Date Coaching

Sex(y) Ed…

Written by: Linx staff member Michael Norman iStock_000042703430Small

I often get asked about what women should wear on first dates, and I really have just two words to say about that:

Be Sexy.

That’s it. Be Sexy. Despite blog posts and magazine articles to the contrary, there is no uniform for first dates. In fact, sexiness is different for every woman based on her age, her confidence, and her body type. But at any number – whether you’re counting years, reporting your dress size, or looking down at a scale – your first (and really, only goal) when dressing for a date should be achieving some degree of sexiness.

I know some of you are clenching your jaws (and possibly your pearls) when you read this. I can actually hear more than a few silent diatribes about objectification, being liked for who you are, the appeal of intelligence, self-respect, dignity, modesty, propriety, being true to yourself, and leaving something to the imagination. Those points can all be valid depending on the day, but note that I didn’t ask you to wear Lucite heels and a bandage dress borrowed from a Vegas cocktail waitress; I simply asked you to be sexy.

I know it can be harder for some of us than it is for others, so let’s examine some of the feedback clients often give me when they bristle at this suggestion. If you don’t think sexiness is appropriate for a first date, there’s a chance that one or more of these points might apply to you:

I don’t like being objectified. This isn’t about sex.

Hold up. This isn’t about sex? Are you kidding me? So you just want to make a new friend, is that it? Is that what we should tell your date? That you’re just looking for something platonic? Is that why he called you, asked you out, made dinner plans, and is going to pick up the check? Just to make a new friend? You’re right that a first date isn’t about sex, but it is about sexual attraction; that’s really the point of differentiation between a date and every other interaction in your life. If you don’t invite your date to be attracted to you, he won’t be. But hey, maybe you two can just be friends!

I don’t like dressing “that way.” I like to leave something to the imagination.

Again, I’m not telling you how to dress, but I am telling you how to feel. And so much of your mood – in all aspects of your life – can be dictated by clothing choices. Would you wear yoga pants to an important business meeting? Are you going to wear a skirt to SoulCycle? A bathing suit to a doctor’s appointment? (Actually, I did see a woman do that once. Please don’t.) If you want to be kissed, wooed, desired, wanted, you have to dress the part. Even the most conservative among you can spice things up a bit by undoing a button, letting your hair down, or adjusting a hem length. Invite the attention you want; if you don’t want a man to think about you sexually, I’m not sure why you’re going on dates in the first place.

I don’t like my body. You’re asking too much of me.

It can sometimes seem hard to accept, but we all have issues with our bodies. (Personally, I have about 56 inches of scars from 20 different surgeries, so I know of what I speak.) But if you don’t let yourself like your own body, how can you expect someone else to love it? Whether you realize it or not, you do love some parts of your physical self. If you have trouble starting at the top with a list of parts you like, go ahead and start at the bottom. List the things you dislike most and work in reverse. When you get to the top, you’ll know exactly where to focus with your clothing choices; draw attention to the parts of you that you like most (or dislike least), but always be sure to draw attention to yourself. If you don’t, you’re signaling to your date that some other woman in the room is more worthy of his gaze than you are.

I’m only interested in a guy who’s into more than just the superficial.

Yeah. We all are. Note the “more” in that statement. I get that you want him to be into your brain, but you also want him to be into your body. At least, I hope you do. It’s really enlightening to know that our clients who most often stress the importance of a physical connection are among the eldest. People who’ve had forty or fifty years of relationship experience know a lot more than the rest of us do. One of my favorite clients has often said, “There’s absolutely nothing more important than the way a man looks at me.” She’s right. So learn from your elders. (She, by the way, could teach all of us many, many things about the benefits of great tailoring and wearing slightly tight sweaters that have the perfect neckline. She’s also a successful retired attorney who can talk about almost any subject with a twinkle in her eye, a light laugh, and a smile.)

It’s 2014. The idea that guys are visual creatures seems really unevolved to me.

