A loyal reader writes in, “I know that I get more appreciative glances from most men when I am in a blue or green long bodycon dress and heels. My legs are slimmed, my figure is brought out and the assets are more on show. But [my husband] actually likes me in this blue and brown flower print wrap dress. He can hardly keep his hands off me when I wear it, even though it’s pretty plain, can be quite modest and doesn’t always flatter my legs. Who is my audience: the democracy or the dictator? ”
- Sexuality is power.
- Bright colors/more saturated colors (like black) are “louder” visually. This is entirely irrelevant to what colors look best on you, so long as the color in question doesn’t actually look bad.
When you walk into a room in a dress that draws attention to your assets, in a highly saturated color, you are essentially shouting, “Hello, World!”. You’re using a shotgun. Everyone sees you, and you gain power over everyone who responds – regardless of how they respond. But the power is based purely on their response, and is diluted by every other beautiful woman (or highly attractive man) in attendance. You’ll miss some entirely.
Your husband, however, is looking at your face in addition to your assets. He’s remembering how easily that wrap dress comes unwrapped in private, and admiring the way it hugs your waist. The colors and print are softer, which is more vulnerable, which also elicits a response from most men. Your husband’s not looking at your legs, because he’s not looking at you from across the room. He’s across the table. That dress is a sniper rifle – you’re only aiming at one man, but you’re pretty sure to have a powerful effect on him.
Which returns us to the question of “who is my audience?” Rich men have long used the beauty of their women to display their own wealth – saying, “this highly desirable object is mine” is a declaration of status. Most of us dress up to meet strangers, or to big parties – quiet statements, like private conversations, aren’t suited to large groups. There are times for all of us to bring out the shotguns … but they’re rare for most of us, in most social circles.
You’re likely alone with your husband, or with a few, close friends, and at local hangouts… you’re not entering the ballroom. You don’t need to bring out the shotgun, because you don’t need to make a statement for everyone – one person’s attention is your aim. And you’re hitting that mark beautifully.
This whole concept is something that I didn’t get as a teenager/young woman, and I think most young women don’t get it. You’re trying to get That Guy’s eyes, and so you dress up so everyone looks at you, then you freak out when someone else comes up… didn’t they know you were aiming at That Guy? Well, shotguns aren’t very accurate. You might not have even winged your target… better to find out what he likes and work with that. Colors that show off your face, lines that draw you close, scents that can’t be perceived more than a few inches away, texture that begs to be touched… there are a thousand tricks, all of which seem to have been forgotten in lieu of handing out shotguns to everyone.
The point of dressing well is to affect your audience, not random bystanders. Although you do affect everyone… that brown and blue dress is saying, “I’m a pretty wife” to everyone else, which is certainly what your husband wants to have you say. Win/win, really.
Hope this was helpful to my reader and to everyone else… if you have topics you’d like me to cover, please drop me a comment and I’ll get to them as soon as I can.