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The Attitude of Shopping

April 22, 2010

When it comes to shopping for clothes, shoes, etc., I tend to go solo, with my mom or a female friend or two. Most of the men I know shy away from shopping — especially with women who want to browse. Maybe this doesn’t apply to you, but many tell me they want to get in, grab what they need and get out.

A while back, I went on a shopping trip with a male friend of mine who was in search of the perfect shirt to wear for his birthday. He had the find it and go mentality.

This seems to be one of the main differences between the shopping habits of the sexes (other than the quantity we need).

After some coercion, I sent my friend into the dressing room with some options and even got him to model the selections.

In the end (not surprisingly to me) his stubbornness won out and he went with a polo shirt not too different from others he already owned (pictured far right) — despite the intention of finding something different. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really have anything against the final selection. That’s not the point. I just think we had different ideas of what we were looking for and how much time a shopping trip should take.

Men, please chime in. How do you define shopping? Can you tolerate shopping with women? What is your attitude when you need some new duds?

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. April 22, 2010 10:02 am

    I think you should also recap the swimsuit shopping trip. Ha!

  2. Katy permalink*
    April 22, 2010 11:28 am

    That middle photo needs to be his Facebook picture.

  3. April 22, 2010 12:40 pm

    No on both counts. Haha. I look like a black Rex Ryan in that shirt. I would’ve taken it in a bigger size, but that’s my dilemma when it comes to shopping.

    As to Melanie’s point, it really depends on what the guy wants when he goes shopping. Does he want to add clothes to his look or does he want to step outside his comfort zone and try something different? I was going for something different, but the sizes available made it difficult, and no guy wants to walk around for hours looking for the perfect shirt.

    I’d say if a guy is 80 percent happy with the piece of clothing, he’ll take it. I think women are a little more selective.

  4. Glenard permalink
    April 23, 2010 2:50 am

    Since you were nice enough to dedicate a week to men’s style (thanks!) I felt I should contribute.

    When I head out to shop for clothes, I most likely already have an idea of what I’m looking for. I think it’s safe to say that guys are not out shopping for clothes because they are casually exploring the latest in men’s fashion. They have a purpose to buy something specific, a certain type of shirt or pair of shoes, and are just going to pick the right pattern or color and find something that fits. I think men are more focused compared to women when shopping for clothes and because of this, you won’t see us spending much time in clothing stores.

    I don’t go shopping for clothes that often so when I do go, I’m probably out to buy more than one thing. But even then, I’m not going to be spending more than two hours. After about an hour, I’m done. If I happen to be just browsing, I can probably look through all the men’s clothes in a store in around twenty minutes. If I go out to find a certain piece of clothing and the search is not successful, I feel like it was a waste of time.

    As far as shopping together, it’s probably easier for women to go shopping to help a man than it is for a man to tag along to help a woman pick an outfit. Women naturally like to browse through everything and men will just get to the point of thinking to themselves “just pick something…anything”. Therefore, I recommend men and women take separate cars to the mall.

    But why are men and women’s attitudes so different when it comes to shopping for clothes? It’s not the act of shopping that men don’t agree with because we have all seen how much time guys spend shopping for and comparing electronic gadgets, sports equipment and car related items. I admit I’m guilty of it too. We’re just not that passionate about clothes the way most women are. If I have an event to go to, I might spend a little extra time planning what I’m going to wear beforehand. But on a daily basis I don’t think about what I’m going to wear until it’s time to get dressed. All we are really concerned about is finding something comfortable, convenient and still clean. So most men do need some guidance on what to wear without breaking the bank (enter Thrifty Threads).

    Compared to women’s fashion, I don’t think there is that much variety in men’s clothing or that men’s fashion ever drastically changes. And I’m ok with that. The last thing I need to be worried about is buying new clothes for the next season or wearing something that was “so last year”. When shopping for clothes, I’m just looking to add things to the wardrobe that can be used in many different situations. But if you’re trying to get a guy to branch out and try something new, you’ll have to do it gradually. There’s not exactly a line of guys volunteering for a clothing makeover.

    So give us some tips on what types of things we should be shopping for nowadays and definitely let us know what not to do: white socks with black shoes, popped collars and “pants on the ground” come to mind. Ideally, I just need a personal fashion consultant that loves to shop, who will know what will look good and will buy the clothes. Any takers?

    • Melanie permalink*
      April 24, 2010 11:27 am

      All valid points.

      I have noticed that most stores have significantly smaller men’s departments when compared to women’s — if they even have a men’s section. I assume this is based on supply and demand: stores know they can draw in browsing women with pretty things they can wear.

      I see your point about gradual change. While women sometimes want to go out and find something completely different to mix it up, I guess guys would rather find something they know works (i.e. a polo or button-up shirt), but in a different color or pattern.

      Thanks for all your insight, and I hope you’re enjoying men’s week!

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