Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Fashion: What men want women to wear

It's no secret that women buy clothes to suit themselves, often ignoring the fact many of fashion's top lines don't often meet the approval of the opposite sex.



In keeping with this, Sunday Life asked a panel of six men of various ages what they love and hate about women's fashion.

Unsurprisingly, every man questioned had one thing in common - their fondness for clothing that accentuates the female shape, lines which complement the contours of a woman's frame, revealing to the eye a truly feminine form.

This tendency for men to desire a more fitted outfit, according to leading psychologists, has nothing to do with what women would typecast as typical male promiscuous thoughts. Rather, it's more to do with the evolutionary subconscious!

For many years women with an hourglass frame and a contrasting waist and hip ratio have been widely considered attractive by men in this part of the world, and is related to a woman's ability to breed, according to the psychologists.

Voluptuous hips have long been a sign of fertility and this goes back through evolution - so it's not surprising that women with small waists, which draw attention to curvaceous hips, are thought of as more desirable.

That reinforces what psychologists suggest was our panel's views on what garments they find attractive on females.

'Fitted' was a word generously used - with pencil skirts, tight jeans and body-hugging dresses all favourites.

This look is going to be particularly popular next season, which will be music to many a man's ears as the 'body con' theme subtly evident in this summer's fashion takes charge over autumn/winter.

Belted dresses and coats were also popular choices, while trouser and skirt suits with jackets nipped at the waist deemed appealing for the workplace.

All the men on the panel agreed that the classic black dress - albeit 'fitted' - was always a successful choice in their eyes, while footwear of choice were the high-heeled court shoe and knee boot.

Heels create height and, more importantly, a flattering wiggle to a female's walk, drawing attention to the bum area.

Toe shapes were a sensitive subject with the panel.

Many of the men questioned were not in favour of the dangerously pointy stiletto-type shoe.

Nor did they share any fondness with the round toe shape of seasons past, but more a compromise, which in the fashion world is regarded as the 'almond' toe.

Casual wear favourites were again figure-hugging with skinny jeans popular - BUT only on the basis they're coupled with high heels or knee boots.

Simple vests were also a hit while tops with necklines that reveal the decollage, collarbone and shoulders area favoured - especially strapless, bandeau numbers and V-necks.

Short skirts were also, unsurprisingly, a crowd pleaser.

Clothing that got the big 'no no' from our panel included high season smocks and tunics, which many of the men disliked for there figure suppressing shape (some indicated they made many a woman look pregnant).

The flat pump and gladiator sandal were only favoured by one out of six in our panel on the condition the girl had a delicate makeup, while baggy, androgynous trousers and denim were considered too masculine in many cases.

High rise trousers were a big failure because of their 'mumsy' image while big shades were classed "ridiculous" and Capri-pants looked " stupid" in a mistakenly-shrunk-in-the-wash-way.

With no intention of suggesting that we all start dressing for men, Sunday Life asked the high street to offer its take on men-pulling clothing, both in-store now and due in for next season.

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