Girl Vs. Guy Hot: Whom Do You Dress For?


 Do you want to know what I was going to get you?" my husband asked.

A week before our one-year wedding anniversary, we had decided to pool our money to buy a living room chair. (Romantic? Not so much. But having a place to sit is way sexier than a dozen roses—and lasts longer, too.) It was the most rhetorical question I had ever heard. Of course I wanted to know.

"Do you remember that dress at Club Monaco? The one with the black top and the white bottom?" he asked me. Why, yes. The dress with little cap sleeves and an empire waist that fl owed with a perfect fluid drape. How could I forget it? It was the type of clothing you "visit" in anticipation of owning. And I had. Several times.

Yet my husband's non-purchase came as no surprise to me. We've all been there before: Boy hands you gift. You untie the ribbon, brush away the tissue paper to reveal… mesh lingerie or a slinky, sexpot number. Yet this gift was different. This wasn't a dress that would turn male heads, let alone make a man backtrack to buy it.

It was, in short, a girl dress. The type that says, demurely, "I go to brunch with the gals—and never in heels." The fact that he considered investing in a dress that shrouded any hint of my sexuality seemed a testament to his love. Seriously. What. A. Guy. But that got me thinking. For whom exactly do I dress? I took a good look in my closet. Trapeze dresses, graphic patterns, and applique stared back. Nothing was overtly feminine. In fact, there seemed to be an overabundance of black and gray. And most everything I owned flunked the guy-friendly fashion test: It wasn't soft to the touch. You couldn't see through it. There wasn't a lick of stretch or any flimsy bows or ties, implying that a gentle tug would cause the item to fall loose, revealing my naked form. Conclusion: My wardrobe was the opposite of a bombshell's—and I certainly wasn't dressing to entice my poor husband.

And yet, I thought, I'm not dowdy or dumpy. I love to shop. I just prefer clothing that shows off my personal style, not my shape. Then I had a realization: Cut from Carrie's Sex and the City cloth, I didn't dress for men. I dressed to impress women; I was the walking, talking, sample-sale stalking definition of "girl-hot."  

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