How to Style Your Dating App Profile

If you find yourself glued to your phone a little more than usual these days (and to be honest, these days, who isn’t?), it’s as good a time as any to brush up your presence on the apps. The dating apps, we mean. You’ll eat up some time between Zoom meetings and conference calls and perhaps start some new, completely-remote-for-now conversations.

The good news is that so many guys out there are doing the absolute least — baring their chests for bathroom selfies, posting photos in Crocs and crew socks, forming entire personalities around their man buns — that an iota of extra effort will go a long way in attracting dates who match the best version of you (and the aspirational life you lead in the physical realm). Your dating profile, after all, is an exercise in getting people to like you, so we suggest taking a cue from a different breed of barely tolerable online dude: the influencer.

In that spirit, we’ve thrown together some style best practices to help you in your quest to level up your online dating life. A few choice outfits and a handful of creatively composed photos later, and you’ll be on your way to finding someone to help you deconstruct the second season of Twin Peaks over an Oregon Piquette and somebody special.

The First Photo In Your Dating Profile Should Be Extremely You

Digital first impressions are dubious, so be unabashedly yourself in the first one or two photos — potential matches want to know what you’ll look like on a first date, mostly so they don’t mistake you for the barback. Think about an everyday go-to — maybe a denim jacket, or a business guy fleece — and hew to that theme, but mix it up with a bright top in a flattering color, or a high contrast print. Save the full-body pic for number two (cuffed chinos, maybe, a tailored blazer, and sneakers). The goal is to draw people in, so be stylish, but not intimidatingly so.

Channel Casual Spontaneity (and Prove You Have Friends)

Next, present the side of you that pivots his Saturday evening to accommodate a last-minute rooftop soiree. A range of profile photo tropes fit into this category: dining al fresco, laughing with a child that isn’t yours, cavorting with a domesticated animal. Lean into the “I just threw this on” vibe that only a great pair of dark wash jeans and plain tee (or sweater) can provide. Flash photography will add a bright lights big city feel — consider a textural change, like a shiny bomber jacket.

Show Off Your Extracurriculars

Whether you’re training for El Capitan, perfecting your putting game, or waiting for Fortnite to become an Olympic sport, consider the action shot an opportunity to display your physique and interest in moderately-priced athleisure. Activewear is at a cultural zenith, so it’s hard to go wrong—even if you’re wearing nice sweats, passionately engaged with your Nintendo Switch. You never know, you might attract the eSports stan of your dreams.

Induce Travel Envy, But Don’t Go Overboard

One ill-conceived travel photo has the potential to derail this entire thing. Sure, you’ve been to a Sri Lankan wildlife sanctuary, but that photo of you with Louis the tiger could go viral on Twitter for the wrong reasons. Instead, share shots of you enjoying a spritz in balmy climes, wearing tasteful shorts or lightweight pants and a shirt reminiscent of Maui in the ‘50s. Post a topless beach pic if you must, but keep the mood self-deprecating—and remember, the swim trunks-and-linen-shirt combo is a classic of the genre.

Save The Suit (or Tux) for Last

A tailored suit is always dashing, so let the anticipation build and leave ‘em with an image of you, the refined polymath, in a linen suit and drizzle-proof coat, flanked by a Rothko on one side and a Pollock on the other. Or, you in the first tux you owned, right after you caught the garter at college roommate’s wedding. Either one.