Here's What You Should Wear On A Virtual First Date

The wonderful thing about social media is that it lets you expand your pool of possible partners to include anybody anywhere in the entire world. You've got to admit, it's certainly an improvement over the olden days when your dating pool was more like a puddle and you really didn't have much choice but to settle down and live happily ever after with one of a handful of people you'd known since carrying your lunch pails to the old one-room schoolhouse. (Okay, maybe we've read just a bit too much Laura Ingalls Wilder.)

The downside, though, is what if you find yourself falling for somebody half a world away? Does one of you have to invest thousands of dollars and a week's vacation time before you can go on a single date? That's got disaster written all over it. Instead, you take a tip from all those self-help books that urge you to "run your life like a business" and you schedule a first date that will take place via teleconferencing. Pragmatic, yes, but it can be romantic, too, if you put in a little effort to create the right impression. You and your potential personfriend have probably exchanged a bunch of selfies and maybe even FaceTimed, but this is the first time you're going to be going on an actual (if virtual) date. You want to make sure you're looking cute, but not too try-hard.

Choose a special top for your virtual first date

With most webcams, your chat partner is only going to see you from the waist up, which will probably be the case on a virtual first date, too (unless you're planning on going full-on Chatroulette). Glamour suggests you wear a sweetly romantic blouse, with perhaps a "statement sleeve" — the ones they picture seem to be mostly puffy, although spaghetti straps and off-shoulder styles may also work well, assuming it's warm enough where you are. You don't want to look like you're under-dressed strictly for the sake of showing more skin, but if you're chillin' in a heatwave, long sleeves won't make you look demure so much as sweaty.

The New York Post reminds that just as in-person dates tend to differ by time of day, so do virtual ones. If you're meeting up for a daytime cup of coffee, you might want to keep it on the casual side — a conversation-starting tee would be their pick. If it's a virtual happy hour you'll be sharing, a dressier blouse might be in order, to mimic that "just came from the office" look.

Accessories can perk up your conversation as well as your wardrobe

First dates can be a bit tricky as conversations lag and turn to awkward "ums." On a virtual date, you don't have any handy distractions like a movie screen or the appearance of a waiter. You could always feign a sudden urgent need to go take the dog out (it helps if you have a dog, and can induce them to make an on-camera appearance), but what if you actually want to keep the date going? In that case, it helps to have something to talk about. That aforementioned conversation starter tee could do the trick, but if you want to take a more subtle approach, Glamour suggests maybe a zodiac-inspired necklace (thus providing a visual answer to the age-old question, "what's your sign?"). Any kind of emblem jewelry would do, as long as it's large enough to be seen on camera — anything from a button proclaiming your love for Hello Kitty to a POW/MIA bracelet commemorating your Vietnam veteran grandpa.

While you may be tempted to make up an anecdote regarding each accessory, i.e. claiming that a shawl you bought on eBay is a family heirloom passed down from your Ukrainian granny in Minsk, exercise caution if you think you might want a second date. You never know what they're going to remember and call you out on later when it turns out your grandma's named Irene and comes from Duluth (and Minsk is actually in Belarus, not Ukraine).

For a virtual first date, keep your makeup light

The officially approved makeup style for virtual dates is something that both Glamour and The Zoe Report call no-makeup makeup. Which is to say, you're going to want to wear some makeup to make sure you don't look washed out on camera, but you don't want to overdo it lest you be mistaken for a pay-to-play camgirl.

Tinted moisturizer or face oil will give you coverage and even out your skin tone, but you won't have to worry about blending or leaving obvious lines as might be the case with a heavier foundation or powder. Lipstick shades should be light and subtle, and eyeshadow, if you use it, might work best in a barely-there shade of blush or beige. Don't overdo it on the mascara, either — you want your eyes to look bigger and brighter, yes, but not as if they are being eaten by giant hairy spiders. Remember, on a virtual date, you must always be ready for your close-up.