Women should buy their clothing like men

Rather interesting article from The Wall Street Journal: To dress well, women should shop like men.

Men focus on comfort, high quality and price. That’s it.

They don’t care if it’s a flat front pair of pants or if it is pleated. As long as they don’t look like a fool, the clothing is priced right and makes them feel good, they’re sold.


I can vouch for this, having been the other voice of reason in a men’s dressing room, pleading BF to try on certain pairs of jeans in certain dyes or colours.

Also, I watched other men peek their heads out, side-eying me sitting in the chair, waiting for BF while they try to wave their significant other over to give her fashion opinion but never stepping out of the booth itself, in fear of silent (non-existent) ridicule.

Women however, are trickier to pin down as we are apparently very fickle, so retailers chase after them, waving strange garments and proclaiming it the ‘it’ style of the season to make us buy it.

Even if our BF’s and husbands told us: Ugh, ugly. We’d wear it anyway and proclaim them tasteless and not at all avant garde.

The above is also the reason why women like me find it so hard to find what I call NORMAL clothing. The basics, such as a simple tank top in white.

And where would I find this mythical tank top in white?

Oh right. $21 at American Apparel because it’s about to go bankrupt (or already has) and has porny sales associate models.


Key points on how to shop like a man:

  • Look for comfort
  • Look for better quality (although we get shortchanged)
  • Be less into trends and fads
  • Don’t focus on the logo or the brand
  • Scrunch up the fabric in your hand in a tight ball to test it
  • Feel good in it

Explanations of what they mean to follow (these are mostly in my own words, interpreted from the article).

Look for comfort

We know stilettos were not built for comfort, they were built for style. Women have a tendency to go for the most uncomfortable but “hottest” looking outfits (author included in this analysis, although 95% of the time she pulls herself back from the brink at the last moment.)

Looking for fabrics that feel and look good, and wearing shoes that are comfortable are very important factors to consider when clothes shopping.

For instance, I can only wear 2″ heels comfortably. Any higher, and they’ll become my “sit down and look pretty only” shoes.

If you aren’t comfortable in something, you are not likely to reach for it when you go to pick out what you want to wear in the mornings.

For me, I know you might find this unbelievable, but I really do check for comfort. If I can’t stuff myself comfortably into a top, or I feel awkward or strange in something, I don’t buy it. (At least, not any more.)

Look for better quality

“Women do get shortchanged in the market,” says Patrick Gigliotti, a menswear salesman at the venerable Boyd’s Philadelphia department store. Some women who value well-made clothing have even resorted to shopping in menswear departments.

We have a lot of variety, but since women are more into clothing, retailers take advantage of this by overpricing garments that are of high quality, because they know they can.

Be less into trends and fads

It took me 2 years to concede to skinny pants. Now that I’m here, I’m loving it.

But I am still not sold on sh’boots:

These Versace sh’boots are getting a good WTF face from me right now, priced at $1950 but now on sale at $585 (still not sold.)

The more classic you go in its cut, the wilder you can be in its colour or with accessories. Trends and fads will come and go, so don’t spend too much time or money chasing them.

Don’t focus on the logo or the brand

I don’t do this, but just the other day my friend was throwing out some big names around me: Michael Kors, Chloe, bla bla bla.

I like their stuff and I think it’s pretty, but it isn’t pretty enough for me to spend $5000 on a coat, or $200 on earmuffs.

Scrunch up the fabric

Focus on squeezing the fabric of the garment into a tight ball and then releasing. If it stays wrinkled, feels uncomfortable and is otherwise scratchy or itchy, put it back.

I loathe sweaters that don’t wrap around you like a little piece of cloud cut from heaven, and if it’s itchy, I rip it off my body in the changing room and march it right back.

Feel good in it

Stand up. Sit down. Cross your legs. Uncross them. Lean forward. Slouch. Jump. Walk around. Wave your hands like a crazy woman. Do the chicken dance.

Do all the things to test the garment to see how it feels when you raise your hands or do all the actions a normal human being would do in a day.

If you are planning on sitting like a marble statue in the outfit and never moving so that you look perfect, then I applaud your tenacity and ability to sit still all day.

If not, doing the chicken dance might just score you that 10% discount 😉

So women, do you buy your clothes like a man? Or are you 100% all for fashion? 🙂

Men, was their analysis of your shopping habits right?

About the Author

Just a girl trying to find a balance between being a Shopaholic and a Saver. I cleared $60,000 in 18 months earning $65,000 gross/year. Now I am self-employed, and you can read more about my story here, or visit my other blog: The Everyday Minimalist.