For some girls, a night out means going to town on their physical appearance. It is uncommon to see a girl who isn’t clad in a skimpy dress, wearing a full face of make-up and standing in the death traps we call high heels.

Admittedly, I’ve succumbed to this mindset, but after one sober night out watching drunken girls hobbling in their heels and constantly tugging at their dresses, it got me wondering why do we put ourselves through it?

The most obvious answer is to attract male attention. However, do the boys really care if we aren’t wearing full make-up? Would they prefer us in flats? Could the heels and short dresses be attracting the wrong attention?  I decided to conduct a social experiment and see if getting all dressed up is actually worth it.

My experiment entailed me going to the union dressed conservatively one night, and dolled up to the nines the next. I decided to go to Stupid Tuesday dressed conservatively, so I opted for flats, tights, a skirt and long top. Whilst I was comfortable with the clothes; I felt self conscious only wearing tinted moisturiser and mascara for a night out. I felt bare without the usual eyeliner and eye shadow in place and just not completely comfortable.

However, once in the union I didn’t care. It was heavenly to be in flats and be able to dance freely without fearing that I’d break my neck. In terms of male attention, I was approached quite a few times. Some were direct, but others were more discreet. Perhaps, in retrospect, what’s most notable about that night was that there was no ‘’over friendly’’ (lecherous) males approaching me. They were all quite respectful; a rarity in a nightclub many would agree.

The respectful attention I got is highlighted further after my next night out at Hey Ewe. Admittedly, it felt more of a night out being in a dress, massive heels and full make-up, but I had a far better time being dressed conservatively at Stupid Tuesday. Whilst my heels weren’t uncomfortable, I definitely preferred the ease of flats.

Also, the male attention I attracted at Hey Ewe wasn’t the attention I’d like to attract generally. The boys were much more touchy-feely this time, but what’s more interesting is that I got more attention the previous night. I even wondered if being dressed up would help me get served quicker at the bar – it didn’t.

Perhaps what baffled me the most about what I found out, is that I got significantly more attention on Tuesday. Hey Ewe is the Athletics Union’s night, so could it have been a case of the higher standards of the athletic elite?

I was so confused I looked for insight with my male friends. When I asked if guys prefer girls in heels, one replies ‘I don’t think most of us notice’, and another replied ’I wouldn’t approach a girl if she was taller than me in heels’ (You can’t say they aren’t straight to the point).

What I did realise after attending both nights out is that I preferred how I was dressed Tuesday as I could dance easily, and I didn’t worry about treading on someone’s toes or falling flat on my face.

It’s entirely possible that the amount of attention I got at Stupid Tuesday was because I looked so relaxed, or maybe it was the funky shapes I was throwing courtesy of my comfy attire. Either way, whilst it’s unlikely I’ll hang my heels up for good, I’ll definitely be seen shaking my thing across the dance floor in flats more often!


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