Greetings! It is WTF Wednesday, where we examine the fuckery inherent in the fashion industry. While I am never short of topics for women’s clothing fails, men are largely neglected in the fashion industry — and if they try to break out of the mold, it’s the subject of mockery and controversy. And big and tall men have it even worse than plus-size women. At least it’s somewhat socially acceptable for women to bitch about clothes (even though the feminization of fashion is also what tends to make those with money to compensate influencers stingy as hell — they assume we’ll be fine with some free clothes and our pretty pictures pasted on the internets, because who needs to pay bills? *sigh*). But men get blasted for being feminine if they take an interest in fashion (I love how “feminine” is an insult /sarcasm), so the big and tall men’s selection hasn’t really improved much since the days when my dad made me pick out his clothes from a catalog. (He really has about zero fashion sense, and he’s also kind of colorblind. However, some of his 70’s clothing was very much a part of my high school and college wardrobe.)
While some retailers now are at least offering some different options, those options are not always … good. Take, for example, this shirt from ASOS Plus:
Okay. Maybe for a festival…although since festivals are generally in warmer weather, I’m not sure you wouldn’t die of heatstroke in this. Also, I’m pretty sure any sort of cleaning would make that fringe tie up in knots, and $40 seems steep for something you can probably wear once. Still, points to ASOS for at least not offering the same old boring henleys.
And polo shirts.
I think it was even that COLOR.
But it gets worse.
Huh. Looks like it’s cheaper at Nordstrom. Sure, it’s nice that a higher-end shirt maker is making fat people clothes. Now if we could just get to “not ugly….”
It seems like very little evolution has taken place in men’s big & tall fashion in literally years. You have the choice of boring, freaky, or Ugly American.
About the only area in which big & tall men have it better than plus size women?
The link is to Jinx, which apparently used to be cool but isn’t anymore. However, all of their women’s clothing in a 3x is either Unisex or junior plus, which we all know is not really plus size.
They’re not the only offender, though. ThinkGeek allegedly carries larger sizes for women, but again, junior plus. They have like 5 things that would fit a true women’s 3x, but they have quite a few more options in men’s 3x.
I think that, partly, the better selection of men’s geek clothing is because a lot of the geek websites are run by men, and their idea of geek girls is mostly the “Manic Pixie Dream Girl” mode and not female geeks that are, well, more like themselves. Note that I have complained repeatedly to both of these sites — I want to give you my money, but you have nothing to fit me. I started with Jinx, because I play World of Warcraft and I wanted a warlock t-shirt. But I didn’t want a MEN’S t-shirt. Those are fine for around the house or a trip to the grocery store, but they’re not something I’d wear to work. My pleas have fallen largely on deaf ears.
I think men — like women — are going to have to keep yelling louder to get some better options. Men deserve better stuff too, and choices about what they wear. Note that I am not necessarily a fan of things like the man-romper…but mostly, that’s because all I could see was nutsack. If you could get something that fit better, why not?
For all of the people laughing at the dudes in skirts meme that was lurking around Facebook, and the man rompers, remember: back in the day, pink was the boy color. High heels were for men. Men were the ones buying extravagant clothes to show how important they were, as much if not more than women. Women were the ones confined to “appropriate” dresses in a few “acceptable” styles.
Let’s hope that one day everyone can (a) care what they look like (b) find something that fits and expresses who they are and (c) not get judged for that.