he said, she said: the lion, the bitch, and her wardrobe

Stephanie Klein: Putting the Tragedy into Greek Tragedy

It was date night, so I put in a little effort. Effort meaning a shower. Little meaning shaving the wee bits. I dabbed on lotion and rifled through the closet for a date-worthy outfit. You know, the ensembles featured in magazines that focus on bringing you from day to night. Maybe I wasn’t magazine spread worthy, but certainly, I was spread-worthy. It would be a fun night out at Olivia’s on South Lamar.

I planned on applying makeup in the car and hoped my hair would air-dry. I’d continue working until he was ready to go. But when Phil saw me for the first time, in my brown dress, he made the face one makes when they’re told they’ve just consumed an animal’s testicle. Normally, I’d meet that look with a hint of panic, adding a "What? What’s wrong?" But I wasn’t going there. I was happy with my choice, and I didn’t want to hear what he thought was wrong with what I was wearing. Instead of entertaining any of it, I said simply, "Don’t be honest."

"Well, you’re the one who has to wear it," he said. So, I walked to the kitchen, grabbed a cast iron skillet, and whacked him upside the head. "If you’re happy wearing that, then, well, I guess that’s all that matters."

"Normally, I’d care, but I’ve given up. I don’t even want to know what you think is wrong. Let’s just go, shall we?" And so we did.

grecian stephanie klein web

But in the car, I did wonder, what did he think was wrong? Do I look like a lard-ass in this? I thought. I opened the glove compartment hoping to find a wand of mascara. There hadn’t been time for makeup, and once we were in the car to go, I couldn’t run back upstairs and start the great hunt for the products, so to hell with it. "You don’t need makeup," he said, knowing exactly what I was up to as I rummaged. "You’re beautiful."

"Thank you, honeybell. But I know where you’re going with this… let me guess… if only my outfit didn’t put the tragedy into Greek Tragedy."

"You said it."


"All I can say is MEDIEVAL FEST."

A YEAR AGO: Gender Similarities
2 YEARS AGO: Mothering
5 YEARS AGO: Cinque Terre



  1. Cute picture and cute post! I definitely agree that women do dress for other women. I do think you’d further rock the dress in another color- like a green or green/blue.

  2. On the positive side, at least you know what Phil doesn’t like. I have found out months later after wearing a top or w/e a gazillion times that my husband hates it.

    I like your dress. You look cute and appropriately date attired.

  3. Phil must not have listened when his mother told him not to say anything if he had nothing good to say. Or perhaps she never shared that advice. Of course I’m only seeing a slightly angled view, but from where I sit, you look damn good…..and I subscribe to the above adage.

    1. Author

      Thank you. I will admit, though, that it’s just a very flattering angle. That is clearly the way one needs to stand in such a photo. Not full on, but angled to the camera. I guess the point is, though, that I felt good in it despite the fact that I knew he disproved of it so much.

  4. I think you look beautiful and super-skinny. Maybe those medieval chicks were onto something ;-)

  5. Love this post! It so reminds me of something my husband would say.. Men just don’t “get” fashion. You look beautiful!!

  6. I think you looked beautiful; but I always do think so from your photos. Although, its what we each think of ourselves, and blah blah blah.
    I hope you had a great date night!

  7. Did you find Olivia’s deserving of being listed as one of the best new restaurants in America?

  8. What did you think about Olivia? I have been wanting to check it out, but the reviews are so mixed. I LOVE Zoot and Wink, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to visit Zoot’s new location. Parkside has great blue points, plus half price oysters and champagne on Wednesday.

  9. Kind of 80s retro, which I love. Made me think FLASHDANCE immediately. Plus? You look hot in it. Win-Win.

  10. You look great and it looks as if you’ve lost a lot of weight :-) Great going!

  11. you look good in that dress.

    i think you’re definitely onto something…ignore criticism…you’re an adult and owner of a mirror…you know what looks good on you. take the wind out of his sail and learn not to count on his praise…he’ll learn!

  12. Men seem to think the only consideration that goes into dressing is “flattering”. Namely, “flattering to the male eye.” I can see how they might get that idea from some of the drivel in the media, but really, it’s not all about them :p

  13. You look great in that dress!! I wish I were confident enough to go out to dinner with wet hair and no makeup. Phil was wrong to suggest that your dress was unattractive, but he was right when he said you are beautiful.

  14. You look fabulous!
    If I were you, there would be a dirty sock at the ready for when he says anything but how gorgeous you are!

  15. I’m listening to you on the radio right now and wishing I knew you in 2003. As it is, it would be awesome to have you come hang out on my deck and help me figure out over mojitos how to do all the fantastic things I keep saying I want to do with my life.

    I’ll get off the fawning fangirl soapbox now.

  16. Yeah I have a khaki dress that I adore, especially with some rockin’ heels, and a statement bracelet. My sig.oth. calls me Safari Caryn when I wear it. I just prefer to think he is fantasizing about bedtime role play. So mayhaps Phil is really into the Robin Hood thing? I still maintain you look rockin’.

  17. It’s a cute dress for daytime, and it looks great on you, but I agree it’s not a date dress, and truly, this might be the weird X factor–I’ve never met a man on this earth who likes women in the color brown. Have you?

  18. You look absolutely stunning and oh so thin-terrific! What more could a husband ask for?

  19. I think you look great. I totally empathize on the man not getting it though. I remember meeting up with my man at a party a while ago wearing something that I always get complimented on and thinking i looked fabulous. I was complimented AT the party by a number of women and when we got home I mentioned something about his secretary looking at me funny and he says: “That’s because that thing you were wearing was hideous”. Huh?
    LOVE the shoes! Where are they from????

