First Impressions Count !

First Impressions Count ! Guest Blogger


Picture of Samantha Wilding who runs personal styling company called Style & Grace

Samantha Wilding – personal styling at Style & Grace

You might have a first date or be attending one of South Downs Introductions singles events.  Whatever the occasion, you want to look your best, and first impressions do count.

Research tells us that someone judges you in the first three seconds based on how you look, your body language and what you’re wearing.  That’s before you say or do anything.  So while what you wear and how you look may seem superficial, in our image-conscious age it is vitally important in defining ‘who you are’.

So what should you think about when preparing for that exciting first date or event ? Here are some of my top tips:


  • Preparation is everything. Don’t leave it to the last minute to decide what to wear.  Nothing is more panic inducing than discovering a broken zipper, missing button or not having the right socks/jumper/bag etc.  Gather your full outfit and try it on a week in advance.  This gives you time for any last minute dry cleaning, shoe reheeling or to fill in any missing gaps
  • Dress as you, for you. Don’t try and be someone else or what you think others expect.  For example, women: if you never wear heels, don’t wear towering stilettos – you will feel (and look) very uncomfortable.  Men: if you feel most comfortable in a suit but are going to a smart casual event and don’t want to look out of place, keep it smart with dark jeans or chinos and a blazer.  And everyone: pay attention to fit – ill-fitting clothing makes you look sloppy
  • Pay attention to the details. It goes without saying, really, but it’s surprising the number of people who ignore the small details.  Clean teeth, hair and nails, please.  Enough said.
If you’d like some help in looking your best, get in touch.  I’d love to hear from you.
Samantha Wilding
Style & Grace


Signs you’ve got a keeper…

You have never waited several days to receive a response to your text message. You are a priority and an integral part of their daily routine right from your first date.

They find your imperfections and quirkiness adorable.

They show they care by sending you a good luck text when you have that all important day ahead.

They talk about you all the time.

They make you laugh every day even when you cry.

When the chips are down they lend a comforting ear and a shoulder to cry on.

You can plan a future together and it feels right to use the ‘we’ word.

They are proud of you and tell you so.

You could cuddle forever and never tire of it.

They say “I love you” every day and mean it.

Me Time at Valentine

Single on Valentine’s Day…

Almost as soon as the shelves are cleared of Christmas decorations, they are filled again with chocolates, hearts and other Valentine’s gift ideas.  The reminders are everywhere if you’re single, TV adverts, ‘Not Valentine’s Parties’, movie releases and shop windows full of exotic lingerie.  Just type Valentine’s Day into Google and 64m results pop up with anything from what to wear on your date to where to go on a romantic break.

But people in relationships forget very quickly what it is like to be single.  One couple I worked with told the boss that I should stay on to work late because I was single and they should be allowed to leave work early because it was “their Valentine’s Day”.  He fell for it and I spent the next four hours working late whilst spitting out feathers with their names on.

If you don’t have a ‘plus one’ for Valentine’s Day that doesn’t mean that you should not pamper yourself or celebrate.  Quite the contrary, in fact it is even more of a reason to do something that makes you feel better.

Hit the gym 

Filled with endorphins you will feel ready to take on cupid and his army.  All those calories you burned off will entitle you to splurge on your favourite takeaway later on without feeling guilty.

Boot camp or Spa retreat

Treat yourself to a weekend away invigorating your mind and body through relaxation, exercise and healthy eating.  You will make plenty of new friends even if you go alone.  These weekends are designed to motivate and refresh you.  Check out one of our current favourites at

Alternatively arrange a spa day with a friend.  Spa retreats are not just for girls.  A friend of mine recently treated her boyfriend to a spa day which he thoroughly enjoyed, especially the head Indian head massage treatment.

Girls’ or boys’ night in

Arrange a fashion swap party.  Invite your friends and tell everyone to bring clothing items they no longer wear or want, no beyond ‘past wear dates’ though.  Ensure you invite friends with similar tastes and this will be an eco friendly way to clear out their wardrobes.  Get some wine in and the music on whilst you try on potential new outfits.  You could even suggest that for each item swapped between parties some money is put into a hat which could be given to a charity.

The boys can arrange a game night in such as poker or if that’s not your thing, host your favourite sports night.  Whatever you do ensure there are plenty of snacks and liquid refreshments to hand.

Girl’s night at Fifty Shades of Grey

Cleverly released for Valentine’s Day, this highly anticipated movie encapsulates a love story spanning three books of erotica.  There is certainly a lot of hype about the movie with reports saying the majority of the booked audiences are women.  So popping out for a meal and a swoon over Jamie Dornan with your friends might be a fun way to celebrate with the girls.