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How to Choose What to Wear When You Propose

Choosing the ring, picking a place, figuring out what to say—these are all important decisions you'll need to make before you pop the question. Don't forget to pick the right outfit for this memorable moment, too!

marriage proposal

marriage proposal

If you’re planning to pop the question, there are a few important decisions you’ll need to make, from choosing the ring to where you’ll get down on bended knee to what you’ll say…and yes, what to wear when you propose. It might seem like a minor detail, but choosing the right ensemble is necessary, ensuring that you’ll feel both comfortable and confident during this milestone moment.

Here are some things to consider when deciding what to wear when you propose.

Choose comfort over style.

When considering what to wear when you propose, you likely want to look your very best. However, if you’re uncomfortable in your outfit, it will be hard to focus on giving your proposal speech and presenting the ring. Choose clothes that you’ve worn before (wearing a brand-new outfit might not only be uncomfortable, but might raise suspicion from your partner), and ensure that you have full range of motion. In particular, if you’re planning on dropping to one knee make sure you can do that in your proposal outfit. It may sound silly but you might want to practice kneeling in your outfit of choice to ensure that it’s comfortable.

Dress appropriately for the activity.

Yes, popping the question is a big event but don’t think you have to go black-tie. If you’re planning an activity for your proposal, dress appropriately for that. Heading to the beach? A bathing suit and cover-up is great! Asking the big question while on a hike? Reach for the sneakers and athletic gear. And if you’re proposing at home, wear what you would normally wear, whether it’s your favorite college sweatshirt or PJs. Don’t overthink what to wear when you propose—dress (and act!) as naturally as possible. Your partner will want you to look like you, not a runway model, during this major moment in your relationship.

Consider ring storage.

One of the most important considerations when determine what to wear when you propose is where you’ll hide the ring. If you’ll be carrying a backpack or another bag, it might be easiest to keep the ring in there (safely kept in its box, of course!). But if it’s not natural for you to be carrying a bag during your proposal outing, you might need to carry the ring in your pocket. Ensure that the outfit you choose has pockets—easy if you’re wearing a coat or jacket, less so if you’re proposing in the summer time. Pants with cargo pockets are often easiest to stash a ring box, but if that’s not your style, any ensemble with pockets should be okay—just try to avoid putting your ring in a shirt pocket (too obvious!).

Keep the weather in mind.  

Be sure to wear clothes that are appropriate for the season. You don’t want to be freezing cold or burning up as you prepare to pop the question. Your best bet? Dressing in layers. Even if there’s a chill in the air, the nerves and adrenaline you may experience might cause you to feel a bit flushed. It’s easy to remove a jacket or other outer layers so that you’ll feel cool and comfortable as you get down on one knee.

Remember: You’re going to be photographed.

Whether you’ve hired a professional or are just planning on taking some selfies, there will likely be numerous photos taken (and posted on social media!) of you and your partner during and after the proposal. So when deciding what to wear when you propose, be sure that whatever you choose will photograph well. This means sporting solid colors rather than bold patterns and clothes that are well-fitting, not loose and baggy.

Good grooming is everything.

While attire is important, you’ll want to make sure that your whole self looks amazing, too. Make sure that you’re showered, shaved, and well-coiffed—whatever you need to look and feel your best. Get a haircut a few days before your proposal, and even if you’re not the one wearing the ring, we recommend a manicure for guys and gals alike—your hands will likely be photographed, too during the first moments of your engagement and dirty nails are not an option! Make sure you’re smelling fresh, too—brushing and flossing, using mouthwash or breath spray, and wearing cologne or perfume are all must-dos before popping the question. Not only will these measures make you even more attractive to your partner, they’ll ensure you feel confident—which is totally essential for a successful proposal!