These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking: Gendered Discrepancies in Wearing Painful, Restricting, or Distracting Clothing

Discussion of fashion elements and looks that are traditionally considered somewhat "femme" but are presented in a masculine context. This is NOT about transvestism or crossdressing.
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Coder
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These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking: Gendered Discrepancies in Wearing Painful, Restricting, or Distracting Clothing

Post by Coder »

I ran across a study today, and had to read it because I figured there may be an interesting crossover to men wearing skirts. The answer is "no", although in the report the authors write:
We presented two questions exclusively to women (“Do you ever wear dresses or skirts that you have to monitor so that they don't blow up or flip up and reveal more skin than you wish to show?” and “Do you ever wear clothes that you have to be careful in because there is a risk of unintentionally exposing your breasts?”). Although there are some men to whom these questions might apply, we imagined that low base rates among men would make these two questions more distracting than useful if presented to men.
https://link.springer.com/article/10.10 ... 21-01230-9

However - and why I'm sharing... a very common/consistent theme here on Skirt Cafe is comfort. Rarely do I read something here where someone writes, "Well, I got this great skirt but it's a pain to wear because _______". Occasionally there might be a question how to solve an apparent problem with a skirt (I've posted a few myself), or discussions of the dangers of a short dress. But generally the trend is towards comfort.

On the other hand, for women, and perhaps some of this helps explain why some spouses here have issues with their men wearing skirts - is the fact that all their lives, skirts were a pain to wear, or associated with restriction in movement or "the male gaze*". The study touches on a few examples (search for "skirts").



*At the start the study it indicates it uses "the framework of objectification theory (Fredrickson & Roberts in Psychology of Women Quarterly 21(2): 173–206, 1997)". I had to look this up... not sure how I feel about this. Meaning... I do not objectify women, never have. I cannot relate to the men described in that framework, though I do not doubt they exist or play a negative role in women's lives. My chief concern is, once again, "men = bad" and we are the root of all women's problems.
rivegauche
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Re: These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking: Gendered Discrepancies in Wearing Painful, Restricting, or Distracting Clothin

Post by rivegauche »

Most of my waking hours are spent in complete women's outfits. I simply do not experience the PDR they describe. Yes I have skirts and dresses that are tight but I rarely wear them and the same goes for shoes that are too high or pinch my feet. Yes there are marks on my body when I remove some items but they have not been uncomfortable so what is the problem? I find male shoes, socks and ties uncomfortable and like most people on this site I dislike trousers. I don't recall my skirt ever blowing upwards but it could happen - it is not something that figures in my choices of what to wear on a windy day because it hasn't happened yet. If I was shopping in a mall I would wear comfortable (low heeled or block heeled) shoes. There are women's clothes I dislike because they are restricting - corsets, boots, shapewear. I don't wear them because of this but it is interesting to see that most women love boots. I don't wear revealing clothes but many women do and I can see why they need to monitor their clothes. The nearest I get to this is when a slip shows below a hem or I ladder a pair of dark tights or a belt slips so that my top shows below the base of it. Because I wear skirts and dresses and often the accompanying accessories that women would wear with them in reference to male clothes for comfort and a sense of personal style, I do not relate at all to the premise. There are male clothes that are uncomfortable and they are regarded my most as compulsory (trousers) or a work requirement (tie and suit jacket). Women can choose from a range of comfortable options more than we can, but they see to choose clothes that cause PDR. Why? Maybe that would have made a more interesting research topic.
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Re: These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking: Gendered Discrepancies in Wearing Painful, Restricting, or Distracting Clothin

Post by Coder »

At the end of the report they admitted some of this was already known:
These results may appear obvious to many readers. One would need only a passing familiarity with women’s fashions to ascertain that they regularly show little regard for comfort or function. As just one example, consider widespread popular media coverage of the claim that the lack of pockets in women’s clothing is an issue of gender equality (Basu, 2014), and that designers leave useful pockets off women’s clothing primarily because pockets are viewed as unflattering to the lower body. Despite how easy it may be to casually observe the gender difference in wearing PDR clothing, documenting this pattern is a necessary first step in building an understanding of how often individuals wear PDR clothing, the psychological (or practical) factors involved in decisions to wear such clothing, and the psychological outcomes that follow.
rivegauche wrote:
Sat Dec 25, 2021 2:55 pm
Women can choose from a range of comfortable options more than we can, but they see to choose clothes that cause PDR. Why? Maybe that would have made a more interesting research topic.
To your question they basically wrote:
We recommend that future work examining reasons why individuals wear PDR clothing employ focus groups or semi-structured interviews in order to more carefully interrogate how people make decisions around PDR clothing. Though many participants in the current study indicated that they wore PDR clothing to be more attractive to others, we were not able to explore how (or to what extent) men and women understood these choices in terms of gender roles or gendered sociocultural appearance ideals.
And I agree - it would be very interesting to know the exact reasons.

