Do you dress to impress?

1 November 2013

Written by: Erin Lyons

The myth surrounding the notion that women spend their spare time pampering themselves to impress men has been debunked. Research shows we spend more time in front of the mirror before heading out with friends.

It’s always great to have a night out with the girls and being complimented on your outfit by female acquaintances is always an added bonus. After all, your female friends usually have a better idea about the look you’re going for.

According to an article in the Daily Mail UK, over 2,000 women were asked who they dress up for. A staggering two thirds of those women admitted they dress to impress their female friends over their male companions.

Six out of ten women said they had their friends in mind when choosing an outfit and a quarter admitted that the majority of the praise they received was from women they hardly knew.

sex and the cityFemale journalist and fashion blogger, Lilli Pascuzzi, explains the reasons behind the way she dresses and also mentions why women have this particular mindset when it comes to choosing an outfit.

“I think I’m personally more likely to dress to impress women. My style is quite feminine and old-fashioned, and appeals more to an ultra-femme individual,” Pascuzzi says.

With this in mind, most women would agree that from a very early age, there has always been pressure to fulfil a particular physical type. Even when young women have transitioned into adulthood, the reasoning behind our clothing choice remains the same.

Subsequently, women have always competed with their female counterparts and, therefore, have a tendency to mimic each others style.

“A lot of women don’t trust their own style instincts and aren’t confident that they know how to put together an outfit that works,” Pascuzzi says.

“If they’re copying someone else’s style, it’s often because that person has a similar shape or size and that gives them a blueprint of how to put their own outfits together.”

Likewise, Pascuzzi explains how she dresses when heading out with friends in comparison to when she is heading out with a male companion.

“My style is reasonably consistent despite the different social occasions,” she says.

“My husband loves me in jeans and T-shirts because he doesn’t get that very often. But if we were going out somewhere for a special occasion I’d wear something that played up the aspects of my appearance that he likes the most: my curvy waist, my full bust.”

Being a woman is naturally a competitive task and the choices we make on a daily basis are often influenced by the media, including our clothing choices.

“I think it’s more likely that it changes with exposure to media. It’s women’s fashion that dominates the media in magazines and on TV, and women tend to be the biggest consumers of that media as well (especially magazines), so learning to dress for other women feels natural because, of course, other women dress for us,” Pascuzzi explains.

However, it seems we are forgetting the most important person we should be trying to impress. And that person isn’t our friends or our partners, but ourselves.

“If you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing you will carry yourself differently. You’ll fidget, fail to make eye contact and feel insecure. I always encourage people to trust their own instincts before blindly following trends,” she says.

Before you leave the house, it’s essential that you feel good and relaxed in what you are wearing. Don’t focus on how others may perceive you; focus on feeling confident in yourself. After all, you are often your harshest critic.

upstart-headshotErin Lyons is a third year Bachelor of Journalism (Sport) student and a staff writer for upstart. You can Follow her on Twitter, @erinmaylyons.


Image: Flickr commons/Marco (perry_marco)