“Men are from mars…Women are from Venus” This train of thought has significance even in fashion.
Men and women differ in so many ways…even when it comes to shopping. Their needs are different. Men tend to be more practical than women in their choices. Women become more emotional about a purchase. Their desires are driven by different motivations. Generally, men shop when there is a need. Women see dressing as an important element of defining who they are. They shop at different times. Women shop early and look forward to seasons. Men need for the weather to motivate their purchasing. There are many differences in how men and women shop…but what about how they each shop for women.
It has come to my awareness over the many years that I have been in the fashion industry, that most of the truly great and trail blazing designers in women’s apparel have been men. If one had to question why that is…I think it may be that their admiration of the female form allowed them better understanding of how to truly accent the beauty of a woman. Whether it was the impeccable tailoring of Balenciaga in the early 1900’s…or the simple sophistication of Christian Dior…the elegance of Halston…or the many great male designers: Armani, Bill Blass, Cardin, Givenchy, Lagerfeld, Ralph Lauren, Valentino…and the list goes on…there was one common thread. All of these legendary designers appreciated and valued the female form.
They saw it for what it was. A woman is a fluid piece of art that is soft, tender, curvaceous, and demure. She is sexy, beautiful, enigmatic, and divine. She is a child, a temptress, and a vixen all at the same time. She is a flower that opens with grace, wilts in gentility, and stands strong against the wind. A woman is a power cell of enormous strength with a central pulse full of compassion, nurturing, and tenderness. They took the values of a woman and innately knew how to accent the beauty of it.
So, how does this relate to shopping. It provides an opportunity for us…all women…to see how we treat ourselves verses how our male counterparts see us. When women shop for apparel, they focus on all of their ‘negatives’. When they look in the mirror, the first place their minds and eyes go are the parts of themselves they do not like. It is how we beat up on ourselves, how we keep each other down, how we do not allow our light to shine.
Men, on the other hand, shop differently. When they look at an outfit or see clothes on a women, they focus on all of the positives of the female form. They look to see those parts that are accented the most beautifully. When a man comes into my store, he always chooses a garment that is waist conscious, has a pretty neckline, and has personality. He does not go for the things that are ordinary, loose, or hard. He chooses things for what he sees as beautiful. When you ask a man what he is looking for, he defines it as “Well, she has beautiful eyes, so I want a nice color.” or “She has a really nice waistline”. He will usually point out a couple of things about the physique whether ‘she’ is with him or not.
What can we, women, learn from this? If we were to focus only on our positives when shopping for ourselves, we would choose garments that accent those areas. By doing so, you will automatically detract from the negatives. Try it…the next time you go shopping, get out of your box and choose some items only thinking about your positive attributes, you will be amazed.
It is not that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’…beauty is consistent in each and every one of us…when beauty is acknowledged, appreciated, and shared from within oneself then the eyes that look on are beholden for you have granted them the gift of sight.
Allow others the gift of being beholden unto you…Be beautiful…it is your right!!!
Until the next…Fashion Emergency!!!