Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Guys: Does it matter what women wear?

Fellas, I need you to weigh in on this one.

New Year's Eve I went to a party with a girlfriend. It was one of those big events where there's hundreds of people milling around, drinking, dancing and yelling at each other over the music. We ran into one of our coworkers from another department. He was with a group of welcoming, fun people, so we hung out with them for awhile.

After a few more drinks our coworker looked at us and announced that we were dressed all wrong for the party. (Truth be told, it did seem that the uniform for the night was strapless cocktail dress, and we didn't get the memo.) He told my friend that she was dressed like a grandmother. She had on black velvet pants and a cute, '50s inspired black short-sleeved sweater. Then he told me to look at myself -- I was covered from head to toe. I had on wide-legged black pants and a black blouse that was gauzy, but, indeed, long-sleeved.

Our coworker looked sincerely confused. He said we were both sexy women. He said he'd seen us in more enticing outfits at work than the ones we had on at the party. Basically, he wanted to know why were were hiding our light under a bushel.

We weren't offended by his comments; he'd had a lot to drink and even though his remarks were blunt, he obviously wasn't trying to be hurtful. My friend and I are NYE party veterans, and were going for classy comfort when we chose our outfits.

But we discussed his comments after he'd gone off to dance with his date. My friend argued that a man shouldn't be attracted to her just because she was wearing a revealing outfit; he should be attracted to the person she is as well. I agreed that women shouldn't feel like they had to dress borderline hoochie to get male attention, but added that there's nothing wrong with accentuating one's natural assets.

Guys, this is where you come in. Do you find yourself more likely to approach a woman if she's dressed provocatively, or if she's in jeans and a T-shirt? Or does it not matter what she's wearing?


Anonymous said...

It depends on what kind of 'attention' you are looking to get. If you want to get noticed and look to attract guys you don't want to look like a celebrity avoiding getting noticed by wearing a baseball cap, sunglasses, and a large coat. You don't have wear what the girls on the corners of Sunset Blvd, LA are either. There is a happy medium. Jeans, sweaters, business attire are all fine if that's what you feel comfortable in and look good in. I guess, it comes down to what you feel you look the best in and the most comfortable wearing.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter what she is wearing as long as she has the confidence to pull it off.

Anonymous said...

Wearing a revealing outfit will definintely attract attention from guys who will probably have a predetermined agenda, that will probably not be in most ladies best interest. However, I do agree that you can look good and accentuate ones attributes in many outfits, that would also include jeans. I highly recommend it because the physical attraction is the one attraction that men can see from across the room, if you are looking for some company.

Anonymous said...

It's good to know what you are dealing with, or getting into...

Anonymous said...

it only mattered to the superficial crowd of Charlotte. The ladies that we all decked out, probably would and did not get approached. The come off as too high maintenence. Besides, wasnt it cold on NYE? Don't worry about it... be yourself.

John said...

The question is not what they are looking for, but what YOU are looking for. If the goal is to "hook up" with someone who's drunk... or a total stranger... flaunt it. If the goal is to have a good evening with people who know and care about you without having to down a few shots... just choose something you look nice in.

I've seen women who have taken the "hooker" approach going to church!

jjw901 said...

Your coworker is a jerk.

Anonymous said...

Very generally speaking, the problem is the pervasive thinking that a person can wear whatever he/she wants as long as it fits his/her personal goals. That ignores certain real levels of respect and decency that have been disregarded. A true lady should not think to go out without being properly attired, dressed so as to complement curves, etc without placing everying on display. Also missing is the proper covering. A lady should not go out to a party, the office, or church without covering her legs with hose, tights or whatever matches. A gentleman would not (or should not) wear shorts to work or a party and show his legs so why should a lady...no difference. Does is matter? Yes because the outfit speaks volumes about what the lady thinks of herself and the respect she may or may not have for the event and her fellow attendees.

Anonymous said...

Jeans and a T-Shirt are SEXY!!

Anonymous said...

All I can say is that I love the way my wife looks. But, I love her mind and personality even more. I might never have learned that without appreciating her appearance.

But, let's not be naive. It's almost always the case that a striking conversation begins because of a striking appearance.