You’re right. It is unevolved. Because men are not particularly evolved when it comes to matter of the, uh, heart. How many generations do you think it takes to change the hardwiring of attraction? And what, exactly, would be the impetus? If anything, the practices of society – and the human body itself – adapt to feed our visually stimulated sexual appetites. You do, realize, right, that makeup is just a way to mimic the physiological signs of arousal? That every time you put on lipstick or blush or eyeliner you’re telling the men around you that you’re… interested? And your body… if you don’t want to attract the male gaze, your body is the biggest traitor of them all. More than one school of evolutionary thought proposes that enlarged female breasts (practically unheard of elsewhere in the animal kingdom) developed as a response to learning to walk upright; apparently human males need some form of cleavage to be not too far from eye level, and we don’t really care if it’s on the back or the front.

So let yourself be sexy. Admit that you’re looking for a connection that’s both physical and cerebral. Embrace the opportunity to advertise your interests. (Please, please don’t wear something that your friends called “cute.”) Learn to love the parts of your body that you already like, and to like the parts of your physique that you think you’ll never love. It’s ok to show some skin, to wear bright colors, to make choices that make it hard for a man to not look at you. It’s ok to want to be the center of attention on your date. In fact, it’s human nature. 😉 iStock_000039223286Small

Putting the CON in Confidence… Part II

Amy often points out that the skills of dating are themselves like a muscle, and unless regularly exercised, they tend to atrophy. This is true of people both in and out of relationships, and though it is a huge mistake to think that your “dating life” is over just because you’ve found a boyfriend or girlfriend (happy long term couples actively “date” each other throughout their marriage) this can be a particularly hard problem for those of us who are single; if the dating muscles have atrophied and a new date is on the horizon, how can we pretend to have any dating strengths?Happy couple in the city

Given that we charge our male clients with the responsibility of planning, arranging, and paying for a date, it makes sense to offer the more skittish guys some advice on how to make sure everything at the restaurant goes smoothly. Assuming you survived Part I of this series, and successfully navigated a phone call that has led to a first date, here are some things to keep in mind that can help provide the boost of confidence you might need to convert a first date into a second.

1. Scout the location.

As a guy, it’s really important to have some sense of mastery of your surroundings, especially if you’ve invited a woman to a place she’s never been. While we certainly recommend picking somewhere totally new to both of you if you’re a more practiced or adventuresome dater, go with someplace familiar if first dates are generally hard or stressful for you; we want you to be excited about this, not anxious.

So show up a little bit early, especially if you haven’t been there in awhile. Make sure you check in with the hostess, and maybe try to request a booth or corner table that has low lighting. Or ask to sit outside if the weather is right and you don’t think it will get too cool too quickly (women love dining al fresco, even if they’re rarely properly dressed for it). Make sure you know the answer to the inevitable “Do you know where they hide the ladies’ room?” query that you’ll get at some point during dinner. And even take some time to study the menu while you’re alone and form a couple of questions or opinions about the dishes; if decisions are hard for you, deciding what to eat will be even harder when you’re being distracted by a pretty face.

2. Admit ignorance.

If you aren’t particularly well-versed in any specific food or cuisine, the really great thing about a restaurant is that it’s full of experts who can help you out. Don’t know where the best table is for a first date? Ask the hostess. Not sure what to order? Ask the waiter. Not comfortable ordering a bottle of wine? Ask the sommelier. Some guys might see this as weakness, but admitting what you don’t know is actually a strength; it also gets you off the hook. If the wine is bad, you didn’t pick it. If the table is lousy, you didn’t ask to be seated there. If the dish is awful, blame the waiter. And send it back. All of us like someone who knows a lot about a few things, but no one likes the guy who thinks that he knows a lot about everything. It’s really ok to be ignorant; admitting ignorance in front of your date can allow both of you to learn something. Together. It also lets your date know that you aren’t the kind of guy who always has to have an opinion, which means she’ll likely care a lot more about the opinions that you do have. Confident guys are curious, because they admit they have a lot to learn. Most women will tell you that being a lifelong learner is very, very sexy.

