Clothes women like but men hate

Rachel WernickeFashion 35 Comments

I spend a lot of time talking clothes, shopping with the girls, flipping through style magazines, critiquing gossip magazine fashionistas and writing about girly stuff.

I feel like I know what my girls, friends, family and neighbours like to wear.

But what about clothes women like but men hate?

I decided to take a risk and ask my husband, a few male friends and a couple of butch looking, random strangers the big question:

What don’t you like to see women wearing?

I thought the answers would be along the lines of:

Clothes (ha, ha) 

High necklines (another way of saying, show us your boobs)

Boyfriend jeans (another way of say show us your bum)

Too much makeup (because they always think their girlfriend is a natural beauty – ha!)

But I have analysed the results of the interviews and come up with a very distinct impressions of what men don’t like:


Platforms, gladiator sandals, wedges, “hoof-like” heels and anything that looks uncomfortable are out. I’m surprised the wedges made the out list and almost every shoe I own looks uncomfortable. This must just leave thongs, runners and bare feet on the acceptable list.

Clothes women love but men hate | uncomfortable heels | illustration: Rachel Wernicke


They like hair. It doesn’t seem too matter if it’s long, medium, short, wavy or straight but as long as it’s not super short and covered in a rainbow of un-natural colours. Considering un-natural colours were mentioned a few times, I’m surprised that most were okay with hair extensions. It can be fake but look sort of natural. Err, okay

Clothes women love but men hate | rainbow hair | illustration: Rachel Wernicke


Must fit and not appear to be comfortable. They really don’t like seeing people squeeze into clothes too small or swamped in clothes that are too large. One of the men interviewed was squeezed into ladies, skinny jeans. I wonder if he clocked the irony.

It makes them feel uncomfortable seeing people wearing something obviously uncomfortable. The lesson here is, wait until you have the privacy of a bathroom before you correct a wedgie.


Natural looking or even a little heavy handed is okay but they just don’t want to see foundation lines, lipstick on teeth or obvious makeup mistakes. False lashes got a pass but only if they don’t look too fake. Fake tan is also okay too, as long as it’s not too dark or orange. So once again, fake is okay if it looks slightly natural.


Clean and unbitten. Nail polish is fine but nail art seemed a little confusing. Fake nails are perfectly acceptable, as long as they aren’t too long.

Clothes women love but men hate | chipped nail art | illustration: Rachel Wernicke


The men interviewed aren’t that concerned about what we wear as long as we don’t take them shopping to pick it.

They don’t mind if you are head to toe with “natural” faux-ness,  as long as they don’t have to hang out at the salon while we do it.

They are just happy if you are ready on time when it’s time to go out, you look clean and you’re smiling.

I must admit I was a little disappointed, my list on what I don’t like on men is about five pages long!

Do you give a flying fig what your partner thinks of what you wear? Or do you just take it as a sign to wear more of the stuff he vocally claims not to like?

rachel wernickeIn October 2011, Rachel started as a place to write about and photograph the things she enjoys. Redcliffe Style is a light-hearted blog about finding style in the suburbs. She also writes about beauty, life and blogging. Illustrations also by Rachel Wernicke.

Comments 35

  1. Great post! I think men like women to look feminine. I know my husband prefers me in a dress/skirt. He likes natural, feminine-style make-up, and not too short hair cuts, which suits me fine with all of the above. I think men like “good health” – e.g. clean teeth, no pimples, smelling fresh and eating (reasonably) healthy. I think we like the same of men!

  2. I enjoyed this and have seen similar type questions posed to men and their answers are interesting.
    I think its respectful to consider what your partner loves or hates – but you compromise out of love and respect – but you still do your thing within reason.

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  4. Genius post, Rachel! I can’t imagine your lovely husband having too many issues with the gorgeous way you dress, though!

  5. What a great post! it seems men like ‘enhanced natural’ and they don’t want to know it’s enhanced, hmmm. I agree that wedges and platforms are the devils work. I won’t even tell you what my husband wants me to wear, but I think I need to know who was the male in the ladies skinny jeans, ha ha!

  6. One of the reasons I caught my husbands eye was because of my feminine style. He loves when I wear a dress. but I don’t dress for him. I dress for me. My hubbie has never said he doesn’t like me in wedges. Will need to ask him tonight. Great post! X

  7. I can relate to this: my partner used to insist he preferred no makeup, but came to realise (with my help, haha) that he actually prefers a ‘natural’ look (which often involves makeup!). He also has a penchant for dresses/skirts, which I am happy to indulge if it suits me. Really, he just prefers a feminine look, without being over the top, which is me anyway. I do like to go to a bit of effort, even when travelling. We’re long distance at the moment and he says my toiletries take up more space than all his past partners PUT TOGETHER. 🙂

  8. I’m not quite sure how I got here (I’m about as fashionable as a 1980s secondary mathematics teacher – though his style may well be a la mode these days) but it was well worth the read. I agree with the research … wedges are only good for dipping in sweet chilli sauce.

  9. This gave me a good giggle! My husband can’t stand wedges, although I keep buying them in the hope he’ll just get over himself. He also doesn’t like maxi dresses, which I have to agree with him – for me, they just don’t work. He can never tell whether I have makeup on or not (I should probably take him to get his eyes checked), he doesn’t care whether my hair colour is brown, blonde or a combination of both but I can tell he likes it with length. My husband is a pretty simple creature when it comes to my fashion choices!

  10. Very funny! Love the picture. My husband isn’t really interested in my general style, but once on the phone I mentioned I was on my way to get my hair cut & I was going short, we hung up the phone then he immediately rang back with ‘how short?’… short is ok, but not short-short.
    ~ Jodi

  11. This is too funny Rachel,I think men do like our fakeness or Fauxness as long as they do not have too see what goes on to achieve it and also I think they would love us to look sexy at all times but around here that aint going to happen and they also like nice lingerie,especially g strings and uncomfortable nickers.I really don’t give a flying fig what my husband likes or not but he really never says you look horrible in that ,when I ask him if I look nice he says yes you look fine,not really an answer but if another man comments how nice I look ,like one of his friends ,he has a look and does a mental “yes she is my wife” and has a little smirk.I really don’t think they look at us they way we look at other women Great Post Rachel!

  12. Who cares what men think? Most hetrosexual men are dressed by their wives, girlfriends. The moment you dress for men’s approval is the moment you have given away your personal self worth. Do what’s right for you.

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