So Valentine’s Day passed and you spent it with your girlfriends. You lament the dearth of men in Singapore, or that you’re just not getting the attention you so rightly deserve. (Of course you do!)
Fear not, help is on the way. A tongue-in-cheek guide to things that catch the fancy of the vast majority of our fine species of men here in Singapore – and more importantly, how to up your game.
1. Keep your hair long. And I mean, super long.
Singaporean men love long hair.In fact, I will go as far as to say that most of them hate short hair on a woman.
I experienced this myself when I lopped off my locks last year. To be fair, more women liked my long hair better, but a good number said they preferred my short hair as it looked ‘fresher’, made me look more ‘spunky’ and that it looked ‘cuter’ with more volume.
The response from men though, was more than encouraging. My then-business partner gave me a most complimentary (and unsolicited) ‘yuck’; sports buddies asked if I had lost a bet, and still others asked why I wanted to make myself ‘look ugly’. Thank goodness for a healthy ego sense of self esteem.
It is evident in girls whom men find hot as well. Dawn Yang has never been seen without her signature head of waist-length, tumbling curls; Tammy Tay, the pretty blogger has always kept almost waist-length locks.
In fact, almost every social media star in Singapore sports long (at least shoulder-length) or super long hair.
In the world of K-pop, this is even more evident. With the exception of the very charismatic Gain from Brown Eyed Girls, every single one of these K-pop beauties have super long hair. And Singapore men love them for it.
So save money on those haircuts. It’s not the shape or the latest hair colour that will turn Singaporean men’s heads, but the long, flowing overgrown locks.
2. Forget street style; work the girl-next-door look
So you spend good time and money trying to work the layered look, boyfriend jeans, excessive arm candy, Jeffrey Campbell shoes (stop with those already! See my previous story on looking cool for 2014) and what-not. However, the look Singaporean men love is actually that of the ‘girl-next-door’.
This means ‘simple’ outfits like jeans and a tank top, denim cut-offs and a T-shirt or a pretty, casual sundress. Skip the heavy makeup as well, and the overly ‘done’ hair. Sweet and simple does it. Take your cue from Felicia Chin and Beatrice Tan. Ask any Singapore man what they think of these beauties – I am sure they rank high on their lists! (Yes, we ladies are on to the fact that men like to rank and list – everything.)
A word of caution when attempting to look ‘girl-next-door’: men say they love the ‘natural look’; the ‘no makeup’ look, the ‘just out-of-bed’ look – except they have no idea this look takes effort to achieve!
I have a good male friend who is crazy about Jessica Alba. Which is perfectly normal (hey, even I find her hot!), except that he says he likes her because she’s so ‘nice’ and ‘natural’. Erm, no hating, girlfriend, I’m sure she is a good person, but I’m sure he deduced that by all the hours spent on the phone with her.
The fact is, he thinks she looks like a ‘sweet girl’, a ‘girl-next-door’, and has hence decided that she must be a really nice person. Go figure. Also, she keeps her makeup shades natural and her skin glowing with the help of bronzers and illuminating powders (no shame in that; I use the same tricks!). But he insists she doesn’t have any makeup on. Ah. Gotta love the naivety of the male species.
It’s time to put those blue shadows, red lipsticks and thick, black eyeliners to rest, and to stock up on BB creams, bronzers and shimmer powders. Basically, the rule of thumb here is to throw out makeup that looks like you’re wearing makeup, and to buy makeup that will make you look like you are not wearing any makeup.
3. Or try the OL look
There’s a reason Serina Wee found herself legions of male fans everywhere, including one Rockson Tan.
She rocks (slight pun intended) the OL look to a tee. The Office Lady look or what some detractors of this look (usually people who are lucky enough to be able to dress casually to work) call this the ‘Corporate Rat’ look.
Since Singaporeans spend the majority of their time at work, there’s no wonder there is a fashion blog devoted entirely to chronicling style in Shenton Way and other business districts (shentonista.sg). Even if you don’t work in the business district, and/or your school/office doesn’t require you to work the look, you may want to consider springing for some classic OL pieces that will get you noticed by the Singapore male.
It could be the slight ‘teacher’ connotation, because Kim Kardashian made them look really sexy or because they cling to curves without actually revealing anything (face it, men are pretty literal and not great with subtlety), but the pencil skirt is a hit with the fellas.
Again, anything that clings to curves is considered hot. The average Singapore male is also pretty conservative and traditional, so obvious cleavage or show of skin is usually considered ‘too much’. A knee-length, office-appropriate dress – just ignore the fact that it is so tight you can barely breathe – coupled with power heels, will usually turn quite a few heads.
4. If all else fails, little-girl-lost ALWAYS works
I am not exactly sure why this is, but it seems the average Singapore male prefers their woman helpless – and to look the part, as well.
I am not sure if this stems from the fact that many Singapore men grow up with overprotective mothers, leaving them feeling somewhat emasculated, that having a partner who ‘needs’ them leaves them feeling more of a man.
You tell me. All I know is that many men find an intelligent, opinionated woman rather intimidating.
Fret not though, if you are one of those women (how DARE you be intelligent and opinionated?!), there is hope for you yet. Rather than trying to dumb down, you could try dressing the part to serve as a hook.
i) Try to make your eyes appear as large as possible
Fake eyelashes are your best friend.
Stick them on daily. Never mind that they feel like your eyelids weigh a ton, or that they sometimes come off a little at the sides by midday. Snuffleupagus is your inspiration.
So too iris-enlarging contact lenses that make your pupils look dilated. There is a more natural way to achieve this look, but I won’t go into that in this post…
ii) Try to work the ‘baby face’ look.
If you have a high forehead that you have always been conscious of, because you were called luo han in school, maybe (true story) – now is your time to shine. High foreheads purportedly give you a more youthful, baby-like look.
If you weren’t blessed with said luo han forehead, you could try shaving your hairline to make it look higher (I heard Kin Kardashian did this – don’t quote me and sue me if the results turn out disastrous).
I hear grafting fat from your legs to your cheeks also does wonders in achieving a more youthful mien. Ask Qiu Qiu. You can also look to Rachell Tan and Naomi Neo as inspirations for the ‘baby-faced’ look.
Otherwise, hold out for a man who loves you for just being you. (Short hair, small eyes, sloppy dressing and short temper – everything.) Such a gem is out there, I promise.
He’s just hidden under his football jersey, receding hairline, baggy jeans and beer belly.
For more tips on what men want, hear it from our own homeboys here.
Top photo from Jade Seah.