3. Be gentlemanly.

This one should really go without saying, but be sure to open doors for your date, to not sit down until she’s seated, and if you really want to make an impression, stand up if she needs to leave the table in the middle of your date. You should also encourage her to feel comfortable ordering what she’d like (after all, you picked the restaurant) so be sure to signal that you’re feeling both generous and hungry. In other words, saying things like “We’re doing three courses, right” (You’re hungry) and “I’m sort of stuck… not really sure if I want the halibut or the duck” (Your pockets are deep… enough) provides reassurance for her that she should order as she pleases, and she should expect to enjoy the evening.

4. Be clear.

As your meal winds down, don’t be afraid to let her know you’ve had a great time. If you truly mean it, a woman loves hearing “I’ve had a great night” and “I’d like to do this again.” Too often, we hedge our bets and make conditional statements like “If you’re interested, I’d like to go out again” or “I’d like to do this again if you would.” Do not do that. Be direct. It conveys a lot of confidence when you use a declarative statement. After all, no matter how you word them, questions always involves a degree of uncertainty. Yes? No? Yes?

5. Be… the bodyguard.

Whether you had the best date of your life or the worst night you can remember, always offer to walk a woman to her car/hail a cab for her/escort her to a bus or BART stop/stay with her while she waits for an Uber. It might waste a few minutes of your life and you may have hated each other, but it’s still a sign that you’re a good person. And a thoughtful man. On the other hand – with a date you really liked – it could be that extra minute or two alone that builds enough sexual tension and spark to lead to a great first kiss. And if you think the time is right for a great first kiss to happen, be sure to kiss her with confidence.

The third and final part of this series will involve some general tips for building and maintaining confidence in a lot of different situations. If you’re a guy who’s lacking confidence and self esteem, that can change. You really can learn to be more confident. And your entire life will change positively as a result. So stay tuned for more…. 😉

Pace Yourself….

Happy couple laughing
In the past few weeks, Amy and I have seen so many examples of dating foibles and relationship failures that probably could have been avoided with the right kind of pacing. In one instance, a couple had about fifteen dates, a break up, a reunion, and another break up all in the span of roughly three weeks. In a totally opposite situation, one couple never managed to meet at all because they started to play phone tag like increasingly adversarial business associates. And several other relationships just got off track as a result of two people moving at completely different speeds. We all know the importance of pacing ourselves with work, with exercise, with food, and even with family; if you binge you make yourself sick. And if you don’t pay attention to your needs, you can starve in all sorts of ways. Here are some of the ways in which the team at Linx thinks pacing is absolutely key:

When Planning Dates:

Start small. We know plenty of guys who are very eager to prove how serious they are about being in a relationship, so they book first dates at restaurants with tasting menus, show up in suits and order Krug, and on the following morning, they send a huge bouquet of roses. In theory, it seems like a great idea (and a romantic one) but here’s the problem… if you set the bar that high initially, how do you go up from there? If your first date is at Meadowood, where do you have your second? Or your third? Or your fifteenth? How do you signal an increasing level of interest and investment when you start with such a strong opening move? A relationship should build gradually, and your date choices should reflect that; it lets a woman see that you’re not just serious about being in a relationship, but that you’re serious about being in a relationship with her. You can certainly still be a romantic (and we encourage that) but start with someplace like Chapeau! or South Park Café instead of Coi, wear a good pair of jeans and a loafer with a great blazer, and if you must send her roses the next day, send her just one. Imagine how much more meaningful it will be when you can finally send her a dozen. 😉


When Having a Conversation:

We know; this is a hard one. There are few things more nerve-wracking that talking to a complete stranger for the first time… especially when you throw in some hope, excitement, and attraction. We really do get it. It’s hard. But when opening up for the first time in a conversation, you need to go slowly. If you have a tendency to bulldoze your way through a first meeting (ask a good friend if you do this) then feel free to say to say something to your date like “I sometimes get a little bit nervous around handsome men and start talking too much. Feel free to tell me if I start doing that.” With that statement you do three really useful things: you stop worrying about the problem because you’ve admitted it, you pay your date a very nice compliment, and you allow him to be partly responsible for making sure that it doesn’t happen!

