Friday, September 26, 2008

Men Shopping

Let’s face it. Men are much more comfortable shopping in either places like Home Depot and Lowes, Electronic stores and gadget specialty shops like Sharper Image, and sporting goods and outdoor stores. These are the places we can relate to. These are the places we feel comfortable.

But inevitably, we are forced to buy clothing. I don’t know how it happens. Perhaps it’s a conspiracy yet to be uncovered but for some reason our favorite clothes either wear out or the spouse threatens something serious if you wear that unfashionable item of clothing one more time!
Over the time we moved I paired down. I had 18 pairs of pants but after a reality check on fashion, fit, and comfort I was down to four. Some were my choice and some were the wife mumbling “Hell no!” or some such words. Having no place left to hide and no excuses to do other things like inspect the furnace vents, it was time to go shopping. At the mall no less!

One thing I quickly noticed about men’s fashion is that just because a store is great for women; that doesn’t mean it applies to men. Take Nordstrom for example. Nordstrom is great for women. It’s a disaster for men. Most of it I dodge around mumbling “you can’t make me wear that…” Macy’s on the other hand is a great place for men’s clothing.

Another one I hate is Old Navy. Women flock here as if there were naked male strippers that only they can see or something. But as a male shopper, I don’t see the allure. First of all, the mens department is stuffed into one tiny little corner. I’ll speak more about that in a moment. Secondly, its all a collection of wrinkled up clothing. Is it an allure feature of Old Navy to have their clothing in complete disarray and looking as if a pack of weasels had been playing with them all day?
I wandered through the mall and noticed that for every clothing store that had men’s clothing (not teen and trendy early 20s clothing like Ambercrombie) there were at least a dozen women’s clothing stores. How did the sexes get so far out of whack? Women’s fashions change faster than Superman in a phone booth while men’s fashion moves at about the same pace as a small town in North Dakota!

Most of the generic clothing stores that offer both sexes have the same basic set up. Ninety percent of the store is women’s fashion and way in the back corner where the cob webs and dust bunnies are is the men’s clothing.
In the end I came home with five pair of pants and a shirt. Mission accomplished. Like a root canal and a tax audit, I’m hoping I don’t have to go through that again anytime soon.

37 comments:

Memarie Lane said...

If it makes you feel any better, skinny women can't find clothes either. Old Navy used to be the only store that sold jeans that fit me, but they decided a few years ago to phase me out.

Didn't Sharper Image go out of business?

VE said...

marie - I think Sharper Image did...obviously our spouses wouldn't let us shop there! ;)

GC (God's Child) said...

why don't you shop online? You know your measurements

Roy Scribner said...

Woot! Owing to the 8+% good-guy sales tax here in Silly Valley, I buy all of my clothes from some store in Missouri. God bless the Internet!

Sarah said...

Consider taking my dad's approach - he takes an annual trip to the Levi outlet and buys 2 identical pairs of jeans, then he goes to one shoe store and buys a single pair of new sneakers, usually New Balance. My mother and I generally buy him all of his shirts and shorts in the summer so he never has to go back to the store again. Of course he also considers those free t shirts you get at fairs to be in fashion...I even bought him the tie he wore to my wedding because he would not buy one!

Evil Genius said...

You mean you actually shop? Dammit. I knew my husband was lying when he said that all men are allergic to malls.

VE said...

gc - No...sadly just knowing your measurements doesn't work. Every clothing manufacturer isn't consistant in those measurements. I've had stuff ranging six different waist sizes just because they are so inconsistant. I'd never shop online for clothing because the cuts are very different too. Some things look good on me and fit well and some don't.

roy - Well that's a good point. See...we don't have a sales tax here.

sarah - Ha ha. No, I do have some fashion sense but it's my own flavor. There are only a few stores that I consistantly find stuff that I wear and even then it takes so long dealing with inconsistant cuts and sizing. I did find a pants design that fit and bought two different colors of it this time around.

