Like many women, I have preferences about how I dress. At home, I like to be comfortable (but not in a disgustingly slovenly way). Out, I like to dress appropriately. In general, I prefer to dress modestly but elegantly. But if I am going to a party I might wear the standard little black dress (unless I were feeling like being different). If I am going to a ball, I wear a ballgown. If I were going somewhere cold, being warm would be my first priority. If I were going somewhere unsafe I might well wear Doc Martens, combat trousers and a tough don't-mess-with-me expression.
Women often find it fun to express themselves through their clothing choices. It is sometimes fun for them to experience the different reactions they get depending upon what they are wearing. And many women dress to please the man they love. If it doesn't wound your sense of self, where's the harm? Sometimes, having your dress dictated by the man you love can be an interesting, challenging and enjoyable experience.
But what of the single women who try to dress to please men in general? If the things men have said to me are anything to go by, you're probably better off dressing to please yourself. That way, if a man finds your attire appealing, you will know that you are compatible in that way. At least, that is the conclusion I have come to for myself.
Things men have said to me:
“You look sexy in jeans. You should wear jeans more often.”
“You were wearing jeans?! That's terrible! There's no excuse for wearing jeans!” (I hate wearing jeans, just because they are often uncomfortable.)
“Hey, you should always wear short skirts!” (Well it could have been worse: I was once challenged to wear a made to measure dress to a party—of the clingfilm (Saran wrap) kind.)
“I think women should go braless.” (Not in public, please!)
“There's a lot to be said for the burqa.” (When looking at a braless woman in the supermarket.)
“Why don't you show a bit more cleavage?” (Are you sure it's only cleavage you want showing?!)
“Wow, that high neckline really suits you. You should always wear that line.”
“Wow! That dress is HOT! Why don't you dress like that more often?” (Because being mistaken for a prostitute is not an experience I want tooooo often.)
“That woman looks so trashy. I'm glad you don't dress like that. Why do women think it's appealing to a man to leave nothing to the imagination? Dressing modestly is more sexy.” (This is how I see it too. To me, it is more erotic, not less.)
“My, black certainly suits you!”
“You look really great in white. You should wear white all the time.”
“Colours! It's great to see you wearing some colour at last! You should always wear colour!”
“Women should dress conservatively—with high collars and skirts below the knee, like in those old black and white movies. Everything went downhill in the 60s and most women dress really badly.” (Swoon... OTOH, not when I'm sorting out the garage!)
“You always look so elegant! How do you do it?!” (Well at least I'd changed out of my paint-covered DIY clothes!)
“Why don't you dress like a woman?” (What is the opposite of dressing to impress? 8-) )
“I like that girlie look with lipstick and jewelry.”
“I don't like makeup. Never wear makeup again.”
“Aren't you going to put some makeup on?”
“You look really sexy in black jeans.” (I just wish they weren't so uncomfortable!)
“I don't like trousers on a woman. Where are all your pretty skirts and dresses?” (D'oh!)
“You look so feminine and vulnerable in that. I like that look!”
“What you are wearing is too girlie. This mode of dress is part of the problem. I think it's immoral to dress in this feminine way.” (This one made me wear said feminine dress more, teenage rebellion style!)
“You look more like a dyke every time I see you. You should always dress this way! It suits you!” (That one was actually said by a lesbian, and I think she meant it as a compliment.)
“I love those high heels. You should always wear high heels.” (Did someone say “masochism”?)
“I hate high heels. Never wear heels again! Women should wear flat shoes and have bare legs.”
“Haven't you got some high heels you could wear?” (What? For a ten mile hike? Are you out of your mind?)
“Great shoes! I like that schoolgirl look.” (Erm...)
“Stockings and suspenders—be still, my beating heart. I wish my wife would wear those.” (That is more than I needed to know.)
“You look really good in para boots and army trousers. I wonder what you'd look like with a crew cut? I like that militant masculine look!” (Well it makes a change!)
“Your hair is every man's dream.”
“Have you ever thought of cutting your hair? Short hair might suit you.”
“Promise me you will NEVER cut your hair, EVER.”
If you are a man, do/would you prefer your woman to dress a certain way, or to wear certain styles and not others? If yes, how/what?
If you are a woman, how do you prefer to dress? Do you have a preference? Does it depend on your mood, the situation, and so on?
How do you feel about the preferences of the man in your life?
Do you dress consistently with his preferences? If not, why not? If yes, how do you feel about it?
What, if anything, can we conclude from the sheer variety of men's preferences? Or have you found less variety than I have?!
What is a woman to do?
In the face of all these conflicting demands, do you ever feel like staying in bed (alone!)?!
(It's all right, chaps, it's all good fun really!)