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Are We Turning Men Off With Our Style Choices? My Guy Friends Had Some Shocking Thoughts On The Latest Trends

By Andrea Mew··  10 min read
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Fast fashion brands and overnight TikTok trends have got women falling head over heels for quick, viral looks that disrupt traditional standards and make a bold statement. Well, whether we like it or not, the outfits we choose can say a lot about our personalities, status, wealth, tastes, and of course, our own self-perception.

I got curious and asked some of my guy friends what they thought about the latest womens’ trends rocking the markets in 2022, and they had some shocking opinions. Note: for the sake of their anonymity, I won’t be disclosing any of the guys' names or even using pseudonyms.

How Men Feel About Baggy Jeans

Whether they’re slouchy, baggy denim or extra loose trousers, ladies' pants trends have lately been a throwback to ‘90s and early 2000s fits. Baggy palazzos, cargo pants, and low-rise looks are back for revenge against the form-fitting skinny and slim fit pants that dominated the later 2000s and 2010s. 

My guy friends were skeptical about baggy jeans. Across the board, the baggier the pants got, the more guys felt they were a “no go.” The more holes and tears, the “trashier” a woman looks, according to a couple of the guys.

One went as far as to say that baggy pants aren’t cute at all on a woman, and that it signals that a woman is dressing just for herself and the opinion of other women, rather than striving to look her best with a mate in mind. 

In a similar vein, another guy expressed that some women who try out baggy jeans look disheveled or like they don’t know how to find clothing that's flattering for their body shape.

“It makes them look like toddlers wearing those baggy elastic pants. Not flattering: 0/10,” said one of the guys.

“It makes them look like toddlers wearing those baggy elastic pants. Not flattering: 0/10.”

More than a few felt turned off by all the extra fabric, with one of the guys connecting this recent trend to the JNCO jeans from the early ‘00s. To them, jeans with a bit more fit to them make a woman look sharper and smarter, and a slimmer, more form-fitting silhouette accentuates a uniquely feminine figure.

“This feels like women dressing for themselves and other women,” expressed one man about how these styles don’t exude “date-me” signals.

Women are finding themselves looking for more utilitarian, masculine trends, with the New York Times even claiming that fashion has reached the “end of gender.” Despite the newest trendy silhouette being, well, no silhouette, the verdict is in: men like a more form-fitting look. 

And hey, that can even be achieved by enjoying straight-leg jeans, mom jeans, or palazzo pants if you really like how they make you feel. Just be sure to cinch in the waist with a chic belt or tuck a fitted shirt into your pants for a more flattering shape.

How Men Feel About Oversized Tees As a Dress

The Editorialist said that “oversized shirts aren’t just for bedtime.” Most of the guys I surveyed disagree.

“It’s probably one of those outfits that work better casually wearing them at home,” explained one guy. “It’s not a dress, so it seems odd to not be wearing pants.”

“Most of these look like pajamas,” one guy noted. “It looks like what people wear to bed. Skip. Next.”

Loose, oversized shirts are a casual staple for many women. They’re simple, and we can snag one from our dad’s, boyfriend’s, or husband’s wardrobe. On that note, some men felt like it was “honestly pretty hot” when girls wore oversized tees without pants, but felt this way mainly when it was at home wearing a borrowed shirt or hoodie. 

Men felt like it was “honestly pretty hot” when girls wear oversized tees without pants at home.

A couple other men admitted that the trend is a turn-on because of how the relaxed-fit leaves “more to the imagination rather than her dressing skimpy.”

The ‘shirt dress’ actually orginated in the 1920s when women started rebelling against tight dresses and corsets. Ladies now will pair them with a belt to cinch in their figure or go full KarJenner and wear thigh-high boots in tandem. You might see them on the market called “maxi shirts.”

The general consensus on shirt dresses was that it’s hot at home but lazy in public, with some men confused as to why women would want to look like they forgot to put on pants entirely!

How Men Feel About Dresses with Cutouts

On the flip side of shirt dresses is the trend for dresses with geometric, creative cutouts. Oftentimes, these types of commercially available dresses are found in short, bodycon styles from “party girl vibe” brands like Princess Polly, Pretty Little Thing, Missguided, and Boohoo, but runways and red carpets showcase midis and maxis with unique cutouts as well. 

A couple of the guys expressed how hot they find it to be able to see more of a woman, but it’s notable that most of the men in favor of cutout dresses felt that it only works on a fit body type. One also expressed that since he associates dresses with a sense of formality, seeing large cuts or revealing holes can be a turn off to him.

“A woman in a well-fitted dress doesn’t need the holes to be attractive.”

“A woman in a well-fitted dress doesn’t need the holes to be attractive,” expressed one of the guys. Another one shared that showing too much skin can be “distasteful and too revealing” and that he would “prefer something more modest.”

It’s unsurprising to me that many of the men I spoke to felt like the dresses could make a woman seem less mature and teeter on the edge of being “slutty.”  