As for skirts - the only PDR I can think of for myself are two scenarios. One, wearing a slip with an unlined skirt+tights. For that, my biggest fear is the slip riding down. The alternative - a skirt clinging to my legs - is worse and would result in much more adjusting. The other a skirt too big. I have a few which are a size or two too large, and haven't altered them yet, so use binder clips (small ones). The clip digs into my waist, and if it gives way there could be some embarrassment had. But otherwise I tend not to suffer for fashion.
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Re: These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking: Gendered Discrepancies in Wearing Painful, Restricting, or Distracting Clothin

Post by Grok »

Consider this...when a man wears trousers a wedge of cloth is placed in the crotch, against one of the sensitive parts of the male anatomy. I don't know if women can relate to this, because their genitalia isn't as exposed as a man's.
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Re: These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking: Gendered Discrepancies in Wearing Painful, Restricting, or Distracting Clothin

Post by Grok »

Coder wrote:
Sat Dec 25, 2021 2:34 am

On the other hand, for women, and perhaps some of this helps explain why some spouses here have issues with their men wearing skirts - is the fact that all their lives, skirts were a pain to wear, or associated with restriction in movement or "the male gaze*".
So some women find it hard to understand why men would want to wear skirts?
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Re: These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking: Gendered Discrepancies in Wearing Painful, Restricting, or Distracting Clothin

Post by Ralph »

I have never understood the appeal of any article of clothing that you constantly have to monitor and fiddle with to ensure it doesn't expose more than intended - by which I mostly mean mini skirts (or smaller!) and/or dresses so short I thought they were simply shirts.

Even wearing my things at home, anything shorter than knee-length makes me horribly self-conscious. I have gotten a few things from ebay that were much shorter than I anticipated but I felt I should at least give them a try before passing them on to someone else. I found myself constantly tugging at the hem to pull them down, or curling my legs up into balls inside of the skirts. It was terribly distracting! So I can certainly understand the women who don't like those styles, and/or would object to their husbands wearing similar styles. Especially since we tend to sit in a rather more... exposed... fashion than the ladies.
Ralph!
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Re: These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking: Gendered Discrepancies in Wearing Painful, Restricting, or Distracting Clothin

Post by Dust »

Grok wrote:
Sat Dec 25, 2021 7:18 pm
Consider this...when a man wears trousers a wedge of cloth is placed in the crotch, against one of the sensitive parts of the male anatomy. I don't know if women can relate to this, because their genitalia isn't as exposed as a man's.
This. Men wear uncomfortable, restricting, and yes sometimes painful clothing all the time, to the point that most men don't think about it. There is no option, no choice, so we suck it up and deal with it.

Women have choices, and yet still wear things they find uncomfortable. Why?
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Re: These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking: Gendered Discrepancies in Wearing Painful, Restricting, or Distracting Clothin

Post by Grok »

Between members there are different preferences regarding length. My preferences are similar to Ralph's, I feel self conscious if I wear something shorter than knee length in public.

In regards to exposure while sitting...I like the idea of a skirt (longer than knee length) that would maintain privacy by draping over my knees.
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Re: These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking: Gendered Discrepancies in Wearing Painful, Restricting, or Distracting Clothin

Post by TheSkirtedMan »

Coder wrote:
Sat Dec 25, 2021 2:34 am
My chief concern is, once again, "men = bad" and we are the root of all women's problems.
Many issues raised today which are negative for women always imply men are the root problem when at times they are, but mostly are self inflicted. This articles topic clearly falls into self inflicted - for me. Some of mens issues are caused by women and also self inflicted.

If something is clearly uncomfortable then don't wear it. Full stop. If there is a more comfortable garment on another rack but subject to a society label of either mens wear or womens wear then ignore the label and wear it. I feel uncomfortable in trousers so I choose a skirt.

With regards revealing clothes women have to wear, I see plenty of women out and about in society labelled women's wear that is not revealing and also many revelling in revealing clothes. It's called choice do not wear anything that for you is revealing. You chose it. In western societies it is not forced. If anything is put on show, then those who are interested will look. I put a skirt on as a man and people will look.

Many women wear items due to fashion rather than practical and that's their choice, although I do think most women's attire these days is based on practicality and comfort. Fashion is never about practicality and comfort but for impact, impressions.

For me my skirts are mid calf. Nothing at or above the knee because I feel uncomfortable, sitting or standing. Skirts blowing in the wind are not an issue for me as I have closer fitted skirts as well as flowy ones. I wear slips so a lifting of skirt is not a problem. Rarely does a skirt go vertical, in fact I have yet to see one or experience it as in very windy weather either a tighter skirt is on or trousers if more practical. A reply has made reference to slips showing, so what. Do not wear the slip if you are constantly making sure it has not slipped. Put a shorter one on. I consider my slip as not underwear, for me underwear is bras and knickers. Slips often form part of my outfit. That's my choice. For those who may feel uncomfortable then don't. Ensure it is hidden without thought or simply do not wear the item.

