Tuesday, August 26, 2008

San Francisco Street

Image by Vanguard - San Francisco

What’s fantastic about Bradley is that he dresses to emphasize the leanness of his body. We see this from his fitted knits to his narrow short shorts and even to the lines of his sandals that exaggerate the length of his legs. Although, without a doubt, designer fashion in the last few years has been pushing a leaner and learner male figure similar to Bradley’s, much of what is worn today still seems to force men into one 'ideal' body type.

This is commonly a point of discussion and harsh critique of the women’s fashion industry, yet fashion and the male body image is rarely commented on.

As any salesperson quickly learns, the women’s clothing section provides a multitude of carefully designed options in order to compliment different body types and proportions. This is in stark contrast to men’s fashion which usually assumes that every man has the same body type or, at least, wants to look like they have the same body type as every other man. Oddly enough, the designated men’s shape tends to be rather boxy. Now, as the fitted and tailored clothing of the European man is entering the American man’s wardrobe, we can begin to see that most men are a bit leaner and even more shapely than previous decades hinted at. But just one glance around the men’s locker room (try not to appear creepy) will show you that men have variations in figures that range just as great as women. So why, while women are provided with a variety of shapes, lines, and proportions in their clothing to help them be comfortable with their individual body type, do we use just one suit to fit every male form?

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