clooney’s mix of classic Hollywood style and confidence make him the #1 male fashion icon with both men and women, while Jennifer Aniston’s fresh, simple look makes her the #1 female fashion icon.

Top Male Fashion Icons

Top Female Fashion Icons
  1. George Clooney
  2. Brad Pitt
  3. Sean Connery
  4. Paul Newman
  5. Steve McQueen
  1. Jennifer Aniston
  2. Jennifer Lopez
  3. Kate Middleton
  4. Angelina Jolie
  5. Audrey Hepburn

But William and Kate are the most fashionable couple.
When it comes to the most fashionable couple, Prince William and Kate Middleton are the most popular couple, with George and Amal Clooney coming in second. Millennials also listed Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds as a top couple.

Most Fashionable Couples

  1. Prince William and Kate Middleton
  2. George and Amal Clooney
  3. John F. Kennedy and Jackie O
  4. Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie
  5. Kurt Russell and Goldie Hawn
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