She's still a girl under the tough menswear

My wife often wears pretty, feminine dresses and skirts but she, like some others who have commented on this site, sometimes prefers to wear masculine, tough-guy wear, like her black combats, black turtleneck and black Dr. Martens. She even buys actual men's clothing.

My wife was reading stuff on the internet about how for women to attract men they have to wear pretty, feminine dresses and skirts, and she was surprised by that, because she's noticed that just as many men appear attracted to her when she's in her tough-guy wear as when she's wearing her very feminine dresses. I have often told her she looks hot when she's in her tough-guy gear, so she asked me why I find it hot whereas according to the internet I should find it a turn-off.

Her tough-guy outfits are attractive to me because they are tight-fitting down to her hips, emphasizing her really narrow waist and very feminine chest. The way clothes shape a woman is really important to me, whether she is wearing something ultra-modest, conservative, girly, or hard-core. I told my wife that unless the woman is wearing menswear that hides her female shape, men know what’s underneath all of it. I find it cute and funny when girls try to be all tough and aggressive in their attire, because their femininity can't be hidden by dressing up as a tough guy.

My wife looks so cute in my sweaters too, despite the fact that they are so big for her they swamp her so she has to turn up the sleeves several times. Perhaps they highlight the fact that she is much smaller than I?

Why is there this idea that girls need to dress like girls to attract men? Is it that some men feel threatened by a girl dressing up as a tough guy, or is it a myth? Isn't femininity something that shines through the toughest of tough-guy dress-up?

Women, you don’t have to just dress in girly ways. If a man is intimidated by that and so does not like you because of it, it tells you more about him than you. Indeed, if you're single, dressing up as a tough guy might even help you to screen out the insecure men from those who will be confident about their ability to handle you.

Now, I have nothing against a sweet summer dress at a July 4th parade. But for a stroll in the town, you can’t beat Dr. Martens.


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My woman dresses sloppily!

My GF dresses in shorts and a T-shirt all of the time. There was once a period in my life in which her attire would have offended me. I have always preferred a woman who clothes herself in a dress or blouse/skirt combo, but I have never seen her in a skirt or a dress. So why does she turn me on so?

All I can say is one can set a standard high enough that even an angel can't achieve, and yet some lowly human will undercut that standard to below the roots and still show herself as being irresistable. Don't ask me how. Don't aske me why. I have no answer. Two years ago she would have been repulsive to me because of her manner of dress. Yet, to quote a famous line in an extremely popular movie, "Frankly, I don't give a damn!"

Attraction has its own irrational rules, and, apparently, it has no reverence or regard for previously set "rules of rationality".

Yeah, I run and rule the relationship, but this experience has taken on a totally foreign path than that which I would have expected. She has shown me that rigidity of desire only freezes compatibility below the realm of comfort.

Don't ask me to explain this, because my very own dissertation confuses me. Just be assured that being in control of a relationship is not as black and white as it may seem. Oh, she snaps to on command, but there are so many things that I allow to slip through the cracks which allow her fairly free rein without being disrespectful.

But then, in any relationship, mutual respect does seem to be the Prime Directive.

Mick McCleod

Sloppy dress

It's nice to see you are learning. One cannot grow the most beautiful of roses if the shadow they cast blocks out all sun light. The grower must allow the rose to take what it needs from the world around it, in order for it bloom into the beautiful flower it was meant to be. And in doing so it takes nothing away from the gardener. In fact it shows his strength of self control and good sense, One must respect what the rose needs if he expects to be rewarded with such a rare and beautiful flower he has tended.


One of my husband's expressions of approval for my clothes is "You're too big for that." This is in fact a compliment, not what he says when he wants me to change clothes. The idea is even if I'm wearing girlish clothes, it's obvious (in a good way) that I'm a woman. I'm pregnant, so this compliment may lose its charm as it becomes more true, but so far I still like to hear it.


You can't hide it if you're feminine

Being a very feminine woman I have discovered that you just can't hide it. No matter how I dress my actions scream I am a woman. I told my daughter that being able to dress according to your mood is one of my favorite things to do as a woman. Jeans, T shirt hoodie and boots or glam. it up you just can't hide it. So dress to your mood and keep them guessing. :)

Clothes do not make the feminine woman.

I somewhat agree with Tracy D in that your clothing won't hide your femininity (or lack thereof). She said that you can't hide it, but I think you can do it pretty well if you wish so. However, if you as a woman want your femininity to show through your clothes, it will.

Adam S: sure, I'm more interested in what's underneath her clothes, too. Her lingerie, to be precise. Provided that she's got sexy lingerie, she can dress like a truck driver and still not miss a beat.

Men who think that women should dress in a certain way have got a narrow perception of what makes a woman. Woman are so much more. Let's let them express themselves freely. They are going to surprise us. That's something you can bet on.

Does it matter what she wears?

