Doe Deere Blogazine

Tales of the Unicorn Queen

Do women dress for men?

Category Editorials


Photo: Ellen von Unwerth

Short skirt, fishnets, platform boots: I’m on my way to the subway station. My ears are plugged with Madonna, to block out the cat calls and whistling from strange men on the street. A construction worker is convinced that my bright eyeshadow and red hair are some sort of an invitation, and is deeply offended when his advances are ignored. He yells insults my way. I keep walking.

As I get on the train, I ask myself: when was the last time I threw lustful looks, winked, or yelled “HEY SEXY!!!” at an attractive male? The 32nd of Neverwary? It’s not because I’m a woman and not allowed such things; it’s simply because it would be uncivilized. I live in America, a country that’s often laughed at for being sexually repressed. From what I hear, things are even worse in Europe and Japan: Parisian men run amok, grabbing butt cheeks and boobs left and right; in Japan, segregated subway cars are used to prevent perverts from groping women during the rush hour (sometimes I wish we had that, too). It seems, no matter how liberated or repressed sexually, men all over the planet can’t seem to stop acting like wild gorillas.

Women dressing provocatively is a flimsy excuse. Although we may sometimes wear revealing outfits, it is not always done to attract a mate. My friend Ally thinks it has to do with general sexualization of women’s fashions – what was once considered scandalous even for the bedroom, is worn openly in public today – like mini skirts and over-the-knee boots. My mother, on the other hand, suggests that women dress to impress other women – after all, they will be the judge of an outfit.

I think that for the most part, women dress for themselves. We do it because clothes make us happy. We do it to feel feminine, boost our confidence and to express ourselves. And yes, sometimes we do it to feel sexy! From my observation, most men actually prefer a woman who dresses to please no one but herself – it allows her to rock her frock with confidence, and there is nothing sexier than that.

This not to say that women don’t occasionally dress explicitly to impress men. Walk into a bar on a Friday night and you’ll see more cleavage and leg than you’d bargained for. :)

So do women dress for men? I suppose it depends on a woman and the situation. There is definitely nothing wrong with dressing sexy when you feel like it; as long as you feel good wearing it, it shouldn’t matter what others think. It would be nice though if men didn’t assume it’s all done in their name and stopped acting like macaques! ;)

Fun fact: In 1922, New York Times suggested that the clearest and most undeniable proof that women dress to please men is given by the class who do it for a living – and who, ironically, are responsible for many of our fashions. They are prostitutes, women who make a business of attraction and cannot let up on their efforts to please. They wear skimpy, colorful, imaginative outfits. And then there are nuns and women of middle East, whose clothing is especially designed not to attract – this effect is achieved through concealment, monotony and lack of color. But all this really proves is that men find revealment, variety and bright colors attractive – not that women, in fact, do it for the sole purpose of attracting men.

Deerlings: do you dress to impress anyone? Who?

P.S. Don’t forget to take the poll on the side bar! :) —–>

70 Responses to
“Do women dress for men?”

  • Helen says:

    I dress for myself and to show off my personality – yet sometimes if I am shopping with my boyfriend and he says he doesn’t like something that I do, it will put me off slightly. Of course there are things I do wear that he doesn’t like, but it doesn’t put me off them totally.

    In a way sometimes I think women dress for other women. Men don’t really notice clothes (usually just the lack of them!) but women will admire or scrutinise other womens outfits so sometimes you do try to please others either by conforming to their fashion or by creating your own style that becomes admirable.

    prplunicrn777 Reply:

    In my opinion many women dress like skanks and if thats dressing to impress, they are attracting the wrong kind of people. Sure doesn’t impress me.

  • WendyB says:

    I dress to impress gay men, of course!

  • Vanessa says:

    Hello Doe Deere,
    actually, I didn’t really want to comment on the topic of this entry. I find it interesting, but … well, there are several reasons. I don’t really know much about feminism. And as so often, I just feel as if I didn’t have the right to say something about it. I just think that my opinion is not at all interesting.
    I’m trying to be like you. You just say what you’re thinking and you know how to express it. But you don’ hurt anybody with it. I know a lot of people who are really honest but don’t watch other people’s feelings.

