Identity

People Show Us The Outfits They Wear to Get Laid

Call it a freakum dress or a hook-up outfit—everyone has go-to clothes they wear when they want to get laid. Some are just weirder than others.

by Zing Tsjeng
Sep 1 2016, 3:00pm

What do you wear when you want to get laid? It's a more complicated question than it seems. For women and men, the line between an outfit that artfully shrugs, "This? Oh, this old thing?" and one that screams, "I spent two hours sending selfies to my friends asking them which top goes better with my shoes" is the difference between a night of passion and a lonely Uber home for one. Call it a freakum dress, a pulling outfit, whatever—everyone has one. It's the thing you wear when you want all eyes to be on you.

Of course, your style and your choice of sexual partner comes down to personal taste: One man's sexy Jessica Simpson T-shirt is another man's dating Kryptonite; another woman's Len "Steal My Sunshine"-era sunglasses are an aphrodisiac second to none while someone else's beaded necklace could torpedo their hopes like an anti-romance H-bomb. But if you really want to get to know someone sartorially, nothing is more illuminating than the outfit they think they look best in. We asked photographer Alice Zoo to approach women and men—including one very game 64-year-old Australian—to dress up in their hook-up outfit.

Jasmine, 19, Walton-On-Thames

Who did you last hook up with in this outfit?
Probably my boyfriend, actually!

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How would you describe this style?
70s, kinda dressy but not too dressy, smart casual.

What kind of compliments have you received on this outfit?
People tend to look to my waist, because there's a gap in the middle, um, so [it's a] tiny waist big bum kinda thing!

How effective is the outfit when it comes to getting with people?
Pretty effective, I hope!

What's the one detail about the outfit that really makes it?
Probably the perspex heels.

What kind of person does it usually attract, in your opinion?
Indie guys.

Dan, 25, London

Describe who you last hook up with in this outfit?
I can only vaguely remember. Um... Someone at [London gay club and strip bar] Metropolis.

How would you describe this style?
A conversation starter.

What kind of compliments have you gotten?
"Oh my god is that Jessica Simpson? I fucking love your T-shirt! I fucking love Jessica Simpson! Chicken of the sea!"

How effective is the outfit when it comes to hooking up with people?
Very.

What's the one detail about the outfit that really makes it what it is?
The full lyrics on the back.

What kind of person does it usually attract?
Gays... Duh.

Jessica, 27, London

Can you describe your last conquest in this outfit?
I pulled a dentist at a festival.

How would you describe this style?
Effulgent.

What kind of compliments have you received on this look?
People say I look like a flapper, or that they like my jacket-y thing. The shoes were a present, which makes them magical!

How effective is the outfit when it comes to getting with people?
Very, because it's slightly over-the-top, which makes you relax and have fun. Good dancing shoes.

What's the one detail you particularly like about it?
I like the way the light catches the beads on the dress when the jacket comes open.

What kind of person does it usually attract?
Someone gregarious who can dance!

Shaun, 21, London

Who was the last person you got with in this outfit?
In this outfit? Oh my god... Describe who I pulled... I think I was too drunk to remember.

What kind of compliments have you received on this outfit?
I get incessant compliments about my jacket. It's become a bit of a sort of iconic symbol, though perhaps also some sort of fatal flaw. It follows me around everywhere.

How effective is the outfit when it comes to attracting people?
I'd like to say the person beneath the outfit is more effective at pulling!

Why do you think it works?
I enjoy garish colours on my top half.

What kind of person does it usually attract?
Lots!

Melanie, 24, Western Australia

Describe who you last pulled in this outfit?
It was in Chiang Mai walking market, and I was just walking past, and he was going to a gig later on and he invited me to join him, and that's what happened.

How would you describe this style?
It's colourful, it's playful, I think it's slightly reminiscent of the 60s, and just like a fun sort of casual vibe.

What kind of compliments have you received on this outfit?
Nice legs.

