we need to talk about pockets. the clothes i'm wearing now have bountiful, multifaceted, capacious pockets. i have nine of them today. i counted them. on a typical day of wearing womenswear, i have none.
another realization like a wet herring to the face: the "handbag vs pockets" thing is huge confidence-underminer, another terribly effective, if inadvertent way, to hold women down.
i remember being crouched over my handbag, furiously ferreting for a business card while my male colleague coolly produced one from his manly chest-cavity.
the average sizes for both women and men. the measurements confirmed what every woman already knows to be true: women’s pockets are ridiculous.
on average, the pockets in women's jeans are 48% shorter and 6.5% narrower than men’s pockets.
beyond the obvious measurement differences, we wanted to see just how functional all these pockets were. after all, a pocket is only as good as what you can fit in it.
only 40 percent of women’s front pockets can completely fit one of the three leading smartphone brands. less than half of women’s front pockets can fit a wallet specifically designed to fit in front pockets. and you can’t even cram an average woman’s hand beyond the knuckles into the majority of women’s front pockets.
on shirts, the buttons are on the left for the ladies and on the right for the gents.
when buttons were invented in the 13th century, they were, like most new technology, very expensive. wealthy women back then did not dress themselves — their lady’s maid did. since most people were right-handed, this made it easier for someone standing across from you to button your dress.
as for men’s shirts, there are a few competing theories as to why buttons are on the right side. but as a general rule, many elements of men’s fashion can be traced back to the military. once again, the right-handed assumption played a role since access to a weapon practically trumped everything - a firearm tucked inside a shirt would be easier to reach from the dominant side.
男衬衫扣子为什么在右侧，各种解释很多。但总的来讲，很多男性衣着的设计历史上都受到行军打仗的影响。这次，又是“右利手假说”可以解释 —— 扣子设计在右侧的话，右手从扣子缝里伸进去拿别在衬衫里的枪是最方便的。
for most of my life, i’ve worn clothing that leaves a mark. bra straps nip at my shoulders; the backs of my shoes dig into my skin. pantyhose leaves red rings around my stomach at the end of the day—glaring, and just as affecting, as felt-tip marks from a plastic surgeon.
then, several months ago, i began wearing men’s clothing. among the major advantages i’ve discovered so far: plentiful pockets, simpler dressing decisions, and easier temperature control. but the biggest revelation for me was the huge difference in my physical and emotional comfort.
like a lot of women, i’ve long been accustomed to scrambling out of my clothes at the end of the workday as fast as possible. being off-duty meant taking off my high heels, stripping off my tights, shedding underwear and anything with a waistband. after unbuttoning, unzipping, and peeling off my clothing, i’d breathe a huge sigh, signaling my physical and mental release. yet despite this nightly ritual, i usually took the discomfort and constrictions of women’s clothing for granted.
nor did i consider its chafing effects on my mind. a lot of my clothing never quite fit me—instead, i had to make sure i fit it. wearing an off-shoulder shirt or a silk dress meant constant fidgeting and adjusting. every mirror, shop window, or reflective surface was an opportunity to check my appearance; every glimpse was a disappointment. the threat of gaping, riding up, and puckering was ever-present.
i completely understand parents of girls objecting to endless pink and princess dresses. but perhaps the situation is almost worse for boys. at least girls get a bit of choice. what does this weird lack of diversity tell us about what we expect boys to be? boring, conformist, dull, practical – or worse.
staring at the deathly rows of mini-suits i was reminded of grayson perry's book on gender, the descent of man, and in particular his idea of “default man”, the archetype of the wealthy, powerful and besuited white male. perry — a man who knows a thing or two about clothing —has a lot to say about suits. “the real function of the sober business suit is not to look smart but as camouflage,” he writes. “a person in a grey suit is invisible.”
this is the message high-street fashion is sending to young boys: that they should aim not to express themselves but to don a kind of cloak of invisibility. why? it’s not as though men are genetically programmed to want to look dull. in many cultures, men’s fashion is as colorful and glamorous as women’s. go back a couple of centuries or so to when wealthy european men would have worn sumptuous colors and fabrics, jewelry and even high heels.
fortunately, we now have other options. after a reviving bun in the local cafe, my son and i went home and hit the internet. and there, readers, we found our happy ending: an outfit so outrageous, so loud and silly and glorious, that there was simply no way to resist.
who knows how long my boy’s commitment to bright red will last – perhaps in a couple of years he will join the navy-blue crowd. but i hope not. life can be tough, and we all need to find joy where we can. it’s not only girls who benefit from a touch of glitz and glamour.
capacious / kəˈpeɪʃəs / adj容积大的，宽敞的
herring / ˈherɪŋ / n鲱鱼
knuckle / ˈnʌkl / n指节，指关节
pantyhose / ˈpæntihoʊz / n连裤袜，紧身裤
pucker / ˈpʌkər / v皱起，使起褶子
conformist / kənˈfɔːrmɪst / n顺从者，随波逐流者
archetype / ˈɑːkitaɪp /典型
sumptuous / ˈsʌmptʃuəs / adj华贵的，豪华的，奢华的
glitz /ɡlɪts / n耀眼，华丽
来源: yayprint; thefword; pudding; today.com; quartz