    I don’t want to annoy you with my personal problems. We don’t know each other really. I actually don’t know why I’m doing this. I just felt like asking you for help. You are just … so, so great. Really. I … adore you. I really like your personality and your style and just … you. I don’t want to sound like some obsessed stalker.
    I’m sorry if this sounds quite confused … I’m writing like this most of the time, especially when I want to say multiple things at a time.

    I’ve been sitting in front of the computer for several hours. I have to do so much for school but I didn’t do anything. I thing I’m going to start crying.
    I know you can’t really help me and I don’t know why I’m expecting help from you. I’m really sorry, I didn’t want my comment to … be like this.
    I don’t know, I’m so … emotional right now. I’m sorry. I hope that you don’t think of me as a sick person … I’m not always like this.

  • Fancy that you blast your music too, so that when men cat call you don’t even hear them. What I’ve been doing lately is when I notice a man about to cat call or say “sexxxxxxxxxxy” as I walk past I look the other way like something has caught my eye.

    I kind of wish we had it in us to do the same to men, but it’s not. Just hold that can of pepper spray if things get out of hand and we dames will do just fine!

  • Beth says:

    I dress for myself or for my fiancé… and even then it’s partially for me.

    I want to feel good about myself and I could care less about anyone who could hoot or holler at me.

  • Sal says:

    What a fantastic, thought-provoking post. I think some women DO dress for men … and, as you suggest, some women dress to compete with or impress other women. It takes a certain maturity level to dress for yourself, choose outfits because YOU like them and feel good in them. Many of us don’t get there until we’re well into adulthood, and others never do.

  • Vixel says:

    I dress entirely for myself. I think some of the time when women do dress to attract positive male attention it’s not simply for the sake of attracting males, but rather for how it makes them feel when they get the wolf-whistles, sideways glances, etc. They’re not looking to get laid, they’re doing it to feel sexy, and the positive reaction of the opposite sex makes them feel good about themselves.

  • Kat says:

    I dress for friends or coworkers – male and female. I can’t say that I dress for myself or my boyfriend, because when I’m at home with him, I wear sweats and the same sweater every day. I want my coworkers to think that I am mature and professional, and I want my friends to find me creative and fun.

  • Doe Deere says:

    ♣ Helen
    Very well put!

    ♣ WendyB
    SO with you there, darling!!! I am friends with more gay men than anyone I know. Why? Because they get me, and I get them. And everyone is respectful to each other, and we have fun! Everyone is happy! :D

    ♣ Vanessa
    Don’t cry, sweetie. It sounds to me like you’re a little depressed about something. Is it anything in particular? Think about it. It happens to the best of us. xoxo

    ♣ Bianca Alexis
    Ha! I do the same thing. Most of the time I just look straight ahead though…

    ♣ Beth
    That’s the way to go!

    ♣ Sal
    No, thank YOU for a thought-provoking response! One could argue that women who always, blatantly dress for men – some call them ‘bimbos’, but I would avoid that term – also do it for themselves in the end. Getting attention from men IS what makes them feel comfortable and confident!

  • Typhoid says:

    For me, the way I dress is an extension and manifestation of my moods. I have wild mood swings and “funks” that are then unexpectedly punctuated by days when I wake up wanting to take on the world and laugh while I’m doing it. If you want to know how I’m feeling today, look at what I’m wearing. Do I want to feel elegant, funky, mysterious or casual today? Do I even want to look pretty? There are some days when I just don’t care, and I’m pretty sure we’ve all been there in the 5 day old jeans, t-shirts with more holes than threads to their name and hair you could scrape and use the results to make fries. Other days, I actually care and want to look and feel beautiful/classy/sexy/pretty/etc. And, if my boyfriend approves of my vintage stockings and 6-strap suspender belt, where’s the harm? I know I like them – I’m proud of my legs and hips. I’m proud that they accentuate and draw appreciation to the female form. I’m happy he likes them too. After all, there’s no better compliment than being pounced on by someone you want to pounce on you.

