Doing what I do, I’m in a good position to find and gift some [what I think are] beautiful clothes to my boyfriend. But I’m always hyper-aware that I don’t want to be the kind of girlfriend who tries to mould or change, in style or in any sense. And while I certainly enjoy dressing well for his delectation, I’m not the kind of girl who is ever really going to dress just to please a man. I consider it a happy accident that we have very similar sensibilities, so it’s not something I really have to worry about these days.
It’s a hard balance to strike, because our notions of sex-appeal and prettiness are invariably influenced by what we know men find appealing. Even the ‘anti fashion’ brigade dress in a way which they know will appeal to a similarly ‘anti fashion’ kind of man they might fancy. They may deny it, but it’s hard to separate style and sex-appeal on any level. An unwearably bonkers couture dress still reeks of money and power, which are alluring to many a man.
I’ve always had a slightly Good Cop/Bad Cop approach to dressing for my previous boyfriends. Rarely have they ever truly appreciated everything I’ve owned. On a good day, for them, I would shove ‘that top I don’t like’ to the back of my closet. On a bad day, for them, I would wear the exact opposite of what I knew they liked. I enjoyed knowing that it reflected badly on their taste, and well on mine of course.