Sunday, September 25, 2005

Men, Women, Clothing.

After reading sleepy-e's recent post "Dating for Dummies, Vol.2," I have been thinking about gender differences re: clothing. He says, "Women like clothes. I dare anyone to get huffy about this either. Bring it on, because you are lying and you will lose. Women like clothes. They like other things too, like puppies and unicorns and literary theory, but they especially like clothes." Here are my thoughts:

Part One. When I met my husband, his wardrobe philosophy consisted of the following:

1. Own two pairs of identical trousers (khakis).
2. Own ten shirts.
3. Own two pairs of the exact same--identical!--Rockport boots.
4. Wear the khakis for a week's worth of classes.
5. one shirt a day.
6. Take all the week's clothing to the dry cleaners
7. Repeat with alternate set of clothing.

If he got a new shirt, he used to say, that would mean he'd need to get rid of one of the old ones. It was simultaneously a philosophy and a closed-system science. I really admired it and still do.
Part Two. Needless to say, in every respect, I approach clothing myself in a fashion directly opposite of my husband's. I don't resent him for his philosophy/science/practice. I appreciate the diversity of human beings. I found, and find, his method of costuming himself to be utterly endearing. Meanwhile, today I made a second trip to T.J. Maxx for a skirt that I had made the terrible mistake of not buying two days ago. It fits into no system or science, though I do have some thoughts, and perhaps they are philosophical, about sweaters, jackets, and shirts I may wear with it. And shoes.

Part Three. Let me add that my son, the same one who's running these days, came up with the brilliant notion three years ago of buying five of the same pairs of shorts (red) and five of the exact same tee shirt (olive green). His philosophy was that, like most cartoon characters, such as Bart Simpson and Pepper Ann, he should wear the same clothes every day. A uniform, if you will. Anyone who can fail to appreciate the platonic beauty in this scheme needs to get a clue.

Part Four. Even cargo shorts, tee shirts, and basketball shoes are costume, no more fake or less fake than, say, dockers and a laundered shirt. Repeating the same clothing day in and day out is an elegant and admirable conception, regardless of the nature of the attire.

Part Five. Okay, I do like clothes.


  1. I wish I could develop a simplified wardrobe policy. Instead, my closet is a mass of random objects that were purchased not for their practicality in the larger wardrobe scheme, but just because I liked them at one specific shopping moment. For the most part, my wardrobe is a large collection of impulse purchases. I like clothes and if my parents hadn't pounded a nagging sense of pragmatism and frugality into my head, I would have many more. Today, because it's cold, I want to go out and buy a sweater and I'm cursing the buying moratorium I have imposed on myself.

  2. Here's the thing about a buying moratorium that you've imposed on yourself: it's negotiable!

  3. I don't have a system per se, but I do have a "replacement" policy. If I buy something new, it must replace something current. Yes I am the badly-dressed Martinette of the wardrobe: new pants in; old pants out. Hole in a sock? Out it goes to be replaced by a similar (usually white) sock.

    I used to be much more teacherly in my attire. Now I think I am too slovenly.

  4. Hey, I think this my first ever literary citation! It's going on the CV--"cited in the Sept 26 edition of Lisa's blog."



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