  • Phooka says:

    I’d like to think I dress solely to please myself, but I know it’s not true. There’s always at least a little desire to attract attention. It’s nice to know you’re getting stares for a good reason (rather than something embarrassing!)
    Still, just because a male says they don’t like something about my appearance, whether it’s clothing, the pink hair, my mohawk when I had it, piercings, etc., doesn’t mean I shun whatever they dislike. It makes *me* happy to look the way I do – bugger the rest!

  • izzib3th says:

    I definitely dress for myself. I’ve been a relationship for 4 1/2 years and really have no reason to dress for anybody else.

    I kind of let myself go for a little while… lost my style and got lazy. But I’ve been working on getting it back! And it’s a really, really great feeling. ^_^

  • Vanessa says:

    You can’t imagine how happy I am about you answering me. You really made me smile a biiig smile.
    I’m really glad that you care, although we actually don’t know each other.
    Well, school is quite stressful right now. And … I’m really discontent with myself. Besides, a friend … well, a former friend of mine is quite mean to me. And … I’m just very discontent with the way my life is at the moment. But I think school is making me especially depressed. I’m just so lazy, doing really senseless things for hours and then I have to do a lot of things for school in really short time and I’m just mad at me.

  • Amanda says:

    Whenever I go out in public my outfit usually covers the majority of my body. Getting a man’s attention is never on my mind when I’m dressing. I prefer to show just the right amount of skin. I do believe that many women dress to impress men, it is something you can see in their body language and how they carry themselves. I would much rather meet a man who is interested in me and not my outfit and how much skin I’m showing.

    prplunicrn777 Reply:

    Good for you, that is the way it should be.

  • mermaid says:

    i think many women dress to create an illusion – the illusion that they are more put together than they really are, or more care free, more anything.
    it seems clothing is an exaggeration of what we’d like to be perceived as.

    not for everyone of course – but as generality.

    mermaid

  • Glendy says:

    I agree women do dress for themselves but sometimes wearing something too short or sexy has gotten me in trouble, that doesn’t mean I have stopped dressing the way I do I just work around it,

    Take this for example I have noticed in the poorer areas of New York city men are the most disgusting and disrespectful than in other areas, I had to move back to the south bronx because my mom had surgery, I grew up there and going back was gonna be a hassle the neighborhood is unsafe and it takes me an hour to get to work, however thats not the problem, the problem are the men in my “hood” I usually wear a long jacket or coat a bit past my knees to avoid fighting, arguing or having men stubbornly following me, its awful! You have no idea the disgusting things I get called when I ignore the cat calls, some guys have gotten in front of me to talk to me but I just pass them and brush them off. Latin men for some reason in the Bronx think that a miniskirt gives them the right to treat you and call you as they please, so to avoid this I usually have my light or thick long coats.

    I also got in trouble at work today since the office where I work has two offices, apparently in Chicago people had a problem with my style and found it inappropriate for that office, while in NYC no one cares how I dress, I guess it all depends where you are and the circumstances, I simply work around it, I am me and will not change for anyone or anything, I just wished men would behave and people would learn to be more accepting rather than criticize.

  • riffraph says:

    In Japan, it’s quite odd because yes, there are separate cars for women to prevent possible molestation but men and women are never overly sexually expressive in the streets (usually no cat calling, whistles etc) but they are quite open in another sense because sexuality is not seen as a “taboo” as it is the case in most conservative countries. For instance, in Shinjuku, one of the most busiest districts of Tokyo, red-light district is huge and people are not ashamed to enter there. The porno actresses (called “AV” for “adult video”) have huge followings and they often appear on popular public tv shows.

