Thursday, May 6, 2010

What men want...when it comes to Fashion

Unlike the 2000 Mel Gibson/Helen Hunt (I know, hate to mention him but bare with me) movie, What Women Want, you don’t need to get struck by lightning to get into the minds of men to figure out what they want and most importantly like…when it comes to fashion that is. It is no secret that what women find cool, fashionable and sexy is usually far from what men do so I was excited to see an article in last month’s Harpers Bazaar, “What Men really think of too-trendy fashion” and gotta say that I agreed with most of it. This post was approved by Phil (-: but may not be by all of you.
Those of us that dress for other women will fall into the “I need to wear the latest and most expensive in fashion regardless of what it looks like…it’s in and I’m an IT girl. Those of us that dress for ourselves, for the men in our lives and...let's face it...out there checking us out, fall into the classic, tried and true of what makes a woman look good, confidant and sexy.
To get some perspective on the subject, I decided to do a little research to find out what men love and hate about Women’s fashion? Wow, for not knowing anything about fashion, what most men admit to, they do know what they like and…what they don’t like.

So here’s a list of women’s fashion trends I uncovered that men and I (sometimes/not always agree with) think are NOT HOT.


Head Scarves…By the look I get from Phil when I attempt to wear one of these, I agree…they are pretty ugly and do nothing for you other than cover-up dirty or unruly hair.

Capri Pants…Most of the men polled found these to look “stupid” and said they looked like something that looks like it shrunk in the dryer. Either go long or not, there’s no in-between… Not sure I agree for all, think Audrey Hepburn in her black Capris but do have to say that if you’re overweight, don’t even think about it…long and straight in the leg is the way to go.

High-waisted Pants and shorts…aka Mommy pants and if you want to look like an uncool mom who no longer cares about looking good, go for it...OMG, totally agree and although they are back in style this season, stay away…dead giveaway that you’re a fashion victim.  Not even these stylish celebrities look good in them!

Writing on your butt…Don’t advertise on your derriere unless you’re in college and have a nice round cute tush but since not too many of us fall into these categories stay away…Juicy, your alma mater, Pink. Bad message to young girls and makes you look like you’re trying too hard.

Sunglasses…As much as I love accessories, sunglasses are the first thing people see when they look at you so please, avoid the big primary colored frames that make you look as if you’re taking bubby to bingo.

Wearing Sweatpants, Pajamas and Gym clothes outside.
Although I find nothing wrong with being casual, there is a difference between looking pulled together casual and looking like you just rolled out of bed and didn’t bother getting dressed. Similar to gym clothes that I see moms sporting all day long; are they really going to and coming from the gym…hmmm or, have they just given up?

Flip Flops. ..I have to totally disagree and if I could, I would live in my Havaianas and Uggs but do agree that they are not appropriate for everything and your feet have to be in impeccable shape. This means toes polished, calluses cleared and all hair removed.

Other no no’s this time according to me (-:

Overalls, Birkenstocks, granola looking crocks (not ever sure what they’re called and don’t want to know), crazy prints like florals especially when mixed together, harem pants, bows (unless you’re 5), press on nails especially in bright colors, unpolished toes, skunk hair…come on, at least pretend to care AND clothes that are way too tight. Realize that if you wear something 1 size larger, you will look more slender as opposed to 1 size smaller that will make you look like a stuffed sausage. I can go on and on and listen, I’m not suggesting that we all start dressing for men, but am asking that you use some fashion sense and if you think it looks ridiculous, take it off! If you think you have too much on, remove something but don’t blindly follow the latest trends, don’t be a sheep and don’t be afraid to be different, to be an individual and express your own style.

Here is the article from Bazaar, enjoy and would love to hear your thoughts!

Artist Christopher Brooks has seen his share of stylish women. Here, he offers up a straight man's take on what's good, bad, and just plain tragic.

I like to think that I am interested in women's clothes. If we are going out, my wife, author and style arbiter Amanda, will often ask me, "Should I wear this or this?" I usually find that I have a strong opinion, which I feel the need to back up with some sort of sound research. So, when given an invitation, I tag along with my wife to fashion shows. It's a wham-bam lights, camera, action piece of theater produced by a pretty satisfactory collision of girls, music, and clothes.

I think the schism that separates my taste from my wife's is that she is interested in the clothes, while I am interested in how the clothes enhance a woman's body. To me, a show can't be beautiful unless the girls look beautiful. I think this is the yardstick most men apply if they are judging whether their girl has style. My question is always "Is that doing anything for you?" Does what you are wearing make me think of you as more feminine or more elegant or more provocative or more intellectual or more street than I thought before? And please forgive my chauvinism, but do I fancy you more?

A label in itself is no guarantee of desirability. A hot designer's clothes can be brilliant or flat-out fugly. I think women on the whole are more interested to know how they are being assessed by other women; maybe they feel the details are wasted on men. But as a man, when I see women in outlandish getups, I certainly have some kind of internal dialogue with myself that comes under the heading "What were you thinking?" Obviously all taste is subjective, but there are certain themes and conventions that do women no favors: bangs, eyeshadow, wedding dresses, capri pants, polka dots, harem pants, stripes, tentlike dresses, bows, hats, poufy shapes, flats, painted nails, foundation — make that all makeup except lipstick and a bit of eyeliner or mascara.

A lot of aspirational looks seem boring because they are either so expected or irrelevant. I don't think a ball gown has done anything for anyone since 1959. So why does this convention remain? And what does it have to do with the way we live at this point? Conversely, there are other traditional styles that are always good for recycling: pencil skirts, stilettos, and boots and sandals with high heels.

Whether I like fashion is a more complicated question. To my mind, couture shows are the purest form of fashion because a lot of pieces could be considered to function more as art, in that they serve no practical purpose and will never be hung on a peg for sale. Their purpose is to enable designers to make a clear statement of aesthetic message and allow their ideas to be conceptual. If I were looking at art, I would be a willing audience for that kind of proposal, but, strangely, it hardly registers as a point of interest in my fashion sensibility.

Maybe men are interested in fashion only when they can picture themselves as the counterpart to the bit of theater being played out. Somewhere in that equation is perhaps a reason why straight men are rarely drawn to fashion design, yet there is a long history of straight fashion photographers. We can't tell you how to do it, but we know when we like it.

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