Some of the earliest play is dressing up. Mommy’s clothes, Daddy’s boots… do I look good in this? Part of the attraction is sensual. Silk, satin, lace on the skin. Leather, the weight and crunch of it. Part is visual—pretty me, or pretty you, made prettier, or hotter. That black brings out your eyes. That white contrasts with your skin. Red means danger, is provocative—provokes. Part of it for adults is peeling off, undressing. All wrapped up like a present—what could be underneath? Under that pinstripe, under that cowhide?
Dressing up also means things. Clothing has semiotics. A dress is female, if you want to gender-bend. A suit means power in the work world, and putting lingerie or leather underneath it is subversion. A collar can be an essay about your power over me. And then what you don’t wear can be important too—especially under that skirt. When you take off your tie, it’s playtime.
Humans come from visual stock; primates hunt with their eyes. Dressing is mating display, even if you mate with your own kind, even if your mating lasts 10 minutes only, and then you’re gone. What are you telling me with what you wear?