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Ifat Glassman

Why are men's clothing so boring?

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I think men's clothes tend to be boring now, but only because the fashion industry has ruined classic men's clothing. I don't think, for example, that a classic tuxedo (not the junk that passes for black tie in Hollywood or at modern weddings) or white tie is boring.

While most suits are "boring" today, rather than elegant, I think that's because so few men wear clothes that fit them well or that flatter their complexion.

You might try looking at the clothes designed by classic men's sartorialists, viz. Turnbull & Asser, Alan Flusser and so forth, and stay away from the Armani and Nordstrom junk.

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Because men have work to do.

This is exactly what I was thinking. 'Getting it done' is the predominant 'look' for men. Casual clothes could be used for fixin' the car, business clothes are descended from military uniforms meant to intimidate as well as marginally protect (lapels are just folded down high collars).

Women's clothing hopes to 'say' something about the woman. Men generally do this only through ties. Otherwise, they have to 'get things done'.

Maybe it's cultural, but I find that women themselves are the main drivers behind their clothing variety. Most men I know, including myself, would be happy if the women they knew had half as many shoes (for example only). I've read that often women dress well for other women to notice them as much as men.

I don't know if it's good or bad for women to have fancy clothing. I haven't figured out exactly how the man/woman thing should be split up. I'm not at all convinced that they're properly completely the same. Maybe women should primarily seek after and express values, men should pursue them. I mean that women express to others, help advocated for what is valuable - through art, through social interaction, through selecting worthy men. Men should just do. If not, then women need to buy fewer shoes and purses.

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I've never felt that my clothing, when I was out to look nice, was boring. For example, my normal debate attire:

p1000857k.jpg

However, at debates, I'm always the only male not wearing black or blue.

"Maybe it's cultural, but I find that women themselves are the main drivers behind their clothing variety."

I suspect that that's cultural. There's no reason a man can't wear a variety of clothing, nice clothing, and care about how he looks. I normally pay no attention to my casual clothing, but when it comes to dressing up for any kind of event, I pay a lot of attention to what I wear. The first thing that you note about a person is how they look, and I operate under the premise that a man who cares about himself necessarily cares about how he looks. He wants his physical appearance, to the extent that he can control it, to match who he is mentally.

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Maybe it's cultural, but I find that women themselves are the main drivers behind their clothing variety. Most men I know, including myself, would be happy if the women they knew had half as many shoes (for example only). I've read that often women dress well for other women to notice them as much as men.

I'm sure it is cultural. If more men were in the fashion industry, I am sure there would be much better clothing choices for men out there. It is silly that fashion is viewed as something "feminine" and that the only males who get into fashion *design* are gay (or at least biased that way for a reason, as in, "it's really feminine").

I don't know if it's good or bad for women to have fancy clothing.

Why would it be bad?

I haven't figured out exactly how the man/woman thing should be split up.

Why should they? I think an androgynous look can be pretty cool, for example, even if it's not a style I'd like to wear. All that really matters is body shape and what values a person wants to be expressed in figuring out what would look good to wear.

Recently I've begun to care about what clothing I wear, and the number one issue for me is a lack of color. Even women's clothing lacks color, but it's worse for male clothing. All I see is black and white and sometimes muted colors. I'm not speaking of just fancy clothing, but also casual clothing. Casual clothing need not be boring, but unfortunately, it is boring.

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I tend to dress for a mix of functionality, comfort, and looks.

I think the point of ties are to cover up the buttons on a shirt; thus, making the clothing look more symmetric and seamless.

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While women have many types of wear, with varying designs, men only have two types: "sport elegant" (which means a nice pair of pants, or jeans and a nice shirt, ither a T-shirt, tight or loose, or a shirt with a colar...) and for special events (or for some, for work) a suit and a tie. Now, I don't see what's so pretty about that. A tie, other than the fact that it seems to be a device for suffocation, is a boring little stripe of fabric that hung on the clothes and have no apparent purpose.

I think the male figure can be better emphasized in other types of clothing, like the ones that (don't laugh) the show "Hercules" has sometimes (and no I am not refering to the shirt of hercules himself :lol: !!. more like something of the king of thieves, if anyone knows what I'm talking about...)

On the other hand, women have a variety of beautiful clothes to emphasize their figure (and some of them even over-emphasize it...).

I wonder what is the cause of this tremendouse difference?

I know this is back from 2006, but I'll bet ties had a purpose. They may have been used to keep dust from going down the neck. However, that's just a guess, and now they are purely for show. I don't like ties, myself. They are uncomfortable.

As to being "pretty", men don't want to be "pretty", as a rule. Maybe attractive, but not "pretty".

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Why should they? I think an androgynous look can be pretty cool, for example, even if it's not a style I'd like to wear. All that really matters is body shape and what values a person wants to be expressed in figuring out what would look good to wear.

Agreed. Good point.

