Allies or Adversaries? All Is Fair in Fashion and Sex

Dear followers, I think its about time we've had THE talk. No no, I know you probably (hopefully) have already had that uncomfortable conversation with your parents and/or teachers, so this will be a different (but not entirely unrelated) talk. We're going to have a SATC moment and focus on the relationship between Carrie Bradshaw's two favorite things: fashion and sex. 

This is a subject I've been meaning to explore for some time, as my obvious love of fashion occasionally seems at odds with my interest in women and gender issues (I'm not ashamed to call myself a feminist, which a lot of people see as a dirty word nowadays). Though they seem like a match made in heaven, their complicated and often adversarial relationship is sometimes misperceived or overemphasized. Some view fashion as perpetuating the sexualization and degrading of women, while others see it as an important departure from pervasive cultural norms of female sexuality. While we are inundated with advertisements and editorials featuring highly sexualized women wearing next-to-nothing, is it possible that these ads also represent more of a freedom of expression for women embracing sexuality (or is it either)? And in a dating world where the LBD and Victoria's Secret lingerie reign as supreme symbols of sex appeal, isn't fashion's boundary-pushing introduction of new silhouettes and modes of dress constantly redefining and questioning standards of beauty and sex? Clever ladies like Leandra Medine of "The Man Repeller" have comically made light of such issues, joking that what fashion finds sexy is often a huge turn-off for almost everyone else. Though this debate will continue to rage on, here is my stylistic attempt at couple's counseling: reconciling the differences between fashion and sex while oversimplifying the matter down to same type of editorial images that got us into trouble in the first place. We should have these talks more often, no?

All Is Fair in Fashion and Sex
Part 1: Allies
Fashion can be just another means for a woman to feel sexy; we've all felt that little boost of confidence that comes from an outfit that makes us feel sexy and in control. As long as this comes from within (and not from an outward desire to please someone else), harnessing fashion's power of sex can allow women to turn objectification and sexualization around and into a form of self-expression. Striking this balance may take some trial and error, but it can most definitely be achieved!

A leather pencil skirt, a red lip, pulled back hair, and tons of jewelry. They may be technical no-no's for a first date (short dress, hair down, nude lip gloss, simple jewelry is usually the formula), but is a oui oui for a new kind of fashion sexy. 

Tell me, what is your take on the relationship between fashion and sex? Do you think they can work together for the betterment of women, are they essentially at odds, or are they working together to hurt women in the long run?

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