“Better to keep it a mystery,” said one man.

How Men Feel About Low-Rise Mini Skirts

Oh the low-rise trend. Whether it’s pants or skirts, when low-rise comes back into fashion, many women shudder at the idea of showing off their lower belly. Those anxieties are entirely valid. Anatomically, women tend to carry a bit of extra fat on their lower stomach regardless of their weight to cover our delicate organs.

We relished in high-waisted jeans, empire waist dresses, and skirts that cinched in our figures right above our belly buttons. But fashion is cyclical and low-rise is back on the market. 

It’s not just women who don’t find a low-rise look attractive, quite a few of the men I spoke with noted that it’s not hot because “it’s just not a flattering placement.”

The general consensus was that it’s not difficult to find a woman in a mini skirt desirable and sexy, but they all preferred a high-rise cut. That’s not to say that the men didn’t like a bit of midriff, but when mini skirts get more revealing is where we lose them.

“Women in normal length skirts show a lot of class and are probably more desirable in a dating sense.”

“Women in normal length skirts show a lot of class and are probably more desirable in a dating sense,” explained one guy who echoed similar sentiments to another who said that skirts are great as long as they’re tasteful in length.

This quick, but notable commentary on date-ability and skirt length sums up their overall thoughts: “Sure, low-rise mini skirts are in fashion now but wearing them doesn’t command respect or imply honor.”

How Men Feel About Ballet Flats instead of Heels

Sensible shoes are on the rise along with the trend for women to adopt more androgynous or masculine styles. When I asked my guy friends about women opting for low/no-heel footwear like ballet flats instead of heels, surprisingly most of them were in favor of ladies diversifying their shoe height.

Except for one. “Turn off,” he began, “flat shoes evoke too many teacher vibes.” 

I can’t say I’m surprised at all that he felt this way since teachers lean toward sensible footwear and, given their line of work, we’re definitely not supposed to find them sexy. 

That being said, many women feel that a good flat shoe can be very French girl-chic and be the perfect smart shoe for a long day at work. The guys I spoke with mostly felt this way as well, with one noting that he knows heels are “horrible for your feet and knees.” 

Two of the men I spoke with admitted that they don’t think much about women's shoes at all so they couldn’t care less what a woman puts on her feet. One added a caveat: “As long as she’s not wearing crocs, slides, birks, or slippers then I don’t really care.”

“As long as she’s not wearing crocs, slides, birks, or slippers then I don’t really care.”

“I honestly don’t spend much time looking at women’s footwear unless it’s very eccentric or flashy,” said one guy.

Another guy expressed his confusion about the need for heels at all, saying that he doesn’t “understand the need to appear taller when women are constantly wanting a taller man anyway.”

Despite this, many of the men praised how sexy women look in heels, especially for a night out. A lot can be said about how glamorous and feminine pumps can make you feel and, when choosing carefully, wearing them doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice comfort.

How Men Feel About Dad Sneakers

One lesson from the French girl playbook is that sneakers are definitely welcome in your fashion rotation, as long as they’re chic and understated. This trend is anything but that.

This ugly-goes-trendy look has been gaining popularity for a few years now, with the luxury market capitalizing on the novelty of really baffling, bizarrely-shaped sneaks. It’s taking retro fashion to an extreme and stripping sneakers of pretty much any feminine quality they had to begin with.

That being said, most of the women adopting the chunky tennis shoe trend lately have been rocking more subtle looks like Fila Destroyers or classic New Balances. How do men feel about it though?

Almost all of the men I spoke to are in support of the dad sneakers, so long as they’re not overdoing it.

“Some chunky sneakers are goofy as hell,” admitted one of the guys.

“Some chunky sneakers are goofy as hell.”

One man shared that he’s more of a casual dresser and often dons his own dad shoes, so he likes when women can be versatile and are able to dress up and dress down sneakers.

A few of the men emphasized that bigger sneakers are comfortable, with one saying that it “makes me like it more knowing the women aren’t in pain just to look good.”

There were two dissenting opinions. One man said they’re not to his taste whatsoever, comparing them to the baggy pants. Another lamented that dad sneakers are “disgusting” and that “no one should ever wear these, it looks like they’re in 4th grade all over again.”

A common thread through a lot of these comments on the trends – and particularly for the dad sneakers – is that trends often become overdone. “A lot of people think they’re really unique for wearing the old school dad sneakers, but at this point, they’re more common than more recent innovative styles.”

Closing Thoughts

In the words of one of my guy friends, “Classic styles will imply maturity and get you noticed more than anything in the modern ‘fashion’ lineup.” It can be a great deal of fun to try out a totally different style and accentuate your beauty with new looks, but trends are fleeting. 

If we want to exude confidence and attract a quality mate, we shouldn’t be forcing ourselves into trendy pieces which might be passé right away and actually turn men off. More often than not, men are attracted to a classic approach for beauty and can tell when we’re honestly embracing our femininity.

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