Larry said...

First why are you even listening to a guy who notices what you are wearing?

That in in itself is strange for a real guy. Only an insecure guy would want you dressed all up as a barbie doll.

However if you yourself are worried about getting dressed up to killer looks, then apparently you are only trying to catch the alpha male, or you are only there for a girl competition. Neither one of these will lead to a real relationship.

If you do not believe me then go ahead and buy more expensive clothes as this will kill the time you have to spend alone.

Otherwise dress nice, not expensive, and work on your confidence. That will make you more attractive than a dress/shoes costing a few hundred.

Anonymous said...

It's the kind of question that only a fat girl asks..."Why can't he see past the tarp I'm wearing and notice the 'real me'". Not trying to be offensive, but it's a silly question. Of course men care about what you're wearing...we're sight-oriented creatures, evolved over time to possess a keen awareness of the visible. There are exceptions to the rule, of course, the the overwhelming majority of men will pick the one in a strappy cocktail dress over the one hiding inside a pantsuit.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't matter--as long as the clothes come off in a few hours.


I say if you've got it, flaunt it, but at the same time, make it a challenge to see it. A tight sweater with slightly tight striped slacks would do the trick. A busty low cutting dress where two assets are desperate to bust out makes me think that's all she has to offer, and I want more than that in a woman.

Anonymous said...

I am not sure your friend has a right to tell you what he thinks you should wear or how you should look without you asking him. Unsolicited advice on dress style is never well recieved so I am not surprised you are writing a column about it.

I am not sure there is a set expectation for dress style for a New Years Party, other than not to dress down, so if you felt comfortable in what you were wearing that night ignore his comments. If it happens to be a tuxedo event, the expectations may be higher as to what a woman should wear, more in line with a dinner cocktail outfit, but it is still up to you.

However, to answer your question, guys do care what women wear. A sexy style, not a slutty look, is always appreciated and especially if you look comfortable in it. If you're not sure what to wear, ask your most stylish (girl)friends for advice.

Anonymous said...

Just think about it from the opposite way. Do you care what men wear?

For example, if going out to a semi-formal place, my wife prefers me in a fitting suit than a bland shirt and pants. Thus, for women, a cocktail dress is sometimes fitting.

Anonymous said...

It doesn't rally matter....whatever you wear it looks better in a pile on the bedroom floor.

Anonymous said...

Does it matter what men wear? Of course, and same for women. It's a reflection of you. The description of your outfits make them sound a little conservative for a NYE party, so maybe that's what your co-worker was trying to express. Sleazy is never good, unless you want to attract those types of men. i think more than anything: dress your age, and for the occasion. Discretely show your assets if so desired....no harm in that.

You know, we can try forever to change it, but men will always be men. For example....who would catch a man's eye more quickly....Hillary Clinton or Michelle Obama? Much (not all) of that has to do with the way they each dress.

Ken Thomas said...

The problem with dressing 'provocatively' is that it's not a target-specific weapon. Like a grenade or (if you're really sexy) napalm, it's going to have an impact on any man in the general area - including the creeps you would rather not be attracting.

A little class, a sense of humor, and intelligence are precision munitions. Like a laser or a sniper rifle, you can focus them exclusively on the men you find interesting.

Anonymous said...

Or does it not matter what she's wearing? ------- No. We are very very simple creatures. The less complicated, the more we like it. If the woman attracts us, her clothes are secondary. Sometimes it pays to leave something to the imagination, but that depends on the occasion.

Anonymous said...

My guess is that the simple back dress would have done the trick... if the event was formal.

Your "friend" gave his opinion and I agree that his comments were not intended to hurt, but sounds like it did to me.

Be true to yourself. If it would make you feel better about yourself get a dress on and if not don't worry about it.

Anonymous said...

The solution to your question is simple- your male friend is quite clearly a closeted gay.

No straight man would ever go up to some women at a party and complain about their outfits.


Anonymous said...

I dont know. I never wear heels, but then I do get plenty of male attention. Even in t shirts and my converse. I do know guys like mheels and a dress more, but it never seems to stop them from looking at a cute girl.

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