The other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine who claimed he is 100 per cent honest all of the time. I challenged him and asked the hardest question I could think of. I asked, “So what would you say is my worst quality?” He replied, “You don’t wear clothes that flatter your body.” Upon further discussion he explained that the clothes that I wear are not revealing enough, and that was a bad thing. Apparently, he thought that the fact that I dressed for comfort instead of for sex appeal was a flaw. His opinion was that women should wear clothes that flaunt their bodies.</p>
This interaction really bothered me, but not for obvious reasons. I was offended because I am of the belief that wearing clothes that make you feel comfortable is in no way a flaw. In fact, I would argue that dressing only to impress others is the flaw. Historically, there have always been societal guidelines pertaining to how a woman should dress. A woman’s wardrobe is expected to find a balance between conforming to modern fashions and being socially appropriate. The act of getting dressed in the morning should not be so complicated. A woman should not have to anticipate and calculate the reaction to her outfit from every single person that will see her that day. All she should be thinking about is whether or not she will feel comfortable all day long.
I am noticing more and more that women like to shop in the men’s section in stores. Sometimes, they might be trying on a really cool graphic T-shirt, other times it’s a pair of sweatpants. I have even spoken with women who like to wear men’s underwear; apparently it is really comfortable. One year, I bought my dad a sweater for his birthday. When I was shopping, I asked the sales associate for help navigating the store. He led me over to the sweater rack and said, “What size is he?” I didn’t tell him it was for my dad, the sales associate somehow knew that I wasn’t shopping for myself. Maybe he was magic; or maybe he assumed that I was buying a gift because I could not have been shopping for myself since I was a woman and those sweaters were meant for men.
The sales associate did not do anything wrong. He is not the villain of the story. He was probably so used to seeing men in the store that when he saw a woman, he was not prepared to understand that women like men’s clothing too. In my situation, he was right that I was shopping for someone else. But he could just as easily have been wrong. The idea that women only wear women’s clothing is a problematic misconception. A lot of women, and a lot of men, like to cross the gender boundaries that exist in fashion. It’s my belief that so long as people dress inoffensively they should be able to wear whatever they want.
Personally, I like to shop wherever there are great sales and nice clothes. Looking at the label of “men’s” or “women’s” is an afterthought. Dressing in whatever makes you feel comfortable is not a flaw. I think that the flaw is with society for having limited options for men and women’s fashion. Sure, maybe the man’s sweater doesn’t look great on my body. But I like it. A person looks great when they dress in such a way that completely embodies their identities. Shop in whichever section you like. Wear whatever clothes you like. Prioritize your own comfort first. Because it really is true that confidence is the sexiest thing you can wear — and those who tell you differently are just plain wrong.