Mates of mine want their girls in this or that but I'm more interested in seeing what's underneath. I don't care what she wears as long as she's happy. Being into clothes/fashion/what she wears—it's a bit metrosexual, not for me.

Re: Does It Matter What She Wears?

Does it matter? Does it really matter? Wow, what a mixed question. I think what matters is the attitude of both at what I term the Moment Of Pull, meaning the moment at which both are at the irresistable pull of sexual impulse.

Recent experience has overshadowed what I have ranked as the Ultimate Attraction, which I have always regarded as something static.

It is not static; rather, it is referenced to a mutual attitude which is confirmed by the moment, and if skipped, may never be recovered.

If this is a first encounter, all may be lost or found pending the response of both parties.

Mutual attraction has never been an exact science and It will never willl.

Mick McCleod

Women should wear womenswear

I strongly disagree!

You are right, a woman is still female if she wears menswear. But if she likes to look like a man she may be treated as one. Sure, if she has for example to carry some heavy things perhaps somebody will help her, as somebody would perhaps help another guy. But for a woman who looks like a lady, men would do the full task with pleasure.

Sure there can be exceptions, like the small petite girl who wears the shirt of her lover to make breakfast, or some men-like suits combined with pretty makeup, etc. And while doing unsuitable work like gardening, military service, etc.

But in general women should wear clothes made for females. I personally like it very feminine, and it is something I expect from my wife. But what will count as feminine is in general something which everybody has to decide for him-/herself.

What would you say if I want the same rights for everybody. Like: a man is still a man even if he wears a dress/makeup/lingerie/etc. Would this also be okay in your point of view? The same rights for all?

I would not like that! Men should wear menswear and women should wear female clothes. I would rather say: one wears the pants and one wears the skirt/stockings. And in my opinion it should be the man who wears the pants. Surely in a Taken In Hand relationship the man wears the pants and the woman wears the skirt?

Just my two cents, please forgive my bad english, If I chose the wrong words please be sure that It is not my intention to offend anybody, I just want to share my own personal opinion. Thank you.


Fashions in clothing change a lot, from place to place and era to era. Some of the societies that have drawn the most rigid lines between male and female behaviour and roles have not differentiated nearly so sharply when it came to clothing: clothing for men and women in ancient Greece was very similar for example, though that society was very patriarchal, and in China, another very patriarchal society, women as well as men wore trousers. So I don't attach too much importance to clothing myself—a Scotsman in a kilt can still look very manly, for instance.

For myself, I prefer to wear trousers in cold weather, which here is most of the time. I like dresses in hot weather, which we don't have a lot of here, but in cold weather I find dresses draughty and uncomfortable. My husband doesn't mind me wearing trousers so long as they are tight and he can get his hand down them. But what clothing you wear doesn't have much to do with whether you are in a Taken In Hand relationship or not. The man wearing the pants (trousers) means the man being in charge. It's not about what they wear.


Dressing as a woman makes all the difference

I could not disagree more regarding the idea that clothing does not make a difference to feeeling like you are in a 'traditional relationship'. The way you feel in a dress or skirt is quite different to how you feel (or move) in trousers, and that for me helps underpin how I behave. Every morning when I dress, I see my clothing as being a fundamental part of what it is to be female, even more so when the weather is bad as dressing like a 'traditional wife' always takes little more effort than just throwing on a pair of trousers. I mostly wear long skirts with a simply cotton underslip, normally without underwear. If it's cold I wear wool stockings or hold-ups, or leg-warmers if its very cold. For housework I wear a traditional apron and have various skirts or dresses for just about every household task. I recently put together a photo album going back more than 10 years, and I found a picture of me digging the garden wearing an old dress, boots and a smock-apron. It could have been an image from 100 years earlier, and I just to loved the feeling of 'connection' with all the women who lived like this in previous generations. Avoiding trousers altogether is perfectly possible without feeling 'too uncomfortable', but it needs determination.

The freedom to have a 'traditional' clothing fetish

OK, so you have a clothing fetish. That's fine for you and your husband but we don't all have that, and we don't all feel disconnected from others unless we wear long skirts, underslips and no underwear (???).

If you were to wear that outfit for gardening here, you might well get a tick or be bitten by a black widow spider or a copperhead or other dangerous snake (not to mention the ants that would be swarming up your legs and biting you under that skirt with no underwear!). When I venture out into the wilds of our back yard I wear sturdy jeans tucked into sturdy boots, plus two layers of long sleeves, one close to my skin and tucked into my jeans, the other, a loose shirt buttoned all the way up with my long hair tucked in, and a hat. Practical protection!

When I'm not gardening, I personally find fashion fun, so I do now occasionally wear the Amish look you seem so keen on, with a long skirt and a pair of All Saints flat boots, but I also occasionally wear menswear-inspired attire because I find that a fun trend too. I even wear some of my husband's clothes sometimes: for example, a shirt belted as a dress, a teeshirt as a dress, his suit trousers belted paperbag style and rolled up, etc.

