What Not To Wear In Your Dating App Pictures

I’ll start by saying that the advice in this article is based on the assumption that you’re looking for something ~real~ via the dating apps. Like, If you’re solely on them to get laid, sure, go ahead, post those bikini pics from college Spring Break 2012. But if you’re looking for eternal love, I’d probs refrain. Even though those thirst trap pics will def get you all the matches, it’s highly unlikely you’ll be getting a match from Mr. Right. Plus, do you really want the pressure of having to live up to to your own throwback spring break bod??? Like, let me remind you this was a time in your life when your daily meal was restricted to green salads sans dressing and drunk snacks of celery and kale. That was a determined, laser-focused level of willpower version of you that just is simply unattainable now. (Trust me, I’ve tried.)

ANYWAY, back to what you came here for. As cliche as it is, you want to make sure your profile pics represent the real you. (Well, the best version of you, that is.) And, as with anything in life, you want to stay away from polarizing extremes. Unless that is truly who you are, of course. In which case, go ahead and post the pics of you from the Women’s March with a vagina hat on your head #breakingtheglassceiling. You do you, sis.

Here are the main outfit factors to consider in each of your profile pics, and how to maximize your dating potential with each.


Do: Red
Don’t: Neutrals
You want to make sure you’re wearing color in the majority of your dating profile pics. Colors will make your profile more noticeable and more memorable, whereas neutrals make you…well, not. I’m sure you’ve heard it before, but your best option is to wear red. Red grabs attention and has a hot romantic appeal and implied confidence. Think Megan Fox sex appeal paired with Kanye’s unexplainable confidence. That’s the image you’ll project, minus the whole “make America great again” rants.

Susana Monaco Tie Strap Tank


Do: Fitted, Tailored
Don’t: Baggy, Too-Tight
Going back to making sure your pictures accurately represent you, it’s important to not wear overly baggy clothes that keep your body type a vague unsolved mystery. When it comes to dating apps, you’re going to be better off underselling and over delivering rather than the reverse. Wear clothes that are fitted enough to accurately represent your body type and flatter your particular figure. Like, no offense to Sierra Burgess, but talk about misrepresenting what you look like. And she ended up having to pretend she was deaf and then running on the field in the middle of a football game because of it. And sure, it worked out for her in the movie, but life ain’t a movie. Catfishing RARELY ever works out—just ask Nev and Max.

Majorelle Salsa Dress


Do: Statement earrings
Don’t: Sunglasses
OMG, sorry to be negative Nancy here, but I HAVE to start with the “don’t”. Don’t f*cking wear sunglasses in your dating profile pics, point blank. Uh, ever heard of the “sunglasses effect”? Look it up on Urban Dictionary. Anyone can appear hot in a pair of sunnies, guy or girl. Personally, I automatically swipe left on profiles of guys in sunglasses because I just don’t have time to sit around playing Nancy Drew. I’m not going to waste my precious time trying to investigate whether you’re actually hot or not for some pointless small talk and the chance to ultimately probably never even meet. I’m just being real here. Instead, for an accessory, wear a statement earring. It adds detail and flair to your pic and shows you have some sense of style.

Lucy Resin Hoop Earrings

Sex Appeal Level

Do: Show some skin
Don’t: Show too much skin
Okay, so there’s a fine line here and it’s going to require a lot of self-awareness and connection to reality to understand the difference. You want to make sure you’re showing some skin so as to not come across looking like a politician’s wife. But, not too much skin that he’s wondering whether you get paid Instagram sponsorships for always being in a bikini. Understand? You know in your heart whether it’s a thirst trap pic or not, let’s be honest.

Sweet Talk Vegan Leather Mini Dress

Outfit Style

Do: Glam/Going Out, Casual, and Athleisure
Don’t: Full Prom, Sports Bra & Spandex, etc.
You want to make sure you offer a few different looks in your dating profile pics. For example, do one that’s “glam/going out” that shows you dressed up, looking like a straight snack headed to da club. One casual, wearing your best family-appropriate sweater at Thanksgiving—maybe even allow Grammy in the pic for an emotional appeal. And lastly, one in your ahtleisure that could be a gym-selfie-worthy outfit. But, could is the operative word here, no gym selfies. Ever. For any reason.

Lovers + Friends Boa Mini Dress

Free People Crazy For You Buttondown

Adidas Originals 3 Stripes Legging

So there you have it, ladies. Basically, do your best to be your most authentic self and to portray your most authentic self on your dating profile. And hey, maybe you’ll actually end up meeting your future husband on one of these apps! Probs not, but here’s to positive thinking!!

Images: @pablomerchanm / Unsplash; Revolve (3); Free People (3); Urban Outfitters
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Shannon McCormick
Shannon McCormick
Shannon McCormick (previously under the alias of 'Betch Dressed') is a self-proclaimed fashion expert with a sick obsession for all things Bravo. She primarily writes about everything fashion, but also dabbles in other areas because she's a talented overachieving Virgo. Follow her on Insta (@shanmccormick) and comment/DM topics you want to hear her incredible take on next!