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Do you see a difference if an item is marked as "unisex" vs "mens"?

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Feels like some of the people commenting in this thread don't pay attention to fashion or womenswear
 

mangoyogurt

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One more thing:

The biggest and most obvious gender marker for clothing is the way a coat fastened. Men's clothing fastens to the left; women to the right. If you make unisex clothing, it will be easier to sell this stuff if you design the coats for men, but then market it as unisex. Men are generally much more gender sensitive than women, and less willing to wear women's clothing. Some will know this buttoning thing, so they'll avoid it.

Some coats are also easier to cut for unisex styles. The chore coat, for example. If you're making denim chore coat, it will be a much easier sell if you make it as a men's garment and sell it as unisex. Lots of womenswear lines nowadays are basically unisex -- Chimala, parts of Isabel Marant, Studio Nicholson, etc.
I can see this for coats, but most people don't wear their denim jackets buttoned up. great insight, I wasn't too aware about the button sides & gender. it's definitely a boyfriend fit style for women and true to size for men's !
 

mangoyogurt

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The buttoning is one point, but for a denim jacket, length is going to be an issue. Women's jackets are shorter than men's. So, a jacket that fits both a man & woman in the chest is likely going to be longer on the woman than what she's used to or shorter on a man than he's used to. For a standard jacket this is important since it's as much a fashion statement as practical. As the other poster mentioned, a chore coat concept is much more likely to be a non-issue - but then, it's also a smaller market. And, denim isn't usually a material I would associate with that purpose of coat - more luck a duck fabric (carhartt). Even then, I would be interested if sleeve length were different even if body length could be the same.

Beyond practical aspects, I believe commercially the concept of unisex carries a connotation of "cheap" - a $20 product that's unisex might be fine, but more expensive and you'll lose customers for that reason.
I think most people wear their denim jackets unbuttoned. it's a chore style so it would be regular length on men and slightly longer on women like the boyfriend fit. there are adjustable button tabs at the bottom to cinch it if preferred, and buttons at the sleeves to undo, make it easier to roll up
I agree, esp from canada coats are to keep you warm. it's just the name really.
 

dieworkwear

Mahatma Jawndi
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Even if the coat is unbuttoned, the buttons will be on a certain side. Again, some guys are just very sensitive about gender issues, so they won't wear a jacket that's designed for women.
 

dieworkwear

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An example of a unisex/ genderless line



 

breakaway01

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Feels like some of the people commenting in this thread don't pay attention to fashion or womenswear
Guilty as charged.
But I think that would be true of most men--maybe even 90% of men. So I guess the question is whether the OP is trying to market to men who are on trend in this regard (which will necessarily limit their target audience) or to all men.
I guess the other question is why even call your clothes "unisex" when marketing to men? Do the advantages of calling your jackets unisex outweigh the potential disadvantages?
 

dieworkwear

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Guilty as charged.
But I think that would be true of most men--maybe even 90% of men. So I guess the question is whether the OP is trying to market to men who are on trend in this regard (which will necessarily limit their target audience) or to all men.
I guess the other question is why even call your clothes "unisex" when marketing to men? Do the advantages of calling your jackets unisex outweigh the potential disadvantages?
Most clothing isn't marketed at most people, it's aimed at a specific target market. Dries Van Noten, Rick Owens, Huntsman, and even The Gap aren't targeting 90% of the population. They're aimed at a very specific demographic.

If the OP has a clear idea of the company's target market, I think unisex clothing can be fine. There's a growing interest, mostly among people who are interested in fashion, for unisex and genderless clothing. Some lines have the same styles, but in different patterns for men's and women's builds (e.g. Chimala, Studio Nicholson, Nigel Cabourn, and to some degree Lemaire). Others have a full line that can be worn by men or women (e.g. Rosen).