Dresses for instance seem better suited for women. For men, you have kilts which inspires imagery of stuff flopping around (well, maybe that was just Braveheart). For women, dresses can highlight the 'outer' shape of the body, while leaving the 'inside' part hidden, off limits to the public. This is a sexual argument of course, but appropriate. I don't think there's anything wrong with women wearing pants - which can be quite attractive - but I think dresses and skirts are fairly appropriate in a romantic/social context.

Another thing about dresses that is suiting for women is much more traditional, but still fitting. Men are statistically just more physically strong then women. A man who 'works' would produce via his muscles, and so pants are symbolic of strength and production. A dress is symbolic of virtues beyond strength - as in, not needing strength or speed to be valuable. But few men today in our society really 'work' physically much anymore.

As for fancy men's clothing - having spent time in Europe I've seen plenty of fancy men's clothing. I'm all for it, except I remain committed to the underlying principle that a man should wear clothing that expresses some amount of 'working' functionality. Whereas women are not bound by this requirement. See the above paragraph for why. Men can't wear dresses, because men must retain some sense of 'strength' in their appearance. Strength is not at all alone a rational virtue, but maintaining an apperance of strength visavis metaphysical reality is. That is, an outfit should in some way resemble something that could be worn in a ditch. So, a dress would not work. Unless - as in Scotland - there is a culturally appropriate relationship between this and male 'strength'.

I think I have a clearer sense of the dichotomy between the sexes. Generally, male virtues (not virtues necessary for humans that are males, but virtues intrinsic to males) are physical strength. Again, this isn't brute strength or even power or domination, it's more symbolic and existential. Female virtues would be gentleness. Physical gentleness. A female can be 'tough' and physically able - but still conduct herself 'gently'. So, females can properly be athletes, but not push around male or female friends as if its funny and chummy, nor would female body-building be very appropriate.

Clothing is just reflective of this. 'Fanciness' has little to do with it. And I think there's something about vests that's more 'can-do' then just a shirt. It's like a bullet-proof vest, it's protection, defense, strength. Compare this to a woman's summer-dress.

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I tend to dress for a mix of functionality, comfort, and looks.

I think the point of ties are to cover up the buttons on a shirt; thus, making the clothing look more symmetric and seamless.

I know this is back from 2006, but I'll bet ties had a purpose. They may have been used to keep dust from going down the neck. However, that's just a guess, and now they are purely for show. I don't like ties, myself. They are uncomfortable.

As to being "pretty", men don't want to be "pretty", as a rule. Maybe attractive, but not "pretty".

I don't know the origins of the tie, but as for it's function today I think it helps to think about the suit as a picture frame. Lapels, shirt collars and ties all help to frame the face, and that's part of the idea behind traditional mens ware. The tie, well... ties the different elements together. It also helps emphasize the silhuoette that the suit creates(elegant lines that broaden the shoulders and narrows the waist), atleast when we're talking proper ties that broaden towards the bottom(thin straight ties have been in and out of fashion many times, and they do not create the same effect).

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The reason men have less "beauty" products in general is cultural, not some inherent trait in the male sex. It has been reported for at least ten years online in the fashion and beauty industries that the male market for things like clothing and skin care was on the verge of exploding, since before male demand had been close to nil. I haven't compared numbers, but I'd bet it has kind of exploded compared to ten years ago.

It's not that men do not care about their bodies, it's that they are brought up culturally to think they shouldn't care. Off-the-top, reasons I cite for recent changes are waning stigma against gays (which were strongly associated to the beauty industries), clever marketing by companies offering male beauty products, and generally getting "used" to the idea of taking care of one's self.

As evidence of the growing male market, compare the number of "high-end" fashion labels dedicated only to male clothing that exist today to ten years ago. Notice the brand Axe, underwear and perfume offerings. Have you seen the recent commercials by Old Spice and Dove? Many companies see huge potential in the male beauty market by comparing it to the existing female market, and they are making big bets and money.

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The biggest problem is that being stylish does require effort. It is only recently that I decided to put the effort in learning the basics of style. There is a lot of choices you can make, style is really limited only by your imagination and resourcefulness.

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Despite all the rumors on the internet regarding Lady Gaga, I don't think she's really a man.

But there is, however, some avant garde fashion for men also...

http://www.buzzfeed.com/rickt2/penis-pants-akd

Pesonally I like more traditional mens clothing, but with a more modern take on it. I think it's elegant, timeless and masculine. Like my personal style guru, whom I may have a slight man-crush on:

DCEMJdgSE.jpg

(Too bad suits like that cost a fortune :confused: )

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Sorry for necroposting but I don't wan to start a new damn thread just to reply.

I had the exact same thought recently and found this thread through google. (coincidentally, I'm already a member here) Male fashion is so boring. Men in our culture tend to be very utilitarian. Suits are all the same. If you're lucky you get an interesting tie or one colour other than white, black or grey.

I've decided there's no good reason why men shouldn't or couldn't decorate themselves and dress in interesting ways like women.

If anything, the ancient Greeks would be disappointed to see only women celebrating their natural beauty.

