What does Men’s Health do after they team up with the Opinion Research Corporation and conduct a study which finds that, overwhelmingly, the most important physical attribute of a man to a woman is his sense of style with musculature and facial features lagging way behind? (I got the study in my inbox – not sure how to take it since it was a specific email for me – are they saying that my work here is more important than I think it is… or are they saying there is still hope?) They didn’t flip Men’s Health to a fashion publication, so I give them credit for that.
Another study, this one from the American Psychological Association, which actually includes an Abstract and a Citation so I will link it here, points up that women are more likely to enter into all 6 levels of marital potential and sexual involvement if the subject had a higher “costume status.” Here, you read it. Then we can talk about what constitutes a higher “costume status.”
Begs a ton of interesting questions though about clothes and attractiveness. Does “costume status” (I am NEVER unquoting that) have the same effect on men attracting men? Women attracting men? Women attracting women? I don’t have a thousand people I can ask – oh wait, I do – but it would be interesting. Say it stays consistent, that men are more likely to enter into all 6 levels of marital potential and sexual involvement with other men based on the height of “costume status.” And say that it is the same for women entering into all 6 levels with women. Or men’s willingness to enter into the 6 with women? Wouldn’t that say that at the end of the day, that wherever one falls on the spectrum, the want is the same? That we are the same? I think it would.
Another interesting question. This study, and the subsequent studies that sprang from it (and I got a ton of them, ranging from bloggers who are trying to attract clothing advertisers to The Home Economics Journal’s publications in the Wiley Online Library) all basically lay out the same thing, that clothes make the biggest initial impact. Not saying you can’t blow it in the 4th quarter (I mean, I have heard stories, never happened to me but, you know… ) but I am also very willing to bet that if I walked up to anyone I didn’t know and said,
“Hey, the significant likelihood of events right now, as we stand here, is that if you are thinking of anything from inviting me over for the next hour to marrying me, the number one impactor right now is what I have on and not what you think will happen once I take it off.”
They would… deny it, right? I mean, no one is so vapid as to say, sure, you are right, I look at your clothes and we go from there. And because there is that next level of complexity where all of these alternative factors are imposed, which leads to opaqueness – and I am being kind here, some people would say that if you are thinking about my clothes first but you are telling me it is my sense of humor then you are outright lying – but let’s say opaqueness for right now, if that is so prevalent, then that does give us some insight into why it is so hard to have the same levels of “authenticity status” that we seek in “costume status.”
Put another way, seems we almost always get off on the wrong foot. Or, as a furious cellist who practiced witchcraft and owned a racehorse once said to me when she was grabbing the rest of her “belongings” and stuffing them into her bag, “If all men are like you, John, it is amazing anyone was ever born.”
I said PREVIOUS LIFE.
We are putting to bed the collar bar/pin debate with a quote from my friend (and yours) Evan Everhart – to be fair he messengered this to me privately but did give me permission to quote him here:
“A collar bar goes through pre existing stitched holes in the collar, a collar pin is a fancy safety pin which pierces a normal collar, and a tie clip or bar is the clip which holds the blades of ones tie down to the shirt so that they do not flap about, which is why it ought to be worn around the lower 3rd of the tie, not up high to make yr tie stick out at some angle from yr collar, which is a pure desperate attention getting technique, and rather tasteless use of the tie clip/bar. If one wants one knot to have that kind of bumptiousness, one ought to do the right thing and wear a tab collar shirt, or a collar bar or pinned collar.” – Evan Everhart
In another bit of misogyny we are trying to get away from, MR magazine (I was not familiar but Tom sent me this, and I did have a look around – they have an Advisory Board and a Studio – I have to get to work) AND marie claire (with which I am familiar, I think) posted this headline (I am not going to dignify it with a link, if you want to, you know how to Google): The royal (sic) men’s dress code is way stricter (sic) than the women’s
I bit. From the “article” (I will only put that in quotes once) – women have to have several outfit changes on Christmas Day, cannot wear diamonds before 6pm (although she is not royalty, I don’t think anyway, I did offer Pippa Middleton one time a chance to escape all this dress code drudgery – never heard back, go figure), and must always travel in a black outfit. Also from the article – Kate Middleton has to always carry a clutch bag, Princess Diana never wore gloves, one is not allowed to wear wedges near the Queen, and women are also not allowed to take their coats off in public.
By comparison, here is the burden the men must bear: Boys “should always wear shorts” while “Trousers are usually reserved for adults, and these should be formal. That’s why you’ll hardly ever see Prince William wearing jeans unless he is out walking the dog or a similar activity.”
Somebody ACTUALLY wrote that sentence. It was not me. Ok, sorry, back to it.
The royal men are encourage to wear “smart casual attire… such as chinos with a blazer or a collared shirt.” Lucky women, they can “get away with a dress” while the “men have to wear suits…” But for weddings, they really crack down, you must wear your ceremonial uniform “sometimes adorned with military medals.” I mean, that would depend on whether you HAD any military medals, right? To me, the wedding is the hard part, the uniform is one less decision.
I think we will have taken a step forward as a society when fashion media stop looking at a man’s suit as a hardship whilst women skate by in dresses.