How effective is the outfit when it comes to pulling?
Yeah, I do alright!

Why does it work?
I think something to do with the colours, and the free flow, it looks like I'm kind of an outgoing, I suppose potentially vivacious person... It is short, which is a little racy, so it kind of I guess looks like I'm up for some fun.

What's the one detail about the outfit that really makes it?
I like the necklace.

Patrick, 64, Australia

Describe who you last kissed in this outfit?
[Laughs] that would be telling! I was at a wedding in Italy recently and I was certainly attempting to pull a few people, yes.

What kind of compliments have you received on this outfit?
That it is very sharp and beautifully tailored, clearly Italian, many compliments.

How effective is the outfit when it comes to getting with people?
Well, I think for a man of my age, a sharp suit [and] a white shirt always works.

What's the one detail about the outfit that really makes it?
I don't know, the lightness of it? Or my initials; the shirt was made for me, like the suit, both fully made in Naples by my Italian tailor.

What kind of person does it usually attract, in your opinion?
Sophisticated women who appreciate beautiful clothes.

Edwina, 24, Suffolk

Describe who you last hook up with in this outfit?
I last pulled a boy in Sierra Leone.

How would you describe this style?
Cool but casual.

What kind of compliments have you received on this outfit?
People love my hair and they've said, "Nice skirt." And "cool T-shirt."

Why do you think it works?
Because it's cool but it's also quite trendy.

What's the one detail about the outfit that really makes it?
Giant hoops.

Robbie, 21, Ipswich

Who did you last successfully hook up with in this outfit?
My current girlfriend about a year and a half ago.

How effective is the outfit when it comes to getting with people?
I don't really go for effectiveness when I wear this outfit, it's more of a sort of casual wear, and if it pulls, then fantastic.

Why do you think it works?
'Cause it's casual, and I dunno, I don't really look for girls who want guys wearing dressed up clothes—I feel too much pressure. So if a girl likes casual stuff, then that works for me.

What's the one detail about this look that really makes it work?
I wouldn't say it's too much of a centerpiece, but if I was gonna wear this or a slight variation of this it'd probably be the shoes.

What kind of person does it usually attract?
Good-looking ladies, hopefully!

Laura, 24, Haslemere

Describe who you last pulled in this outfit?
This should be a little secret but... A stranger from the southwest of England.

How would you describe this style?
Spice Girl slash James Bond slash casual.

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Why do you think it works?
I like the blue of the glasses, they're pretty one of a kind; the zips on the jacket do not work.

What's the one detail about the outfit that really makes it?
It's the whole thing!

Luan, 23, Hackney

Describe who you last hooked up with in this outfit?
My ex-girlfriend.

How would you describe this style?
Um... The is the clothes that I like when I look on the internet.

What kind of compliments have you received on this outfit?
Lots of compliments! "You look great today." "Your shorts go well with your tan." I can't think of any others, I don't tend to record them.

What's the one detail about the outfit that really makes it?
The watch.

What kind of person does it usually attract?
Oxbridge graduates and St Martin's students.

Lucy, 24, southwest London

Describe who you last pulled in this outfit?
A Scottish man I met in a bar. I think the dress reminded him of home...

How would you describe this style?
Laid back, comfortable and approachable.

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What kind of compliments have you received on this outfit?
Relaxed but fun! Flattering, and perfect for summer.

How effective is the outfit when it comes to pulling?
About 70 percent effective if used correctly!

Why do you think it works?
The jacket and Converse dress down the outfit, appealing to someone who prefers this kind of low-key look, whilst underneath the dress allows you to show off more skin.

What's the one detail about the outfit that really makes it?
The shoes—it's all about being comfortable.

What kind of person does it usually attract, in your opinion?
Someone who knows how to have a laugh.

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Correction: This photo essay originally featured a rug that had a similar appearance to a prayer mat. The likeness was unintentional and we regret the error.