Friday, July 5, 2019

Who Do You Dress To Impress?

Betty Brosmer

Who Are Women Really Dressing For? The Answer Matters More Than You Think


Take a good look at the image on the right who do you think Betty Brosmer (the Barbie-proportioned 50s model and author) had in mind when she put that outfit together in the morning? We’re guessing it wasn’t her mother. Traditionally, women’s fashion has always been about drawing the male gaze. During an interview on Good Morning, America in 1979, sex-goddess Sophia Loren said that, “A woman’s dress should be like a barbed-wire fence: serving its purpose without obstructing the view.” The popular sentiment was that clothes were there to protect the body, but not so much that they cover up a woman’s sexy curves. But whatever may have been true of the past, today women are no longer dressing to impress men. Rather than looking “attractive” in any traditional sense, the way women choose to wear their clothes is seen as an opportunity to satisfy a creative itch and show the world that they run with a creative group of friends. In 2011 a survey commissioned by Simple skincare found that the majority of women think about their girlfriends when getting ready, and would value a compliment from a female higher than one received from a male.

These days women’s fashion is decidedly less about “come hither” and more about “Look at me! I’m one of the cool girls.” At least, that seems to be the case for all those who’ve whole-heartedly signed up for this decade-long ugly-pretty man-repeller dress-to-depress new wave of fashion. For these cool girls, the foremost questions when getting dressed are: am I comfortable? Will my fashion girls love this? Would my favorite fashion blogger approve? Do I look like the kind of person I want to be? The male gaze hardly ever enters the equation anymore.


Read the whole article. A good narrative  and it raises a very interesting question.  


  1. For whom do I dress? I dress for myself, mostly. What I'm wearing is a reflection and extension of who I am and my mood at any particular time. At 68, I do steer away from the trendy looks, and I stick with what I've learned works and looks best on me. I often see myself as being stylish enough that my late fashion-conscious mother would have given approval for what I was wearing - even if she was not so approving of me actually presenting my femininity at all (that's another story).

    I certainly don't dress to impress or attract men....well, maybe I like to tease them a little.;-) It never ceases to amaze me, though, when a man half my age hits me up with some come-on line. I think that they are really imagining what I look like under my clothes, however - and, for that, maybe I should add to the "barbed wire" for protection. :-) I'm always a little leery of the leering, at any rate.

    Expanding on this subject, I've long held a theory that some cross dressers and trans women do dress for one particular man, that man being themselves. Their ideal woman, from the perspective of their male-selves, can be attainable through their own creativity in transforming themselves. I imagine that most of us have, at least, gone through this stage. If we truly feel like women, though, we should realize that women do not dress themselves with any such thing in mind. Of course, for me, my transition was not based on learning how to be a woman, but much more on letting go of the facade of a man I portrayed.

  2. I'm with her there, I would rather get a compliment from a woman than a man.