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14 hours ago, Nerian said:

If anything, the ancient Greeks would be disappointed to see only women celebrating their natural beauty.

Like this? XD

Even most gays aren't that adventurous with their day to day clothing choices, which suggests to me it's something inherent to men to not get that fancy with their garb, within a given cultural context.

There's an ongoing joke that women like clothes that men think are stupid. I'd guess that the "celebrating natural beauty" style is donned for the eye of men, not women. An eye motivated by sexual desire yields different results than an eye motivated by neat patterns and silhouettes.

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If anything, it should be the other way around: women should stop decorating themselves on a daily basis, too. I'm not opposed to the practice, for men or women, but it's a waste of time when done daily. There is no reason why women should only ever leave the house "decorated".

And, indeed, women I know who are productive don't waste their time with that. My boss (a woman...she's also my favorite boss of all time) dresses in the same exact, simple clothes every day. She commands the respect and admiration of people around her through her actions, instead of her appearance (not that there's anything wrong with her appearance, it's just plain compared to how most women walk around). She does wear heels, a dress, makeup, etc. but only for special occasions, never for work or casual outings.

Edited by Nicky

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On 8/18/2018 at 9:00 AM, Nicky said:

If anything, it should be the other way around: women should stop decorating themselves on a daily basis, too. I'm not opposed to the practice, for men or women, but it's a waste of time when done daily. There is no reason why women should only ever leave the house "decorated".

And, indeed, women I know who are productive don't waste their time with that. My boss (a woman...she's also my favorite boss of all time) dresses in the same exact, simple clothes every day. She commands the respect and admiration of people around her through her actions, instead of her appearance (not that there's anything wrong with her appearance, it's just plain compared to how most women walk around). She does wear heels, a dress, makeup, etc. but only for special occasions, never for work or casual outings.

It's really a preference, isn't it? How can it be a waste of time if you enjoy being decorated? It doesn't take any longer to put on an interesting shirt than a boring shirt. It doesn't take that much time to put on a necklace or something. I'm not saying everyone ought to do it, but many women enjoy it, and if I was a woman, I'd love to do it, I'm jealous they can do it! I want to do it more as a man. It'd be time well invested.

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33 minutes ago, Nerian said:

How can it be a waste of time if you enjoy being decorated? [...] I'd love to do it, I'm jealous they can do it! I want to do it more as a man.

So what's stopping you? There are men out there, straight and gay, who dress in all sorts of weird/cool stuff.

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5 hours ago, Nerian said:

It's really a preference, isn't it? How can it be a waste of time if you enjoy being decorated? It doesn't take any longer to put on an interesting shirt than a boring shirt. It doesn't take that much time to put on a necklace or something.

In my experience (as an observer...I'm a man), a woman living up to the expectations of even just her middle class social circle, using cosmetics, beauty products, bathing products, various services she pays for, and clothing and jewelry she has to pick out and pay for, takes massive amounts of resources and know how, that is developed through painstaking practice (and learning from the time she is a young girl, from other women). And, on top of that, routine work...an average of 20-25 hours/month, easy, once you add it all up.

And once it's upper class expectations, we're talking at least a couple of people drawing a salary from maintaining one rich woman's appearance.

Meanwhile, I groom and dress to standards I'm expected to groom and dress to, and it takes maybe 5 hours/month. And it's basic stuff you can learn from a youtube video, like how to dye your hair (I'm prematurely graying), cut your beard, or shave your privates without slicing anything you (might) need off.

So yes, it's a waste of resources that could be turned towards a far more useful hobby. While girls learn how to dress and make up, which is not a particularly useful skill in the workplace, boys practice leadership and team work through sports, learn musical instruments, work on buying and maintaining their first car, learn how to use and program computers, etc., etc., and, in my mind, this at least partially explains the pay gap between the genders.

Edited by Nicky

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You, Nicky, have a hilarious misconception of time usage. You believe that females are not doing things like sports, instruments, work, etc because they are just TOO BUSY getting their hair and make up and clothes and such done. I'll put aside the fact that females definitely do these things. While it may be rather time consuming getting something done like hair and makeup for some fancy Hollywood party perhaps, the vast majority of occasions one does not spend much more time on getting dressed fairly nicely than boringly or sloppily, as was Nerian's point. Furthermore, you are very much mistaken if you believe that all this time spent getting dressed and doing one's hair and such could somehow be condensed into a big block of time where one could actually make meaningful progress on any of these things that you listed. The time spent on getting dressed is generally small, scattered bits that you can't move your whole schedule around to try to push together. Rather, this is the kind of time that likely otherwise would just end up getting spent maybe sleeping a few minutes longer or screwing around checking e-mail or something.

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14 hours ago, bluecherry said:

You, Nicky, have a hilarious misconception of time usage. You believe that

Stopped reading, sorry. As fascinating as it would be to find out what I believe from a stranger who seems to be upset with me for some reason, I have a very important youtube video to watch. It has guinea pigs in it.

Edited by Nicky

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