First-Date Fashion: The Stats

Do men really care whether a woman wears a skirt or pants on a first date? For all those women who've ever experienced fashion indecision before going out for the night, we wanted to find out. The good news is, ladies, you can stop changing back and forth between outfits, because it really and truly doesn't matter to most men. A whopping 76 percent of our 2,000+ poll respondents didn't care whether their date wore pants or a skirt. (So if you're going to have a fashion crisis, by all means-let it be about your shoes.)

Yes, but the latest styles may turn that upside-down. Today, some skirts are demure, "but pants that are body-hugging or low on the waist, those suggest sex to men," observes Ruth Rubinstein, Ph.D., an Associate Professor at New York's Fashion Institute of Technology and author of Dress Codes: Meanings and Messages in American Culture.

Let's end the debate with this thought from Rubinstein: "Honestly, what matters most to men is how she wears her outfit-if she looks attractive in it." Agreed, and besides, he's probably not decoding the signals your outfit is sending; he's too busy wondering whether he should have tucked his shirt in or not.

Matt Schneiderman is a senior editor at Cargo. On his first dates, he wears a nice shirt, great jeans and fabulous shoes.

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