Now that the weather has steadied out above freezing and we can finally go out without layering up in hideous puffy jackets, it’s time to think about what to wear.

During winter months, we looked enviously at the girls who were brave (and, let’s be real, stupid) enough to don dresses without tights and cute non-down-feather-filled coats when heading out to their favorite bars. But with April warming up enough to consider bare legs, what in the world should we wear?

It’s pretty common in girl world to hate on girls dressed skimpily, unless of course you happen to be one of them. We seem to find pleasure in hating on the wardrobes of others; however, when we want to look sexy, we rock the exact same outfit. Well, we at the Showroom are over that. If you want to cover up, go for it, but don’t judge the girl next to you at Wando’s for making a different fashion choice. Fashion is all about empowerment and confidence.

That being said, and all hating aside, there is a difference between empowerment and degrading yourself when it comes to going-out looks. If you are rocking the minimal-coverage crop top and baby skirt and feel like the sexiest and most confident girl in the world, perfect. You love your legs and want to show them off? You’ve been doing core like a maniac and want to show off the abs? That’s awesome. Celebrate and own your body confidence because Lord knows that it’s a rare thing for women these days.

But if you’re wearing a bondage dress simply for the attention of another person, there’s a problem. As offensive as the term “thirsty” may be, think about the implications of being thirsty … for attention. You aren’t dressing to celebrate your confidence, you are dressing because validation isn’t coming from within. Validation is instead coming from someone else objectifying you, seeing you and treating you as a sexual object rather than as a whole person.

Dress to flatter your body and celebrate your confidence. It should supplement the fact that you are beautiful, interesting and worthwhile both inside and out. Your value isn’t set in the number of times someone hits on you or stares at your chest. It isn’t based on the amount of skin you show or the tightness of your outfit. Your value is in who you are inside and out, and should be celebrated both in how you dress and how you act.

Wear your going-out clothes (and all clothes, for that matter) to empower and celebrate yourself. At the end of the day (and at last call), sex appeal and confidence go hand-in-hand. A dress that makes you feel on top of the world should be your only must-have for spring.

Need a place to start? Check these out. Then check *yourself* out in the mirror, because that’s the only eye you need to please: