Hey, Boys: We Don't Dress for You
Over the past couple years, I’ve seen the occasional article/list of things guys hate to see on women, and I always feel a mixture of anger and amusement. The article is invariably written by a dude, a narrow-minded one who seems to think that girls dress for the sole/primary purpose of impressing guys.
Boys, this might come as a shock to you, but…on the list of reasons why we dress the way we do, you’re actually, like, kinda at the bottom.
We don’t dress for men. If anything, we dress for other women. (Gasp!)
We dress to impress others like us, other judgmental people who, most of the time, tend to be girls.
We dress for ourselves–to make ourselves feel good, to use our clothing as a form of self-expression (because it is), to demonstrate that we value ourselves and want to take care of ourselves (or to say the opposite). We also dress, on occasion, to say we don’t care about any of that.
We dress because we want to be comfortable, or because we want to flatter our own bodies, each one unique, and we dress to say that we don’t give a fuck about what you or anyone else thinks.
We’re dressing to convey our personality in a look. And each outfit is a different facet of that personality–whether it’s the “I feel chill today” jeans and tee, the “I’m classy and intelligent” loafers and sweater, or the “fuck off, I’m at the grocery store,” sweats and hoodie.
There are those rare occasions where, yes, we are dressing to impress you. Dates…and, I guess, more dates…
Yeah. Dates. And maybe weddings where we know our exes will be present.
But most of the time, you’re not part of the equation. We don’t ask you for fashion advice–not if there’s someone present whose opinion matters more. Sometimes, yeah, we want to look good for our significant other because we want him/her to feel proud or we want to make them happy. But those times are few and far between. Unless our dating calendar is, like, totally packed.
I won’t pretend the media and its depiction of sex and beauty has not influenced us. I won’t deny there’s irony in claiming to not dress for men while dressing according to the standards of beauty perpetuated by a patriarchal society and media. I’m just saying that when I get dressed to go out with friends, I’m not thinking about what the boys at the bar are going to like; maybe I’m thinking about what’s going to impress the other girls at the bar (they should be so jealous I got these Acne boots on sale). Or simply what’s going to demonstrate that I’m a confident, stylish, Alpha female.
So, guys: if you think that high waists are tacky, if you don’t understand peplum (don’t worry, bro, neither do I), if you think bright lipstick is a nuisance because it gets all over you (presumptuous, aren’t you?), or if you think oversized sweaters don’t show enough of a woman’s shape–you can relax. Because we’re not thinking about you or your opinion nearly as much as you think we are.
We might be thinking about your girlfriends’, though.
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