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Men vs. women:

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
Gentlemen, Sterotypes would have us believe that when it comes to apparel choices, women focus on issues of color, uniqueness, cut, fit, care, and so on. By the same token, men supposedly want conformity and general acceptance rather than uniqueness, and never consider such "vanities" as color, care, line, etc. Just curious: what ARE your considerations in clothing? Do you ever put color at the top of your suit-buying list (and I mean real color emphasis, not the fact that you "should have" a navy, a gray, etc.)? Do you ever shop for a shirt or trousers with easy-care at the top of your list? (witness the "I have sinned" thread just posted by TCN about wrinkle-free shirts) Would you rather look like and be accepted by others at your company/firm/bank, or be noticed for your uniqueness? Do you concern yourself with the fine points of line and how it flatters you, or do you just buy a suit because it has a "don't f*** with me" silhouette? Malcolm Gladwell wrote many years ago a fascinating 10-page New Yorker article on male buying psychology ( http://www.gladwell.com/1997/1997_07_27_a_khaki.htm ), and I'm curious what you see as your own buying methodology and psychology, and how you see that in relation to the way women buy clothes. Now there's a Friday topic for you.
post #2 of 26
Ok, I'll bite. The short answer is that I do not wish to be noticed for my uniqueness, or, to be more precise, the uniqueness of my appearance. I do not wish to attract attention to how I look. If I want anyone to form any opinion of my appearance at all, I would like it to be something along the lines of "he looks well put-together" rather than "he looks different" or "cool" or "stylish" or "hip" or any other epithet of that sort. First and foremost, any item of clothing I buy must fit well. I can be difficult to fit with certain things (precise jacket size is 39 Short, for example), so finding something that fits really well is an accomplishment in and of itself. Hand in hand with fit is comfort. Genrally, if something fits well, it will be comfortable, but there are exceptions, so I try to evaluate whether I will be comfortable wearing something all day before I buy it. Beyond that, I must find it attractive. Specifically, I must find that it looks attractive on me. Sadly, there is much clothing out there that looks fine on many of my peers but more than faintly ridiculous on me. At least that's how I perceive it, and as long as that is the case, I would always be self-conscious wearing it. I guess on some level this indicates that I do pay attention to the design, the "fine points of line" to quote quill, but I don't think of it way. It's more of a general impression, very subjective, and very difficult to quantify. It so happens that I find bright colors in general unattractive, and so I avoid them. I do try to buy items that complement other items I already own, but since a distaste for bright colors limits the general palette of my wardrobe to a few mostly neutral colors, this is not difficult. I do pay attention to care, but I don't obsess over it. I must admit I do like the convenience of wrinkle-free shirts, but it's not a must. I try to stay away from things that require hand washing, but that's about it. I pay attention to durability. The importance of this is directly proportional to the price paid, of course. If I get a shirt for $25 at a clearance sale, I don't really care if it only lasts me six months. But with more expensive things, especially suits, coats, etc., I would like them to last. Finally, price is a consideration. I don't mind paying a fair price for an item of quality, but many things are out of my price range both on a practical and philosophical level. Even if I could easily afford, for example, a $5,000 suit, I don't think I could spend that kind of money with a clean consciousness. While I am not advocating $99 suits from Sears, sufficient quality can be had for much less than $5K. This is true for any consumer good for me, not just clothing. Best Regards, Tony
post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 
That was a great bite, artdeco73. And lots to chew on. Thanks for the insights. With the popularity of "Queereye," it makes you wonder if all these guys need help for the very reason that they DON'T consider some of the "fine points" that gay men or women do. After all, one could say that gay men have a bit of both male and female in their psychological makeup. So why is it that the male of so many animal species is the more colorful and resplendent? You roosters and peacocks out there, don't be afraid to speak up.
post #4 of 26
Quote:
Malcolm Gladwell wrote many years ago a fascinating 10-page New Yorker article on male buying psychology ( http://www.gladwell.com/1997/1997_07_27_a_khaki.htm ), and I'm curious what you see as your own buying methodology and psychology, and how you see that in relation to the way women buy clothes.
