“men are the new women” – a rebuttal.

It’s been a long time coming, fellas. They’ve finally got us, eh? No longer is it just women crowding the stores, fighting over the last pair of slacks their size… we’ve fallen victim to retailing shopping binges and clothes horse tendencies.

Naturally, I was offended and bothered by the wording of this quote from men.style.com:

Considering some of the atrocities coming down the runways these days, there’s some truth to this. Have you noticed men and womens clothing slowing growing more and more similar? More relaxed shoulders, low cut necklines, low cut pants, fashion scarves, man-boots galore… the list goes on.  (See the Never. category for further examples).

This is where manshion saves the day. I, too, find myself inundated with images and ideas that are relatively new territory for the average man.  Do I need skinny ties? Do I need new slacks that end at the ankle, just because it’s summer? Do I buy a week’s worth of cotton/lighter fabric suits to go with the warm weather? Socks or no socks? Tie-bar or no tie at all? Scarf in 60+ degree weather? Is it EVER okay to wear an ascot in public? Should I step outside the box and wear a bow-tie? Is my suit too big? Is my suit so tight that my junk’s gotta pick a side when I put on my pants? How will I ever justify buying one of these $1000+ suits the magazines shove down my throat?… and further, how can I afford to do this when it won’t be in style a year from now?

So many questions I cannot answer. Most of these questions, though, can be handled strategically, and I think that’s where manshion really can be a good resource. Knowing how to buy smart. Knowing what’s a simple fad and what’s an investment. Anything investment-worthy, I’d venture to spend some real money on.  The trendy stuff, the casual gear, I’ll go the inexpensive route.  When you break down your fashion and lifestlye choices and purchases into strategic maneuvers, you can eliminate the time, effort, and femininity from your shopping techniques and spending habits.

So are they right? Has the growing number of men shoppers changed the male fashion dynamic altogether? Should men be viewed as just blocky-shaped women in the eyes of designers and retailers?

Manshion says nay. We are but a simple kind.

We seek a good pair of pants. A bold shirt. A strong suit. A proportional tie. A respectable carrying case.

We seek simple, universal-usage clothing.

We seek the basics, offset with a few technicalities. We seek value and quality. Or we’ll take low grade if it’s cheap enough.

We want clothes we can be proud of.  Clothes we can occasional be a dressed-up slob in (a few nights a week, more on vacation).

But mostly, I think we are all looking for clothes that translate. ie. If this were 3rd grade, I wouldn’t get beat up for wearing this to school.  If I can’t feel comfortable wearing my outfit in different parts of town, I think there’s a problem… sometimes this is a fault of our own, but it’s increasingly a fault of the designers– supplying us with questionable choices.

The power is in the dollar, though. That is how to shift the designers’ focus. Make strategic purchases. Try things on before you leave the store once in a while. Make sure you’re getting the look you’re paying for.

Men are not the new women. Men are just a little more concerned with their looks these days. In a world where image is everything and eating disorders start in grammar school, who couldn’t see this coming? If looks alone can get any non-talent myspace whore (I won’t give Tila the pleasure of a link) a recording contract, then, yea, appearance is really taking a front seat in society and men are not exempt.

So guys, don’t let them dress you up to the point where you don’t know if you can still pee standing up in your get-up. Fear not the slim, trim and modern takes on menswear… DO fear the woman’s wear inspired pieces, though. It’s a tricky trail and slippery slope these days. I’ll do my best to keep us all afloat and proud to look in the mirror here and there. Perhaps a little more than most, though.

-The Editor

One Response to ““men are the new women” – a rebuttal.”
  1. BluHulk says:

    Well spoken.

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