If the Genders Could Dress Each Other…

10 02 2010

I think the old adage may be true that women dress for other women and that men pretty much dress for themselves.  Of course, if you’re about to go on a first date or to a party where you know your hot co-worker is going to be, you factor the opposite sex into your wardrobe choices.  Maybe these black heels instead of those bejeweled flats, maybe this curve-hugging dress instead of those trendy “jeggings.”  But for the most part, I think there has been a major communication lapse between women and men as to what each gender hates to see the other gender wear.

Now, I always feel like I have to qualify this– obviously, gender is a very flexible category.  Gay men may like different kinds of clothes on other men than straight women do, androgynous-looking women may be specifically out to attract other androgynous-looking men or women.  But for the sake of this blog post, I’m only referring the kinds of clothes straight men like to see on women, and vice versa, because that’s my frame of reference.

So, based on my limited research and observations, men really don’t understand the following ladies’ fashion trends:

Low-crotch Pants


These low-crotch pants seem to be an up-and-coming trend, and it still may not have reached many parts of the country.  So before you get hooked into wearing them, keep in mind that they make us look like we are either wearing diapers or prosthetic penises.  Why men have a problem with that, I’ll never understand.

Cowl Neck Sweaters

Is that a cowl neck sweater, or is your torso giving birth to your head? I’m guilty of wearing these, even though men generally hate them. Also, what’s with the geometric print shirt under a 3-quarter sleeved sweater?  This woman probably has a number of problems hiding under the labial folds of her sweater neck.

The Empire Waist

The best thing about empire-waist dresses is that they will still fit when you’re nine months pregnant!  Methinks this is why men hate them.

Tube Tops

Guys generally hate tube tops because, let’s be honest, most women cannot actually pull them off.  You have to have 0% upper-body fat, or your armpit will ever-so-slightly buckle over the side of the shirt, as even this young, in-shape woman’s armpit is doing.  Tube tops also create a “uni-boob” effect, where your chest looks like one big horizontal boob.  Not that women will ever stop wearing them for this reason.

Capri Pants


Honestly, I don’t really understand why men hate capri pants, and I don’t think they do either.  If you ask one, he’ll say something like, “I dunno, they look stupid.”  If I had to venture a guess, I’d say it’s because capri pants visually shorten your legs.

Honorable mentions:

Too Much Makeup

You know what I’m talking about– the blood-red prostitute lips, eyelashes that look like spider-legs, thick black eye-liner completely surrounding the eye, electric blue lids, foundation a half-centimeter thick on your cheeks.   You look like a clown– this is one thing most women and men can agree on.

Sneakers with Jeans (unless they’re Chucks)

They make us look sloppy.  Same goes for flip-flops, apparently.

NOW onto the men’s fashion trends that women hate, because not enough attention is paid to this topic:

Skinny Jeans

Gross. Women can pull these off because our legs are more shapely– your legs look like a series of stuffed sausage links.  Please peel them off, if that’s even possible at this point, and get some big boy pants.

Fedoras

Hey, are you Frank Sinatra?  No?  Then take off that ridiculous hat.  Fedoras don’t say “I’m cool.”  They say, “I didn’t have any friends in high school, so now I’m desperate for attention.”

Tight T-Shirts


Yes, we hate these, even if you’re very muscular.  Also, did you have to tuck it in?  Tucked in t-shirts are not cool.

Whale-Patterned Pants

Men at UVa actually wore these. I’m dead serious.

Whale pants are unacceptable, as are duck-patterned pants, plaid pants, elephant pants, and basically anything but normal, solid-colored pants.

Double Collars

No. Hell no.  Absolutely not.

Tank Tops (unless you’re doing hard physical labor)

These make you look gay.  If you don’t mind looking gay, be my guest– wear a tank top to a bar.  But don’t ask to buy me a drink, or I will reply by suggesting that we get matching pedicures the following morning.

Cross Necklaces

No, you are not Bone Thugz ‘N Harmony.  Take it off.  Trust me– Jesus doesn’t mind.