This blurring between men's and women's lines is one of the most common themes in fashion writing. It often comes in the NYT







 

dieworkwear

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Aaron L., the Creative Director at Abercrombie & Fitch, recently posted a photo of himself wearing this Isabel Marant sweater. It's actually a women's sweater, but now available in larger sizes (up to 44) for men. It's sold at menswear shops such as Mr. Porter. The pattern is the same as a women's sweater since it's an anti-fit, just graded up for larger sizes (even the men's sizes are very short). I recently bought the same knit.


 

breakaway01

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OK but you're not really addressing the second question in my post: "I guess the other question is why even call your clothes "unisex" when marketing to men?". I would submit that OP is more likely to sell a 'unisex' jacket to men if they don't call it unisex. Just show me the jacket. If I like how it looks, I'll buy it regardless of whether you intended it to be 'unisex' or not.

The sweater you posted -- looks great. Do I care whether it was originally designed as a woman's sweater? Not really.
 

dieworkwear

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OK but you're not really addressing the second question in my post: "I guess the other question is why even call your clothes "unisex" when marketing to men?". I would submit that OP is more likely to sell a 'unisex' jacket to men if they don't call it unisex. Just show me the jacket. If I like how it looks, I'll buy it regardless of whether you intended it to be 'unisex' or not.
I think I did? I mentioned that some people are interested in unisex clothing. That includes both men and women. Men and women are interested in unisex clothing, but it's admittedly people who are interested in fashion.

The reality, however, is that a lot of unisex clothing leans masculine because men are more sensitive about gender, so they're less willing to reach as far as women. They will not wear buttons on the other side.

There are some looks that are relatively gender neutral. Lemaire comes to mind. BODE is another.
 

breakaway01

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I think I did? I mentioned that some people are interested in unisex clothing. That includes both men and women. Men and women are interested in unisex clothing, but it's admittedly people who are interested in fashion.
Not really -- stated another way, will OP sell more jackets to men if they avoid the term "unisex" entirely? I am only speculating of course, but my argument is the answer would be "yes". I am not really hearing from you why you think it would be "no". Or maybe we are actually not arguing about anything at all.
 

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Not really -- stated another way, will OP sell more jackets to men if they avoid the term "unisex" entirely? I am only speculating of course, but my argument is the answer would be "yes". I am not really hearing from you why you think it would be "no". Or maybe we are actually not arguing about anything at all.
I would focus less on the term and more on the marketing/ styling. If the entire line looks unisex -- that is, the menswear looks like it takes styling cues from womenswear -- it will attract certain men. The Isabel Marant sweater above is a good example. The fit is very much a women's style -- wide body, heavily dropped shoulder seam, and cropped fit. A traditional men's sweater would have a more elongated body.

This specific silhouette has become more mainstreamed into menswear because of Kanye, who wore knits like this. Then John Elliott, who also makes styles like this. But the silhouette is still mostly deriving from womenswear.

If the entire line has a sort of unisex look, where men's and women's styles mix freely, it will have a certain aesthetic that appeals to a certain customer. Chimala is mostly a unisex styled line -- the menswear feels like it takes inspiration from womenswear, and the womenswear borrows heavily from menswear.
 

breakaway01

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I would focus less on the term and more on the marketing/ styling.
We both agree that it is better to focus on the styling. The OP's original question though was "Would you buy a men's jacket over a unisex jacket?" and "I was actually wondering if it affected men's perception of the fit by using "unisex" over "men's". Maybe we disagree on whether the marketing should focus on the specific term "unisex" as a selling point? Again my opinion is that the specific term should be avoided completely. I like Chimala and JE regardless of whether the designers conceived of them as unisex looks or not.
 

dieworkwear

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If a company marketed itself as unisex, I would personally take a look. This is a running theme in a lot of NYT articles. Every few months, they write an article like "this brand is making genderless, unisex clothing, so new!" But they've been writing this same article for many years now.
 

mangoyogurt

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Even if the coat is unbuttoned, the buttons will be on a certain side. Again, some guys are just very sensitive about gender issues, so they won't wear a jacket that's designed for women.
I see what you mean. The jacket itself and the buttons are designed with a classic fit, but we're targeting the same jacket to both men and women
 

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