2008 October 23


It all started in the 1950s. Until then, unless you were very poor, you wore clothing that was made for your sex – women wore skirts and men wore suits. End of story. And then the teenager was invented and everything changed.

Girls wore jeans, and T-shirts, and (gasp) leather jackets! And they looked great in them. Even Doris Day, epitome of the good girl, wore men’s pyjamas in her films.

So why is the look so successful? Well one answer is psychological and the other is fashion related. Let’s deal with the fashion one first.This argument says that since 1950 female clothing has only been designed for women, but male clothing has been designed to be borrowed by women! So a guy’s favourite rugby shirt is actually not a guy’s shirt at all, but a unisex garment. Similarly, new garments ‘invented’ since then, have always been unisex in cut and fit, so the hoodie can be purchased as a lady-fit hoodie or a unisex hoodie but there is no such thing as a male hoodie – which does make a certain kind of sense, because when you look at advertising, you’re as likely to see a woman dressed in a supposedly masculine garment as you are a guy, but you never see a bloke in his girlfriend’s jeans, do you?

The other argument is somewhat nasty. It says that the reason men respond to women in other men’s clothing has nothing to do with how cute they look, but everything to do with the subconscious message that this women has lost her clothes – in other words, it’s about the likelihood of her having been naked in the recent past and not about how good she looks now! And if it’s true, it means that all the ladies who wander around in their boyfriend’s comfortable T-shirts are actually giving of the message to other men that they are keen to take their clothes off … <–>

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