If your problem is more one of divulging too much rather than saying too much (i.e. talking about your last bad relationship vs. blabbering about your dog) simply ask yourself “Would I want to know this about another person on a first date?” and “Do I know this person well enough to feel comfortable with them having this knowledge about me?” Some of us have had some really rough experiences – whether it’s a hard surgery or illness, a difficult divorce, or a rocky employment history, for example. And we sometimes get really worried about being rejected for this part of our past. Here’s a tip to keep that in check: if you’re on a date with the right person, they’re really only interested in connecting with you in the present to see if the two of you might have a future. We all have a past, so leave it behind you unless and until a discussion of that topic becomes absolutely necessary.

When Moving Ahead:

As adults who are serious about relationships, we can sometimes let the idea of ending up with someone become more powerful than the reality of dating them. It can be so easy to project and plan, to anticipate and forecast. We are so anxious about finding the missing pieces to the puzzles of our lives that we sometimes try to force a fit that should never happen. Lots of people look good on paper and great in person, but that doesn’t mean they look right when cast in the movies of our lives. We don’t get to script our relationships. We don’t get to decide what other people should feel and when they should feel it. All we can do is focus on ourselves; we can listen with our hearts, but hear with our heads. And we should never let the way we feel about someone and the way we think about them become too discordant. You can’t really have a healthy relationship with someone you don’t respect. You can’t respect someone you don’t trust. And whether we like to admit it or not, learning to truly trust someone takes time.

Too often, we hear clients say that they can’t wait to be done with dating and “get to the good stuff.” Guess what? Dating IS the good stuff. So start small and aim high, but tread slowly at first. Take bigger steps as your connection deepens, but pace yourself; in the best relationships, the happiest married couples continue to actively date each other for the rest of their lives!

If you are interested in our private date coaching sessions, we would be delighted to hear from you. amy@linxdating.com

This Week in Perspective at Linx

Ever since January 1st, I’ve been inundated with matchmaking and membership requests, trying to keep my head above water. There has been a ton of excitement and many calls from incredible folks including some major high profile people in technology, finance, and creative industries such as film or design. A lot of really cool clients have been matched – some are in the infancy stage of really exploring things and others are already coupling up. Some go on ski vacations together, others jet off to the tropics. The demand for Silicon Valley matchmaking from the 20’s crowd is as strong or even stronger than that coming from the 30+ group. We have even been getting a lot of really fantastic older men lately coming through our door. These men have typically been married before and refreshingly desire a match close to their own age (50 +)- so the demand and the supply are coming simultaneously from every age and demographic, like they rarely have before.

We’ve also been getting a lot of requests for our date coaching by professionals from all around the Bay Area. I cannot express HOW transformational this really is. You do not need to be a client to hire us for our coaching. With the help of a customized date guide prepared expressly for the client and two hours of in-person intensive coaching, those that hire us go from doubting themselves to Cheshire cats beaming with confidence. All it takes is two hours and our techniques are groundbreaking – there is nothing like it anywhere. Email me for more info!

This week we have client interviews and are hosting a sold out mini meet-and-greet series of interviews for women who are looking to qualify to meet the VIPs. Due to such high demand, we have blocked out an additional date for March 28th for another day of one-on-one mini meet-and-greets for qualifying applicants.

As we approach March and the brink of Spring, I ask you all to cast a wide net. Don’t focus so much on his swagger and exterior; focus more on his soul. Stop worrying about what others think and look within. Ask yourself if are you happy with where you are in your life. What do you need in order to be happy? I can tell you this much- confidence is the #1 rule of attraction. Men and women both love a mate who finds confidence from deep within – a super-confident (but NOT arrogant) person carries (him) herself in that certain way that emits the right pheromones. We all know it when we encounter it.

