Is there a men's equivalent to polyester? In the last few months I've paid a bit more attention to the goings on of men's fashion and it has gotten me thinking, is it that much easier to fake quality for women's clothing? We get rayon, polyester, and acrylic blends all of the time, and maybe it's just me (because I'm a girl) but it seems like men get a WHOLE lot more by way of natural fibers...all the cotton, wool and real silk (ties only please) they would like. My apologies in advance if this bores you.
Take for example Gap. It's an easy place to compare the differences between men & women easily and on a middle ground (not uber-cheap but not really high quality either). I went to the "shirts + blouses" section for women and the "shirts" section for men. And I came up with some examples...
Here is a women's blouse and a men's shirt. Both are things that you could wear to somewhat dressed up occasions (the top with a skirt/trousers/nice jeans, the shirt with chinos/dark jeans). What I found in the women's category however was the large majority (if not all blouses) were either polyester, rayon, or a blend of the two. Whereas in the men's section it was 100% cotton for all but 1 shirt (one that included lycra that I suggest no male ever wear). Onto denim...
Extra crazy. Literally every pair of men's denim was 100% cotton (and I wouldn't want it any other way...stretch would be WEIRD). Conversely every pair of women's denim...if you could even call it that, had a combo of three fabrics, some cotton, a percentage of lycra and a percentage of polyester or rayon. Can't a girl just get some real denim, and maybe for a pair of skinnie's 1% of lycra or spandex for the purpose of being able to move.
I find it interesting that women can be such shoppers, yet we're getting duped without realizing it. Yes sometimes we can't all afford silk everything, but I know (based on years of buying at J.Crew factory stores) that you can get silk for cheap. The problem that Gap and other stores might see with that is a smaller profit. This is me ranting, but I think it's a fascinating topic.
Thanks to a few men for getting me thinking about this with all of their selvedge denim, cotton shirts and wonderful shoes... the men of The Midwestyle and Indigo & Cotton in Charleston.
photos via Gap.com