There are a few things that separate the genders as starkly as fashion. Perhaps reality TV as well, but that is besides the point. In this article we will speak upon some of the perpetual challenges that women face when dealing with clothes and fashion, both in their personal lives and in the workplace.
You may have heard about the now infamous Australian TV reporter who wore the same suit for over a year in order to make a statement about female inequality in the workplace. This was a perfect example of some of the challenges we are facing. For one, it’s nearly impossible for a man to be judged terribly for his clothing choices, unless of course he looks like a complete bum. Secondly, men’s is simple. Suit and tie. Button down/slacks. Done. Woman face a plethora of other options.
You can see this if you walk into any department store. Notice how much floor space is devoted to the men’s section, in contrast with how much is devoted to the woman’s section. The difference is staggering, with virtually 70+% of floor space dedicated to products aimed at woman (whether it’s clothes, cosmetics, shoes, etc). This isn’t surprising if you glance at any introductory marketing textbook, it’s an industry standard that woman are involved in about 80% of ALL purchasing decisions, so it only makes logical sense to devote your floor space and advertising towards women. Many stores, like Bebe and CG Newman, are entirely focused on woman’s fashion.
So we know woman buy a lot of stuff, but why exactly? Well, one reason is that woman’s fashion is so diverse (compared to men’s) and there are so many more options. When it comes to men’s suits, how many different black/navy blue combinations can their be? But with women’s clothes, shoes, jackets, dresses, pants, you name it, the combinations are too many to count.
But another one of the reason’s is the judgment they face (usually from other woman) when going to work each day. This especially true of woman with public facing roles, like news reporters, who are constantly judged by their attire, and must wear something new everyday. This is what made that Australian reporters experiment to striking, as he was literally able to not change his clothes a single time and nobody noticed.
So woman are constantly facing this challenge of trying to stay attractive, beautiful, fresh and fashionable, and it can wear thin on some (although some other, let’s be fair, live for this type of thing). So what do we do to combat it? Well, a few tips we came up with:
- Tone it down – Stay simple, with fashionable but basic attire, like dress pants and shirts, and perhaps alternate colors.
- Avoid being a shop-aholic – This is a real problem with shoppers of both genders, so keep your shopping to once a season, at most.
- Don’t judge other woman – As mentioned before one of the biggest problems is that woman are judging other woman by their appearance and lack of variety in clothing. If we want to stop the madness, we should start with ourselves.