The phrase of this type:

Welcome to Amsterdam. When it's hot please dress for the body you have, not for the body you want. Thanks.

This phrase is taken from here:

picture of a sign

In this context, it is not clear expression: "dress for the body you have, not for the body you want."

I am very interested to learn English language and culture and thus I'm curious to know how native English speakers understand this phrase.

I support the Russian language and can not translate this expression. Help me understand.

  • 1
    @Владимир Aha. After some investigation, it turns out that's exactly what it's meant to mean -- it's body shaming fat people -- but it's actually an internet hoax
    – Andrew
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 22:19
  • @ Andrew If you, as a native speaker in disbelief, I especially. :) Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 22:33

2 Answers 2


It's an insult. "Please dress for the body you have, not the body you want", is implying that they don't want to see fatter people dressing like a thin person would. It's actually a fake image and the link provides some more explanation too.

  • 3
    It would be worth explaining the relevant parts from the link in your answer, just in case it disappears someday.
    – ColleenV
    Commented Sep 13, 2017 at 23:04

Based on the words on the poster alone, there are two possible interpretations. Dressing for the body you have refers to wearing less clothes for the hot weather.

Dressing for the body you want, however, could refer to either dressing as if you have a very attractive body and you want to show off, or dressing to attract potential sexual partners (too few clothes in each case). In the first case, the body is what you would like to have for yourself, and in the second case, it belongs to the person you seek.

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