You’ve spent all week or at least the last 3 to 4 months plucking up the courage to ask out your perfect woman. She is not only smart, witty and incredibly beautiful; she’s also into Game of Thrones, now this is hard to believe, right? Asking out a woman who is into you is not the hard part, knowing what to do and where to go on that tricky first date is.

So let’s break down the 5 Things to do before, during and after the date.

Find out what she likes

We assume at this juncture you have been paying attention to the things she’s into, know where she usually hangs out and have an inkling about her music or food tastes, or issues. If you don’t know any of the previously mentioned ingredients for taking your lady friend out for great night, spend a week or two doing reconnaissance first. This will undoubtedly stand you in good stead later down the line, and will show you are listening to her. If you have the bravery to ask your potential lady to spend a night in your company, you can certainly spend the time to find out what she’s into.

Don’t do

There is nothing worse than misinformation, DO NOT guess stuff and don’t ask your friend who still lives with his mother for ideas, this may make you look like, well, a jackass. A woman wants a man to have the mettle to go for what he wants, all in the right way of course.

Do do

Look online for some potential ideas, check out the reviews. Make sure any potential place does not have a reputation for being cheap, or the place men take women when they don’t want to be seen in public, we all know that one venue.

Get dressed properly

This is where many men take a gamble: and this is where many men fail, badly. Yes, yes, she does like you for who you are, and yes she doesn’t want you to fake anything. However gents she does want you to make an effort, she most definitely will be, so she will be looking for the same in her man. Assuming you have picked a nice cocktail bar to start (this would be my choice to start a night off, each to his own) and depending what you have planned for later, a simple but stylish look will suffice.

What to wear

  1. A simple crisp white shirt or black shirt would always be my go-to choice for apparel, maybe something with a little detail that adds a little personality. NEVER EVER leave it untucked, this is about making a great first impression. Make sure you feel comfortable; a woman can tell when a man is trying too hard. Thomas Pink would be my first port of call for this type of shirt.
  2. A slim pair of black or dark wash denim. This gives you a smart casual feel, yet with the right styling can make you look seriously suave. The trick here is to make sure you pick the right shoes to compliment the wash or style of jeans. Spend some money on these, cheap denim look exactly that, cheap. We are NUDIE jeans fans at A MAN REFINED, they last ages and hold their shape really well, providing you look after them.
  3. The SHOES, now this is a make or break for any look. Go safe or you WILL be going home. No, those comfy ortho shoes from Sketchers DO NOT work here. I would go for the simple pair of lace-up Oxfords, but hey that’s just me. The Oxfords are understated but still formal enough to give you style credentials. Crockett and Jones would be my footwear of choice, but not to break the bank before your date, head over to ALDO and pick up a pair of their Ricmanns.
  4. The Double-breasted blazer is a firm favourite of mine, this look turns any ordinary outfit into a sartorial winner. No longer is this jacket synonymous with stuffy old men at secret Gents clubs or backbencher conservatives in the House of Commons. No, no, this is now a look for the dashingly handsome and the Uber riding crowd of 2017. A classic navy (without the gold buttons) will work wonders for your look, if daring is your middle name, go for it in a deep burgundy hue.

Send a car to pick up your date

If you are slightly nervous and want to avoid the awkward questions or silences at the beginning of the date, use that UBER account of yours to pick up your lady. This is not only Chivalrous and thoughtful, it will also allow your date to take her time and not have to Usain Bolt it to the nearest tube or metro station. This modest act will increase your second date chances tenfold, provided that you don’t do anything silly on your date.

Get there early

Arriving on time is overrated and something that leaves too many opportunities for mishaps and excuses.  As A MAN REFINED, you will recognize that on a first date everything is being assessed, including your timekeeping. Get to your chosen pre-date drinks venue early, have a cocktail and relax. This will put you at ease, allow you to pick a nice spot where you can actually have a conversation and start to get to know one another. Make sure to call ahead or reserve a spot a few days in advance, best to avoid disappointment on the day, plus it makes you look like you know what you’re doing, even if you are winging it.

Pick up the bill

Now, this gentlemen should be an obvious one and not something that needs to be thought about too intensely. If at the end of the meal, drinks or other awesome activity that devilishly annoyance known as the bill should arrive, be ready to put your money down, and be sure to leave a tip. A refined man should always pick up the bill, no questions asked. Now your lady may offer to go dutch, this is an UTTER NO, NO. If you want to avoid this moment altogether, the smart move would be to excuse yourself, say you’re heading to the gents, and pay for your bill discreetly.


In the best case, you have adhered to all the social norms, been attentive and made a fantastic impression. So what now? Be respectful of a great night and don’t push gentlemanly luck, DO NOT go in for late night coffee, even if she asks, better to wait. This small but significant act will show your respect for your lady and keep the intrigue up that much longer.

Samuel Younge

Native Londoner via Accra Ghana who has spent over 16 years in the fashion and retail industry. Having started his career at Marks and Spencer as a Visual Merchandiser, he quickly realized the impact that visuals have on the average consumer, with this in mind he decided to pursue the profession further.
The obsession grew taking him to many well-known brands including Ralph Lauren, a love affair with men’s tailoring and the style of a dapper gentleman was born.
Having tasted the good life with Americas most preppy fashion label, Samuel Younge decided to redefine his style and way of life to all things sartorial. Today at the ripe old age of 34 he lives in Dubai, dividing his time between work and fatherhood and his lifelong passion to become “A Man Refined”.
Samuel Younge

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