Alright, after thinking about this I've come to think that maybe the way men's and women's jeans are made is a perfect example of the way each gender is brought up to think. Now bear with me here.
Men's jeans are usually loose-fitting, and made from a thick grade of denim that's durable and can almost act as a form of safety padding because of how thick it is. It's loose enough so as not to hinder movement even though it can't stretch because of how thick and tough the material is. It's got pockets big enough and deep enough so as to store TONS of stuff in them and many varities have additional pockets on the thighs and knees as well, with some even having hidden pockets.
They are, essentially, the ultimate in practicality and functionality. Designed to be worked and beaten to death and style takes a back seat to functionality. Yet most men choose to wear these workhorse clothes virtually everyday when hanging out or even when going to nicer occasions, and it is considered socially acceptable for men to do so.
Now, women's jeans are made of thin, stretchy material that is more akin to the soft cotton t-shirts are made from than the durable work-grade denim men's jeans are made from. It has no useable pockets to speak of, and is designed to be tight, possibly to the point of hindering movement. Rather than emphasizing practicality, they choose to add feature to these jeans that do things such as lift your butt to look tighter and perkier and make you look thinner. Obviously these pants were made for style and form rather than function or practicality.
I don't really know what I'm getting at here, other than that the qualities of these jeans is perhaps a perfect example of the way men and women are conditioned to think from birth, and maybe be used as an insight into understanding one another. Opinions? Or do I just sound like someone on drugs doing an acid rant?
Most Helpful Girl
I think that the differences between male fashion and female fashion ARE somewhat of a reflection of male and female values/expectations. They also reflect the roles that men and women typically play in society. Men and women’s clothing is different because it is meant to accomplish different purposes and give off different “visual messages.” Think about it: how much can you tell about a person and their values before he/she even opens their mouth?
Let’s start with the little bit of common ground men and women have in the fashion industry…Studies that have been conducted on this subject reveal that people (whether male or female) who select comfortable, practical clothing tend to have a higher level of confidence and are have a good grip on life as well as a good amount of security in their personal lives and careers. Subjects who chose more decorative clothing tended to be more “peer-oriented” and sociable, and able to relate to other people very well. This applied to both men and women.
As far as the gender gap in clothing goes…
Men are more practical. They are, traditionally, the breadwinners. Instead of simply looking “hot,” like women want, (emphasizing sexual organs and the overall appeal of the body) the principle goal of their fashion choices is to both show off their means, while at the same time, being functional and practical. Power, to men, is money, strength, intelligence, and position. Their clothes are intended to reflect those values. Their clothing has an expected lifespan that’s several times longer than that of women’s clothing. Their shoes all fit the same; sizing makes more sense. Vanity sizing is unheard-of. Men’s clothing accomplishes its purpose very well.
Although it’s usually not very practical, like men’s fashion, women’s fashion does accomplish its purpose—just a different one. Female power is also in money and position, but more principally found in “sex appeal.” A great wardrobe can turn a very average looking woman into a stunning “super-woman.” Form-fitting dresses that show off the curve of the hips, heels that give instant “tone” to the legs, and tight jeans that nip and tuck problem areas ALL increase the sex appeal of the woman, thus giving her the “woman power” she wants to accomplish her goals. Sure, sizing makes no sense. It’s a marketing ploy to make the woman feel fitter and more attractive than she really is. (honestly, a “6” sounds sooo much better than a “12” to an average-size woman). That alone is evidence supporting the theory that women buy clothes that they feel make them “look good” rather than comfortable, practical ones, in 9 cases out of 10. It doesn’t mean that their clothing choices are inferior to men’s, they are just made with entirely different goals in mind.
It’s complicated, but it makes perfect sense. If there were no reason behind the madness, then this trend wouldn’t have gone on for hundreds of years like it has.1