Hey Ladies! Do it for you!

Hey, Ladies! Do it for you!

Why Women Should Dress For Themselves

Caroline Hitesman

It took me a long time to realize this for myself, but once I did I never retreated to my old form: the only people women should be dressing for is themselves. Chances are, if you’re wearing an outfit for someone other than yourself, it will... it will go either under appreciated or unnoticed. So why not dress for the person who will fully recognize the effort, style and otherwise sartorial genius put into your bomb ‘fit?

One of the first times I realized I would dress solely for myself was my junior year of high school (2014). I strutted into English class wearing jet-black high waisted jeans with a simple white v neck tucked in and black motorcycle boots. I probably spent upwards of an hour tearing my closet apart the night before to construct an outfit similar to the one I had seen in the Urban Outfitters catalogue. I knew I looked good. “Why do you look so Goth?” one of my guy friends blurted out as I sat down in my desk. My clothing choices elicited similar responses among my male classmates and peers for the majority of high school. Amusingly enough, when I met my best friend in the parking lot after school that day she greeted me with a warm, “Dang, you look so cool!”

Leandra Medine, founder of the website Man Repeller, has similar sentiments regarding women and their clothing choices. This online community has grown to be hugely popular, supporting tenets of feminism and “the belief that style is a meaningful form of self-expression.” In episode 23 of her podcast, “Monocycle,” Medine attempts to define Man Repeller. She describes it as being “a call out of individuality” and “a love letter to you, to myself, that we’re going to do us and we’re going to feel really fucking proud of the fact that we’re doing us.” Medine also notes that Man Repeller isn’t literally about physically repelling men: “To say that,” she says “would to reduce it to the lowest common denominator”.

Think, how good do you feel when you’re wearing a killer outfit that your best girls helped you put together? The feeling really cannot be compared. And honestly, how much more fun is it to get ready with your girl squad than it is to go out most of the time?

Now, picture yourself in the ladies’ bathroom at the Met Gala surrounded by the ultimate girl squads. Encompassing you from every angle are silver crystals, rhinestones, glitter and sparkling dresses. Women laugh as they take mirror selfies together and compliment one another on bold lipstick colors or salute each person’s unique take on the theme of the gala. “Wow your dress is breathtaking. I love how it looks with your pink hair,” Poppy Delevingne says to Pyper America Smith. Now back to reality: you’re in the bathroom of your school. As you exit the stall, the girl standing at the sink compliments your vintage denim jacket. “Thanks!” you say, “I really like your overalls!” Where better to be supported than in a ladies’ room, where sometimes toxic male minds are rarely allowed and impressions aren't surrounded by pretense and afterthought. You're just there, unabashedly taking mirror selfies and being admired for it.

Dressing for yourself is throwing caution to the wind the interpretations of you. It means wearing what you feel comfortable and confident in. If you feel empowered by sporting bodycon head to toe, by all means, wear it. Likewise, if you feel empowered by wearing high-rise culottes or harem pants, girl, wear them! There is power in loving yourself rather than doing what you think others will love.