    I lived in Japan for a bit then I moved to Argentina and Chile(where I’m currently living) where the cultures are very “machismo.” I lived in NY too and there too I got catcalling and whistling but nowhere near to the extent of catcalling down here in South America.(on one night this guy slapped my butt as I walked down the street in Buenos Aires) A lot of women(mostly foreigners) are offended for obvious reasons and want the society to convert itself but there was the whole argument of difference of cultures, such as who are we to speak what’s right and what’s wrong about other countries/cultures, you know?

  • Mrs. Shreck says:

    I tend to compose my costume based on two things: functionality and impression. I want whatever I’m wearing to allow me the freedom to do whatever it is that I want to do. On the other hand, I love to impress — the men, the women, and myself — with something concocted to do nothing but make a splash. I think personal costume is situational. Most have dressed with nothing else in mind but acquiring the sexual attention of another at some point, but I do think that most women ultimately dress to please themselves a majority of the time. After all, one would generally hope to attract the attentions of those who share common ideas of “what is sexy”!

  • *Star says:

    honestly it’s a mixture of both….

    I dress for me, when I feel like being extra special…and I dress to be physically appealing to the opposite sex….

  • *Star says:

    Oh, and that chick in the middle has awesome eyebrows…It’s the first thing I noticed…

  • Jessica says:

    While I do sometimes pick my clothes out in the morning with full knowledge that it might garner attention, I think in the end I’m pretty much dressing for myself. After all, if I didn’t like the way a certain article of clothing looked on me, I never would have bought it in the first place!

    Although nowadays, I pretty much wear jeans all the time. Not because I want to (I think I’m starting to hate jeans, to be quite honest), but because I go to school in Manhattan, so I have to take the subway to and from school every day. Plus, the train station is a thirty minute walk from my house (the buses in my neighbourhood are completely unreliable after 10 AM so after classes I just walk home), so jeans are definitely practical, if not completely boring. I’ve been trying to figure out the best way to run around in skirts without attracting the attention of creepy people.

    Your fun fact from the NYT reminded me of Pushing Daisies (one of my absolute favourite shows!), in which one character ran off to a convent where the nuns wore bright turquoise habits! This doesn’t add to the discussion in any way, but I love that show. /tangent

  • Sara says:

    Largely, I do dress for me, except on the odd day when the boy will say “Won’t you wear ‘x item’? You look so pretty in that!”

    o___O I think a goth fetish is becoming more prevalent in our society. I walk mostly inbetween the train and school, and I’ve gotten everything from whistles, to marriage propositions. So very bizarre, can’t you loopies see that this is all aboot meeee? Hehehe.

  • patatafrita says:

    “From what I hear, things are even worse in Europe and Japan: Parisian men run amok, grabbing butt cheeks and boobs left and right”

    omg, they certainly DON’T! (I’m French and from Paris) :)

  • Jaclynn says:

    I dress for myself, and the weird thing is, I found it so much easier to do when I was in highschool than now. I feel as if I used to be so much more confident wearing what I thought looked good, and not caring at all what other people thought. I’m finding it harder and harder to do that now, and I can’t help but feel I’m being judged on how I’m dressed every time I leave the house. It’s a crappy feeling and I wish I could just shake it off, or that people could just be more accepting. I’ve had brightly dyed hair for years, and I can go days or even weeks without getting any strange comments on it, but whenever I go to a mall or a theatre (or a few other places), I literally get people pointing and yelling at me. I want to be myself and do what I think looks good, but people are so frustrating!

  • Marlies says:

    I dress for my self. Cause the clothing makes me feel good and pretty. But I do like it when people notice my outfits. Its a little bit controdicting but I do like people notecing but I don’t dress to get noticed. And I HATE HATE HATE it when people (always ramdom people on the street I never met befor) think they have to make stuipid comments. I know I dont dress in H&M like everyone ells, really you do not have to yell at me for that!!!
    So yeah..i dress kind of diffrent sometimes and i like it when people notices and at the same time I wish people wouldnt notices…
    The more I think about it the less I understand myself.