It is exactly the same with footwear. The number of women I have meet who complain about stilettos yet wear them, tight low covering shoes yet still wear them. I wouldn't and don't. Tight fitting at the waist band, wear a more suitable size.

For me many in society are negative. They have to have a problem, look for issues and have to moan. I don't, I'm glass half full and if a situation makes me uncomfortable and I cannot adjust I just go elsewhere or in the case of clothes where what I want and how I want. I hear that statement from women constantly in real life and social media regarding clothes.

I personally think the article is pampering to a small minority of negative sentiment.
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Re: These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking: Gendered Discrepancies in Wearing Painful, Restricting, or Distracting Clothin

Post by Dust »

Women are taught (mostly unintentionally) that they are allowed to complain, and people will jump to their aid. Men on the other hand, are taught to be stoics, never complaining, and to be the ones to jump to help women who express a need.

This both leads to men's issues (small or large) to go unaddressed, and for women to exaggerate and even create issues. Women appear (and to a lesser extent are) helpless/defenseless or at least in need of aid, when they wear revealing or restricting clothes, or shoes that make walking/running more difficult. Some women wear such things to get the attention (help) of men who all too often are happy to give it to them. At least some of them
(on both sides) likely don't even realize they are doing it.

While women take advantage of men's help to deal with fake issues, men suffer in silence from real ones. Men literally die younger, from more preventable deaths, and kill themselves more often than women, and no one seems to care.
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Re: These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking: Gendered Discrepancies in Wearing Painful, Restricting, or Distracting Clothin

Post by phathack »

I hear women complain about clothing all the time yet they are the ones that chose to wear the 7" stiletto heels and the short body conscious dress with the plunging neckline.
How about that knee length skirt and a top that's not exposing so much cleavage that your about to fall out of it or a maxi dress with no cleavage exposed at all.
They do make such things and they are quite attractive.
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Re: These Boots Weren’t Made for Walking: Gendered Discrepancies in Wearing Painful, Restricting, or Distracting Clothin

Post by nzfreestyler »

My identity and how I see myself are definitely female, and as such I have forayed into the aforementioned clothing & shoe choices.

There is a difference between fitted properly and not - and self image and the desire to wear something encourages us to wear it - even when a size up might be better, or your figure is just not right for that off the shelf garment. The thing about very fitted and tailored garments is that they are not supposed to be forgiving - they should be nicely snug to your shape - but you may not have the right shape for that brand/designer or garment style.

To make a bodycon garment work its actually quite a technical fit on your figure, and in some materials quite a tailoring job. Sometimes the fit needs to be very tight in order to smooth you too - so the cut and the design are paramount. Similarly to showcase your cleavage/sideboob then that too is reliant on some very accurate tailoring to your size, alas most designers use a set template and some brands are incompatible with some shapes. These dresses have a lot of design features that are important and functional but do not exist in the lesser mainstream/ mass produced brands and that is where the comfort and practicality is reduced. I'm not trying to justify a plunge to my tummy button as practical... but these things are wearable, feel ok and not too scary from the better brands. Sounds like a brand-snob talk, but its true. In many cases you do get what you pay for. (of course I am excluding Couture as that stuff is artwork in my opinion and has an astronomic price on some of the direct descendant lines). If a dress is bodycon and leather/pvc/sequined to name a few then its not going to be an 8hr dress (as in wearable for 8hrs comfortably)! I think we know that but the moans come more from those that dress up less frequently I suspect. If you wear a lot of bodycon/open dresses/tops you know what to expect and are used to it.

High heels are a bit different because well the foot shape is not as varied as our body measurements are. Wearing tall high heels need not be uncomfortable with a quality shoe, nor should one complain about ones heels if one is only a high heel novice. Heels take some time to get comfortable with on many levels - and then with enough time and enjoyment they can become your way of life. They are very empowering and many women have experienced the boost in confidence as well as that unique lift you get - and it becomes a normal thing to wear a heel. For me I always wear a heel - I feel under dressed without a heel. Thats a self image thing obviously.

I think women openly talk about being uncomfortable because it is also drawing attention to their outfit, and indirectly to them, it often results in receiving a complimented reply for instance '...but you look great in that dress'.

I admit a large part of why I wear very fitted/minimal clothing and high heels is to project my image, and I admit I like to be watched when I am wearing something I think is good on me. So that part about attention and being observed is bang on - and its what we want anyway. A good bodycon or a deep plunged neckline is not so much for us as it is for our audience, its become a big thing to show your curves. The rule is just not ALL your curves at once.

The thing about fashion that shows you off is that it is empowering when you are in control of it, and getting positive feedback and acknowledgment fuels and reinforces the behaviour.

Perhaps it is those that don't wear stuff a lot that complain more? Rather like those that don't fly a lot seem to complain about excessive delays every time they fly or bad service when they fly. When you fly a lot these things on average get better, or at least the bad experiences are fewer because you're used to it, or have adapted to it.

Enough of my ramblings

Cheers
NZF
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