When a woman wears sexy clothing, chances are that she is wearing the clothes in order to feel good about herself in a number of ways. For one thing, she wants to fit in with the crowd, so if most of the other women around her are dressing a certain way, she is likely to also. A high-collared, long-sleeved, long dress just doesn’t cut it at a nightclub, though it may be appropriate for certain somber occasion like funerals or other church functions. If the other girls are wearing mini-skirts and tight spaghetti-strap tees to the club, and if those are the styles featured in the current fashion magazines, she will probably choose to wear them also. She wants to fit in, and she wants to be admired by the other women at the club.
Everyone knows that women dress at least fifty percent to impress other women. If she has bought a new lace designer top that flatters her, when she wears it, she knows either consciously or subconsciously that only the other women are going to recognize it for what it is, while men are more likely to be looking through the lace at the skin below. When we buy exciting new clothes, we can’t wait to show them off to our admiring girlfriends and make them a little bit envious. Read this and weep, guys: we are not always dressing to try to attract you, but as much to show off for other women.
Dressing is advertising, and some advertisers are just naturally more showy than others. Chances are that most women are aware of what their best assets are, and that they dress to feature those. Consider our fantasy lace blouse. If a woman is small-breasted, she probably won’t buy that blouse in a very tight size, because to do so would not be accentuating her best feature, which may be her eyes or her legs or her hair. (Are Women the Masters of Illusion?) But a large-breasted woman may buy that blouse in a tight size because it will accentuate one of her most prominent features. The small-breasted woman probably won’t attract all that much attention, but the large-breasted women—in the same blouse—will.
The reason for this is not that the well-endowed woman is dressing to look slutty—she’s just wearing her body, and it is often the body, and specifically the breasts in this case, that are attracting the attention, both welcome and unwelcome—not the blouse. I happen to have been gifted with terrific legs, and as I age, my legs are staying shapely. So I wear still wear leggings and short skirts or shorts a lot. I know that fishnet stockings would look somewhat ridiculous on me now, but print leggings don’t. They simply point to my legs and say, “I’m here!”
Are women dressing to excite sexual attention from men? Of course they are. They know that men are very visual, and will be drawn to a body and face that has been dressed to accentuate all of its best features. But are women expecting cat-calls and whoops and hollers, and even overt physical advances, because of the way they dress? Of course not. Suppose a beautiful new car has been left parked at the curb with the doors unlocked and the key in the ignition. Tempting as it might be, does this situation give a guy the right to enter the car, turn on the ignition, and drive away? What do you think?
Women want to attract you with the way they dress if you are attractive too, but they do not want to suffer through insults, name-calling, and even uninvited fondling by fat slobs in wife-beater tee-shirts—or even by attractive you, if the foundation hasn’t been laid yet for dialogue and physical contact. A woman may want to attract attention, but she never wants to attract abusive attention, and she does not deserve it. Go ahead: undress her with your eyes if you must, but don’t let her know that you are doing this. Compliment her in a nice way, pay attention to her, start a conversation with her if you feel an attraction. Feeling the desire to get into her pants is not attraction—that’s lust, pure and simple, and has nothing to do with the woman herself and who she really is.
Also worth mentioning is that the word “provocative” is a subjective statement, open to varying interpretations depending upon culture, religion, fashion standards of the times, and even location. Is a bikini provocative and too showy at the beach or poolside? No, of course it isn’t, even if it is small and barely covering its contents. But if a woman strode down a main street in a large city wearing a bikini, this would be peculiar and perhaps a sign that she has a few screws loose. But it still would not be an excuse for outrageous, rude behavior on your part. In some cultures it is considered provocative for a woman’s shoulders to be bare—or even her face. It is totally irrational to think that all women who dress in a manner you personally find “provocative” are intentionally asking for obnoxious unwanted attention from you.
At the core of it all, everyone is looking for love. Most women are still looking for lifetime partners to truly bond with, not just one-night stands. (Understanding How Men Really Feel about the Infamous One-Night Stand?) Sometimes a woman’s insecurity about her appearance may lead her to overdo it in the clothing, makeup, and hair department—and she doesn’t even realize what she is doing. Here’s a good “litmus test” for you to try, men. If you find a woman attractive in a short skirt, stilettos, and a tight, low-cut blouse, picture that same woman in your mind in a big baggy tee-shirt and a pair of sweats. Does she still look sexy and beautiful to you? No? Then move on. Yes? Then move in closer to get to know her!