The dating world is competitive and stressful enough without worrying about how you look. So ladies, we need to pack it in, lift it up, smooth it out and make it fit. Despite what you may have convinced yourself of, real men are not attracted to harlots, and no amount of spandex in your dress is going to get rid of a gut. If you are looking for a one-night stand, then wearing next to nothing is certainly the way to go. However, if you are in the market for a stable, solid relationship, you will not attract the appropriate men making the following fashion mistakes, assessed by a pool of eligible men (married, in a relationship, and single… we covered all our bases). They were selected to participate in the creation of this article on the basis of their relationship histories and personality traits; these are the good guys. They have been so kind as to offer their personal opinions on these unattractive fashion faux pas.
Ill-fitting clothing. It doesn’t matter if they are three sizes too big for you or three sizes too small, it’s not cute. Both actually make you look bigger than you really are, because the tight clothing highlights lumps and rolls that should be smoothed or concealed, and the oversized clothing makes you look dumpy and shapeless. “Form fitting clothing is sexier” (Gregory, 23 ). Buy clothes that fit your body. For example, if you have the classically feminine hourglass figure, try pencil skirts that hug your curvy hips, and shirts with belts that draw attention to your tiny waist.
Excessive cleavage. “Honestly, what is unattractive is immodesty” says Matt, 24. “I admit that when I see a girl dressed provocatively I notice, but it’s not the kind of girl that I would want to get involved with in a serious relationship.” There are ways to draw attention to your bust in a far sexier way than just letting it hang out. Wear V-necked shirts that show off your neck and chest, but none of your cleavage or breasts. I find that this is easiest when you wear a low-cut, V-neck shirt with a plunge-neck bra, because the bra lifts and separates to keep your boobs hidden underneath fabric, but still shows skin. “Guys like cleavage,” adds Aaron , 27, “but when it’s too much it’s not very tasteful and gives off the wrong signals.” The last guy I was in a serious relationship said to me one day when I wore my favorite stretchy black V-neck, “I love that shirt on you. It’s really sexy because it hints at what’s underneath without giving it all away.” It’s like a little fabric-wrapped present you know is there, but can’t open until Christmas Day. “Balance is key,” says Ben , 25. “A little cleavage here, some thigh there.” Never too much of everything. Nobody wants to buy the whole vending machine when it spits out the snacks for free.
The “Quadraboob”. A quadraboob occurs when a girl is wearing a bra that doesn’t fit her properly, particularly when her chest is “muffin-topping” out of the top of her bra so that it looks like she has four lumps instead of two. When I was younger, my mother would never neglect to point it out when I was sporting the quadraboob, and for a long time I found it annoying. Who cares? Guys like boobs, and it should be considered a good thing that you have too much to fit in your bra, right? WRONG! Now that I’m older, I’m grateful to my mom for pointing this out, because she was right: it looks ridiculous and kind of gross. It’s like wearing a shirt that’s too tight and shows a gut hanging over the top of your pants. It’s my personal opinion that when shopping for bras, every self-respecting woman should ask one of the store clerks to measure them so that they are aware of their true bra size. The ribcage measurement and cup size are important: if you’re wearing a 40C and you’re still not fitting in it properly, consider that you might be a 38D. The bra should hug every part of your body, provide lift, and smooth the lines of your upper half. “The quadraboob is hilarious in a grotesque way… kind of like going to a sideshow attraction or gawking at someone getting arrested,” says Justin. The boys don’t think it’s cute, and neither should you. Find bras that fit, and don’t be ashamed to ask for assistance if you need it.
Low rider pants. Low riders are basically designed for incredibly slender girls with little to no hind-end. So if you have even the hint of a booty, make sure it’s covered up. “Not very ladylike,” says Justin. “We don’t need any whale tails either!” (for those who aren’t familiar with this term, a “whale tail” is a thong that hangs out of your pants). Nobody wants to see you “selling crack”. There are only a handful of places where it’s appropriate for your hiney to hang out: the bathroom, the bedroom, or the doctor’s office (if applicable). If you have stepped outside the boundaries of any one of these, cover it up. “
Saggy pants. “Laughable at best,” comments Ben. Saggy pants have a place. It’s called your living room . I will admit that on cold, snowy nights, I highly enjoy curling up on the couch in a pair of oversized sweatpants and a t-shirt with a book, a mug of hot tea, and my cats. But if I walk out the front door in ANY pair of pants, they are snug against my behind. They don’t need to be so tight they split at the seams (see the first fashion faux-pas), but they shouldn’t look like a saggy, loaded diaper either. Gross. “How unfeminine,” remarks Gregory . And he’s spot-on, really, because if your pants are sagging that much, chances are you probably stole them from a brother or ex-boyfriend, or bought them in the men’s department. Women’s sweatpants, and pants in general, are tailored for women’s bodies.
