I am a thirty-something who has been mostly happily married for the last fourteen years but many women in my age bracket are not. They have all of the bases covered. Divorced once, divorced twice, never married, young kids, no kids and almost adult kids. Their relationships run the gamut; from one-night-stand to multiple years, from single men to married men, from younger men to older men, from multiple kids to no kids, from sexually over active to sexually disinterested. I listen to them, read their distress venting e-mails and blogs and try to find them buried under all of the stuff they put out in the world for the opposite sex to consume.
I know by writing this I am in danger of alienating and even enraging some of them. I am tired of the endless circles of talking that go on surrounding this issue. I am tired of listening to them contradict themselves with every sentence and trying to justify their actions and feelings while bashing the person they are going to track down in an hour and be hysterical over.
I would like to give any women out there who think this merry-go-round sounds familiar, some tips I found useful when I was like you.
If you wouldn’t wear it out to dinner with your parentsdon’t wear it out of your house.
Do you have to pull your pants up every time you move? Does your belly fall over your waistband? Does the waistband fold in half to make room for your rolls? Is it hard to breathe when you have them buttoned and zipped? If you have answered yes to any of these questions THEY DON”T FIT!
If your shirt buttons are gapping open the shirt is too small. If you are wearing a black bra under a gauzy white shirt, change, you’re not in a Madonna video. If you can’t wear a bra under it get rid of it. After a certain age your belly should not be exposed, we don’t want to see it. Stretch marks are not sexy even if you pierce them. Your bra straps are not a fashion accessory and should not be showing.
If you feel like you have to constantly pull the skirt down or you can feel the vinyl of the seat cushion on your buttocks it’s too short! If you saw it in a Britney Spears video and thought it was cute on her, don’t buy it unless you look like her. If you have a belt at home that is the same size as the item in your hand it is not a skirt, no matter what the tag says.
Just because they make it in your size does not mean you should wear it. Spandex is for working out not going out. If you are a size 16 don’t buy a size 14 with stretch and think it’s okay. It’s only okay if you want to look like sausage links. Stretchy and comfy are not the same thing.
Panty lines may not be the coolest thing in the world but not wearing any is down right nasty. If your bra makes you look like you have four breasts get rid of it – you’re not on an episode of Star Trek. If you are always trying to maneuver your underwear out of a crevice they aren’t comfortable in you may consider throwing them out and trying a new size, shape, or brand. The elastic bands on the sides of your underwear are NOT a fashion accessory and should not be viewable by the general public.
None of this type of dressing is sexy. I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but I have never picked up a paperback with Fabio on the cover expecting it to be about brain surgery. I am tired of hearing this lame argument that it’s not about your clothes. It is about your clothes. What you put out there as a perception of you is how you feel about you and how you are asking others to perceive you and treat you. If you are dressed like Britney expect to be used and abused like her. If you look like you should be on a street corner with a $20 price tag expect to attract the same kind of clientele.
By the same token covering up like you’re Amish is equally discouraging to the men you wish to attract. Skirts with sneakers, orthopedic shoes, and season themed knitwear are not attractive. If the t-shirt has a duck wearing a bonnet on it and you think it’s the most precious thing you’ve ever seen you need to have your prescription checked because it just ran out. Never wear a shirt with the front of a teddy bear on the front and the back of a teddy bear on the back, unless you are going to bed and for some reason have run out of birth control pills.
What I’m trying to say is you get what you give. Dress for success, it’s a cliché for a reason. When you look good you feel good and that is what you project. When you feel cheap and dress cheap that is what you attract. When you dress depressed and old that is what people think of you. Watch a few episodes of TLC’s What Not To Wear and get a feeling for what you could be doing. It doesn’t mean you need $5,000 to get a new wardrobe, it means you need to shop sensibly and make better decisions that are not necessarily based on price tags or numbers denoting size. Seasonal clearance sales can provide a wealth of updating for a modicum of cash.