Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Confessions of a Glam Girl: I Dress for Women and I Undress for Men

Posted by Elisabeth Bass at 19:53
It was only natural that a tweet from Barney's New York would catch my attention this morning; "I Dress for Women and I Undress for Men" a quote from Angie Dickenson followed by a link to a pair of the Manolo Blahnik Orina (a cool pair of cork soled neutral colored strappy sandals). Un important was the treasure at the end of the link (although I was quite pleased by the summer sandals), important was the sexual inuendo, the feeling that arose from it (similar to how I feel when I hear Rhianna belt out 'chains and whips excite me'), and the stream of contemplation and internal argument that consumed the next hour of my day.  Do we really dress for women only to undress for men? Although I like the idea and the way the words play into a phrase I argue that the boys should get a little more credit than this, although there is plenty of opportunity to debate that the majority of them just may not care.

Because this is a confession I'll be honest only to be later crucified;  I have been known to dress to one up another woman, and I have been known to dress to make other women jealous.  This is less evident at events that require signifigant effort to dress for, generally speaking most women look great when dressed to impress as in special occasions, events, on the streets of the fashion cities, etc.  The great divide comes at the gym, the grocery store, play dates, early morning travel and casual engagements.  If this was inaccurate Lululemon would not be an international success, cosmetics of all kinds would not exist in waterproof, DKNY would not have the casual chic Cozy (and the DKNY PR Girl would not own 7 of them), and giant designer sunglasses would not be worn on 6am flights (its not sunny on the plane). Sure we're still trying to one up each other on every other life stage, but its a lot easier to win the battle when your girlfriend says 'yeah love, I'll meet you for a drink but I'm in jeans and flats'.  You cannot tell me that this is not the perfect opportunity to bust out the wedge ankle booties, low cut sweater and my new secret weapon JBrand Coated Denim, only to turn around and say 'no problem, I'm such a slob today too, just threw this old thing on', haha sucker, as if I ever just throw anything on. The mantra of the fashion girl is of course to always dress to impress.

In dressing to impress I have noted that perhaps the opposite sex may actually not care as much as us glam girls would like to think they do (perhaps an isolated Canadian Fashion Girl Problem, but I have not yet evolved into an International Glam Girl). At a very young age, coinciding with my introduction to nightclub life, it was noted by another member of the glam girl club that it was so frustrating to wear fashionable ensembles usually consisting of one or two pieces of signifigant expense only to see every eligible bachelor in the room making eyes at the scantily clad rejects of Jersey Shore.  I sympathized and shared her frustration, but the observation did not deter or change my wardrobe, the reward for me was knowing that I was dressed impecibly and those other girls looked like trash, even if they was more popular with the 18 year old boys they were still jealous of the contents of my closet. 

Later into life and onto a new romantic interest, I uncovered a top that I would not donate to charity (it was hideous and I like to help the less fortunate not dress them as clowns). When I questioned who the owner was the boy stated that it belonged to his ex, and asked if I wanted it, good god no! He was nice but it was over, I realized that we did not speak the same language (Prada) and the relationship would never work.  I mentioned that I had seen this woman once or twice and commented that her style was interesting. Further perpetuating my frustration with the opposite sex, he agreed and said that she had terrible style. Obviously this had not been an important quality to this boy and we were definetly finished. Further to his lack of interest in the well dressed, how could I ever trust his opinion while shopping or prior to a night out.  I wish that this had been an isolated incident but as time went on the names changed but the story remained the same.  How could I date someone if they did not understand that red jeans were better than blue jeans? After great searching I did eventually find one that was appreciative of my efforts and embraced my inner diva, however this great love did lead to many great fights over the mirrors in the bathroom and a bitter custody dispute over the blow dryer, he had an inner diva too.

So we dress for women and we undress for men.  Again a great divide is uncovered (I hope some of you notice that play on words).  The clothes that compete with the gals come off to reveal the attire that we wear to win the boys (interesting that I could also twist this into a vicious competition with every lingirie wearing date that came before me).  This is the department where we must give even the biggest of the neanderthals a little credit; I have noticed that even the most chauvanistic men have stated that you cannot make a whore an angel and an angel will never become a whore. The girls from the nightclubs of my late teens who wear little nothing out at night buy their lingerie at a porn shop and the fashion girls shop at La Perla.  We win this round. I will give credit where credit is due, men appreciate fashion where it is important to them, in the bedroom.  That being said, and the conclusion of my contemplation regarding "I dress for women and I undress for men" is that a cork soled pair of neutral strappy sandals should probably not have been the destination of a link headlined with such a statment.  Perhaps the following pair of Giuseppe Zannotti heels would have been a bit more appropriate (and will look lovely later with my black lace up corset and garter when I play the starring role in what I like to call the Bedroom Diaries)...... 



Dora R said...

I loved your most recent blog about "dressing for women and undressing for men"! So true! Well, in my world as well as yours, so true. Lol! It's a shame we currently live in a small town in which fashion is more dead than the streets are at any given time of the year. But for where shall we "fashionistas" put together an utmost NYC "upper east side" worthy ensemble? For the saloon in town? The non-existent events (of any sort)? Am I the only one who feels she is drowning in a waterless sea? Indeed, I am not. After reading this delightful blog, I know I am not alone. And in some odd way, that comforts me. xoxoxo

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