On Aesthetics & Attraction

There are certain people who make the world better just by being in it. My bestest lady, G, is such a one. She’s the best combination of hilarious and down-to-earth, an observant listener and an excellent participant. She’s understatedly brilliant, and just all around my favorite person. Which makes it easy to spend two hours on the phone with her, chatting about everything from the absurdity of Colorado weather to love and relationships.

Which brings me to the topic at hand (sorry G, this isn’t actually an ode to you). Relationships. More specifically, attraction. Even more specifically, a guy’s wardrobe. I don’t do the Top 50 Qualities My Future Husband Needs To Possess lists – at least not in the way most girls do. I have very few nonnegotiables, which makes me feel a little more well-rounded than most. But when I mention that the way a man dresses is one of those nonnegotiables, people look at me like I’m crazy.

G and I talked about this at length today. I said that a well-clothed man was most definitely in my top three. She said it was more of a bonus for her and less of a necessity. [The nice thing about G and I’s relationship is how different yet compatible we are.] I mean, can I help the fact that when a well-dressed man walks into the room, I’m unable to focus on the proper formation of thoughts or words? I can’t, in fact.

It’s less about body type or fitting into a stereotypical look, like the hipster, or the working guy, or the mountain man. (I find all three attractive, in case you were wondering). For me, putting together an outfit is just as enjoyable as writing music – it’s a creative outlet, one that let’s me express who I am through what I put on my body. That’s how I observe people too. I like to think that I can almost accurately decipher a person’s personality based on what they’re wearing, most especially their shoes. If you wear chacos, I immediately think, “Here’s another outdoorsy acquaintance to add to the list.” If you’re wearing a pair of these, I immediately have a crush on you. I fall asleep thinking about what I’ll wear the next day (and what I’ll eat for breakfast). Sometimes, I stand in my new walk-in closet and giggle with joy, because all my clothes are hanging neatly, and are color coordinated. Seriously, that makes me happy.

So is it so incredibly shallow to want a man who values his aesthetic enough to put effort into it? And maybe even enjoy it? Shouldn’t you want to spend the rest of your life with someone you’re attracted to in more ways than just their amazing heart? People always say in response, “Well, you can always change him once you’re in a relationship!” That, I think, is pure madness. If you don’t like who a person is before you start dating them, then you shouldn’t date them. Period. Otherwise, you’re dating your imagination and not the real person in front of you.

Lest you think me completely superficial, my other nonnegotiables include things like being a man who values quiet and space, and being a man with vision and ambitions not just to better himself but the world around him as well. These are the things I’m the most drawn to, but in equal amounts I’m drawn to the guy who can look crazy good without my help much more than I’ll ever be attracted to the total sweetheart over there in chacos. I just want us to look good while we change the world together.

My mom thinks I’m shallow. My friends think I’m just being funny. What do you think? Shallow or legitimate?

P.S. The one exception is being a reader. If you look amazing and don’t like to read, I want nothing to do with you.

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2 thoughts on “On Aesthetics & Attraction

  1. I understand wanting a man to care about his appearance. I know that I don’t want a slob. I don’t think it is shallow as long as you care about what is inside as well. It is not the most important thing to me, but I know that when my crush dresses a little nicer I take extra notice. But I love the way he dresses other times because he has the confidence to pull off what he wears. (Honestly, the man does have style.) I think a guy who is able to own his own style, regardless of whether I like it or not, is much better than a well-dressed guy who thinks he looks hideous. Confidence is the best accessory. And I definitely agree about the whole changing someone once you start dating. It just seems weird and if you really like someone you should like them for who they are when you start dating, not who they can become.

    • “Confidence is the best accessory.”

      I love that. And I think you’re right, too. Although, some people own their style very proudly and it still doesn’t make it any more attractive 🙂

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