  • Marlies says:

    Want to add that even tought peoplesay paris is not bad…I had a short skirt and a tank top on in paris and yes this guy came up to me and was pretty nasty. not toching me but wanting to come home with me etc. Never happend to me in the Netherlands, even wearing the same stuff. (well maybe he thought Im easy cause Im dutch or something)

  • Eyeliah says:

    I always dress for myself first, maybe a lil for my hubby second. :-)

  • Gaiya says:

    lol; I was very tempted to vote “to scare of a mate” for the who do you dress for poll…of course for the fun of it. :P Like some have mentioned, I think it’s a mixture who we dress for and depends on the circumstances. I mainly like to dress for myself. But that might be because I don’t have a significant other. (can’t say…) I love wearing costumes and dressing up.. so right now, my main reason is to feel sexy and beautiful or just because I’m in the mood. Wearing beautiful clothes does give us that boost we need for the day. Either way… very interesting post…

  • jessica says:

    i dress depending on my mood as a means of expression and sometimes emulation of a certain characteristic of myself, i guess?

  • Kellee says:

    I dress for myself! (Or at least when I dress nice.. crappy-wear is for crappy work.. lol) I like to look great to feel great. Sometimes I’ll wear something funky and my boyfriend will give me strange looks, but I just tell him to get over it, I don’t tell him how to dress..

    Although sometimes I do dress for him. But only for special occasions.. ;) hahaha.

  • patatafrita says:

    marlies: sorry but you can’t go by what happened to you ONCE to make generalities.
    I’ve been robbed twice in Barcelona and I’m not saying all Barcelonians are thieves!
    The kind of “adventure” you’re describing in your message also happened to me (in Italy, for example), but it doesn’t mean all italians are “pigs”, you know?
    I don’t understand why people draw all sorts of generalities from just one or two experiences.

    baaaaad English, sorry! :)

  • Danielle says:

    I dress for myself – whatever fills me with GLEE in the morning (haha, you have me hooked on glee now) although I can’t deny that compliments do play a part in what I wear more often. If I wear a pair of earring and I get tons of compliments from women and/or men, I’ll be sure to wear them again!

  • Kellie says:

    Oh, I have a definite example for this! There’s a guy I go to church with, and we’ve only met a few times and don’t know each other well. Well, I started to be interested in him, so one day i got super cute before church–curled my hair, wore a pretty skirt, etc. Well, he seemed to notice me, came up and introduced himself, and now we’re getting to know each other pretty well! So yeah, that’s motivation right there for me to dress up :)

    My theory is, though, that once you get the guy to notice you and become interested in you as a person, you don’t need to try as hard! After that, he’ll be paying more attention to you, not how fancy you look or whatever. But i still like to look cute for my own sake :D

  • Jinn says:

    Most of the time when I dress, I do it for comfort. You’ll usually find me in jeans, polo shirts and sandals, and maybe every so often a skirt. I spend a lot of my time walking – either between bus and train, around my HUUUGE uni campus, when I’m working, or when I’m out with friends. A lot of the time, I’ll want to dress up and then the practicality of it – or lack thereof – strikes me, and I wind up wearing something unremarkable. I don’t mind much, to be honest.

    And when I do dress up it’s so I can feel pretty. I’ve only been catcalled about twice in my life, so I find myself comfortable wearing whatever I wish without the fear of being made uncomfortable.

    It’s also a comfort that my boyfriend loves me for who I am, and not what I wear. He’s very respectful of me, so if I like to wear something that may not be the most flattering, he says nothing of it – even if I ask his opinion. It sounds bad like that, I know, but I don’t know how else to say it other than that he’s proud to be seen with me no matter what I look like. I’m very lucky in that respect. Some of my friends have had some very vain and selfish boyfriends.

