Last week, I was having a conversation with a guy friend of mine. I recollect hearing him complain about the sheer number of options we as women have in clothing. We match our skirts and flaunt our pretty summer dresses. And don’t even get me started on ethnic wear for women, we’d never run out. But again, it’s not really a good thing. No, hear me out! We have our share of pros. But have you felt the texture and the level of comfort packed in mens fashion? Let me explain. Here are 4 reasons why I think men’s clothing beats women’s clothing, hands down.
1. Men’s clothing is made with the BEST fabric.
Nothing beats a lazy afternoon snuggled up in a stolen t-shirt from bae. Be it shirts or mens t shirts, they seem to have the look and feel, the best of both worlds! How so? I did a little bit of research on a few public forums and got myself some interesting info!
Retailers have higher budgets to work with for Menswear
When retailers are allotted budgets, they can afford to spare a higher budgt for menswear over womenswear. While for us women, they have way too many styles to think about. That explains the prioritizing of menswear retailers.
Cheap online shopping at high volumes
A high percentage of the female population is trend-oriented, meaning our shopping preferences and styles vary based on seasonal trends. Basically, our clothes become obsolete over time. A user on Quora rightly states, “most of the fast-fashion brands that enable cheap shopping at high volumes, primarily cater to women. Thus, there are few cheap outlets for menswear. And fewer retailers in general, which enables each to charge higher prices.” That’s very much evident considering that a decent mens polo shirt costs at least 2000 INR in India.
Workwear standards for Men
Another reason? Workwear standards for men. Women can get very funky with their styling. Whereas, men have very standardized and rather limited selections – usually some combination of suits, slacks, ties, and button-downs. This means they have to care about the brands they’re wearing. Really, the only area of focus is the fabric in work clothes for men.
Men’s clothing on the other hand is like a warm hug, its the kind of hug where nobody is really tugging too hard.
2. Didn’t we have an entire style copied from the male segment to give us the celebrated “boyfriend tee”?
Yeah, I haven’t moved on from the comfort part yet. I’m dedicating this entire section to rant about just that.
The jeans that we wear today were influenced by a work need, just like polos. Jeans solved the problem of ruggedness that mining required. Whereas, a polo shirt was the brainchild of a tennis player who clearly saw a need for comfort and formality packed in one. Meanwhile, women ran around in skirts and tight blouses during P.E period. Sigh!
Beg, borrow, steal to be heard
We were stealing from our boyfriends so often that we got ourselves our own comfy “boyfriend tee”. The clear indicators of desperation, i.e. the borrowing/stealing finally garnered us the brands’ interest. We have an entire style dedicated to just that!
“The term “boyfriend style” refers to women’s clothing that was modified from a corresponding men’s garment to create a looser fit than the typical women’s tailored styles.”
Women’s fashion is honestly suffocating
A female’s wardrobe is traditionally designed to be fit, meaning style is chosen over comfort. That’s why we naturally gravitate towards the male wardrobe. Take for instance our formal wear, there’s really no breathable space! The skirts hug too tight, shirts are slim fit, and even the shoes that go with ‘em. The more formal we look, the more we compromise on comfort. Men’s clothing on the other hand is like a warm hug, it’s the kind of hug where nobody is really tugging too hard.
Even our Lougewear isn’t lounge-worthy
And don’t even get me started on how breathable male undergarments are. Its upsetting enough that they don’t even have to match them up. Thinking about the sheer amount of room in male loungewear makes it so much worse. What is ironic is that our loungewear is not even lounge-worthy, they leave marks! It’s always a battle of comfort against style, and more often than not, comfort is compromised.
“Mid-range fashion is a male-dominated business, driven not by form and function, but by design and how fabric best drapes the body.” writes Tanya Basu for the Atlantic. We may have diversity when it comes to our clothing line but in terms of comfort and quality, there’s an outpour of attention in the men’s section. Why the double standards?
Well, the brighter side to this is that we can now quite effortlessly carry a water bottle, car keys, a phone, and a drink simultaneously in ONE HAND.
Either women have no pockets or don’t have adequately-sized ones. I’ve owned jeggings and jeans with (fake) zippers, and they open up to your bare skin or just don’t really have a purpose. It’s really heartbreaking when brands cheat you into thinking you have a handy wardrobe aid when in reality you don’t. There’s clearly a commercial reason for this and I’m sure it hasn’t gone past you; the handbag market would be at a loss if we had pockets that men conveniently take for granted. This is also to do with the inherent sexism that exists within the high fashion realm where looking good beats feeling good.
So, we’re going to keep stealing hoodies and jeans from Men until we get our own and nobody can stop us.
Its sad that we have to juggle
Well, the brighter side to this is that we can now quite effortlessly carry a water bottle, car keys, a phone, and a drink simultaneously in ONE HAND. Yes, it’s a fact. Women have gone as far as learning how to carry multiple things in one hand over carrying a purse, we even had a meme about this.
Men’s clothing on the other hand has abundant space for even a damn keyboard, anything really. Design in the case of a man has a lot to do with functionality and they never get fake pockets, ever! We’re almost always expected to carry purses, despite the fact that literally, everyone owns a smartphone that they need to carry at some point. And, ladies handbags just don’t do so well with the “hasslefree” part of the experience.
Pockets are just the most convenient addition to clothing that is almost always dodged in the case of the female. So we’re going to keep stealing hoodies and jeans from men until we get our own and nobody can stop us.
4. Bang for the buck!
Diversity comes at a huge cost in our case, as designers think so much about the different styles that by the time they get to the fabric, the cost is already high and material quality, not so much. With a handful of options at hand, men have to think about longevity and quality over the kind of fit they need, so they almost always get value for the money they pay. The icing on the cake is that one piece of clothing, like a shirt, can be mixed and matched giving the man a versatile look each time. These are what we call the investment pieces that are a clear bang for the buck! No wonder some guys don’t mind living in the same shirt their entire lives.
When we weigh the pros and cons, men’s clothing really takes it a notch higher with the quality, utilitarian angle of design, and comfort. With the trend shifting towards baggy clothing, women like me can happily hop on without having to worry about the style bias at play. Besides, with more women taking to the workspace, we’ve got some serious reconsidering to do in terms of design, if not, we know now that we can always switch sections!