VE said...

evil genius - Yeah, I shop when I need to. But it's not like I'm saying "Hey honey...let's go to the mall today!". It's usually out of necessity. I will hang out at REI (outdoor sporting goods store) and pick up clothing there because I like it and it doesn't feel like other clothing stores since it sells fun guy outdoor gadgets and stuff.

The Incredible Woody said...

Maybe I'm a guy. I can't stand malls. I would much rather hang out at REI or even Home Depot!!

Jacki said...

Ditto Marie's comment. I literally cannot wear anything from stores like Target or Walmart, because their size Small is still too big for me.

So I just use my small size as an excuse for having to shop at the expensive designer stores. :-)

Peter would rather be run over than shop. I end up buying everything for him, including shoes. When we got married, I went through his clothes and threw out tons that were ugly and out of style here in the US.

Serena said...

As much as I love clothes, I can't even imagine trying to get by with only a few pairs of pants and a few shirts. On the other hand, if men's shopping options are as limited as what you've documented, it's perfectly understandable. Makes me glad I'm a girl!

Megan said...

I hate clothes.

VE said...

incredible woody - It's ok to join the other side on occasion. I've even cried at a movie (ok, I got mustard in my eye...but that's beside the point)

jacki - Same with my wife. That's why she always shops at Nordstroms. That's funny about Peter...that qualifies him as a legitimate real man! ha ha

serena - It has been limiting but that was this spring and I've pretty much been wearing shorts ever since. Time to stock up again.

megan - Don't worry. If men had their way you'd all be naked anyway! ha ha ha (hey, don't give that rolling of the eyes...it's true!)

leelee said...

My HUbs likes Macy's...ok well that is teh 2 times he has actually shopped for clothes since our marriage began 20 years ago.

I like his style though...if he finds a pair of pants thatfits...he buys 3-4 pair in different colors. Same with shoes, we recently went to the mall and ended up in the Clarks store (which he really liked as did I) and walked out with 3 pairs of shoes.

Shirts? he only really likes 2 kinds..Land End polos (with pocket)for every day, which I order in every color on line and Tommy Bahama for those "special" occasions. Thank god we live in the tropics is all I can say.

I have no idea why I just outlined all that..

HUGS!

VE said...

leelee - Yes, I resorted to the same pant style in different colors just because I didn't find a lot of pants I liked and looked good. They were had at Macy's too. I think shirts are much easier. I probably have 20 of both short sleeve and long sleeve in different styles, thicknesses, colors. I haven't worn a polo type shirt since the mid 90s though. I do have a couple Tommy Bahamas though. Shoes are easy...I'm right smack at ground zero for Nike and they own Cole Hahn, Hurley and Converse. As a result, Addidas Americas is based here as are a couple of others. I don't seem to have a problem buying nicer shoes either. I'm in and out in no time. They're a little more consistant in sizing.

justacoolcat said...

That Old Navy table looks a lot like my closet.

I wonder if I should open a store?

lime said...

oh gees, i barely got past the first test because it called my gender into question. i'd much rather shop at the stores on the left. looks down shirt....there are breasts! am i a female of do i just have a horrid case of gynecomastia????

leelee said...

Oh and I'm still holding at 3rd on your roll...amazing!

Have a great weekend VE

HUGS!

VE said...

justacoolcat - Sounds like you're just right for their franchise! Be sure to wrinkle them. They've got a great pack of weasels they hire for the job...

lime - You are obviously meant to be a covert spy for the females. You have the accute ability to think like and infiltrate the male population for assimilation! Either that or you didn't drink the 'shopping' koolaide...

leelee - Looks like you're in there solid. Fourth through sixth is pretty close and there have been changes. Watching the changes in the list is like watching a marathon. There are groups that are all very close and then there's a bit of a gap to get to the next group. Occasionally somebody moves up to that next group. It's kind of fun to watch the progression...

Kurt said...

I like shopping at Whole Foods the best. I don't go into many bricks-and-mortar stores anymore.

