1795. Dating: Dress Gorgeously as Gift for Him

Her Highness Wind in the Willows commented this way at 1662: “I would have never considered just ‘dressing up gorgeously’ as him interpreting it as a gift.” I intend to show that it’s an ‘earned gift’, the kind that men appreciate most.

Let’s presume that you have a date to attend some event. Your date’s friends/associates/family/pals will be present. To one degree or another, they will judge him by your appearance, words, and actions.

You should dress to please yourself AND dress appropriately for the event. Think dignified. How can you and your appearance bring credit to him in the form of admiration by men (his competitors) and apparent importance by women (your competitors)?

He thinks he deserves you at your best. However, he lacks a clear definition so ‘dressing up gorgeously’ (aka exceeding his expectations) gives you these advantages:

  1. When he arrives to pick you up, you’re eager to show yourself off. Having pleased yourself in dressing up, you aren’t anxious but confident that he will like your appearance. (If you dressed to please him, you would be anxious and less confident. Right?)
  2. He translates your being gorgeously attired as eagerness to please him. Self-admiration floods his psyche. (Your appearance far outweighs whatever words you think appropriate for greeting him.)
  3. His eagerness kicks in to show you off. Your appearance enables him to swagger a bit.
  4. He feels responsible to keep you looking the way you look when he picked you up. He politely accedes to subsequent demands for modesty, mystery, and other feminine attributes you may want to claim or display. (Your appearance raises his standards about his appearance whenever he expects to again see or be with you. It works indirectly, but as women set the example, men learn to follow.)
  5. “Dressing up gorgeously” rewards him for being smart (and perhaps cagey) enough to ask you out, and so he earned it. Men value gifts that are earned.

Don’t dress to please him (unless prescribed by the event you will be attending). His standards are lower than yours are—at least they should be—so it’s easy to exceed his expectations. Just don’t go so far that you look out of place or embarrass him.

You’ll probably be an old lady before you can live with this anomaly: His reputation and your attractiveness will be enhanced when you’re shining attractively but in background to him and unavailable to other men. You’re probably doing the right things when people conclude that he doesn’t deserve you. CAUTION: Don’t take such comments as freeing you to dress down or elevating you as more important than him.


Filed under sex differences

11 responses to “1795. Dating: Dress Gorgeously as Gift for Him

  1. Anne

    Sir Guy, what if the man does not seem eager to show her off? I have never detected this in my husband, and his compliments of my appearance are rare. I have wondered if something is missing, since I work VERY hard on my daily mirror time & I think my sense of style has improved since we were dating. I would shudder to go back to what I wore when we dated, as I made many of my own clothes at that time & they were quite homely. Yet I wonder if this is what my husband secretly wishes or finds beautiful. I continue to dress nicely for me & by my definition… but I believe I have updated myself & improved while I wonder if he feels the same way. Does it matter, if I’m not supposed to be dressing for him anyway??

    Secondly, since I have started dressing prettier/nicer for everything (from the grocery store on up!), there have been times my husband has asked me if I mind him dressing down for an event (such as taking the kids to the park – for which I dress in nice jeans, cute shoes, a pretty & feminine top, all my makeup, a little perfume, and pretty earrings. He asks if I mind him wearing shorts and a T-shirt. I think maybe he is tired of being dressed nicely at work all day and wants to come home and put on a T-shirt. But regardless, I have been answering all *direct* questions with, “No, I don’t mind,” because I don’t feel its worth a direct confrontation… but I’m wondering why my indirectness isn’t working. Might you have thoughts on all this?

    Your Highness Anne,

    You may be expecting too much too soon. Indirectness takes time. Have patience. You can’t change a man; he has to see that he can make an improvement, something to accomplish. So, drop hints, plant seeds, reinforce all improvements, and drop all criticism.

    Here’s one example and you can develop a few of your own. Sometime when he’s dressing, find a way to say light-heartedly and off-handedly, “Men are never more handsome than when they dress to please their woman.” Repeat it as often as you can, and then reward him with your charm when he upgrades his appearance to a higher level. In effect, hold him up as the epitome of what you hope to see long before you’re able to see it. He should improve slowly. You don’t want to be trying to change him, just give him new thoughts that come to mind whenever he dresses. Leave the choice to improve up to him.