  20. Lol at michelle’s post. Agreed me too.

    You look skinny. I am so fucking depressed… and you are on a diet? I’m not fat but I have the last 12 pounds from my now 20 month old to ditch.. and it is not happening. Sigh. And you have zero makeup in that pic? More depressed now. I feel like ass. Maybe i can watch some makeovers and feel better by osmosis.

  21. Hey, Stephanie. Sorry I’m not good at keeping up with keeping up but I happened to get a minute to read today and I think you look great in the dress. Hope all is well.

  22. i LOVE the dress! men dont understand cute trends. my husband doesnt like anything that gathers (as in one-shoulder dresses), which I dont get and dont care. you look amazing. post a picture of what phil was wearing!

  23. WOW – you look great and very thin! You look absolutely stunning and I hope you had a great date night!

  24. Don’t listen to Phil – You look gorgeous in that dress!!

    And, like almost everyone else has said – VERY TINY!! Your arms and legs are VERY THIN. You don’t need to be on a diet, you look wonderful as you are!!

  25. I am not sure what Phil was looking at, because you look hot (and definitely spread-worthy) and I hope you and he had fun during (and after date night–especially if you shaved the wee bits just for the occasion).

  26. Huh, I’m curious what Phil didn’t like, too…because it looks pretty cute to me! Good for you for wearing it anyway.

    1. I dress for me too, not for men, not for other women. I wish people wouldn’t speak for/as a representative of their entire gender. “I dress for other women” would get the same point across without generalizing a whole gender and would be much more accurate too.

      But anyway, to the topic at hand: That sure is a cute dress and looks great on Stephanie, who by the way does not look like she needs to lose an ounce (in my opinion)! Of course what I think about SK’s weight doesn’t matter if she’s not happy with her body right now. Unless of course she diets/doesn’t diet for other women too. Just kidding! ; )

  27. Stephanie, you look great in that dress!! Love it! What do men know anyway! Never mind what HE said about it. Some men just don’t get fashion! Are those the shoes you wore with the dress? Those are fabulous as well!

  28. As a Femme lesbian… let me change your title from “Women dress for other women” to “Women dress for people who aren’t their partners”. I used to date men… was even married to one once… and used to believe women understood fashion and men didn’t. My partner is a woman and doesn’t understand some of the clothes I wear! She’s funny, she’ll give me that strange look of confusion when I come out in something slightly different. I know the styles she likes on me, so for date nights tend to wear them…. but every so often I like to mix it up and wear something I’d wear to lunch with a female friend.

    So I don’t know if it’s just men… or maybe it’s just men and my girl?

  29. My boyfriend’s favorite colors are brown and army green. He thinks that this means I should wear nothing but those two colors at all times. Whereas I understand that just because my favorite color is pink, that does not mean I look attractive in the color, he cannot separate the two. I WISH I knew guys that disliked brown, because after four years, my entire wardrobe looks like I’m trying to emulate dirt.

  30. I think the dress is adorable and you look adorable in it. For the sake of arguement, however, I wish we could see a head on view, because that IS a very flattering pose.

  31. Stephanie, did you watch Real Housewives of Atlanta tonight? The gay guy on tonight’s episode, Michael, makes Dwight look masculine.

  32. Dude, how do you walk in those shoes? Don’t they have like cows and stuff that you trip over in Texas?

  33. The men just can’t win, can they? If they’re honest and don’t like something, they suck. If we ask and they lie, they suck.

    Personally, when I’m unsure, I ask the husband. I know I can trust him & whatever answer he gives because he occasionally says he doesn’t like something or makes The Face. I can choose to wear or not, but I don’t resent him for not liking something & I hugely appreciate that I can count on him to say what he’s really thinking.

    And ya know… how many times do we women make The Face at what they’re wearing? WE aren’t expected to just lie and say “you look great,” so why should they be?

  34. Are you still on the SouthBeach Diet? How much have you lost? You look fantastic!

  35. I really really don’t understand what would inspire a man to tell his wife that she looks bad. What UP with that, Phil? That’s just straight-up rude and unnecessarily hurtful.

    Stephanie, the dress looks great. Maybe Phil needs to be schooled in the whole concept of “when a woman feels she looks good, she acts like she feels good, she DOES feel good”. I’m not so sure I understand why he’d be motivated to make you — his wife, and the love of his life (in theory) — feel anything BUT good. Do you?

  36. I kinda get a sad feeling with all the “you look thin” comments. No doubt Stephanie looks great. But the numerous comments from women regarding thinness kinda just comes back to the same thing all the time–regardless of how much we want to preach inner beauty and accepting you for you, blah blah blah–thin is, and always will be, the measurement of a woman’s success.

  37. I don’t often feel moved to comment here despite being a regular reader. With that said, I have started this comment four times now, each time taking a different path, and each time reaching a juncture where clearing the window and starting over seemed the wiser route.

    For this, my fifth try, I think I’m going to keep it simple.

    Some men are just hard to please.

  38. I think you look adorable, it is just that brown is a tough color for redheads… and I WISH we could have gotten a shot of your shoes. The ruffle being cut where it is really cuts the silhouette.

    But, hey — all that matters is how YOU think you look! Your hair, shoulders, smile, etc all look beautiful.


    ps — and by the way — what was HE wearing??????

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