I myself have zero wish to return to a time when attire was rigidly prescribed: I thoroughly enjoy having the freedom to dress as the mood takes me, having fun with fashion, and being able to dress practically when doing gardening.

I also like the fact that men can now wear skirts too, and not just when they want to dress up in drag. Some men wear long skirts in a manly way, which I find fascinating and not unattractive. My husband would look totally manly in a long thick dark skirt but when I suggested it to him he looked at me as though I'm crazy and made it very clear he wouldn't be caught dead in a skirt of any kind, ever. The way I would style it, it would look tough, manly, ballsy, and a bit threatening (in a good way), but for some reason he is not into the idea!

Having the freedom to dress in a large number of different ways is a good thing, and I would not want to go back to the 50s or a hundred years ago, either in terms of clothing or in terms of relationships. Taken In Hand is very different from living in a time when there was no choice. It is part of the tradition of freedom, as opposed to traditional unfreedom. You may enjoy thinking of yourself as a traditional wife, but if you are in a Taken In Hand relationship as opposed to living in a country or culture in which there is no choice, you are actually a thoroughly modern wife. You may wear the Amish look but don't mistake that for being a traditional wife—unless you are actually living in an unfree culture like the Amish. In which case you probably would not be fetishising it.


Love this sentiment

"But what clothing you wear doesn't have much to do with whether you are in a Taken In Hand relationship or not. The man wearing the pants means the man being in charge."

I love the essence of this. The essence of the original post too.

I give my husband what he needs whatever I wear. If he likes me in something specific I aim to please. Which is what he needs most of all.

My husband met me with a very varied style, in earlier years his attempts to get me to dress "for him" didn't go so well. I felt stifled and frustrated by his attempts to change me into something I wasn't. (His insistance on buying me pink clothes which I absolutely hated.) Now, looking back on it I feel when he was more insecure he felt the need to try to push me into wearing something I hated to prove that I wanted to please him.
Somewhere along the way my husband stopped looking for me to make, him feel secure/masculine. Now, I find I want to please him by wearing those things.

Gender-Based Freedom Of Dress

Quote from Zevulun: "What would you say if I want the same rights for everybody. Like: a man is still a man even if he wears a dress/makeup/lingerie/etc. Would this also be okay in your point of view? The same rights for all?"

The "Approval Of Society" doesn't seem to work that way.

It is generally considered unacceptable for a man to dress as a woman, but a woman who occasionally dresses as a man is normally condoned.

Freedom of dress

I have no problem with men in kilts, I think they look quite dashing, but can't say I would find a man appealing in, say, a floral dress. Some women might like it though. I can't say I would fancy nail varnish or makeup on a man either, but no.2 son, who has taken to Gothic fashions, wears nail varnish in various shades, and sometimes black eyeliner, and seems to get away with it. I think there is probably a bit more flexibility nowadays than there used to be.

Kilts are manly

Kilts are no comparison to floral dresses! I can't picture anyone doing the Highland games in cute sundress. I like to picture high-powered men in varieties of the "native dress" of their homelands. African robes, viking armor, kilts. It makes images of corporate board rooms and faculty senate sessions much more interesting.

Feminine dress and behavior

I think the more important thing is how the lady acts, as opposed to what she wears. I'm largely turned on by the contrast between masculinity and femininity. A pretty, shapely woman whose behavior is not aggressive can look very cute in masculine clothes. I'm not sure exactly why this is, but there's something appealing about it when you can see she's a real woman underneath it all. (There's a transvestite joke in there somewhere...)

Perhaps again it is the contrast between the woman's feminine shape and behavior and her rugged clothes that's cute. It's hard to put my finger on.

I would be vastly more interested in a pretty, feminine woman who happened to be in masculine-type clothing than I would be in an identical-looking woman who was dressed in feminine attire but whose behavior was aggressive.

A woman looks fantastic in lighter clothes

On a woman, a skirt or a dress makes them look wonderful to me! Having the fabric float around and in bright colors, they really are something else. Similarly, women who grow their hair longer are also more attractive to me.

My girl used to wear a lot of dark colors and jeans, but after a few trips to the clothing store with her, she's wearing better clothes. It's simply more attractive to have my woman dress in feminine clothes. When she's dressed in jeans and a dark jacket, she's practically invisible—there's nothing to look at! And it may be my imagination here, but when she's in these frilly outfits and skirts, she's more silly, upbeat, and in general a sweeter girl.

There are still times when she will pick out clothes by herself, but will tend to lack the confidence to try on the kinds of clothes that make her look better. When we go together, it seems to work out well.

Girl clothes

I don't want my wife wearing long skirts unless she wants to - my wife has great legs and a great body and I like it when she shows it off, like most red blooded males. I enjoy her "girl clothes."