Do You Dress for Men….or Other Women?


It was happy hour at a local restaurant the other day when a cute, all American girl walked in and strut past to join a group of gals. She was wearing tight jeans tucked into knee high black high heeled boots, a multicolored knit top that had cap sleeves and was loose around the body but had a band sewn around the bottom so it fit snug around the waist. She wore long thin chains around her neck that hung to her navel and several metal bangles.

Her long blond hair looked backcombed and sprayed for height, she had a decent amount of well applied makeup and perfectly manicured nails painted bright pink. An over-sized yellow leather bag slung on her shoulder.

I heard a comment coming from one of the men seated near me at the bar as she past.

Trying too hard,”  he said.     

I caught his eye and he was visibly embarrassed but I smiled, introduced myself, told him I write for a blog and asked him if he wouldn’t mind elaborating…..writing this blog has given me so much courage to talk to men and ask them anything and everything. It’s amazing how honest perfect strangers can be….

He was with a buddy and they proceeded to say things like:

  • “There’s too much going on, the boots, bracelets, chains, huge bag. Too much in one outfit.”
  • “Bracelets like that drive me nuts, they clang and are noisy.”
  • “I feel like I’m looking at a fashion advertisement, not the girl.”
  • “She thinks she looks hot, but we like it simple.”
  • “What’s with purses the size of luggage?”
  • “She’s pretty but she looks high maintenance.”
  • “Can she do anything with nails that long?”
  • “If her hair looks stiff, it is.”

And My Favorite Because It Sums It All Up:

“Women dress for other women, not men.”

It’s true. I believe most of the time women do dress for other women. Not intentionally, but we’ve been conditioned to. We notice everything other women are wearing (and more importantly how good they look in it). We talk to other women about fashion. We follow and want to keep up with the latest trends and jam ourselves into skinny, high waisted, low waisted, ripped, wrecked, bleached, abused jeans, tulip skirts, ballet shoes, Cami tops, and ruffles upon ruffles even if we won’t look good in them.

And worst of all we compare ourselves to other women constantly, thereby making us dress for them even more. Because we want to blend in, fit in, and measure up. We’d be mortified if we were under dressed in comparison to the other women at an event while most men wouldn’t even notice let alone care.

What men find attractive is simplicity.

They generally want form fitting clothes that show your body, but also leave something to the imagination. They usually don’t care for a whole lot of extras.

“If that girl took off the necklaces, bracelets, had a smaller purse and regular high heels, she’d look hot.”

As we all stared at her from across the room, I had to agree. Do we depend on so much fashion because we are not confident enough to carry “sexy” all by ourselves? Or have we just been brainwashed by the fashion industry?

I admit it, I love clothes and having fun with them.

But if it’s men we want to attract, we should consider what attracts them.

Here’s a few thoughts from those two that I think fit the norm of what most men find attractive about a woman’s style.

  • Men like medium length, well manicured nails painted with clear polish, light pink or beige tones. Not bright, bold colors.
  • They love high heels. And I quote, “Wear them with everything.”
  • Black can be boring- women wear it too much.
  • If there are too many zippers, ties, buttons, straps…’s distracting and he will be intimidated thinking of how to get it off of you. Even if you don’t want to sleep with him, you want him to imagine it.
  • Don’t over accessorize.
  • I hate to say it because I love pearls, but men find them old fashioned. I only wear mine with a very sexy dress or top to compensate. Don’t wear them with a sweater twinset!
  • Men love to see body parts so show off your best. If you have great legs, wear skirts or shorts often. If legs aren’t your best feature, don’t wear short skirts just because they are ‘in’. Choose styles that show your amazing arms, booty, shoulders….
  • Above all, be comfortable in it or don’t wear it. That means if you are tugging, rearranging, pulling down or up all evening or self conscious bending or reaching for fear of what may split or pop out, give it to Good Will. You won’t look or feel sexy if your clothes are not comfortable or they are wearing you instead of the other way around.