Cheeksters. During my weekend escapades at the downtown hot spots, I enjoy sitting out on the patio and watching the bar-goers walk by. I cannot tell you how many girls strut past me with skirts and shorts so tiny that their hind-end is quite literally playing peek-a-boo with whoever is unfortunate enough to notice. “It’s just very tacky and unflattering,” says Aaron . I, for one, can honestly say that I will never, ever understand why women do this. I would be mortified if my butt was hanging out in public. “If I were Bret Michaels or I just really, really like girls who looked like they failed their audition for Big Jim’s House of Beaver Strip Club and Buffet (trademarked),” adds Justin , “I might be down for this. But I’m not, and neither are most men. Or at least any man worth having around.”
Heavy make-up. “Some girls, to me, resemble raccoons that got into a fight with a cotton candy machine. If you’ve gotta cover yourself in war paint in the hopes of trapping the right guy, it seems to me that what you are selling is a product and not an accurate impression of the inner you” (Nate, 21). There are two situations that arise when it is acceptable to wear excessive amounts of make-up. The first is when you’re onstage: dancers, actresses, etc. There’s a purpose for it, and that’s to make it easier to see from the audience. Second is when you’re out at night in a dimly lit bar or club. In this case, it’s okay to wear darker or slightly heavier make-up for pretty much the same reason. Other than that, contemplate all possible meanings of the phrase “less is more”. As Matt says, “What is most attractive is [a girl’s] natural beauty. Every single girl has it. Wear make-up that brings out your beautiful features.”
Orange skin. The consensus on this one was almost unanimous: OOMPA LOOMPAS. “There’s nothing sexy about a girl [that looks like] a Kabuki orange” (Reginald, 28) . Ladies, if you must tan, do it tastefully. Despite the undeniable dangers of tanning (skin cancer, looking like a pair of weathered alligator-skin boots by the time you’re 40 years old), many women out there insist on fake-baking. If this is your preference, take care not to overdo it. A slight bronzed tone or an even, caramel-colored tan is acceptable. Looking like you’re overly-jaundiced from liver failure is not.
Once you have assessed your wardrobe, you may be wondering how to amplify your attractiveness. The following tips may help you in finding the right mate, because the men worth spending your time with will notice these things and respect you for them. At this point, it is about not just your sense of style, but a number of other things that all tie into your overall image.
First, in conjunction with your attire, you need to find clothes that complement your body type. In the words of Justin, 24, “Not only will you look so much sexier with clothes that fit, but you will be sexier for the confidence you have in yourself, whatever your size”. It doesn’t matter what that body type is, whether you’re slender, top-heavy, bottom-heavy, hourglass-shaped, thick, heavy, etc. Do some research on your particular body type and start shopping accordingly. THROW AWAY your worst articles of clothing, or save them to wear around the house if necessary (such as saggy sweatpants… those should not leave the house, or the dumpster). Check out this article for tips on dressing basic body types. Additionally, here is a great resource on more unique body types, with tips on determining and accentuating your physical assets.
Now we need to focus on the other assets. Your appearance will be the first thing a man notices about you, but you need more than that to keep him around. The most important thing, in my opinion, in confidence. Once you can dress in a way that makes you feel comfortable and sexy, you should exude confidence, seemingly through your very pores. There is a very distinct difference between confidence and cockiness, however. It’s important not to come off as “full of yourself”. For example, if you are having a conversation with an attractive man you just met, you would want to say “I really enjoy my job, it’s a great opportunity to utilize my skills and be recognized for my talent” rather than “I’m really great at my job, they love me there”. Be proud of who you are, what you have and what you can do, but don’t brag or act snobbish. Most men hate arrogance.
Along those same lines, don’t talk about yourself all the time. If he’s quiet, probe him with questions. A roughly half-and-half balance is ideal in a conversation, because if the guy is into you, he’ll want to know everything about you, and he’ll also want to know you’re interested in what makes him tick. If he does all the talking, he’s probably full of him self, so you may be heading down a dead-end road. A conversation that is well-balanced and flows seamlessly is a good sign of a possible match.
One final tip, lovely ladies: don’t settle. If you have employed all of these suggestions and you still seem to pull in all the skeezy little boys, walk away and keep looking. No dignified woman should ever concede to accept less than she deserves. The good ones are out there, and though I am still looking for mine, I can tell you from personal experience that I’ve met many of them and they have become good friends. The ones that are worth are sometimes as scorned as you are, so remember that you’re not alone and keep on keepin’ on!
**A huge thank-you goes out to all the wonderful gentlemen that contributed to the creation of this article, whose names have been changed to protect their privacy.