If he doesn’t call, move on. If she doesn’t wow you after two dates, give her the courtesy of closing the loop. Don’t lose sight of your New Year’s resolutions. Keep a steady head, be clear, stay focused on your goals and remember to have fun. Finally, the next time you are on a date, be a little carefree – don’t worry about trying to be perfect. Laugh out loud if you feel like it. Chances are (s)he will like that quality about you. And, at the end of the date, ask yourself DO I LIKE HIM/HER, not does (s)he like me. Digging deep and looking into your soul builds strength and that is one of the best confidence boosters out there. Have a great week and I hope you enjoy the new layout of the Linx Line blog. XO

Holiday Heartbreak – How to Put Back Together the Pieces

According to statistics compiled from Facebook status updates, the holidays are one of the peak times of year when breakups occur. This adds an extra layer of difficulty to an already complicated time of year. It is essential to take care of yourself and your aching heart so you can get back into the game as soon as possible.

Friend of Linx, Daniela Tempesta, who is a licensed psychotherapist in San Francisco has put together some great insights into holiday heartbreak. If you are experiencing some holiday blues this season, consider gaining a fresh perspective that Daniela offers in order to gain momentum in 2014 in your personal life. Here are some of Daniela’s tips on strategies for putting back together the pieces and how speaking with a therapist can assist that process.

1) Don’t Carry The Baggage Of Your Last Relationship Into Your Next One

People often run from one failed relationship to another in a desperate attempt to forget the pain in the arms of a new love. But if we don’t seize the chance to really process the grief from a breakup, we are likely to bring it with us into the next relationship. We may project feelings and memories onto our new partner that have nothing to do with them. For example, your ex may have severely broken your trust and as result you are constantly suspicious or accuse your new partner of deceiving you even though they are not. This is likely to result in you walking away from someone wonderful, or pushing that person away. Therapy can help you clear the marks of your last love and give you a clean emotional canvas to work with.

2) Own What Is Yours And Let Go Of The Rest

Many people incorrectly blame themselves for a relationship not working out. They are so busy feeling bad about themselves that they fail to take responsibility for the way they actually did contribute to problems with their ex. It is important that you are able to examine what happened with someone who can help you see it objectively. It is essential that you stop blaming yourself for things that are not your fault, because sitting with blame and shame weighs us down and keeps us stuck. It is also important that you uncover the problematic behaviors or patterns that you did engage in that were not helpful. A lot of the problems that came up in your last relationship probably existed long before you ever met your ex. That is because we have internal dynamics in place for understanding ourselves and relating to others that have been in place since childhood. It is essential to untangle this web before you step into the next relationship so that you don’t repeat the same patterns again.

3) Re-Discover Your Identity As A Single Person And Learn To Love Yourself

A large part of coping with the loss of a relationship is learning how to be single again. This involves learning how to be alone and really getting to know and love an independent you. Skipping this step can lead to dating people who are not right for you as a way of filling an empty hole in your heart. We often lose parts of our identity in our relationships, and therapy can help you connect with your truest self and put the pieces back together. In order to really love someone else, we must learn to love ourselves.

4) Improve Your Communication Skills

Effective communication is hard. It is both an art and a science. Communication problems are often the number one culprit in a failed relationship. Before moving onto your next relationship it’s important to examine how your communication style may have been the source of strife. Is your communication style passive, aggressive, passive-aggressive, or altogether non-existent? For a relationship to work you need to be able to express yourself in a way that honors your voice and desires, but does not alienate or harm others. Remember, it’s not usually what people are saying, but how they are saying it (or what they are afraid to say) that is getting them into trouble.

Getting to Date Two Strategies and Advice

It might seem trivial but getting to date two can present its fair share of challenges. Last night I moderated a mock date. A mock date is a simulated date where I hire someone who has experience with dating to serve as my clients date for the night. My client (an early 30’s female in tech living in Silicon Valley) agreed to do a mock date after 4 hours of in-office training.

We worked together on many areas that she felt she wanted to improve on in order to be the best date possible. Topics we worked on pre mock date were: How to greet your date? What to talk about? How to flirt? What is off limits conversationally? What if your dates keeps talking and talking? How to battle major jitters? What if you are inherently a more quiet/shy person..how to stand out on a first date and *shine*? How to get to date two on date one? How to end the date (i.e., hand shake, hug, kiss…run the other way ;))

The mock date provides “real time” feedback and it is a very impromptu sort of format with no set rules or major guidelines. We pause if needed from the date, do “time outs”, and give the client essential feedback necessary in order to correct behavior and reprogram one’s approach. For instance, if a client talks too much about a subject that is sort of starting to go down a slippery slope, we will literally say “time out” and stop. Either the date or myself will explain our perspective and why the client should consider our approach. We will then resume the mock date and have the client practice. We will have the client do as many practice runs as possible till he/she gets it right.

