Buying For The Boys

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A few days ago I went shopping with my boyfriend. If it were me who was searching for the chicest fall updates then I would've been ecstatic, but alas, we were hunting down some duds for him.  My individual style is edgy, unexpected, with a lot of black and a lot of white. However, my significant other is a die-hard Ralph Lauren worshipper whom – after I shared my dream of him dressing in black jeans, a Diesel graphic tee, and a leather jacket – dragged me into Brooks Brothers and made me choose my favorite Hawaiian shirts for him to try on. This was an unfathomably impossible and gruesome task, but it got worse; he proceeded to gift me his very own leather jacket that had been sitting in his closet forever, swearing he never wore it and never will. It was an extremely bittersweet moment, I must admit.

Nevertheless, shopping with my male counterpart opened my eyes to the sartorial tendencies of sperm-shooting individuals everywhere. The label, the fabric, the price-tag, all contributing factors to whether an item is deemed worthy of joining the sparse space left in your closet, mean almost nothing to the male shopper (well, at least a sixteen-year-old one). During our less-than-enjoyable mall excursion, fell in love with a clean-cut Rag and Bone long-sleeved dream. Racking in at a hefty one-hundred-fifty dollars, it is an investment for a simple shirt, but the prime versatility, potential, and longevity held in such a basic, fundamental shirt…it was a must buy. Right? WRONG. I was met the wrath and disbelief of a naïve extreme-shopping virgin when I pulled the imported Peruvian flame cotton shirt off of the rack in Nordstrom.

“Are you kidding me?” my boyfriend cried. “One-hundred-fifty bucks for a plain blue shirt? Fuck no!”

“But it’s Rag and Bone,” I pleaded…okay, let’s be real…I was begging.

“Am I supposed to know what that is?” he retorted incredulously. “What the hell is Rag and Bone?”

We left the mall empty-handed wearing nothing but disappointed grimaces (me) and indifferent smiles (him). What distinguishes a quality garment in the big heads (and the little heads) of men? Why do men everywhere cringe when they hear the word ‘shopping?’ While it is true that females are stereotypically more judgmental of one another and tend to value their appearances more than anything, men such as DJ Brendan Fallis, sexy father David Beckham, and even the self-proclaimed god Kanye West have acquired a direct and satisfying sense of style and obviously know the value of wearing a designer garment. My boyfriend seems to find more worth in a twenty-dollar Target long-sleeved shirt rather than the beloved Rag and Bone one, but when he sees images of Kim and Kanye rocking leather jogging pants, why doesn’t he get the urge to sprint to the nearest Neiman Marcus to buy us our own matching pair like I do? The answer is simple: while some women are often blinded by the brand, most men see clothing as items in which to cover their bodies and not as pieces that complete the personal aesthetic puzzle.  

In most cases, this male approach to fashion is much less complicated than the female’s approach. Staying in the comfort zone of clothing, whether it is Nike shorts, a Polo collared shirt, or baggy Levi jeans, is inevitable for those who sprout penises. The label on the inside of the jacket has no value and the price tag only matters if it’s reasonable and cheap. If you’re like me and have distaste for your boyfriend’s fashion sense (but still find the power to tell him you love him every day), you will agree with me when I say that it’s almost impossible to change these male habits. However, while our boys are out scouring Target and the sale in the back of Urban Outfitters for their clothes, us females can rejoice by spending that extra cash on our own beloved Rag and Bone beauties. And what’s wrong with that? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING.