Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Why are we limited?

Guy belts?  No way.

I thought about this while I was in a Burlington Coat Factory store (window shopping only, alas) and I saw their belt racks.

Men wear belts.  Women wear belts.  Men wear pretty much solid belts with brass (sometimes silver) buckles in a handful of colours.  (Western wear excepted.)

Women have Fabric or leather or metal belts.  They might be solid or have a series of openings or patterns.  They might be woven.  Colours are unlimited.  Widths are unlimited.  Buckles have a variety of ways to close.  I even saw a couple where the front has two metal bits that interlock and size is adjusted from the back.

They're just belts.  Granted, for men they're often for utility; for women they're often for decoration.

But why are we limited?

More importantly, why do we allow ourselves to be limited?  I'm open to suggestions and solutions. 

I have none.


  1. Meg -

    The big question is: Why has the woman evolved into the peacock of our species in less than 400 years? It may have to do with the idea of a "trophy wife" evolving with the mercantile class - when men are generating great wealth (unlike the former elites) in their business endeavors, what is the one possession they could "own" that could by association bring status? The answer, it seems may be a woman who could be adorned with totally non-utilitarian clothes and jewelry. Couple this with the influence of British male royalty being very bland in their dress, and you get the gender dimorphism in clothing we have today....


  2. You're right, Meg. The variety of colors and textures are so much more interesting in the femme world. I often joke that men don't see more than 3 colors because their slacks only come in blue, brown, or black. Yet, feminine fashions include greens, pinks, mauves, oranges, white, etc. Not to mention that there are printed patterns interspersing them and fabric varieties affecting their look. Lots of fun.

    A college friend during the 70s took a summer job at an IBM facility and made the social mistake of wearing a non-white shirt to work under his suit jacket one day. He was strongly teased about it all day long. Most work environments are no longer as straight-laced as that, but, most men still conform to a relatively restrictive social expectation. Too bad!

    Men needn't allow themselves to be limited. But, if they choose to explore fashion, the cost of that "rebellion" will likely be social questioning that most are unwilling to chance.


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