Jeff said...

Are you trying to say that shirt in the 2nd picture is unfashionable? I don't see it. And where did you get that picture btw, the Zapruder film?

padraig said...

Jeans. T-shirt. Running shoes. The guy uniform since forever.

Mona said...

Ewww! I hate shopping for clothes & shoes too! I would do without, till they are faded or in tatters!

My problem is that whatever I like turns out beyond my pocket!

Megan said...

I suddenly have an unconscionable desire to comment.

In the hundreds! Woo hoo!

VE said...

kurt - Whole foods is nice; I wish mine were closer

jeff - Are you trying to say you have a bunch of those shirts?

mona - Yes, isn't it sad that we always want what we cannot afford. I want to convert the Eifel tower to my own personal fort but do you think they'd let me buy it for $10? Nooooo. Damn French...

megan - Comment on girl!!!

Quickroute said...

I too hate the shopping experience and only do it every other year. I buy things in triplicate so I don't need return in the near future

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

My husband and I both go nuts in REI or The Great Outdoors. We could spend a fortune at either store. But when it comes to dressy/fashionable clothing, Nordstrom's is the place I'll go (either that or Bloomies). My husband rarely dressed up. He has a few suits that he's had for years and they are all still in great shape because he never has to wear them! There are a lot of women who love Home Depot, too, believe it or not. I was president of the local chapter of Women For Home Depot in the country town we used to live in. We would meet and discuss the merits of power tools.

angie said...

Glad you found your way to some new clothes. Despite having to wade through the womens. I hate Old Navy for adults. You are right. The men's stuff is particularly....not good.

Bee said...

VE, I shop for my hubs all by my lonesome.

I know exactly what looks good on him and he wears what I tell him to. On the flip side, he vetos any top I may have that he thinks might be over-exposing me.

We are equal control freaks. :o)

P.S.
I'm job hunting and the hubs wants me to apply to Best Buy, our electronics store, while I would rather remove my left eyeball and sew it to my ear.

Alex L said...

I have a theory that a husband is no more than an accesory to a woman, like a handbag or some ear rings. Thusly its not about how you feel you look, its if you match what the wife is wearing... can you guess why I'm single?

I dont mind clothes shopping its just hard to find shirts that dont make you look like you've been attacked by a mentally defunct asian kid with a paint brush. Or pants that look like you're actually the first person to wear them.

Practically Joe said...

This is why men are the ones always walking around
the house in their underwear.

Kelley said...

Dude, I don't even KNOW any of these stores.

But mens clothing is up the back cause men don't care. Full stop. The End.

MJ said...

After five years, my boyfriend has pretty much just given up on buying clothing. I buy what I want him to wear, and he generally just grins and bears it LOL. But he has a pretty good sense of style, and he like what I buy him - he just hates shopping.

VE said...

quickroute - Every other year...sort of like the Olympics huh? Only harder...

arizona - Yes...I rarely dress up either. I haven't worn a suit since the 80s and a sports jacket since the 90s. REI rules...

angie - Finally...somebody that agrees with me about Old Navy. I knew out of 6+ billion people there'd be one more...

bee - How's that whole ear/eyeball surgery going? Can you show me something in a humungous TV? ;)

alex - You might be on to something with that assessory theory! ha ha ha

joe - Ha ha. Yes, that would be the reason, huh?

kelley - It's very liberating not to care! You should try it. Put on those Croc shoes! ;)

mj - Well hopefull you're not the practical joke type!

Carla said...

I thought that shirt in the second pic was kind of cool. But of course I wouldn't wear it and would probably laugh at the guy who did.

Maureen said...

Oh Gad. On our pilgrimmage to the Mall of America, poor hubby was left in the movie theatre most of the time while daughter bought out the teen clothes stores, which comprise about 98% of all the stores there. The only clothes HE got were the T's we bought him.

VE said...

carla - See how we can never win! Ever.

maureen - See...even at the largest mall we can't find men's clothing!