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What women really want men to wear

By Hugh Wilson
What women really want men to wear
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It’s the billion-dollar question when it comes to men’s fashion. What do women really - really - want us to wear?

And it's a question that needs to be asked because (to generalise just a tiny bit) women are first-class liars and first-rate diplomats.

For the sake of domestic harmony or a stress-free office they'll pretend to like all sorts of things they secretly detest, whether that's your endless supply of knock-knock jokes or your mystifying attachment to comedy cufflinks.

Does it matter? Well, yes, because though we can kid ourselves otherwise, the fact is that at least part of the reason we buy nice clothes is to impress girls, whether that means the female population generally, or just one particular member of it.

So, for the sake of an open dialogue between the sexes, we asked real women how they really wanted to see their men dress. And more controversially, how they most certainly didn't.

You may want to look away now.

Age before booty
The response from our interviewees was most deafening on one point. If you're 35, don't dress 19.

"Men with beer bellies and greying hair can't get away with super-skinny jeans," says Louise, 33, summing up the frustrations of a legion of women.

"I don't want my boyfriend to dress like an old man. But I certainly don't want him to dress like an idiot."

In fact, skinny jeans were a particular bugbear. According to top fashion blogger Natasha Guiotto(, "skinny jeans are hot if you've got the right bod but otherwise should be avoided at all costs."

Don't let yourself go
It's fair to say that many of us do not have the 'right bod' for skinny jeans. At the same time, all our correspondents wanted their men to dress stylishly, whatever their age. Crisp, timeless fashions were in. Refusing to make an effort was most definitely out.

"My partner has pretty much given up on clothes and just wears the same old things: faded jeans, dark T-shirts and shapeless sweatshirts," says Anne, 29. "He's only 36. Sometimes I really would like him to make an effort."

For husbands and boyfriends who have hit 35 (or 30, or 40) and given up on fashion the message is clear. Nobody expects you to dress like a model, but your women do expect you to take some pride in your appearance.

And that goes double for special occasions. Even if you're not a glad rags sort of guy, romantic nights out with girlfriends and wives should be the exception. And remember, a man in a good suit - if only every now and then - still has the power to turn female knees to jelly.

"Nothing beats a man in a suit, 007 style, and they always bag the girl," says Natasha Guiotto. "And is it any wonder when they look that good?"

But, women are nothing if not contrary. They want us to be stylish and they want us to know how to dress for an occasion. But they don't want it to look as if we've tried too hard.

"There is actually nothing worse than a man who looks like he's tried too hard," says Hazel, 33.

"I like men who dress functionally. It's actually better to see a man looking confident and comfortable than like he can't sit down properly or walk in his shoes."

And that's the point. Make an effort, but don't try to be someone you're not. If your outfit of choice is jeans and a T-shirt, splashing out on designer knitwear is probably a mistake. But make sure they're nicely fitting jeans and it's a half decent T-shirt.

If all that's a bit confusing, don't worry. We have an article devoted to the tricky subject of looking good without looking like you've tried.

Don't label yourself
And it follows on that many women don't want us to be covered in the logos of designer brands.

Yes, wearing a shirt that has the name of your favourite designer emblazoned across the chest might prove that you have the money to afford expensive clothes. But splashing cash is no substitute for genuine style.

"Over-branded clothing is a real no. Yes, you might be proud that you're wearing this or that designer but if it fits nicely and looks good we don't need to see the label on everything," says Natasha Guiotto.

Anne agrees. "I hate that 'look at me' attitude that some men have, with huge designer labels sticking out everywhere. That really is trying too hard. A bit of subtlety is classy."

Be classy, be subtle and be you. Now that's advice we can work with.

What are the best style tips for us guys? Have your say below.

