I am sure we are all feeling suitably loved up after Valentine’s Day. Although it certainly is a treat finding new ways to show your other half just how much you care, it goes without saying that men and women view the event completely differently, sparking another Men-are-from-Mars-women-are-from-Venus debate.
The same could be said of fashion and of our perceptions of what counts as a hit or a miss. American blogger Leandra Medine, who is a lover of all things straight-off-the-runway, aptly named her style blog The Man Repeller. This is appropriate considering that a lot of pieces that women find to be fashion-forward are simply hideous to men.
When I chatted to a few guys on what they found appealing in women’s fashion, some of what we already know still rang true, such as not showing too much skin and taking a natural approach to makeup. However there were some refreshing revelations, most notably that guys want their girls to look comfortable!
One mentioned low-rise baggy pants, championed in the 90s by R&B singer Aaliyah and the girl group TLC. Another was all in favour of the current sporty trend that sees girls in tees, sweats and sneakers.
These looks have a Tom boy appeal that is subtle and easy but can still be feminine. It makes a girl look easy-going and fun, like she can hang with the boys.
Of course, we are not all so laid-back, nor do we want to be all of the time. Thankfully most guys prefer form-fitting clothing to baggy pieces. This does not mean we should all pour ourselves into the short, tight pieces that Beyoncé termed the “freakum dress” in a song of the same name.
A few guys found this style appealing, no matter the woman’s body shape, but when it came to rating it as stylish, they had to admit that these only work if they flatter the body. There is a thin line between vulgar and sexy and if you have to squeeze into it, it is probably not worth the effort. Instead go for flattering dresses that emphasise your femininity, because you can never be too girly.
Men are surprisingly very aware of trends! They know those that they like, as well as the ones that should be relegated to the reject pile. A current favourite is the hippy-chic trend, championed by Solange Knowles with her box braids, and printed ensembles. It looks stylish and original to guys, and yes, they do appreciate it when you look like you know a little something about fashion and make an effort to look good in whichever trend works best for your character.
However, guys are also practical creatures. Wearing evening dresses in the afternoon, and furry boots in summer is just plain confusing to them. Colour blocking apparently makes us look like Christmas trees, and over-sized sunglasses, ponchos, jump suits, and “fierce” footwear are deemed unnecessary.
On men, most women favour a sleek, clean look that combines classic pieces like fitted chinos, light sweaters, and quality shirts and T-shirts. Classic pieces like the Burberry mac, and tweed blazers with slim jeans, win over trendy items. As a rule, guys should keep their approach to dressing simple but incorporate quality pieces, as it is much easier to notice cheap quality clothing on a man.
The resounding preference was for men in well-cut suits. In fact, an ill-fitting suit can ruin a woman’s perception of you, and slack tailoring shows that you are not in control of both your wardrobe choices and maybe even other more important aspects of your life.
When picking out colours dark tones are easier on the eye, especially on a bigger frame. Although some women found flamboyant colours to be a no-no, I find it perfectly acceptable to throw in a bit of colour,whether in small details like a tie and pocket square, or a bright blazer or shirt with modest blue jeans, If you have the swagger to pull it off, go for it!
Sportswear is a huge trend for men at the moment and with a cool pair of sneakers, it can look really good. However, only a very small percentage of women go for this look, with many finding it far too sloppy. The same goes for football jerseys — strictly for game day, flip-flops and anything too casual in public. Make an effort guys, girls like to see that you have tried.
With all that’s said and done, on many things men and women will never see eye to eye. At least, for now, we can agree on what to we can agree on what to wear.