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Who do you dress for?


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“It’s between the hot rack and the hot legs,” Lauren offered while getting ready to go out last Friday. “Accentuate one or the other. You do both, and instead of a million bucks, you look like twenty five cents.” Along with a pre-party, Lauren and her twenty-something friends get together before their outings and figure out what’s most eye-catching for the night. “The setting matters,” Lauren’s friend Melanie explains.

The men do notice. Chris and I were out at Jack’s Pizza for trivia night, and he’d had his eye on one particular girl. “I don’t know why anyone would put on heels and a miniskirt to come out to a place like this on a Tuesday,” he said as a blonde ambled by on the slightly uneven floor. “The only thing I find appealing about her is that she has a bit of a tummy showing. If she knew that she would cover it up, because it’s not conventionally attractive.” (Emphasis his.)

“Don’t ask me about conventionally attractive,” Nikki says, “Because I don’t really know. I just do what I do.” Nikki does have a problem though, which is that she works in the estrogen-soaked beauty industry. “I work in a female-dominated environment. We all always look nice at work, but I’m never going to meet anyone here. Unless they’re someone’s dad, which is gross.” When she’s out running errands, “looking like a mess,” it’s a different story. “When I’m at the Walgreens just trying to buy some potato chips, I don’t care. And it’s like not caring seems to be what it takes. I'm not lying when I tell you that I've been asked out over a carton of milk while in my pajamas.”

So what is dressing up really all about? Do you dress for yourself or others?

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