It only took one shopping trip with my girlfriend to realize there was a significant difference between men and women’s clothing, and it wasn’t the glittery designs. It was the pricing.
Perhaps I’m just that grumpy boyfriend who hates buying clothes at the mall, and whose wardrobe consist of a few shirts and pants that total about $100 and will last approximately five years, but as a male it does make me curious about two things:
Why do womens clothes cost more?
Why are women willing to pay more?
In one sense, my second question could answer the first. Women are willing to pay more, which determines how much companies charge.
There are also design and materialistic costs that naturally increase the value. It takes more effort to create women’s clothing.
Women want clothes that “fit their shape,” which often leads to more complicated design.
But why is it so necessary for women to buy clothes that have all the bells-and-whistles?
Even in products that are similar between genders such as socks, shoes, headgear and sometimes undergarments, women seem to be getting the raw end of the deal because statistically they are willing to spend more on unnecessary patterns.
The simple answer is social standards.
It seems as if before a woman is heard, they are judged based off their appearance and are expected to wear clothing that indicates individuality, taste and wealth.
As a man, the expectation of how I dress is very low. I put on a shirt, and I put on some jeans and I pretty much walk out the door.
Even in a business setting I can wear something formal and the first thing that is expected of me is to have a professional approach.
Women on the other hand can’t afford to have a bland first appeal, good opportunities at work or finding a relationship could fly out the window because she chose to wear a simple shirt and slacks.
It’s up to women consumers to make the choice to buy cheaper clothing in order to create change.