Men’s Fashion: The Difference Between Trends and Style

The relative complexities of women’s and men’s fashion

Both men and women can feel the pressures of keeping their wardrobe up-to-date and in season, yet men’s fashion often feels a lot less complicated. Of course, for both genders, outfits and fashion choices can be equally as intricate, and there are many ‘trendy’ items that can quickly become fashion faux pas – who can say they often see people walking around in 70s flares? On the other hand, men’s fashion has a few staple items which will exist forever – which man is going to look out of place with a good-quality, tailored suit, for example? Choose classic cuts, colours and fabrics and you’ll never look out-of-place.

Why classic men’s fashion is timeless

The classic man’s suit has barely changed for over a hundred years. True, there are several varieties for different occasions, but they are all common in their pursuit of a smart, sharp look for the wearer. The great thing about classic fashion for men is that it is effortlessly stylish; effortlessly cool. A well-groomed gentleman will almost always look his sharpest in a well-tailored suit, and this is a testament to the design of such clothing. A suit will be worn to work in many careers because of the professional look it affords to the wearer, instilling a sense of respect and trust. Equally a suit will be worn to many social occasions, such as a tuxedo to a black-tie event. This incredible versatility that allows suits to be worn in almost all occasions is what gives it its timeless edge and a permanent place in men’s fashion.

Contemporary trends in classic men’s fashion

Whilst classic men’s styles will never be replaced, it is interesting to note that shifts in men’s fashion trends have brought certain classic garments back into fashion. The popularity of vintage clothing, particularly, has brought back a wide-variety of classic styles into men’s wardrobes, such as that of the dandy gentleman. ‘Dandy’ is a term used to refer to men who dress in a classic yet extravagant way, placing importance on appearance and acting in a refined manner. This trend for almost ‘over-the-top’ classic fashion for men is evident from events such as the ‘Tweed Run’, where men and women of all ages dress in notably Victorian-style attire and take to the streets on vintage bicycles – with many of the men sporting impeccable mustaches! This is just one of many examples of evidence displaying the resurgence of such styles. There are also numerous blogs online which focus on gentlemanly style – such as ‘The Dandy Project’ and ‘Dandyism’ – as well as entire websites such as ‘The Art of Manliness’ dedicated to providing articles on classic men’s fashion and grooming.

In summary, whilst certain facets of classic men’s fashion can be brought back as new trends, the fundamental garments that they are based on will never slip out of fashion.

“All it takes are a few simple outfits. And there’s one secret – the simpler the better.” – Cary Grant

The Difference Between Men’s Hiking Boots and Women’s Hiking Boots

My wife and I love to go hiking. In fact, we spent our honeymoon in Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon. But before we ever set foot on a trail, we went out and purchased the most important piece of equipment necessary for weeks of non-stop, hiking; hiking boots.

Even though we would be hiking the same trails, under the same conditions, the basic differences between male and female feet meant we wouldn’t be getting the same boots. So what are the differences in our feet that make the construction of mens hiking boots and womens hiking boots so different.

Most obviously, women’s feet are shorter and narrower than men’s feet. This in itself is expected, since (in general) women are shorter and lighter than men. However, part of this is due to the fact that there is less cartilage between the bones of a woman’s foot and her joints and ligaments are softer and more flexible. Also, a woman’s heel is proportionally narrower than a man’s. Boot manufacturers now compensate for this by either molding a tighter heel box, or adding additional stiff padding to hold the heel snugly in place to reduce sliding.

The effect of the increased flexibility of a woman’s foot resulted in two design improvements in the women’s boot. First, the more flexible woman’s foot requires more support to withstand the continuous stress of hiking. This is generally accomplished by the addition of stiffer mid sole support, such as an insert. The insert is usually molded into the sole in order to retain the traction required for all types of terrain, yet remain flexible enough for a comfortable stride. The second, and possibly more important difference in the mid sole is the enhanced arch support in the woman’s boot.

In general, a woman has a higher arch than a man, which needs additional support. However, due to the monthly changes in a woman’s hormone levels, specifically estrogen, the arch of her foot actually decreases, since estrogen is a soft tissue relaxant. This relaxation of an already flexible foot causes the shape of a woman’s foot to cycle between a relatively high arch and a flat foot. This fluctuation in the arch makes it critical for the mid sole of a woman’s boot to have an enhanced (stiffer) arch support.

One manufacturer (Lowa) has taken the difference in foot structure a step further, since it also creates a difference in posture. A man’s stance and stride is not as upright as a woman’s so Lowa has designed a 2 degree offset into the ankle shaft of their mens hiking boots in order to provide a more balanced stance. Since women have a naturally more upright stance, this offset does not exist in the ankle design of their womens hiking boots.

Understanding the differences between mens hiking boots and womens hiking boots should make it much easier for you to select a proper fitting boot. Just because a womans foot is naturally smaller, do not assume that purchasing a smaller sized mans boot is the way to go. The best option is to try on hiking boots that are specifically designated as women’s hiking boots. This immediately tells you that the manufacturer understands the differences between a man’s foot and a woman’s foot, and has designed their boots to address those differences.

The Difference in Men’s Lab Coats and Women’s Lab Coats

There are many things in the clothing universe that you just don’t think about. Like for example: is there a difference between men’s and women’s lab coats? I guess it really doesn’t matter unless you wear one all day, but if you do wear one then you probably know the answer: yes, there is. It might be subtle, but for doctors subtle is important.

In recent years a big industry has sprung up for both male and female specific lab coats. Maybe it’s all these doctor show’s starring beautiful people which are fueling this industry, but women have specific needs when it comes to fit and comfort just like men do. It’s not just the medical industry either, many companies have ditched unisex uniforms for male and female uniforms which are tailored to each sexes individual needs.

In the medical field, uniforms are very common. From receptionists to nurses to doctors to surgeons, everyone you see seems to be wearing a specific uniform tailored for their tasks. For nurses, scrubs are usually the norm. While there is not a huge difference in the tailored pattern for each sex, there are definitely design differences. For example, there is a huge market for themed scrubs. For women you can get anything from a pattern of cats to Big Bird from Sesame Street. For men, well, they usually go plain but the sky is the limit for them to. Scrubs can also run the gambit in cost from cheap pairs which you can change daily to something designer and expensive that can last the long haul.

For doctors, uniforms are a bit difference. For his time in his office a doctor will usually wear either slacks and a dress shirt, or a dress and pant suit, depending on the sex. When it’s time to visit the patients, though, it’s usually time to don one over your outfit. Most hospitals or clinics will usually allow doctors to pick their own and though most look the same (some variation of the color white and a few pockets), not all lab coats are created equal. Besides having different styles for both men and women, can feature different designs, strain protectors, fabrics and even pockets. Cost wise, they can go from a basic lab coat that will need to be tossed after a few months for around $30 to a designer lab coat that can repel stains and stay white for a couple hundred dollars. Since they spend so much time in them a doctor will usually invest in a more expensive coat so they don’t need to keep replacing them.

So there you go. There is a difference in men’s lab coats and women’s lab coats. See, you learn something new every day.