Wise Guys: Do Men Notice What Women Wear?

models_runway_fashionphoto by Art Comments

Advice from three of our guy friends. This week they answer the following: “Do guys care about what a woman wears, or is she basically just dressing to impress herself and her fellow females (and perhaps her gay friends)?

Straight Single Guy (Chris): Yes we do. We don’t necessarily care about brand names, the latest or most expensive bags and shoes, or the subtleties of this seasons’ whatevers. We do however, care how our partner looks, what type of style she has, what people think of her, and of course, her sexiness vs. librarian-ness. I think we all want our partners to look attractive to other people, but not appear to be a contestant on “Rock of Love.” We appreciate a girl who can dress appropriately as the situation requires — everything from the right clothes to wear to a football game to the right thing to wear out to a nice restaurant. That means dressing up and dressing down, all while maintaining the right balance between sexy and conservative. (I hate the word “classy” by the way.) There is nothing worse than someone who takes hours to get ready, only to be way too dressed up for the situation. And GOD FORBID you try to tell her…

Straight Married Guy (James Glazebrook): A little from column A, a little from column B. Guys do care about what a woman wears, but the most attractive women don’t care what men (or anyone else) think — they dress for themselves. And I don’t mean the frumps who’ve resigned themselves to a life in sweats and sneaks. No, the best dressed (and therefore hottest) women are well aware of the signals their clothes send out — they just use them to broadcast something different. I’m a sucker for sharp masculine tailoring, the pierced pin-up look… anything that says, “I’m my own person, I don’t need you — but if we got together it could be interesting.”

Gay Married Guy (Jon Ross): Honey, ladies ain’t spending billions on sexy get-ups every year to impress their girlfriends (unless they’re lesbians, and even then. . .). Yes, some women dress to impress for everyone, but others (many) are aiming to attract people of the xy persuasion, and we men are taking notice. Sure, most men may not notice that fabulous contrasting trim on your blouse or how amazing your bag and shoes look together, but they can tell when a woman puts effort into her appearance, and they appreciate it. Granted, I am that “gay friend,” so I’m probably not the most reliable source on this topic.

Our “guys” are a rotating group of contributors. This week’s Straight Married Guy is James Glazebrook of Manflet, our Straight Single Guy isChris DiClerico, and our Gay Married Guy is Jon Ross. To ask the guys your own question, click here.


  1. Project Runway, What Not to Wear, and a good friend changed my life. Granted, I still don’t quite “get” her gold flats, but I can tell when something is flattering on someone. By extension, this also clued me in to how “you look good” can mean something different than “I find you attractive.” Situation-dependent, quite often.

  2. @Karen: Hee hee 🙂

    And like LibariNerd, I also found that “clothes I feel look good and/or sexy on me” do not necessarily equal “clothes my boyfriend thinks look good and/or sexy on me”. But whatever I wear, I wear it because I feel good in it (and I guess I might look good because I feel good). And my boyfriend does prefer “no clothes” over “any kind of clothes”, so I know what (not) to wear to make him happy 😉

  3. Karen, when your male friends ask, “What are you wearing” we don’t think it means what you think it means. 🙂

  4. They sure notice me! No matter if I’m dressed up or casually I always put a sexy twist into it. I get lots of compliments on how I look and what I wear. In fact over half the emails I receive from my male friends ask me what I’m wearing.

  5. because it was mentioned.. I LOVE the stereotypical librarian look.
    but then I also like; frump, goth, geek, slutty, soccer-mom, athlete, formal, business, naked. The only look I don’t like is cheerleader(odd i know)

  6. As a future librarian, I’m going to second what LibrariNerd said. Librarians generally look like normal people you’ll find anywhere else, in the same spectrum of attractiveness. The stereotypical librarian look doesn’t really apply. Though there is this one elderly librarian at the library where I work who actually does dress like that…but she’s the exception, not the rule. Forget the stereotype!

  7. As a sexy librarian, I must take offense to Straight Single Guy’s remarks. 🙂

    What I’ve found interesting in my (admittedly limited) experience is that the (straight) men I date *do* notice what I wear, but find completely different things attractive. (Traditional “dressed up” clothing vs. athletic wear, for instance.)

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