Someone at work the other day had the audacity to imply that women had it better because of the variety of clothing we get to chose from. When I get up in the morning exhausted and have at most an hour to get out the door, believe me, the last thing I want to think about is how to match up this variety. Does the color, pattern, and cut match? Will I be too cold? Is this somewhat see through (and if so, do I have a clean white bra?)? I can’t wear that shirt with that bottom, I need a longer shirt or a higher cut of pants. Damn it, those are two different shades of blue.
Variety isn’t what I’m thanking of when I’m faced with the daunting task of clothes shopping on a budget for practical, versatile clothing. I want something I can wear often, not be too uncomfortable in, look decent in, not have to wear something under, and won’t fall apart if I put it in a washer (I *will* hang dry as a compromise, but who has the resources to hand wash their clothes?). Variety means you could potentially buy a piece of clothing that can be only worn with a certain other set of clothing to not look stupid.
I don’t need to look “damn” even a fraction of the time in my world. I still don’t want to look stupid. That bar is higher for women, with pressure from both men and other women. If a guy wears something stupid, it not only okay because he’s a guy, but it might be kind of cute or endearing.
I like guy’s clothing. Too bad it doesn’t fit women correctly. That doesn’t mean I don’t own and wear men’s clothing if I like it enough. It’s elegant in its simplicity. It’s really hard to screw up or not find something when shopping. It’s very practical and spans seasons and occasions easily. If there are designs or logos, they’re more often subtle or of cool things. Too boot, the sizes even make sense. Hallelujah.
Women’s sizes… for pants I wear an 11/12. What does that mean? I have no idea. As it is, I have a lot of 13/14 too. Why are they /? I don’t know. What waist size and pant length does that equal? Well, there must be some algorithm based on brand, style, and those arbitrary numbers with the /. Women hackers are working on it as you are reading this. If you are a woman who is (what some person somewhere decided) ‘a bit tall’ or ‘a little short’ (or someone has determined your waist size is inconsistent to your leg length), you’re pretty much screwed or need to become a seamstress. Some pants have little bits of leeway. You can get a 11/12 tall. How tall? Well the amount you’re supposed to be if your ass is that size and you’re taller, duh!
Do you like pockets? Someone thinks women don’t, because half of my pants don’t have them (though they may be styled to look like they do).
So, if pants are complicated, don’t get me started on shirts. Guys have short sleeve and long sleeves. Women have those, and three quarter sleeves. Guys have crew or v-neck. Women have every cut imaginable, including square. I mentioned see through shirts above, and I’m not joking when I say you have to check to make sure before you buy a shirt (or skirt, unless you want to purchase and coordinate a matching slip*).
There are all kinds of additional shit people like to put on shirts and bottoms too. Dumb designs aren’t the half of it. Shoulder pads, body suit attachments, beads, sequins, fringe, fur, shininess, fake pockets, fuzzies, and whatever else they just decided was in, or was in at some point. Every year some other stupid trend comes along. Last summer, for the life of me I could not find a tank top that wasn’t long enough to be a dress. Some women don’t have much curves around the waist, so maybe having a long tank top was okay. For me, having a shirt that needs to fit both my waist and but is a joke. It’s also silly. Why does my ass need to wear my fitted shirt?
Fitted clothing is a good idea if you have a sizing structure to match fits. Men come in enough varieties for body type. With curves, women have at least double the variation. With sizes so vague, how does someone find a fitted shirt that fits when the sizes are: x-small, small, medium, large, x-large (and some larges with more and more x’s). Most women take a small, medium, or large. Is someone trying to tell me that most women in the world have upper bodies that fit into 3 categories? Even a man knows (and maybe especially a strait man) that women’s breasts come in a variety of sizes and match up with a variety of stomachs.
I haven’t even touched on women’s shoes, belts, and purses. I didn’t even get into dresses. I feel I’ve gone far enough and just don’t want to go there right now.
I hate women’s clothing. It has nothing to do with my body either. I know that when I find a perfect fit (once in a life time) of something that isn’t some weird failed art project, I look good.
I can’t wait for the day it’s acceptable for men to wear any and all of women’s clothing. A few things will happen: women’s clothes will come in a wider variety and more accurate sizing. Also, men will understand how much of a pain in the ass it is and expect less of us. Maybe, women’s clothing will become more practical.
The empathy would also be nice. They will say, “Wow, pantyhose sucks. It’s itchy, it can get ruined by breathing on it too hard, and did I mention it’s itchy?”
And we’ll say, “Mmm-hmm.. damn strait.”
*slip – n. A skirt like thingy that goes under a skirt. Why one isn’t sewn into the skirts that need them is a mystery.