Data Journalist

Women are three times more likely than men to prioritise 'making their body look attractive' when deciding what to wear

Making an effort with our appearance can serve all sorts of purposes: showing professionalism at work, fitting in at a social occasion or simply to boost self confidence.

New YouGov Omnibus research asks Britons what they're taking into consideration when they choose what to wear, whether they want people to notice they’ve made an effort, and whether they’ve ever felt that others were a little too opinionated about their appearance.

Women are twice as likely to think they've been judged for how much effort they put into their looks - but men are twice as likely to say it was their partner who judged them

One in three Brits feel they've been judged for how much effort they made with their looks.

Women are twice as likely as men to have felt judged for putting too much effort into their looks (12% vs 6%). They are also slightly more likely than men to feel they've been judged for putting in too little effort (26% vs 21%).

Still, among those who have felt judged for their appearance, men are almost twice as likely as women to say it was their partner who judged them (29% vs 17%).

Women are slightly more likely than men to feel they've been judged by a stranger (44% vs 37%). 

Younger respondents are significantly more likely than older respondents to feel they've been judged by every given option, except for a partner or date.

Women are three times as likely to prioritise making their body look attractive when choosing what to wear

When asked what the biggest influence on what they wear was, the most common response among both genders was “being comfortable”. Men were - perhaps unsurprisingly - slightly more likely to say this, at 45%, as opposed to 35% of women.

A third of both genders feel that looking appropriate for their social setting is the priority (33% of men and 37% of women).

But women are three times as likely as men to say making their body look attractive most influences their choice of what to wear (10% vs 3%).

Young people are significantly more likely than average to choose what to wear based simply on how much they like the pattern and design of their clothes (30% vs 13% in the national average) and less likely to be concerned about looking appropriate for their social setting (23% vs 30% in the national average).

One in four people really don’t want you to tell when they’ve made an effort with their appearance

Half of women (48%) say they want people to notice when they make an effort with their looks, compared to just a third of men (32%).

A third of women (32%) and four in ten men (40%) say they don't mind whether people notice, saying “I dress for myself”. Those aged over 55 are twice as likely as 18 to 24 year olds to express this opinion (42% vs 22%), perhaps showing that we grow more self-assured as we age, or less concerned by what others think of us

A quarter of men (23%) and a fifth of women (20%) say they would “probably” or “definitely” prefer that others couldn't tell they'd made an effort.

Photo: Getty

See the full results here

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