It is said clothes make the woman and many women certainly do believe this is true. Nevertheless, it may not be at all true from a male perspective. Men do not notice the clothing as much as women do. Men are looking for other factors that define a woman, unless the clothing is purposely provocative. In that case, yes, they do possibly make the woman.
Disregarding gender preferences, there are things that are much more appealing than apparel. The number one attraction is a smile. Men will notice a smile before they ever notice your blouse or the cut of your dress. This is one of the more economical beauty enhancements a woman can stock in her arsenal. Also taken in at first glance, are the eyes. Do they sing, do they bemuse, do they look lively and engaging? The complexion makes a rapid first impression. Most people respond to clear skin and if makeup is used, is it applied in such a way as to enhance rather than repel?
Jewelry also comes into play; it says a lot about a woman, according to many men. Is it subtle, is it flashy, does it scream gold-digger, does it quietly say, gift from a man? Men are aware of what jewelry pieces say; they are familiar with it as tokens. There is also an awareness of a woman's figure. The clothes my cover some aspects of it but the basic shape cannot be denied. The shape you are in, is one of the first things noticeable about a woman despite fashionable effects.
Does she have a deep suntan? That strikes a certain note immediately.Is she trying to look younger than her age? Your clothes in this case, will not make the woman, rather they will tell another story, and it may not be the one you want told. What about the walk? Is she graceful entering a room or attempting to hobble herself to the nearest chair to give her feet a rest from heels too high to manage with ease. In this instance, there is nothing that will save her. She made a poor choice and limping with a grimace is now her fate. Never an attractive look.
So you see, many things make the woman before getting to her clothing. Many factors make up the woman, so to speak. We have not even discussed the actual clothing yet except briefly in regards to dressing age-appropriately. If you sit in a fashionable city for any time, people watching, you will quickly notice that woman who have impact are not always the ones in the latest fashions. They are the ones who have developed a personal style that resonates. It may be only jeans and a t-shirt, it may be a simple suit.
Style rarely depend entirely on an outfit to have its say. So in reply to the question of do clothes make the woman, I have to say not exactly. A woman is much more complex than a fashion statement.