[image: illustrations by lady of crow]
I once read that the biggest difference between men’s fashion and women’s fashion is this: men’s clothing is fairly stable in its forms and traditions, whereas women are constantly seeking novelty.
It seems to be true. Men certainly dress more casually than they used to, but many of the standard pieces of menswear would be recognizable to someone 100 years ago. I imaging if some guy emerged from a Victorian time machine at, say, the latest Burberry Prorsum Homme show, he wouldn’t be all that shocked.
That’s part of what I love about menswear. Each detail has so much history. It’s like a very limited but very evocative language.
Women’s fashion is something else entirely. We are constantly being seduced by the new, the exciting. New colors, new styles, new trends.
I think that for many of us, fashion is a way to reinvent ourselves. We can use it to express some nuance of our personality that we weren’t expressing before. It can be a sign of our mood or our values, all of which fluctuate over time.
I’ve written my thoughts on trends before and why I don’t think they ought to be scorned. But I do sometimes wonder if a desire for outward reinvention sometimes masks deeper insecurities. After all, part of the consumption cycle is about making women feel inadequate, so that they will want to buy something to change that. And sometimes I do feel I’m seeking the new because there’s something I don’t like about the way I am.
I don’t think there’s any hard line between healthy, fun self-expression and covering your insecurities. This is obviously something each of us has to define for ourselves.
But I wonder if, like me, you ever find yourself wanting something new and wondering, why?