Whilst lunching in a packed shopping centre on Saturday afternoon, my best friend and I took to the art of people watching. And what was overwhelmingly obvious was this- 90% of the boys that we saw looked the same. If I had gotten a pound for every Rihanna t shirt that I saw being ‘donned’ then I would have made a pleasing amount of money! And looking around some of the top high street stores later that day, it seems it’s not these guy’s faults that they all look the same- there’s so much of the same on offer!
Chinos, Aztec tops, logo t-shirts, daps. Chinos, Aztec tops, logo t-shirts, daps. I think there’s a distinct (Aztec) pattern emerging. As my boyfriend aptly said, ‘Half the shirts in Topshop look like they’re owned by Noel Edmunds’. What is going on?!
So has it always been like this for boys? Don’t get me wrong, I understand that theres a difference between girls and boys and their takes on fashion. Fashion can be an important way of bonding and forming relationships between girls. I always remember in the schooldays how my friends and I would buy the same or similar garments in order to show our closeness and friendship. The recreational activity of shopping on the weekend with a girlfriend is something which most girls find themselves doing each week. Without generalising too much, for boys this is more likely to happen through discussing a sport, a music band or even a video game. This was made even more apparent in my university days when the boys would all go off to play COD and us girls would sit in the next room and flick through fashion magazines.
And what I seem to hear a lot is that men don’t like to take too many risks. They just want something comfy and something which looks relatively good. For many girls competition is rife to be THE best dressed in the group, or to be known as the one who takes risks which always pull off.
Now of course, I’m not saying that ALL men look the same. I’m always spotting men who look really trendy. In London there seems to be much more of fashion awareness, probably because London is a fashion capital. One of the best-dressed men I know is my best friend who also happens to be gay. It sounds cliché but gay men are often the best dressed. Jamie isn’t afraid to take risks and always looks good. And confirmation of this could not come in a more highly esteemed form than through a comment from my mother, ‘Jamie always looks soooo trendy, he’s really cool’. Nice one mum.
It’s always been assumed that fashion is a woman’s world. When thinking about a designer label which is just as well known for its men’s garments as its women’s, the only one which prominently comes into my mind is Burberry, and that’s for the unisex trench coat. And you only have to look at the ratio between women’s and men’s clothes in high street shops to see which is the real money maker. But there are some fantastic men’s clothes out there just waiting to be discovered.
So please, please, please high street shops….tone it down on the Rihanna t-shirts!