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User comments
They never ask women their opinions or do any 'surveys' with these articles. It's just one person writing it, most probably a male.
Um i think tight jeans aren't good looking at all!!!! i perfer a baggy style (low ridden)....with a tall tee
As i said,some women like blokes with goatys & beards,some women like long hair & some like the faded bald look,every one is different.The whole fashion world doesn't seem to mind the way David Beckham looks,some would say he dresses to young for his age,sometimes crazy hair cuts & lots of stubble.And you can't say well he's David Beckham-he's just a footballer,Wayne Rooney is more famous than him now & all the footballers in the UK are rich.Ive never seen anyone really dressed up in suits when they are out to dinner & when ive been to the Casino ive hardly seen anyone there in a suits either.Ive seen real hot looking women out with blokes dressed how i dress at home.So its got nothing to do with the look really,and a lot of women have told me i'm a bit of alright & i dress cool ,those women weren't interested in me,no matter how i look or dress.When you meet someone you like you don't see all of that stuff,its the chemistry & the connection & similar interests,the eyes & smile.
I don't know wether you were knocking me about the skate shoes,but Vans are also a surf brand,they own the place on the Beach at Pipeline-Hawaii,Vans casual shoe is smarter than a pair of converse,and everyone dresses according to what they are into,what there interests are & revolve around,example someone into country music & the scene will no doubt dress that way,many surfers wear surf brands no matter what age,some of the money goes to surf aid from certain labels.Some one Gothic & into metal will dress that way,Hip-Hoppers will dress that style no matter what age,cus if you didn't know it isn't new its been around since the late 70's-Guru from Gangstarr famous rapper from NY died recently of cancer,he was 43,he didn't dress like that for music video's,thats how he was.Bootleg jeans have gone if you didn't know as well.So have the baggy jeans-unless you live in the ghettos of Atlanta.Then you went on about stubble & kissing,some women like goatys & beards.
WEAR CLOTHES THAT FIT! no pants hanging off the bottom of your *** (a total turn off completely - sloppy, lazy and you look like your torso is longer than your legs are), no super baggy pants - we like looking at cute butts too! no sloppy t-shirts or any shirts for that matter that are too big - shirts that are too big just make you look sloppy and lazy, not to mention they usually make you look fatter. remember how you like womens clothes to fit to show her curves but not so skin tight that you see any loose skin or.... toe...? we like to see a little of how your body is shaped too. not skin tight of course but enough to get us curious!
Make an effort to dress your age, heard the saying for women "Mutton Dressed as Lamb" well same thing goes for Men, yes you might be comfortable in a hoodie and Jeans with Logos emblazoned all over your designer clothes but you can also be classy with minimal effort, a great pair of good fitting Jeans, No! not tight ones either but a good old classic boot leg cut with a nice belt and fitted T.Shirt if you're not the suit type, decent shoes not Skate board shoes that should be on your average 14 yr old either especially if you are going out for dinner, & Shave! nothing worse than going out with 2 day stubble & expect to be kissed by your date or partner, & God Forbid if you turn up with your underwear showing above your jeans or worse your pants hanging down past your groin like you have nappies on underneath, I am so over the lame excuses. I don't do suits or I feel like a dick in this, a little effort goes a long way, 20+ yrs later he is stil learning to dress appropriately.
I like casual but nice. A nice pair of Blue Jeans and a nice Black top would suit me just fine. Its all about the hair!!! A nice hair cut with sum product! I hate the whole metro thing no Salmon coloured tops or straight leg jeans! Just doesnt do it for me. So pretty much a down to earth guy who doesnt think hes the hottest guy on the planet lol.
Most places you go these days,just require a casual dress code,someone would look weird in a expensive suit at The Mexican Caf'e in Auckland.Even Night clubs are dressed down cus of the dance scene,if you got some good jeans-say Levis red tab-wrangler-element etc,a good Tee[fitting],with something on it,,most have some sort of mural on the front,a good jacket,plenty of those around at the mo,vans casual sports shoes or casual sports shoe from footlocker[not trainers] are made,you can go anywhere,if you wear a shirt make sure its slim fitting & wear it out,don't tuck it in,you could wear the same jeans & jacket,wear a shirt & black shoes instead of T & vans,and youve changed the entire look.The other thing i see plenty of blokes with attractive women at westcity on a late night & the boyfreind is dressed like he's been to the op shop.Yes i agree,don't wear skinny jeans,leave them for the Emos-Punk rockers & the young gay blokes.
I reckon its nothing to with age how you dress,many surfers wear & dress surfer style,esp places like The Goldcoast & California coast line & Hawaii,even surfers here in NZ.Ross Clark Jones & Tom Carrol the famous big wave surfers,wear hoodies & surfer style gear,ie Quicjksilveer etc,they even wear beanies & they are in there mid forties,look em up on yourtube,many of the Old Skool Hip-Hop originators like Grandmaster flash who is in his mid 50's & still DJ' ing dresses New York hip hop style.And most guys would look like real twits going out in a suit these days,the last time i wore a suit was at a funeral .Ive just reached 50 but beleive me i pass for about 38 & im very young in my ways,i was a breakdancer all through the 80's & listen to George FM,underground beats,Jazz,dub,drum & bass,house etc...age has nothing to do with how you dress,its life style,everyone knows i'm a surfer,i like the clothes esp Quicksilver slim fit Tees,i like hoodies as well.Barkers is my other favourite
Just go casual and forget the ritzy crap. Most women like a down to earth man with firm morals more than some wanker coin thrower that's trying to pull a lay.