The Dilemma: Dressing for Women vs. Dressing for Men

You want to look like you’ve made an effort, but not over the top.  You want to show off the stylish, sexy woman you are without going near the “I may have forgotten an article of clothing” look.  The list goes on and on.  But does your perspective change as you get older?  What does the woman in her 30’s think about as she stares into her closet for the perfect outfit?  How she’s going to be the most fashion-forward in her group of girls or how her adoring partner will not be able to take his eyes off of her?
As always, there are 2 sides to every story.  The fashion blog, The Man Repeller is definitely for the girl’s girl.  Artistic, avant-garde frocks from top designers are featured daily and will most def wow the socks off every woman you know (and probably a few you don’t!).  But, the bf?  Probably as baffled as ever.  Now, take Christina Hendrick’s character, Joan, on Mad Men. Clearly, dressing for a man…ahem, men. Figure-friendly pieces are her staple.  And she looks amazing!  But would Joan feel as confident in an oversized, but brilliant Alexander McQueen top?
A recent Vogue article highlighted fashion aficionados and couple, Veronika Heilbrunner and Justin O’Shea for their view on men’s vs. women’s picks for what a woman should wear.  She, of course, favored the more interesting, off-the-cuff choices while he opted for much simpler, classic shapes and styles to enhance her femininity.  When WWD posted the question during NYFW a few years back, actress Anne Hathaway said, “Most women dress for their most fashionable friend.”  French Vogue‘s Carine Roitfeld confirmed she (naturally) dresses for herself while designer, Isabel Toledo stated that women do indeed dress for men, but that she dresses for herself, (though) liking when her husband approves as well.
What about simply dressing for yourself?  Is this completely out of the question?
When working with clients of mine, the women are almost always looking for pieces that will complement their physical shape and their personality, look stylish and fresh, but are definitely wearable without too much fuss and muss.  Of course, some value fashion over all, some are looking to get back in the dating game and still some just really want to be comfortable every day, no matter what the (style) sacrifice.
My GO-TO DESIGNERS for both confidence and creative inspiration include:
  • Philip LimThe perfect, edgy work wear.
  • Helmut Lang– The masters of draped layering – day to night magic.
  • Rag and Bone– Perfect, everyday ankle boots, blazers and denim.
  • Isabel Marant – Sexy, gaelic, nonchalant dressing.
  • Celine–  Phoebe Philo’s (mother of 2) directional vision is consistently inspiring.  Full-time fashion success + family = YES!
  • Tory Burch– Her aesthetic is geared toward the preppy-boho market, but what an inspiring business woman!  10 years from nothing to multi-million dollar empire?  Amazing.
In other words, we’re all different!  No matter what’s on the agenda, today’s empowered woman can dress how she pleases and not only land the guy she’s eyeing, but also excel in the career of her choice and gain the respect of her inevitable “fashion” friend… and all before lunch.  Bold, beautiful and bright women that we are deserve to feel confident and sexy every day of the week.  So, my solution to the dilemma at hand?  Dress in whatever makes you feel the most like YOU.  And, hey, if you want to collaborate, let me know.  I’ve got ideas for days.
Miscellaneous Women's Style
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  • Mithon Hasan

    I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don’t know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog.
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  • MegGallagher

    So appreciate your kind words. Apologies I did not see your comment earlier.

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