|Leandra Medine aka The Man Repeller at LFW|
I have been dying to talk about something that has been bugging me lately and that also happens to be something The Man Repeller has based her entire blogging career on (I mean the woman managed to write an entire book on this subject [which i am eagerly anticipating btw])...
A few months ago I was pulled up on my dress sense by a couple of my male friends, who very subtly questioned why I put so much effort into covering up my tiny frame into so many layers of loose clothing.... This conversation also happened to coincide with the time I was going on about three dates a week (internet dating - a topic for an entirely separate post) and the jury came to a unanimous decision that I should - "put it out there more" and "dress like a single girl for once" (apparently there is a difference between how single and taken women dress..how archaic..). In my defence - I just happen to like loose and slouchy clothing - always have and most likely always will. But I couldnt let the comments go unanalysed and for the sake of a social experiment I decided to ...errrm... sex-it-up a little in my wardrobe. I must say the results in terms male attention were incredible... Apparently it is still all quite primitive out there - the "tighter-tighter shorter-shorter" mantra is as relevant as ever.
However, what I did find interesting or even challenging was how difficult it is to shop for such 'outspoken' clothing. Since this was more of a temporary thing (no, im not planning to look like a skank for the rest of my life) I decided to shop on the more affordable side (i.e. high street) so that I could guiltlessly dispose of the items in a few months time when the charity bin would get more use of the clothes than I would. Asos was of course my first point of call.
Tell you what! Dressing sexy is so much harder/colder/uncomfortable than it looks!! First of all, try finding something that is both sexy but not sl*tty enough to make you walk in the opposite direction if you run into someone from work on the street. Secondly, sexy clothes are much harder to pull off in cheaper fabrics because not only do you already look like a skank but you are running the risk of looking like a cheap skank!
So after trawling the web of internet shopping for bodycon dresses I finally landed on this Hybrid number which I decided to wear to Ascot - of course accompanied by the push-uppiest bra I could find and a pair of spanx (not so sexy but creates an illusion nonetheless). The feedback on my outfit was very positive but of course on the day I turned a pale shade of blue (what else do you expect.. its June in London...duh!), couldnt breath properly because -who knew- a push-up bra can potentially cut off your circulation and ability to breath and deep down felt anything but sexy because the spanx look like a tight version of the ugliest granny pants ever.
I have pretty much continued dressing in a similar manner for the rest of the summer... managing to somewhat lose my 'style identity' in the process but gain some self-confidence along the way (probably for all the wrong reasons but whatever...) Here are some..ahem..samples (or shall i call them 'skankples' to give you an idea:
(beaded skirt - Needle and Thread; top - French Connection; black dress which I had shortened- Hybrid)
Shopping for sexy yet not sl*tty clothes was an absolute mission! And not only for me - inspired by my newly acquired wardrobe my friend R also decided to give it a go and found it just as challenging. And all she was looking for was a cleavage friendly top that would be appropriate to wear under "I am not single but neither am I dead" situation.
So what I began to wonder is why the designers season after season make it so hard for us to dress sexy?? Now I know you will say that "sexiness is in the eye of the beholder" but come on… most men are pretty basic and primitive… and unless they are your GBF (gay best friend) or have a particular fetish for leather/50's skirts/crop tops/[insert as appropriate] they are probably pretty clueless about fashion.
And even if they are clued in - like my lovely ex-romantic interest who used to work for one of the big fashion houses - they may still not appreciate that particular trend. Case in point - we were discussing the whole "New Balance trainers with just about everything" trend which I think is brilliant especially for fashion week.. considering the amount of running around I will be doing. He summarised it in one sentence - "it's cute..but not really shag inducing". As a single (and fashion conscious) girl it's not exactly what you want to hear about a pair of £60 trainers that you may or may not have already purchased! Not that I want to look "shag-inducing" at fashion week but you know what I'm trying to say.
So to wrap up this long structureless rant…. I am back to square one, now that the seasons have changed and dressing sexy has become even harder…. and looking at my recent order history on Asos, one may confidently conclude that I have in fact given up on the whole 'sexy' thing….unless whatever planet you are on sweatshirts, parkas and new balance trainers are considered sexy (in which case I would like to know the name of that planet immediately because I will be moving there ASAP!)
To be continued! xx