Sunday, March 13, 2011

Why men don't follow as many fashion trends as women

It has been my experience that most men simply don't care as much about the current state of fashion as much as most women do. Why is this? I believe it has everything to do with social conditioning and our commonly accepted gender double standards.

We all know of these double standards. If a man has a lot of sex with many different partners, he'll typically be considered a stud and his exploits will be celebrated by his friends. If a woman has the same number of partners in the same amount of time, she'll likely be called a slut, and be looked down on to some degree.
If a man is assertive in the way he does what he does, he's seen as being strong. A woman with the same assertiveness meanwhile, will be seen by most as being a rude and pushy. According to overall society, men are supposed to be strong and women are supposed to be soft.People around them will generally become uncomfortable when the roles are reversed.
In fashion, women are the traditionally celebrated ones. There are a lot more womens fashion choices than mens. At most department stores, the womens clothing section is noticeably larger than the mens. This is all because women typically enjoy variety in clothing more than men. They want it when they shop for clothes and they want it in their closets at home. They want 20 pairs of shoes, and 10 different handbags. They enjoy considering what to wear with what. Men simply want 2 or 3 pairs of shoes, and clean clothes that look decent. Most men don't use words like 'outfits'.
Society only really demands that men and the clothes they're wearing, be relatively clean and not offensive in any way. We have a much easier time getting away with slightly slobby behavior and appearances. If a man shows up at a store counter unshaven and dirty and in tattered clothes, most people would assume he's a hard working man on his way home from work. Probably a manual labour job. Probably 12 hour days. Rugged and manly.
If a woman shows up just as unkempt and dirty looking, most will assume that she just doesn't care about her appearance. They'll wonder if she's sick or maybe depressed over something. They'll wonder what's wrong with her. Poor girl.
Women are pushed from the time they're just girls, and all through their adult lives, to always look presentable. Their hair, makeup, clothes and accessories are all things that other people will automatically judge them on. Men get away with a lot less effort in this area. It's acceptable for a man to be told he's breaking a cardinal rule of fashion and respond with a simple, "I couldn't care less". Women are raised by society as a whole to care a great deal about their appearence. This is why men don't follow as many fashion trends as women. They simply don't have to.

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