    I dress for comfort, mainly. I walk a lot and I usually have a very heavy bag with me when I’m doing it (HUUUUUGE university campus that I have to drag it across) so jeans, sandals and polo shirts are the most serviceable. I’ve tried dressing nicely for uni but it’s too much of a hassle when it comes to speed and efficiency in preparing for the day, travelling to and from the campus, and then around it too.

    When I dress up, however, I dress to feel nice. I don’t get catcalled often – Brisbane is a pretty tame city, to be honest , even in the nightclub area on a Friday or Saturday night – so I feel confident in being able to dress and feel sexy or pretty without being made uncomfortable.

    Also, my boyfriend is a very respectful and understanding person. He doesn’t dress extravagantly or even fashionably, so he doesn’t expect it of me. He’s happy to be seen with me whether I look like I threw on the nearest clothes to me when I got up, or whether I’ve laboured over the selection for hours. He appreciates the effort it takes me on those rare occasions and loves me just the same every other day. If I really want to impress him though, I dress up for him in the private arena. ;P He really appreciates that.

  • Jinn says:

    Oops! My first draft didn’t erase!

  • Carrie says:

    It’s always nice when I take time to look good and people (boys OR girls) say something nice about how I look. Also, baboons have those big red shiny asses to attract mates…I’m just thinking…they say that humans are so far above animals, but are we? I mean, those guys DO go a little crazy over some bright red…

  • Michelle says:

    I dress totally for myself. I’m engaged, so not looking for/trying to impress a partner, and I love Matt to death but he does not even notice what kinds of clothes I wear half the time. I asked him which pair between two pairs of boots looked more like something I’d wear and he goes “I don’t know! I look at your face!”. hah. So yup, for me, it’s all about what I want to wear, expressing myself, and what looks good. Although I DO think catcalls are super-obnoxious, and I think guys make weird assumptions about girls with bright hair. One time about a year and a half ago a friend and I were walking around downtown, she had pink hair and mine was rainbow, neither of us was dressed to impress or even dressed really “out there” and we had a car full of guys drive by hooting and whistling and wanting to know “how much”. *eyeroll* Yeah.

  • Michelle says:

    Oops, I meant to say “what makes me feel good”, not “what looks good”. Since my ideas of what looks good are often very different from other peoples’.

  • Wilda says:

    I wouldn’t say it’s worse in Europe. In some countries maybe, but remember that Europe is a continent, not a country, and culture differs a lot from place to place. Where I live, in Sweden, I have never seen this sort of behavior. Not that I wear short skirts or bright colors or whatever, but I see others who do and they don’t get cat calls either (maybe late at night when people are drunk and stuff? I wouldn’t know, I’m not out late at night). I get compliments sometimes, but they’re never rude or suggestive.

    Personaly, I don’t want to attract men, or attract attention in general (I hate it when people stare), but I still think I have the right to dress however the heck I want to. So I do. The stares I just have to live with, I’m not gonna change the way I dress because of what other people might think.

  • i heart joan says:

    I dress for myself largely, although I know the things that I wear probably will attract men (I’m a big one for seamed stockings and high heels) but that’s not really my intention.

    I guess a compliment from a woman means more to me than a compliment from a man ’cause men… don’t tend to have a clue what they’re talking about fashion-wise, and fashion and ‘cool’ tends to be more important to me than looking… nice I guess. I like to look pretty, but pretty in a girly way I find kinda boring xx

  • Pink Fairy says:

    I have been with my boyfriend for almost 3 years. Im not interested in attracting anyone else, and he doesnt ever notice what i wear, but i still love to shop, i love to have nice make-up and hair, its what makes me- me! I get a buzz when people (always women, though sometimes men) compliment me on an aspect of my outfit, or if someone comes up an asks where i bought something. I do it for me, to be confident, and because i enjoy the creativity and effort that goes into a truely memorable outfit.
    xxx

  • Marlies says:

    patatafrita I am terribly sorry that you think my post says Frech men a horrible. That was not my intention and I re-read my post and honestly I do not find that in there anywhere. I am just saying what happend to me in France and I do not have one word in there saying it goes for every french man. I just happend to have the feeling that a lot of French men (cause he was not the only one) react to clothing more strongly than Dutch men would.

