I was just reading on Vogue.com that your romantic future could in fact hinge on the handful of (hopefully) carefully curated pictures on your internet dating profile(s). That’s a little scary, don’t you think? Whatever happened to meeting boys at the beach over the summer??
Marina Khorosh wrote the definitive fashion girl’s guide to creating the perfect online dating profile for Vogue.com (I am re-posting it here.) Make sure you check out Vogue.com – I get it every day in my inbox.
The Fashion Girl’s Guide To Creating The Perfect Online Dating Profile
image by Laurie Bartley for Vogue March 2013
An important PSA for all the single ladies out there: Summer is right around the corner, and you’re officially out of excuses to postpone your dating agenda. All your lackluster cold-weather claims (My sweats are too cozy, I would rather watchScandal, and Who needs real men when you have Fitzgerald Grant?) are now rendered invalid. In fact, these days, dating is nothing if not a total joyride for the homebody, providing anyone with a functional smartphone with the tools to spark up a connection from the comfort of their very own athleisure ensemble. Since your romantic future may now hinge on the few carefully selected photos you present to the online dating world en masse, here are some key tips for creating an online dating profile that will put your best foot, angle, and outfit forward, all while effectively relaying the message you want to send out into the world. Welcome to the fashion girl’s guide to your online dating profile.
Step 1: Remember that no app is created equal. Happn, Bumble, The League, Raya . . . Not only have dating apps lost their social stigma, but they have now branched out to fit niche demographics and interest categories, each one requiring a separate visual approach. And much like how you wouldn’t send the same cover letter for different job descriptions, you should save the Fred Perry polo for The League, while showing off your best repurposed denim on the creative haven that is Raya. Victoria de la Fuente, a business development manager for retail and consulting firm Lambert & Associates, opts for four simple, down-to-earth shots on the more mainstream Happn and Bumble, while letting her fashion girl go rogue on Raya, noting that “that’s a special breed of men, very into fashion and design, so they are more likely to appreciate my robe collection!”
Step 2: Choose a good lead-in. Many guys admit that they don’t go much further than the main picture in their swipe sessions, aiming to max out their matches and filter through their options later. Cater to their dwindling attention spans by selecting that one photo that has earned your friends’ popular vote. One male New Yorker, who frequently uses apps such as Bumble and Hinge to broaden his social circle, says that a candid shot where the girl is laughing is a great place to start. He adds that he will immediately swipe left at the sight of a “glamour shot” or “cheerleading picture”—i.e., a confusing group shot of you and all your girlfriends in Tulum. Pro tip: Avoid recycling your social media profile picture to preserve some anonymity!
Step 3: Let your photos tell a story. A picture is worth a thousand words. Never has this idiom been more relevant than in the brave new world of online dating, where your photos must not only showcase your best angles, but also attempt to represent you fully as a multifaceted and unendingly appealing human being. Since most apps limit you to about six pictures, use your limited real estate wisely. A male friend (who admits that he finds online dating to be a rather superficial pursuit) says that the photos chosen by a prospective partner help him determine many things about her, her values and interests included, asking “Are there pictures with her family vs. pictures at Coachella? Is she posing provocatively in the mirror vs. a picture from dinner with friends? These are the things I look at.”
Step 4: When it comes to your clothing, think chic and simple. Men, especially New Yorkers, who are constantly surrounded by some of the world’s best-dressed women, admit that a woman’s style plays an important role in their swiping process. While most struggle to define the specifics, one male friend does confesses a weakness for a girl in a “pretty dress on a summer day,” while a French bachelor admits that he cannot swipe left to a red lip. De la Fuente recommends staying true to your personal style while avoiding pigeonholing yourself into one look. “You know that guy who can rock a mun [man-bun] and lumberjack gear but probably doesn’t own a suit? That’s the effect that you want to avoid.” She suggests keeping the majority of your outfits casual and throwing in one chic photo that alludes to the fact that you can pull it together if necessary, her own go-to being a daytime gazebo shot in Juan Carlos Obando separates at a wedding in Provence.
Step 5: Steer clear of the “glamour shots.” This bears repeating. Misrepresentation being the most cardinal of online dating sins, men are losing patience with overly contoured and Facetuned images, preferring the au naturel look that avoids all potential unpleasant surprises. Go for a clear shot of your face, perfected via Charlotte Tilbury Magic and a Fresh lip balm, if you so desire. If you have been working your butt off at Physique 57, there is no harm in showing off the results in Levi’s cutoffs and a Lisa Marie Fernandez bikini top—just be wary of provocative bathing suit (or lingerie!) pictures. While few blue-blooded males dislike a Sports Illustrated editorial, most pause at the idea of dating a girl whose belfie is circulating the World Wide Web. Other things to avoid? Excessive labels and “fashion pieces,” neither of which the average male eye has learned to process.
Step 6: Throw in some travel pictures. Most guys admit that a woman who is well-traveled automatically seems more interesting, with a few caveats. As one New York bachelor explains: “Smiling in Piazza San Marco with your family, thumbs-up; toasting champagne with several other bikini-clad girls in a hot tub on the back of a yacht with Dan Bilzerian, that’s another story.” When chosen wisely, travel pictures also give you an opportunity to show yourself at your happiest and most tanned, perfectly highlighted by, say, a white Melissa Odabash dress!
Step 7: Show your personality. At the end of the day, you’re aiming to find somebody who appreciates it. Funnier than Amy Schumer? Throw in a few silly pictures that show you don’t take yourself too seriously. A creative at heart? Spotlight your best Fondazione Prada selfie for an instant reference point. If your creative inclinations are channeled through your wardrobe, well, there is probably no point in hiding this, either. In the words of De la Fuente: “Whoever loves me should love my furry slippers and my silk robes!” And, come to think of it, why shouldn’t they? Marina Khorosh is the author of a fantastic website called DBag Dating