GREAT article. Very interesting, I'd love to see more of this type of stuff.
post #5 of 26
My buying criteria: 1) Value: I look for value first when I buy an item. Since my wardrobe is more or less set, I'm just adding onto it, and since I don't NEED anything, I won't buy anything unless I think I'm getting a good deal. 2) Fit: If it doesn't fit, or can't be altered easily to fit, I won't buy it. For a suit, I will buy anything from a 41L to a 46R, the biggest issue for me is the sleeve and jacket length, and shoulder width, other things can usually be altered, as I can check the measurements and know what will fit me. 3) Durability/Quality: This is somewhat tied in to value, as the higher quality an item is, the better value it is, if available at a lower price. Durability is less of an issue for me because I have a large wardrobe, but obviously I would like a more expensive product to last longer. 4) Color/Style/Pattern: I have always wore greys, blues, blacks with an occasional bright color such as red, purple, or lavender. I find that earth tones and some pastels don't work on me at all. I like patterns such as stripes and sometimes windowpanes, but prefer something more conservative and understated, and less loud. 5) Comfort: This is closely tied into fit, but can be a bit different as well. I would like things to be comfortable but realize that some items (calfskin shoes) will take awhile to be broken in and may not be immediately comfortable to me.
post #6 of 26
I lean on the opposite side of the line from you, artdeco... I do appreciate the "put together" aesthetic but I am always more likely to go towards what you see as being "cool" or "hip." That isn't to suggest that I buy into every trend that comes into the mainstream, in fact most of them I do my best to steer clear of. To elaborate, I do not buy something because it is popular, I buy it if I think it looks good on me, and matches my style. I think the absolutely most important factor of looking good is to have a personal style. Even if I have the same item as someone else, in my wardrobe it is going to have "me" flair to it. This comes through with everything, including classic wear such as suits. I will stick to a general theme of colors and attitudes to fit within my style (an example would be, thinner ties and thinner lapels on my suits, always double vented, always flat-front pants, and elongated dress shoes). I think my style can best be labelled as smart streetwear with an affinity for athletic clothing. Oh, it looks like I fall into your "uniqueness" category.
post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 
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Oh, it looks like I fall into your "uniqueness" category.
Hey, nothing wrong with that. Thanks for the interesting response. I'm glad to see that there IS a different kind of approach; makes this topic engaging.
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
My buying criteria: 1) Value:  I look for value first when I buy an item.  Since my wardrobe is more or less set, I'm just adding onto it, and since I don't NEED anything, I won't buy anything unless I think I'm getting a good deal. 2) Fit:  If it doesn't fit, or can't be altered easily to fit, I won't buy it.  For a suit, I will buy anything from a 41L to a 46R, the biggest issue for me is the sleeve and jacket length, and shoulder width, other things can usually be altered, as I can check the measurements and know what will fit me. 3) Durability/Quality: This is somewhat tied in to value, as the higher quality an item is, the better value it is, if available at a lower price.  Durability is less of an issue for me because I have a large wardrobe, but obviously I would like a more expensive product to last longer. 4) Color/Style/Pattern:  I have always wore greys, blues, blacks with an occasional bright color such as red, purple, or lavender.  I find that earth tones and some pastels don't work on me at all.  I like patterns such as stripes and sometimes windowpanes, but prefer something more conservative and understated, and less loud. 5) Comfort:  This is closely tied into fit, but can be a bit different as well.  I would like things to be comfortable but realize that some items (calfskin shoes) will take awhile to be broken in and may not be immediately comfortable to me.
Thanks, drizzt3117. I'm not complaining at all, but I do have to wonder. Seems like us guys are so practical in everything (which is probably a darn good thing). So when are you (meaning anyone) NOT practical? Did anyone ever pick up any useful tidbit from "Queer Eye" that they hadn't considered before? Do you ever find yourself buying something for reasons that don't fall within your usual methodology? (I guess this crosses over into the subject of threads that have already been done about how much you'll spend on clothing, and when it becomes more whim than need. Don't mean to beat a dead horse topic within this thread).
post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
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(quill @ 08 Oct. 2004, 07:48) Malcolm Gladwell wrote many years ago a fascinating 10-page New Yorker article on male buying psychology ( http://www.gladwell.com/1997/1997_07_27_a_khaki.htm ), and I'm curious what you see as your own buying methodology and psychology, and how you see that in relation to the way women buy clothes.