I could go on and on about men’s fashion don’ts: hair gel, cowboy boots in the city, short-sleeved button-down shirts, bolo ties, any kind of jewelry.  But I think you get the picture.

I’m not advocating that anyone base his or her personal style on the preferences of the opposite sex.  I’m just sayin’– isn’t it funny how men never ask women what we actually like to see them wear, and vice versa?

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10 responses

10 02 2010
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[…] If the Genders Could Dress Each Other… « district ramblings […]

10 02 2010
slab pie

I LOVE THIS POST.
In general, I find that heterosexual men adapt to new trends much slower than women (hence the majority of men’s fashion shows featuring a slight variation on the previous year’s trends with the exception of Vivienne Westwood and other designers who know their line won’t be available in Macy’s anytime soon). Point is, women are trendier than men and the male eye doesn’t adapt at the same speed.
I’d also like to note that I, like men, do not understand the Harem pant style on anyone who is less than 5 ft. 10 and even then I wanna reach out and grab their crotch.

10 02 2010
graber

Bone Thugz ‘N Harmony. effin great!

i hate pants. all of them.

10 02 2010
swirlz

gosh I HATE skinny jeans. Especially when they are fastened under the asscheeks. They make everyone look bad, EVERYONE. When will this dumb-ass fad pass?

I do like horizontal boob tubes though, jugga-jugga!

10 02 2010
Timur

Those low crotch pants (I call them Aladdin pants) are all over Spain, I sincerely hope they don’t make it here.

10 02 2010
bros

I think skinny jeans are the devil on women or men. dont like chunky highlights on women. But I care far less about what women wear than men.

I hate pleated pants on guys, dress shirts with collars that have buttons on them, sleeves that are either too long or too short, shoes with really square toes a la 2001, shirt sleeved oxford shirts like that mumbling character in office space. nothing screams frustrated middle management like a short-sleeved button down shirt.

one of my girlfriends just came back from amsterdam with those low crotch pants in magenta that can be worn like 7 different ways, including as a dress, and her husband definitely told her that aladdin called and wanted his lamp back.

11 02 2010
geof

HAAHAHAHAHAA! excellent!

Clothes confuse me. The older I get, the more simply I try to dress, with clothes that I can only hope will be appropriate to my age.
What I like to see on women is clothes that show off the curves and hide the rolls. I need a sassy gay man or black lady to turn that into a catch phrase. something like, “girl, you need to…blah blah blah” i don’t know, it’s out of my idiom. Maybe Lawrence from Office Space: “Ladies, you need to dress like you drive. Take the curves on the inside, but save the rolls for the bbq. Fuckin A” anyway, jeans and tight tops aren’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean an extra pounds of boobs and butt can’t look flippin hot.

12 02 2010
Hannah

I think everybody is being a little harsh on these Harem pants. Maybe they don’t look so great on women, but MC Hammer did pretty well in them. Let’s consider another man’s experience in harem pants; My little brother LOVES to wear “Aladdin” pants. Seriously, as soon as he comes home from college he puts those on. I think he bought them at a renaissance festival one year. He says they give him great freedom of movement. These pants are pretty much designed for aerial splits! I’ve seen him switch on and off lights with his feet wearing these pants, I’ve even seen him putting away dishes with his feet! Yes, it’s gross, but it demonstrates my brother’s amazing flexibility and the versatility of these pants when it comes to life style. They may look strange now, but I think there’s potential, especially if they’re magenta and good for acrobatics.

And by the way… Women wear to many scarfs in-doors. It’s silly and they get caught on things. I don’t know what men think about this.

12 02 2010
damion

I’ve tried to stop the empire waist thing for years! I’ve honestly told random women at bars (some of which were wearing them at the time, i was a bit too inebriated to realize) how awful they are. I don’t even notice what girls where most of the time but that those dresses are hideous. i haven’t seen them as much recently so I think we’re making headway on the issue.

20 02 2011
Kristine

THANK YOU.

But seriously, have you tried to find a sundress this spring that ISN’T empire waisted? All I want is to not look pregnant. Seriously, everyone in America is apparently so obese that there is a huge market for everyday non-pregnant-pregnant wear?

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