    So sorry that you take it so strongly but that was not what I said.

  • Elizabeth says:

    I always dress for myself unless I have a class with a male professer I would end up wearing really low cut tops and I ended up with an A or a B average but in all honesty i do not know if I got thoes grades from dressing more provocativly or did i earn them

  • patatafrita says:

    ok marlies.
    Let me add that I was in no way defending French men as in “my country ‘s so great and perfect, you can’t say anything negative about it”: I feel the same way about german people, americans, chinese, etc.

  • kagitsune says:

    I often wear sweet lolita and gothic-like clothing. I am super-lucky to have a boyfriend who accepts me for who I am, complete with all the weird clothes and idiosyncrasies. :) In a way, I think Lolita kind of scares off men… it’s ruffly and super-cute… few men want to admit that they like the little-girl look. I kind of like that about it, but then again, it does draw a lot more attention in general than common “sexy” wear… ^^;

  • Hecate says:

    Woman are beautiful and I think we should have the freedom to enjoy our own beauty and femininity. I’ll wear heels and lingerie around the house by myself because its fun to be feminine.
    I hate it when a woman wearing a short skirt is labeled as a ‘slut’. Sexy doesn’t mean sex!
    If showing what makes us feminine means slut that would mean our curves, legs and breasts, the things that make us female, are meant only for a sexual tool.

  • I dress to please my eyes when I look at my body. My husband doesnt care what I wear or if I wear anything. (I love to lounge in nighties, that’s right nighties I never grew out of then!)

  • Variety says:

    I suppose I could say that I dress for myself and for others. I’m very picky about what I wear out into the world, I have to be feeling the outfit, it has to fit the mood I’m in. If I’m in the mood to wear bellbottoms and a crazy t-shirt and walk out the door in a skirt and striped tights it doesn’t feel right. That’s the dressing for me. I’m huge on dressing according to your personality. If I wear boring clothes I feel like I’m lying to everyone who looks at me, ’cause they look at me and perceive something that I’m not.

    Ever since I started dressing myself I’ve dressed my personality, not just my body. Wicked vivid colors and too much pattern and cute/odd hats; I wore cat ears for three straight years from the time I was 13-16.

    Clothes are like a filter to me. If someone looks at the bright, shiny, happy, scrappy clothes I’m wearing, they know exactly what they’re getting themselves into when they talk to me. If they look at all that and think your typical “she’s crazy/weird/etc” nonsense and thus don’t want to talk to me, I saved myself the time of the conversation I would have had with them ending with them finding they don’t like my personality.

    Sorry if that was scattered and disjointed, but what it boils down to is…

    If you can’t handle the clothes, you can’t handle the girl. It’s that simple.

  • Helena says:

    I definitely dress for myself.

    Actually, I wear nicer / more complicated outfits and heavy make-up when I’m home alone:-)
    I’m often shocked by male… hm… cocksureness? Expecting, that we are dressing for them and only for them – when I visit a discussion on (for example) steel boots, there is usually some weirdo writing about “why are girls buying those??? guys don’t like it! girls should wear cure girly shoes!” etc.

  • TokyoBonbons says:

    Well, I dress for me definitely. The accessories I picked up recently were met with a tepid response from my husband but when I put them on with an outfit, he loved them (oversized Hello Kitty ring, giant bauble ring, neon green hoops…)

    Also, to wade into the whole generalising thing; I lived in France from 10 to 26 and yeah, compared to Japan where I am now, I find that French people are generally intolerant of what other people choose to wear if it stands out. I couldn’t even wear high heels without having to endure constant cat calling, and that was in jeans with a plain cardigan! With a skirt… what would have happened, one can only guess. In Paris though, as long as legs or cleavage aren’t on display, you’ll rack up a few compliments for being daring with your fashion but you certainly won’t be left alone. That’s my experience.

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