Ok, so picture this: You're a woman. You feel like you have pretty good fashion sense. You're not quite up on the latest from the catwalks in Paris, but you can get yourself together and feel like you look great in your favorite outfit. You can go shopping with your friends and each of you is able to find her own unique look in the wide variety of styles available at your favorite mall. Your only limit is your budget.
Now picture this: You're a guy. You have an average body build and can easily find clothes that fit. You're fairly decent at putting an outfit together that doesn't get too much attention. You want to look good, but also stand out from the crowd. Your buddies wouldn't be caught dead "shopping" or give anything positive in the way of "fashion advice". You look around at all the other guys and they are all wearing the same basic things. It is obvious to you that you are just another one of them. You'd like to wear something "fun" or "adventurous" but fear the ridicule of society.
I feel that this happens all the time, granted that most guys would never admit it if they did feel like this. For decades, our culture has glamorized the flashy trends for women and beat down the guys into boring nothingness in the way of fashion.
Look around next time you are in a crowded area, such as a shopping mall or a park. Most of the guys will be wearing some type of denim or khaki pants, brown shoes or simple tennis shoes, some type of T-shirt maybe with a pullover or sweater, and a baseball hat. All of this will most likely be in dark or neutral colors. Now look at the ladies. There will be dresses, skirts, leggings, jeans, boots, pumps, heels, flats, sweaters, tank-tops, T-shirts, jewelry, and on and on. These will be flashy colors and styles that are as various as the people themselves.
So what is going on here? Are most guys drab and dull because they really want to be? Are the choices so slim that there are not many options? Do ladies want their guys to just blend in? (Btw, most guys will do what they think the ladies like.) There are many choices in fashion, but do the marketing departments of stores just not want to step outside the norm for fear of losing sales?
I don't know the answers to these questions, but I do know that men's readily available fashion choices are poor at best. The worst is in shoes. Assume you are a guy looking for a casual dress shoe. Look at the options available. The women's section of shoes is 5-10 times larger than the men's section. Even when you look at the selection within the men's section, there are often striking similarities among the styles. Do you want a brown leather lace up with a 1/2" heel, a dark brown leather lace up with a 1/2" heel, a brown leather lace up with a 3/4" heel, or the stylish new distressed brown leather lace up with a 3/4" heel.
You could step out of the norm, but then where would you look? Your only reasonable option is to shop for women's shoes and clothing. Then you take the risk of scaring children and little old ladies while garnishing judgmental stares from the tough guy shopping with his wife. You like the thought of being able to express yourself freely, but can't quite bring yourself to do it.
In the end, I'll probably just do what all the other guys do and blend in.