Jan 20, 2012
BREAKING NEWS, FEMALE READERS: I get it.
I mean, I really get it. I now understand why women sew.
I owe this epiphany to a recent article on the Cracked.com website, The 7 Most Baffling Things About Women's Clothes, by Christine H.
You must read it and tell me whether or not you agree with her arguments. A few of her points were familiar to me, like arbitrary (vanity) sizing, but others I had never thought about before, like her complaint that the fabric is often too thin, or the garment inappropriate for cool weather (or a cool office) due to the amount of skin left exposed.
I'm going to tell you something you probably already know: clothes shopping for most men is so easy you could do it in your sleep, or certainly from a catalog. There are two basic reasons for this: 1) traditional men's clothing is always available, and 2) it does. not. change. Or if it does, the changes are so slight and rolled out so slowly, that only if you're wearing a sweater from, say, 1947, do you notice that knit waistbands were a little wider back then, or that ties were somewhat wider (after having been narrower, which followed immediately upon their being wider, narrower, wider, narrower, etc.). Maybe I exaggerate, but my basic point is valid.
For example, whether we're talking Goodwill or Nordstrom, you can always find some version of the following items:
A light blue button down oxford shirt.
A gray crewneck wool sweater.
A classic field jacket.
Too conservative? Dress it down with Converse All Stars.
If you're sportier still, you can wear an Adidas tracksuit almost anywhere these days.
Traditional types can opt for a leather bomber jacket, available today at L.L. Bean as it has been for decades.
For more formal occasions, a blue pinstripe suit. Always in fashion.
Readers, the list goes on and on, and you can wear these clothes from eight to eighty and beyond. If you want to dress exactly like Humphrey Bogart did in Casablanca, you don't have to hunt in a vintage clothing store. If a gray-flanneled Gregory Peck is more your style, you can create that look too, easily, hat and rep tie included.
Men's clothing is basically a uniform, and has been for more than a century. There's the business uniform, the preppy-casual uniform, and the sporty uniform (probably a few others too), but whichever one you choose, you don't have to be creative or up on the latest trends. Just go to most any department store or thrift shop. So easy. You may not look like you stepped out of GQ magazine, but you won't raise any eyebrows either. You'll just look...normal.
Now let's take women's clothes. I did a little casual research (the only kind I do) and searched for women's dress in Google Images. Here's what I found scads of (these three are from J. Crew but they're typical): skimpy "party" dresses I don't think most women could wear to work. In fact, other than dinner out in a warm climate (bring a sweater as most restaurants are air-conditioned), I'm not sure where you'd wear these dresses. Any ideas?
Based on recent comments regarding fashion trends, it sounds like some seasons there simply are no basics -- navy skirts or simple gray slacks -- available for women. (Is this true even at L.L. Bean?)
As far as women's shoes are concerned...eek!
In closing, readers, why do you think men's clothes never change? Is it because most men aren't interested in fashion, or are most men not interested in fashion because men's clothes never change?
With regard to The 7 Most Baffling Things About Women's Clothes, are there any other baffling things you'd like to add?