“Colombia, Croatia, Italy, Sweden…and Spain. I know, that’s such a cliché answer. But Spain is beautiful.” Dani tells me. We’re at Ralph’s Coffee, Ralph Lauren’s hidden little coffee shop on the 2nd floor of his Polo store in Midtown Manhattan.
I made Dani pick her Top 5 places she’s traveled to, which seemed like asking a parent to pick their favorite child. Even wittled down to 5, the list is envious. Especially when you take into account that Dani is just 26 years old.
So what better person to talk about dating and men’s style with?
Over coffee, a bite, and a couple of hours, she shared with me what the sexiest thing a guy can wear, why it’s not about labels, and why the day date is the best kind of date.
ON WHAT’S THE SEXIEST THING A GUY CAN WEAR:
“A perfect pair of denim jeans and boots. These two things are sort of the meat of an outfit. Nudie Jeans does denim well for men. So many guys wear pants that don’t fit right and have terrible shoes. But if you nail these two, then your shirt, sweater or sometimes jacket don’t matter as much. Especially if your jeans and boots are worn in well, and the fit is right for your body. Throw on a white t-shirt and it’s sexy as hell.”
ON BEING TOO TRENDY:
“Wearing too much streetwear or labels is one of the worst things a guy can do style wise. Seeing your man look like a trend is just horrible to witness. The clothes shouldn’t wear the man.”
ON BEING EFFORTLESS:
“I don’t like too much going on with your hair. Basically, don’t be more work than me.”
ON HOW TO UPGRADE THE STANDARD BAR DATE:
One of my favorite bars in NYC is Fig 19 on the Lower East Side. It’s a beautiful, cozy speakeasy lounge. It’s tucked away from the masses, and you sort of have to know what to look for. You enter through a closed art gallery and follow candle lights to the entrance. It’s a lot more interesting than the standard dive bar every guy goes to. If you took a woman here, especially one who’s never been, it would say a lot about you. You are a guy with taste.”
ON WHY YOU SHOULD KNOW YOUR LIQUOR:
“I prefer bitter and dark drinks over sweet and light. I wouldn’t be judgmental if my date wanted a margarita, or something like The Prince. I like when a man isn’t afraid to order what he likes. Though, good taste in drinks is imperative for future dates. I need to trust you to get me a drink, not liquid candy!”
ON WHAT YOU SHOULD WEAR TO THE BAR:
“A nice dress coat.”
Peter Says: The worst thing to wear on a first date? A suit. You’re not on a job interview. Relax.
Of course, you don’t want to show up to a nice place like Fig 19 in beat up blue jeans. The solution: Swap out the blues for a pair of black jeans. In the moody lighting, it’ll be indistinguishable from dress pants without being so serious. (Translation: You’ll look more relaxed and cooler in her eyes.)
Sticking with neutrals colors (black, greys, browns) to keep it appropriate for a night time date. But to avoid looking so one note, mix a few neutrals like a grey topcoat, camel colored sweater and black jeans. It’ll help you stand out a bit versus wearing, for example, all black.
For a nice pop of color, less is more. Something subtle like a solid pocket square or, in our example outfit, a beautiful bordeaux scarf. A minimal sneaker could work here, but let’s take Dani’s advice and get a proper pair of combat boots in black.
ON WHY DAY DATES ARE THE BEST KIND OF DATES:
“I like the idea of meeting in a public space, and nothing beats the beauty of the lake or water. Like in Zurich [Switzerland], we can meet at a well known spot like the Zurich Opera House on Lake Zuri, from there we can take a tram to Limmatplatz.
Taking the tram is easy and you get to see so much passing you by – perfect for conversation. We can get get a rosé or spritzer to ease first date jitters and snack on something light while we talk more. If this goes well, we can keep the date going. This is why day dates are great. Before you know it, you’ve spent 19 hours with someone hopping around the city. There’s no doubt after that if you like each other, and a second date is basically guaranteed.”
ON HOW NOT TO BE CREEPY ON A FIRST DATE:
“If he brought a flask [on the date] as we went around the city, that would be fun. But let your date know first. It sounds like an adventure if you ask her before hand to go on a date around the city with a flask. It feels creepy if you whip out a flask in the middle of a date without warning as if you’re saying ‘Hey, look what I have!’”
ON WHAT TO WEAR ON A DAY DATE:
“Minimal sneakers. A nice watch would be notable too.”
Peter Says: A day date strolling around a beautiful city will give you ample opportunity to get to know one another. Dressing down is ok, as long as you do it the right way. The brown suede leather jacket is everything you love about a black leather jacket, without screaming “I’m trying too hard.”
City walking calls for a sneaker. A minimal sneaker shows you have a little bit more sophisticated taste over guys rocking the latest pair of Jordans. The henley hits the sweet spot between the t-shirt and a button up. (And, according to a very scientific study of me asking all my female friends, the henley is one of women’s favorite items on a man.)
Secret drinking is always more exciting out of a flask, so at least make sure it’s a nice one. This polished pewter flask is handmade in England, and is a perfect vessel for a light scotch or a bourbon.
ON THE BEST DATE SHE’S EVER BEEN ON:
“We walked down La Rambla, a beautiful tree lined street in Barcelona, drinking some beers. We ended up hiking on a small mountain where we watched the evening sunset, ate some strawberries and fresh mint and drank cava. He planned it out. It was nice and simple.”
ON WHY EXTRAVAGANT DATES ARE BEST SAVED FOR LATER:
“I’ve been on flashy dates, five star restaurants and men flying me out somewhere. But for me to really dig you on a first date, I like to focus on the person. Save the extravagance for later as a real treat.”