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The Worst Colors to Wear on a First Date, According to Relationship Experts

If you want a second date, you might want to avoid these hues.

You only get to make one first impression, and first dates are no exception. So, you'll want to make sure you wear an outfit that makes you look and feel your best. But, instead of only focusing on your ensemble, you should also be paying closer attention to the color you're wearing, as it could be sending the wrong message.

"Colors can evoke different emotions and associations, and choosing the wrong color might send an unintended message or create a negative impression," says Laura Wasser, relationship expert and chief of divorce evolution at To learn which colors you should avoid wearing on a first date, keep reading to see what relationship experts have to say.

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A young man with curly brown hair wears a brown sweater and covers his eyes
Dean Drobot / Shutterstock

The poop emoji, dirt, an overly ripe banana. These are all things our mind associates with the color brown, which is why you may want to avoid it on a first date.

"Brown can be perceived as dull or too conservative, which may not convey the excitement and anticipation typically associated with the beginning of a potential romantic relationship," says Wasser.

Chantelle Hartman Malarkey, a stylist and interior designer based in San Diego, California, adds that it can make you appear "unadventurous, conservative, and unwilling to take risks." In addition, she notes, "Brown is also associated with earthiness and can make you appear too casual or relaxed, which may not be ideal for a first date where you want to make a good impression."

But not all shades of brown are off-limits. While you'll want to avoid darker brown hues, a camel color with an orangy tone is a "more acceptable and a flirtier color" to wear on a first date, explains Malarkey.


Portrait of young woman pulling her sweater over head and smelling it
Cookie Studio / Shutterstock

Gray sweatpants, a cloudy day, a clump of dust. This color can be seen as "unapproachable and dull," advises Jessica Alderson, relationship expert and co-founder of dating app So Syncd. "While you might want to project a serious character in the workplace, it isn't the primary energy that builds attraction."

"Gray can be a tricky color to wear on a first date because it might come off as too neutral or even indifferent," adds Wasser. "It can send a message that you're not particularly excited or enthusiastic about the date."

This doesn't mean you can't wear any gray items of clothing on a first date, you just don't want it to be the main color.

"Gray is one of those colors that make for a nice accent color, but as a primary color may not be ideal as it lacks excitement and evokes feelings of detachment from emotion, which is the opposite effect one hopes for on a first date," explains Lisa Lawless, PhD, CEO of Holistic Wisdom.

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Bright Colors

mismatched outfits colorful

On the other side of the color spectrum, you don't want to go too bold with your wardrobe either.

"[Bright colors] can make you appear too flashy or trying too hard, which may not be the best impression you want to create on a first date," says Malarkey.

"On the first date, your potential partner should focus on you, not your clothes," adds Wasser. Lawless agrees and says these colors can be "highly distracting."


smiling young man on yellow wall
iStock / Giselleflissak

Speaking of bright colors, yellow—the brightest color in the rainbow—could be sending the wrong message. Sure, it's the title of a great Coldplay song, and yes it rhymes with "mellow," which might be the vibe you're going for.

But according to Rikki Dymond, a dating expert for Flirtini, yellow is the color of friendship and caution—"two things that we don't want to subconsciously represent when we are trying to make a love connection."

Don't want to unintentionally friendzone your date? Avoid this color.

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Too Much Black

Woman Wearing all Black Outfit

Black is a totally acceptable color to wear on a first date (hello, little black dress). In fact, it can make you appear sophisticated and slightly mysterious, according to Malarkey.

However, wearing nothing but black, "may make you come across as unapproachable or morbid," notes Lawless. "Breaking up your outfit with a touch of color makes it appear more tasteful and approachable," she suggests.

Whatever you decide to wear on your next first date, though, "it is vital that you choose a color that reflects your personality and makes you feel confident first and foremost," says Lawless.