The cool thing is that this client got powerful data straight from her date. Her date was unfiltered, honest, and shared what men want. Last night per usual, I was sitting right there on the “date” with them observing, taking notes, and giving my feedback as needed. Sound awkward with me there? It is for a bit then the client typically just fades me out. The client can also pause at anytime and ask for “on demand” advice as well. Where else can you get anything like this?

Here are some high level insights straight from her date that can be added to your dating arsenal of dating techniques too.

If you are a more quiet type, speak louder. Be very aware of your surroundings (i.e., table next to you is loud, don’t let their noise drown you out.)

Dating can be nerve wracking but try to make dating fun for you!

Keep your body relaxed and not stiff or robotic.

Don’t be afraid to speak up. If you really want the steak frites, order it.

For women, nonverbal flirting cues like playing with hair turns guys on. So do it more.

Men share they like a woman who has her own thoughts and opinions about a wide range of subjects. You don’t need to necessarily agree with your date. Who wants a ‘yes’ woman? Be someone who is bold in her convictions and speak your mind eloquently. That shows confidence. Confidence is sexy for both genders.

Right before you eat, bring it present and focused on the moment. Say “Cheers, so nice to meet you….thanks, really a lovely evening.”

If your date is dragging on and on about a subject that you feel is quickly going down a slippery slope, you must bring the date to the present….the here and now.

If you have butterflies and don’t want to eat…just order something small. Men will think you have an eating issue, are high maintenance, something is wrong, or worse yet you don’t like him.

Does the female pay on date one? No. If he asked you, absolutely not. It’s insulting if you insist on paying. If he accepts, run. Set the standard for yourself from day one.

Random things can happen on dates like you see an EX! Roll with the punches and be spontaneous. It is good for the soul. Be gracious and friendly and again focus to the present moment, i.e., your date. Versus getting caught up in unexpected stress.

Most importantly, go into the date with low pressure as if you are meeting a friend. If you go in with less expectations and lower pressure, you will end up being yourself and not trying being to someone you are not. And that is good!

Follow me on Twitter @linxdating

Silicon Valley Date Coaching

We are a lifestyle business and offer our clients and friends of Linx a wide range of auxiliary benefits beyond our core competency, matchmaking.

I get a lot of requests from Silicon Valley callus-thumbed engineers looking to get some assistance in techniques to get the girl.

This week we worked with one young gentleman who is such a sweetie and conduced a simulated date in a Menlo Park based restaurant. This mock date helped him with many techniques we had practiced at our office.

A lot of these guys  either don’t have the dating experience (so the thought of going out with a cute girl terrifies them) or they simply don’t know what to say beyond talk of Settlers of Catan, Rails, IRC, AI, and MUDs.

In SV geek culture, that talk is commonplace at work and amongst buddies over video games but when it comes to understanding women and dating them, we teach these guys to best position themselves to get the girl.San Mateo-20130109-00750The actual mock date in Menlo Park

The truth is these guys are exceptionally gifted and very smart. They just don’t always see that they are capable of interesting conversation beyond their comfort zone. Often, they are so knowledgable about a wide range of topics, it simply means helping them pick and choose from topics to cover in the early stages of dating so they are perceived as interesting and passionate.

We also help them with a lot of flirting techniques and commanding control of the date. In other words, not shrinking with doubt in their chair, instead maintaining confidence throughout the entire course of the date and being the so called man.

After 4 sessions in our office, our client was ready for his mock date this week. He absolutely rocked it and made such progress. He felt incredible about himself and those initial nerves that were extremely present in our office date coaching sessions were totally gone on the actual mock date. I moderated his mock date and provided a lot of feedback in real time. These services we offer are beyond invaluable. Where could anyone ever get ‘on demand’ feedback like that in real time?

