Clothing and its use is a fascinating subject. My view is that the main purpose of clothing is for protection against the elements and "survival". Once you have clothes to help you survive, if you are lucky enough to have surplus money to buy or time to make clothes, you can choose clothes as a form of self-expression and fun. There is nothing wrong with tattoos and wearing what you like. It is a matter of personal choice. About 20% of people have tattoos.
In certain circumstances, appearance does matter, mainly in the workplace. That applies to both men and women. In the workplace, you are using clothes as a tool to survive, to obtain and keep a job, to earn money to pay your bills. If you turn up for an interview unwashed and in your pyjamas, you are unlikely to get the job. Many employers recruit people not only for their skills but also for their appearance. Whilst at college, a senior member of staff from a large employer came to talk to my class. That person said they look at the interview candidates grooming such as teeth and nails. Their point of view was that if the person couldn't even look after themselves, they were unlikely to look after the business that they were working for. Employers expect their employees to dress in a way that reflects the values and message of their organization. After all, they are paying them so they get to call the shots. Many provide their employees with a uniform to help them achieve that. If a company doesn't provide employees with a uniform, most employees dress to fit in, again a form of survival. It takes a very confident person to dress in a way that is counter-cultural and stand out in the workplace. Most rebels don't last in a conventional workplace as they cause too many headaches for management. They may be better off working for themselves or in a more creative environment. I work for an employer who provides a uniform but I am also self-employed and wear what I like. However, I still have to conform in a way, as my clothes have to not only be functional but also respectable as I am representing myself and my business. If you work in a creative industry, creative dressing is the norm and wearing a formal suit would be counter-cultural.
Most readers of this article are looking for ways to develop their best self. They are seeking to refine themselves and think that being more ladylike is one way to achieve that. Developing kindness, goodness and assertiveness are part of the process of developing your best self.
With all the environmental challenges that we are going to be facing over the next decades, I am looking forward to seeing the changes in the way that people to choose to dress in the future. I work in fashion retail and many of the older baby-boomer generation are still mass consumers, purchasing cheap clothes every week. They want a bargain even though they have full closets. Many successful professional people in their 40's are also mass consumers, choosing to signal their success by wearing particular brands that are more expensive. Some of the younger generations are choosing a more minimalist lifestyle and clothing style either due to financial or environmental concerns. Other younger people are choosing to go for a more celebrity-inspired look or choosing body enhancement such as cosmetic surgery. Readers of this article are, in the main, aspiring to cultivate a feminine, ladylike look. Each to their own.