Amanda Marcotte asks, "Is there any facet of life that can't be filtered through the bizarre belief that men and women are fundamentally opposites in every way?" She proceeds to take apart a Chicago Tribune article about how the sexes approach grocery shopping, but more material might come her way soon: a NYT Styles story (it's not the new year yet!) that goes like so:
Women shop, men stockpile. That’s one theory, anyway, of how men buy clothes differently from women. If women see shopping as an opportunity, a social or even therapeutic activity, the thinking goes, then men see it as a necessary evil, a moment to restock the supply closet. At the risk of perpetuating sex stereotypes, [...]The piece takes that risk, and goes on to perpetuate sex stereotypes, or something. A bunch of successful if not altogether famous men are asked whether they buy a lot of the same thing, and turns out they do. Absent from the article is any evidence whatsoever that women don't do this. Women, let it be known, totally do this. (Witness the stack of identical white tank tops from the Petit Bateau sales.) Are we really meant to believe that women don't buy things like socks and underwear all from the same place and in large amounts? That women squeal with delight at a chance to go to the mawl every time a sock has a hole? If anything, stockpiling means you like to shop, or at least that you care enough about what you wear that you consider things like, what if the brand stops making this item? (Which, in this age of fast fashion, it will.) Or, at the very least, that you're sufficiently concerned as to want to make sure that when your current clothes wear out, you won't have to just replace them with whatever's around. Stockpiling ala Steve Jobs and the turtlenecks (an example provided) is hardly evidence that someone is unconcerned with self-expression-through-dress.
In a new, gendered twist to the Styles Style norm, here we have a piece that's ostensibly about how hypermasculine the dudes profiled all are, too busy, rugged, and important to give a crap about their clothes. But then you have Paul Sevigny (who has a slight up-to-no-good-Peter-Sarsgaard thing going on, am I right?) telling us that he can only buy his underpants in Frahnce. (Nice underwear, by the way!) There's even a style blogger (!) who explains:
The store Epaulet — there’s one on Orchard and one on Smith Street in Brooklyn — has these pants with a perfect silhouette and fit. They are cut slim, but not skinny. A few years ago I tried on a pair of mohair ones that fit so well that I bought three pairs — in navy, camel and olive — and a pair of gray cords in the same cut.Indeed.
A couple of the men make a play of insisting that they hate to shop, before casually tossing off a list of their favorite designers, but for the most part, this is a bunch of men who are arguably bigger fans of buying clothes than are most women. But they're super low-maintenance because they don't get special AW 2012 socks, like women do. Or something.