I’m so proud of this young guy who is now going to totally breeze through his real-life dates and actually have fun! What a small investment for something so huge in life. He overcame jitters, doubt, pessimism, social anxiety around women, and not knowing how to flirt at all. Now he’s actually excited to start dating and hopefully meeting his dream girl.

Linx Ladies Visit Neiman Marcus Palo Alto

Time flies considering we are quickly approaching November. We had so much fun doing a wardrobe consultation for our male client at Neiman Marcus, Palo Alto a couple of months ago that we had to pay them another visit.  The demand for ladies wardrobe consultation is high, especially with the holiday season approaching.  

Every woman regardless of age whether she is fresh out of undergrad at Stanford or planning her 50th birthday wants to look fabulous.

What we love is that today’s modern woman doesn’t need to spend a fortune on looking good. She can incorporate a few key pieces into her wardrobe to spruce it up and feel confident in her everyday life. 

Today, we are doing a wardrobe consultation for a woman in her late 40’s. She is an executive by day for a conservative financial firm and typically opts for business suits and closed pumps. Yet don’t let her fool you. She has a little rock ‘n’ roll going on with an edgy hair-cut and  a wardrobe at home with some quality edgy yet sweet pieces.  When she came to us for matchmaking we thought it would be a really nice change of pace to bump up her wardrobe with date appropriate clothing. Think…Confident. Sexy. Colorful. Fearless. Feminine. 

When we mentioned doing a wardrobe consultation with her in our initial meet and greet she was very excited at the opportunity admitting she has very few date clothes. Like so many of our clients, she has been focused on work and her kids, placing dating on the back burner. 

Neiman Marcus, Palo Alto graciously extended themselves and introduced us to one of their premier stylists, Dean Taylor, who radiated enthusiasm and expertise through and through. 

Leading up to the consultation we worked behind the scenes with Dean to provide him with our clients’ measurements as well as her sense of style, comfort zone and general lifestyle. We agreed to nothing baggy and instead to focus on clothes that will instantly attract and importantly make our client feel totally gorgeous.  In some cases elegant knee-length sheath dresses, trousers, pointy-toe heels, and playful details.  Admittedly, we directed most of our energy on this session with lovely dresses. 

Upon arrival at Neiman’s,  Dean had put together an exquisite wardrobe filled with a wide range of different looks (rich jewel toned colors, lots of great figure flattering items, tasteful dresses for evening, pretty classic pumps, and playful colorful accessories from their new department CUSP.)

The way that Dean hand-picked the styles is to be able to have each piece seamlessly work together. In other words, a perfect marriage between day into evening clothing. Dean was spectacular to work with and totally “on it” from beginning to end, very responsive and professional.


We had so much fun sipping cappuccinos in a private consultation dressing room and watching our client transform before our eyes. Our client has a rockin’ body- a tiny little waist, no hips, long slender legs…that she was the perfect model.

She isn’t the type to necessarily opt for figure flattering clothes but we discovered Helmut Lang was the designer of choice for many her top picks. Two in particular worked amazing on her (one sleeveless  ‘folded wool knit’ dress in red and one long sleeve print Helmut Lang asymmetrical dress which fit her body like a glove.) Accented with gorgeous mary jane Manolos..she looked like a million bucks. Here’s another Helmut Lang we love- ideal for after hours. Remember men go crazy over a woman in red! Juxtapose this look below with an edgy leather clutch and metallic heels. You will have him calling mama from the bathroom that he’s met ‘the one.’

Elie Tahari also provided to be a winner for our client on many levels. We’d place Tahari in the safe category- demure, ladylike, sweet, and slightly more conservative. Here is a Tahari we love….pair this with yellow satin heels for a seriously romantic, feminine look. 
What we love from CUSP by Neiman Marcus- great for any Linx lady’s wardrobe……

Triple Drop Thread Earrings – $68.00

Agate Pendant Necklace – $30.00  Amy’s top pic!  (“This is ideal for a first date. Use it as an ice breaker in conversation, play with it, flirt, and allow his eyes to gaze in the ‘right’ direction. How can you beat $30.00?”) 