    Husbands want to please their wives. I say again, husbands want to please their wives. But men don’t want to be told HOW to please women. They want to figure it out themselves. This sentence strikes the right chord: Men are never more handsome than when they dress to please their woman.


    • Anne

      Thank you – in particular for the reassurance that husbands want to please their wives! The takeaway seems to be that the wife has to really perfect her indirect communication & not be in a hurry!

  2. Lin

    I just read Anne’s comment. Good question… I was wondering how can you get a man who has become too sloppy about his looks/grooming to do something about it. I dont mind a little bit of Tarzan in my man, but sometimes it does get too much.
    I’ve spoken to a few of my friends about this, some married, some living together and most have similar complaints, some too gross to write about here. The basic idea is that their men really let themselves go. Women dont like it, but have a tendency not to talk about it but inwardly resent their men for it.
    Men may be visual creatures but I think a lot of women, including myself, would love to have their man pay attention to the way theylook/ grooming/dressing up a bit.
    Any suggestions, Sir Guy, on how to use indirectness to address this issue with a man.

    Your Highness Lin,

    Every wife has or needs a rag bag. I’ll bet yours needs some new rags. Would hubby donate some of his older (and perhaps favorite) shirts for you to rip up and use for house cleaning? If he refuses, you’ve probably expressed your request too directly.

    Keep using the claim that I told Anne about: “Men are never more handsome than when they dress to please their woman.” Men want to please their woman, but they respond best to indirect invitations. They want their improvements to appear self-motivated because it enhances their sense of self-admiration. (Sorry if that’s too complex, but I don’t have the time to simplify it.)


    • Lin

      Oh Sir Guy, thank you. You explained it wonderfully! A man is never so handsome when he clarifies a dilemma of mine!

  3. mYstiQue

    One of the reasons IMO men have let themselves go, is that women arent as FEMININE ANYMORE. I live in Calif. And i notice how dull the colors are that women are wearing. Like ALWAYS IN BLACK even during spring and summer. Some even dye their hair black instead of softer colors (and these arent young women either) i was hoping polkadot type fabric in pretty pastels would come back in for this year instead of GOTH like fabrics for clothing. How about white buttondown sweaters instead of hoodies similar to 50s-60s. I notice they sell pretty fabric for quilts. It would be a good idea if some ladies would go to a vintage store and see what types of style they had, and modify it. Learn to sew.

    • fastergirl


      It’s so true that finding colors in clothing that are also flattering to your body and style is ridiculously hard and has been for years now! and I agree that one of the reasons is because the ‘serious’ colors are so popular because soft feminism has been demonized since the rise of Feminism.

      It took me many years to claim and love my feminine side and that pride and appreciation of it has grown immensely after having met my boyfriend. He is very vocal about what he wants in a woman and it has freed me from the shackles of having to be a tough female to function in the world. It’s been an exciting time in my life and it makes me laugh that it took a man to teach me how to be more of a woman! lol

      When I do find flattering styles with actual color, I waste no time grabbing them up!

      Your Highness Fastergirl,
      Re my response to your earlier comment, don’t be too eager for more affection. Be patient. Don’t in any way, shape, or form make him resent it, you, or being taken away from whatever he’s doing. Pick times when he’s not busy doing something. As you describe him, he may always be short on displaying the closeness you want. If car seat permits, sit closer and tickle his fancy a little.


  4. WOW! Sir Guy, i am simply gobsmacked! I had to read this whole thing from top to bottom a few times, because i couldn’t believe it!

    Especially this here: ‘His standards are lower than yours are—at least they should be—so it’s easy to exceed his expectations.’ The thing is, (most) women think that men judge them as other women would do…a high standard, merciless assessing, noting every little flaw and deducting points. Sometimes the differences in perception that men and women have are really surprising. The most minor things are interpreted differently by both genders!

    Thank you for this wonderful post!

  5. Miss A

    Sir Guy,

    Delightful post that makes me review my wardrobe instantly. My question is: do men mind seeing their girlfriend/wife dressed gorgeously, but with little variety? Or would he rather see variety (different ‘looks’ but not always gorgeous) than repetition? Women are probably affected by the media constantly directing our attention to new outfits.

    Your Highness Miss A,
    A woman’s taste runs more to variety than gorgeous, because she expects her man to view her as a woman would. Bad guess. A man’s taste runs quite differently. Satisfying eye-appeal gains his approval above all else.

  6. gonemaverick

    Priceless gem.

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