GREAT article. Very interesting, I'd love to see more of this type of stuff.
Thanks. Yeah, writings on the psychology of fashion choices for women could have filled the legendary library of Alexandria. For men , it's like a desert out there. Almost nothing written about how men buy. BUT, maybe guys are just hardwired to be direct and no-nonsense in certain areas.
post #10 of 26
Quote:
For men , it's like a desert out there. Almost nothing written about how men buy. BUT, maybe guys are just hardwired to be direct and no-nonsense in certain areas.
Or, maybe it's because the advent of modern consumer society coincided with the a period in during which male vanity was considered particularly unbecoming. I wonder whether the same observation (above) would have been made if the the industrial revolution had happened two or three hundred or so years earlier. I also wonder if the observations in the article are equally valid in Europe, where men spend a much higher percentage of their disposable income on clothing and accessories.
post #11 of 26
This thread was worth it just for the Gladwell article. That's great writing. I can picture those dockers ads, tho I was not buying my own clothes when they were on the air. It is, of course, years out of date and the dockers saga is even older, so I'm not certain how valid it remains. The average dude doesn't consciously care about style, or at least, more importantly, doesn't want to be PERCEIVED as consciously caring. This is why dandy is an insult. Naturally that term is not a pejorative to people who read this. This forum is a testament to the fact that men DO care, or at least some men, and likely more men than did 15 years ago. As for my own purchasing criteria, I don't think I can simplify it to a set of conditions or processes or values. I'm pretty random. I definitely buy things I think I need, I also buy things I think look good, I also buy things I think will help me fit in at work/out, and I buy things that I think will help me stand out at work/out. The only thing that's really consistent is not paying full retail, almost ever.
post #12 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Quote:
For men , it's like a desert out there. Almost nothing written about how men buy. BUT, maybe guys are just hardwired to be direct and no-nonsense in certain areas.
Or, maybe it's because the advent of modern consumer society coincided with the a period in during which male vanity was considered particularly unbecoming.  I wonder whether the same observation (above) would have been made if the the industrial revolution had happened two or three hundred or so years earlier.  I also wonder if the observations in the article are equally valid in Europe, where men spend a much higher percentage of their disposable income on clothing and accessories.
Three fascinating points in one very astute observation, LAGuy. Thanks. Male vanity, historical reference, and cultural influence. So...maybe we are conditioned to be direct. Did any of you ever want to buy something, but didn't because of the possible stigma associated with being male?
post #13 of 26
I also have a pretty set wardrobe, and it was built in a very well planned manner - I usually decide what I want (say a gray pencil stripe) get the fabric, take it to the tailor and have it made along the cuts that I find flattering for my body type. I don't add very much to it, the last piece of clothing that I bought was a tie, about a year ago. a few years ago I built up the wardrobe over the period of about a year, and hope that it will last me a while. I have a set number of underwear and socks, all identical, and replace them when they start getting frayed. the 2 things that temps me is ties and braces. I like good english braces and always get tempted to buy a few pair when I am in London. and I wear a specific type of tie, so when I see a tie that falls into the pattern of what I like and am often tempted to buy it. Yesterday I almost bought a tie and promised myself that if it is still there next time I see it (it was in the duty free in Istambul) then I will get it.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
This thread was worth it just for the Gladwell article. That's great writing.
Thanks. Gladwell does phenomenal stuff even now; check out his other topics at http://www.gladwell.com/archive.html
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...or at least, more importantly, doesn't want to be PERCEIVED as consciously caring. This is why dandy is an insult.
EXACTLY my point. Is this ever a restraint in your own buying habits?
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As for my own purchasing criteria, I don't think I can simplify it to a set of conditions or processes or values. I'm pretty random. I definitely buy things I think I need, I also buy things I think look good, I also buy things I think will help me fit in at work/out, and I buy things that I think will help me stand out at work/out. The only thing that's really consistent is not paying full retail, almost ever.
Thanks for the insight; I appreciate your input.
post #15 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
(it was in the duty free in Istambul) then I will get it.
Istanbul?. Hence your avatar. Thanks for chiming in.
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