Got the goods and are fearless fashionista?  We love….
Robert Rodriguez Sequined Sleeveless Dress $295.00
Amy suggests pairing with a gorgeous velvet blazer  such as the Alice + Olivia ‘Elyse velvet blazer’ or Elie Tahari ‘Bethany velvet blazer’ (below) with closed toe pointy pumps or round toe pumps. 
“This velvet blazer is so rich in color, jewel-like. Blend with everything from your fav jeans or jazzed up with your date dress. Be bold and mix with all colors- reds, blues, etc. Don’t limit yourself just because it already has color in it. And don’t be scared to pair it with a different blue hue. Keep re-energizing your fashion by mixing  and playing with the unexpected.”   
After reading this, our hopes are you have a date in with yourself and your current wardrobe. Sometimes there is nothing better than a night in. Forget all the silly boys emailing you pointless things on Match. Shut down the computer and silence the phone. Light some candles. Pour a glass of great champers, turn up some Miguel, and play with some looks.
Maybe you have a velvet blazer from years ago that you never wear or perhaps you have a lady-like dress that you haven’t found the right occasion for. Call your best girl up for a night in with fashion. This is your time to mix, match, play, and have fun.
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If you like this song by Miguel, we recommend  checking out Maxwell. In the music business, very few songs are actually original.

Dating is a Skill

We do a lot of date coaching at Linx. This week I am coaching a young tech exec who has it all going on. He lacks long term relationship experience and as a result,  he second guesses himself.

 Dating is a skill.  Even the most experienced daters need practice, and practice makes perfect.  A lot of people dread the idea of going out on dates- what to say, what to wear, what if there is an awkward silence, what if within 5 minutes you know that he isn’t for you?!? Instead of panicking, we teach our students and clients to  look forward to dating, seeing it as an enjoyable and fun experience through a wide range of techniques held in the privacy of our offices.

One technique is about developing sound bytes for dates.  Sound bytes are short, colorful, positive “clips” about yourself that you can share on dates – it can makes things more fun and effortless.

The key is to inject PASSION each time you use your sound byte on a date.  One sound byte for anyone reading this is to come up with a colorful and short clip about your relationship history. Out of a 10 year relationship that went sour?  Dating after divorce?  Perhaps not had a long-term relationship in years?

Everyone of us has a story and the way you spin it adds zest, color, and excitement on your date. Why dwell on the negativity of why it didn’t work? Instead, I want each of you to think of one of the major reasons why you ended up with that person. He was so smart or she was seriously the most caring girl ever! 

When asked about your last relationship, press “play” in your head as you are about to use your relationship history sound byte. Keep it SIMPLE and SHORT.

Then the KEY is to bring it back in the moment, focusing on who you are out with.

Watch exactly how I would do it….

Him, “When was your last relationship?”

Me, “My last relationship was around 2 years ago, it lasted about 6 months. The thing that attracted me to him was he was really smart. It’s kinda hard to find those people who are seriously wicked smart. I think that’s why I’m actually really excited to get to know you tonight! Mike said you are a NYT crossword champ ;)” 

Him (secretly in his head), I think I am seriously in love with this girl stroking my ego….ahhh.

See how easy that is? Why would you elaborate about how he cheated, how she failed to tell you about her serious debt, how she this, how he  that?  No one wants to hear this. I repeat NO ONE.

If you feel you are one of those TMI (too much information) types on dates, I implore you to get a rubber band. That’s correct a rubber band. Wear it on your wrist and SNAP yourself if you fall into your bad habits when on your dates.

Him, “Do tell me about your last significant relationship.” 

Me, “Oh goodness, where to start! Well, it all went downhill one day when….”

SNAP the freakin rubber band already. It hurts right?

Good, that’s what I thought!  A reminder to keep it simple and to the point in the early stages of dating. Although your date might be smiling out of politeness, one one know what he or she is thinking.

Why not increase your chances of finding love by preparing yourself. Developing a sound byte for your relationship history is just one aspect we focus on here at Linx. Ask us your date questions any time!