I have just returned from an evening at an old fashioned club that has retained some of its charm, despite the best efforts of various venal elements who at various times in the past have attempted to 'commercialise' the place.
I was with a friend, his wife and his over-energetic two year old son, who incidentally, has the makings of a fine sportsman. He is a bundle of energy who loves running around in the open spaces of the club grounds.
My friend's wife, clearly exhausted by the antics of her son, mentioned that she liked coming to the club because it was peaceful and there was a lack of female competition. She said she felt she could come as she was, implying she did not feel the need to dress up a bit, because there was no competition around.
I have heard before that women feel the need to dress up not to impress men but to impress, or at least look better than, other women. Perhaps this is why Sri Lankan law firms, with a female to male ratio of 10:1 (or worse, I know of one place were a lone man works with 20 women), tend to have the most fashionably dressed women around? I used to think it came from an overdose of American television serials like Street Legal but perhaps there is something more subtle and evolutionary at work here.
In the case of men , when they do bother, I think dressing up is more about impressing women than anything else.