Shopping the Men’s Department

Vogue Paris August 2009 by Mikael Jansson
A few months ago I was reading this article on The Wall Street Journal, on how women’s fashion turns to menswear for tips, and I’ve been meaning to link to it ever since, because not only is it a really good read, but it affirms my own thoughts on the subject, which I’ve tackled before.

There are many times when my husband and I enter a menswear store and, to my amusement, he admits he can’t tell anymore whether I’m shopping for him or for me. It’s not only the basic, simple, classic, with no decorative flourishes styles that I crave, the kind of clothes you can forget about wearing, because you feel that good in them. Rarely does it happen for me to leave the store without analysing my outfit and thinking that I could have taken one item off when I left the house, even if I consider my dressing to be minimalist.

Apart from the men’s wardrobe being a lesson in restraint, something women could take more often notes on, the thing that puzzles me the most is how even in stores that carry both women’s and men’s clothing, the quality is indeed usually better in the men’s collections. And that’s because men know what the best is and that’s what they demand. I assure you, I would buy from the guys on a much more regular basis if I found pieces to fit me more easily. The cut is always better, even compared to womenswear that is supposed to channel men’s clothes.

Yes, men seek and are offered better quality – it’s clear when I compare my wardrobe to my husband’s and that’s not because I settle for less, it’s only because I obviously don’t get the value I pay for. But men also seem to take even more delight in their clothes when they get a little threadbare and worn. That’s when their style gains extra authenticity. Why don’t women treat fashion more reluctantly too?

photo: Mikael Jansson for Vogue Paris, August 2009 | “Diane K” editorial styled by Anastasia Barbieri

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