I was thinking about this a lot this week. I agree that "normal" is mostly what enough people are doing enough of the time, and so mostly completely relative. I use the fudge-term "mostly" for a reason. This week I've been observing that what makes me admire and covet so much of women's fashions is in fact mostly that I find women's bodies more visually appealing to me (het male that I am), and garments are designed to work with the bodies of their wearers. This is where design meets norms. Design isn't strictly about relative (ie. cultural) norms; it's also about physical norms. Cars are all designed to operate on the existing roads, and though the width of roads is an arbitrary norm, it is hard; material not merely cultural, and so affects car design. The same applies to clothing; and kind of explains why the "unisex" fashion moment was so short, and also why it kind of merged with the androgeny fashion trend.rode_kater wrote: ↑Mon Feb 15, 2021 8:58 amMy theory on this is that you can use your clothing to divide you body vertically into halves, quarters or thirds. For men it's mostly top/bottom half. Quarters are also permitted, but dividing into thirds (ie at the waist) is considered female only.
Just my impression though. The way to make things normal is to do it often enough.
Becoming aware of this fact of design, and my own core reasons for admiring women's fashions, makes it a bit easier for me to sort whether I want something because I like the way it looks on the model or because I would like the way it would look on me. The former is the case quite often, and although I occasionally think that it would be great to have the model's body just so I could adorn it similarly, this never reaches the level of actually considering making my body conform to the visual idea. I really don't want to look like the model. For one thing, I'd probably be mesmerised by my own reflection in the mirror-walled elevator of my building and need to have a blindfold thrown on me so I could be led out safely.
On the quarters, halves and thirds thing....I'm wondering what the thirds are but guessing the head is one of them, with upper body/arms and lower body/legs being the other two. This is of interest to me because I may be having a dress suit made soon and will want to have both trousers and a straight/pencil skirt made with the same fabric. Fine tuning the jacket and vest may be a bit tricky because of this.