Love & Sex

Tools of Attraction: The First Day of Spring

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Coming out of a New York winter is cause for celebration.

Kari, 26

Cute dress!
Thanks, I actually just bought it on my way to work this morning. I was wearing a totally different outfit, a raincoat. I was overdressed. So when I was walking to work, I passed by Forever 21, saw this dress in the window, bought it, and put it on.

Are there any outfits at home you’ve been saving for spring?
Well, I gained some weight since last summer so I have some dresses I’m going to make into tops. I just bought a sewing machine. My ass has gotten bigger, so I’ll make them into crop tops.

So do you work in fashion?
No, I used to. I work at a law firm now. 

How have you had to adjust your style for the new job?
Well, I still don’t wear a bra to work. But I wear blazers now.

Why no bras?
They’re just uncomfortable. I find them unnecessary. 

Do people at work care? 
When I started there, I found out they referred to me as “the girl who doesn’t wear a bra.” But I guess now, they’re not so shocked by it. It’s a pretty conservative environment, but I refuse to dress that way.

So what would you wear on a date?
Something breezy, something that flows. I really like silk and chiffon. Lace. Layering different colors. 

Any spring trends that are a no-go?
Cut-off shorts. I still see them everywhere. It’s really annoying. I don’t like them.

Any dealbreakers when it comes to what your date’s wearing?
Yea, I don’t like men in flip-flops. Board shorts. Khakis. Anything with big pockets.

Wow, that was a quick answer.
Yeah, I’ve thought about this a lot. I just steer clear of guys who show their feet in public. 

Alexandra, 20, and Marshall, 21

So how did you guys meet?
A: At a party.

Who picked up whom?
M: It was sort of convoluted. We became friends. But her friend liked me, so it was a process. 

A: Let’s just say, I’m no longer friends with that person.

I like what you’re wearing. Would you say it’s a spring look?
A: Yeah, this shirt is. I mean, it’s transparent. 

Any spring looks you’re excited to break out?
A: I have a long nude skirt from American Apparel I’m excited to wear. 

M: Shorts. I’m excited to wear shorts.

We get a lot of strong opinions from women about men in shorts. A few even call it a dealbreaker. So I guess it doesn’t bother you?
A: No, I mean, he’s not wearing bootie shorts. That wouldn’t be a dealbreaker either, probably. 

There’s nothing you wouldn’t let him wear?
M: My assless chaps, maybe.

A: Or socks with sandals.

What about you, Marshall? Anything you don’t like her wearing?
M: I mean, when it gets really hot she gets a little too sexy for my taste. Provocative outfits, I mean, which I enjoy, but I just wish I was the only one who could see it. 

A: Aww.

M: I also hate hats on women. Hats on most people, actually.

A: I’m going to start wearing hats.

M: Cool.

Do you remember what you wore on your first date together?
A: Yeah, I remember what both of us wore. I wore this black t-shirt with a pink flamingo that said “Viva Mexico” and little black bootie shorts.

M: What was I wearing?

A: That white shirt with the stripe. I remember I had told you before I liked that shirt and I thought maybe that was why you wore it. 

So what’s the best way to stay cute when it gets really hot out?
A: Impossible.

M: I say embrace the sweat. Wear clothes you can get drenched in. 

Lizzy, 20 

I was disappointed by the lack of color out here today, until I saw you. 
I always wear disgusting amounts of color. Even in winter. I don’t like florals that much, so I don’t usually like shopping in spring, because there are too many flowers on everything. 

So what do you like for spring? 
Lots of colors. I don’t really believe in clashing. In high school when they would have that “mismatched” day, I didn’t know what to do. It was just a normal day.

How would you describe your look?
A lot of people say I look like a cartoon character and that’s totally cool. I guess I wear a lot of colors and solid prints, so I’m okay with that. 

Not to mention the hair, which is awesome.
Thanks. My sister does it. It was turquoise, then purple, then I got the mohawk and it was deep forest green. 

So is this your color for spring? 
Yeah. It was also like, “Let’s see what other bottles of hair dye we have lying around.” We had yellow so I thought, “What if we bought orange and made it fire colors?”

Do people ever use your hair as a way to try to pick you up? 
Yeah, definitely. Usually, it makes me happy, but sometimes… I mean you wouldn’t comment on the street that someone’s face is funny-looking. But hey, if I’m going to have a mohawk, it should be now. I don’t want to be sixty and feel like I never did anything interesting with my appearance. 

What about where you work? Is your hair a problem?
Well, I work at a middle school and the kids say funny things. One day I was wearing neon pink tights and one of my students called me a highlighter. So now my friends call me Highlighter.

What style attracts you to other people?
I’m really, intensely into androgyny. It’s something I strive for, but don’t pull off often. Like a guy with long beautiful hair, or girls with short, buzzed hair. Girls in suits and guys in feminine outfits.

Anything you’re excited to pull out of the closet now that it’s getting warmer?
I have a recent acquisition, a bowling shirt with shoulder pads. It’s very unattractive, and I’m very in love with it. There’s a lot of my mom’s stuff from the ‘80s I’m excited to wear. Everything I’m wearing today is hers, actually. She was in a disco band. 

Mai, 22, Adele, 19, and Ruby, 20

Did you guys dress for spring today?
M: I’ve been wearing black all winter, so I’m wearing lighter colors today.

R: Not so much for spring, but for the sun!

A: I was trying to look flowy.

Is there anything in your closet for spring you’re excited to wear?
M: I’ve got a pair of light blue high-waisted striped short shorts I was almost going to crack out today.

A: I have one dress I bought in the winter when I was in a spring state of mind, a retro ‘60s dress I got at a used store. It’s almost like a ‘60s school teacher dress, but I’m going to sauce it up a bit with a belt, and some wedges. Maybe chop off a few inches.

Ruby, you’re wearing a romper. What do you say to people who are anti-romper?
R: I say get with the times. They’re comfortable, loose, and if you’re wearing a short dress —

A: You can’t hop over fences as easily.

Do you guys do a lot of jumping over fences?
A: We do.

If you were going out on a first date, what would be your go-to outfit?
M: Well, today’s the first day I’m wearing trousers. I usually wear dresses. I’m not a feminine person, but I like to dress very feminine.

Are there any dealbreakers when it comes to what guys wear?
R: Flip-flops.

A: I don’t know, in the summer I don’t think it’s really fair for people to be restricted. A lot of the heat comes out of your body through your feet. You need to be open-toed sometimes.

R: Okay, cargo shorts then.

A: Yeah, cargo shorts. Or baseball caps, or flat-billed caps. Visors. Just get rid of caps. Fedoras are like “I play the piano for high school musicals.”

R: They remind me of Jason Mraz.

What about shorts on guys?
A: They’re okay. Medium length. Just not cargo shorts. You’re not in ‘Nam — take them off.

Is there any outfit you wear that you notice you get a lot more attention from guys in?
M: These jeans. My ass looks big in them.

R: Guys seem to like this high-waisted leather skirt I wear.

A: I notice I get more attention when I’m in my running clothes. But it’s usually creepy.

Is there any good way for a guy to compliment a girl on the street?
M: Compliment the outfit, not the ass.


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