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Please someone explain this to me
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Aaron Benson
(AaronMB) - F

Locale: Central Valley California
Re: male bias in clothing lines on 07/21/2011 14:04:40 MDT Print View

This is an interesting thread.

My Lady has a "womens" PataG' Nano Puff and a "womens" GL Jam2. Though she often says "Yeah, that's cute," everything else she wears on the trail is found in the Men's/Boy's (size XL) section.

Edited by AaronMB on 07/21/2011 14:07:37 MDT.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Couple of things on 07/21/2011 14:05:47 MDT Print View

I think partly it is a result of what the majority of women buyers want. Cute over functional. Ridiculous pockets are part of that. I have been trying to point this out to my daughter with very little results.
Separate issue is gear that is not clothing , but I wish was available in much smaller sizes. Small sleeping bags, tarptents ( my sublite could be a foot shorter), poles etc. I know there are small, children versions at REI, but I would like the real quality stuff. Same with work clothes and tools. Not much luck there either.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Non-gender on 07/21/2011 14:09:40 MDT Print View

My friend is 5' and 104lbs and he fits the Mens XS Arc'teryx, and the Patagonia XS mens.

Function before fashion stuff I've seen at the places I've worked...(IMO don't flame me please...)

Mountain Equipment Co-op
Cloudveil(all the shirts are white for some reason)
Arc'teryx (my very curvy friend loves the rampart pants)
Montbell(from what I've seen online)
Royal Robins (expedition line, expensive here in Canada)
some of the Exofficio stuff.

Working in the outdoor retail industry, the Womens clothing department is heavily centered on travel fashion. most of the time the Womens clothing sales come from women shopping while their husbands/boyfriends/brothers shop.

Being of the younger generation (under 25) all my female friends who do climb and backpack still want it to be fashionable. It seems as you gain more experience(or age I tried to say it politely) You don't care as much about the "fashion" and want something that works, and will keep working.

Sorry color wise though they pick some gross colors and prints, can't help you there...

Edited by rcowman on 07/21/2011 14:10:34 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Non-gender on 07/21/2011 14:19:49 MDT Print View

I'll fess up that as I get older I want cuter clothing. I don't want to dress in non-gender specific pants. Yes, I started buying "lifestyle clothing" that I could wear to the gym, out walking, out on rail to trails pushing the baby in his jogger and even on the trail. Even my shoes have gone this way.

I have countless pairs of hiking pants I ignore now. Give me soft yoga pants any day!

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look good while being outside. Yeah, I used to make fun of it....but I came around.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Please someone explain this to me on 07/21/2011 14:32:37 MDT Print View

Well first of all, I would highly advise people against wearing bright colors in the outdoors. I remember climbing to the top of a mountain in Denali National Park and I was enjoying the amazing, breathtaking view until some yuppie wearing the most bright, retina melting red jacket caught my eye about 4 miles down in the narrow valley. It kinda ruined it for me.
It's also a good way to get your stuff stolen if you set up a base camp.
So if you are talking about fashion, I don't know what you are getting at. But I do agree there needs to be more womens clothing where it matters, as far as fit and comfort. There seem to be more and more women backpackers on the trails these days.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
sales on 07/21/2011 14:32:45 MDT Print View

women on BPL may not be representative

ive shopped with and for women ... and very few of them would wear mens clothing even if it fit them

usually they want pretty colours, slim fit, shorter fit, fashionable design ... exactly what manuf are trying to give them

are they serious hikers? ... they wont do a thru hike, put it that way .... but they will go on overnighters

there are quite a few women out there whove told me straight out ... "i wont wear a big puffy cause it makes me look fat"

course these women may be a tad younger than the BPL demographic ;)

remember that the outdoor clothing industry is more about fashion than actual performance these days despite all the fancy claims and "goretex" stickers aside ... LOOKING outdoorsy is more important than actually using the gear ...

dont believe me? ... just hit up a local sbucks in an outdoorsy town ...

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Non-gender on 07/21/2011 14:50:12 MDT Print View

Robert, I have a patagonia xs r1 hoodie and it is big on me but I can live with it,I have tried on other xs stuff of theirs and it is too big.montbell mens size small is also big on me but I have a few things like the ul wind jacket that I can live with but not much else,arc'teryx I have never tried,wow are they expensive and unless it runs smaller than the patagonia stuff I don't think it would fit.On patagonia size chart it says xs is a 4-6 women's and I am a size 2 or sometimes 0 depending on the maker.Believe me it's not like I have never thought wearing smaller mens clothing I look all the time,I even own a few childrens quick dry shirts but childrens clothing is cut way different than adults(wide in the body and short in the sleeves)and are made with cheaper materials.It is also not just an age thing,I have never liked scoop collars or capped sleeves(I was a punk rocker)and I also don't see their function.It's funny how on the women's line of patagonia runshade the front comes down so far that you would get sun burned if you were to wear it so what is the point,the mens doesn't do that.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: sales on 07/21/2011 14:54:34 MDT Print View

As a group, more men are willing to "go along", whereas more women want more different styling, colors, pocket sizes, etc. Look at general retailing -- and see just how much more variety there are for women clothing and shoes -- as compared to the men's section! To satisfy women more, outdoor retailers will have to expand commensurately -- and devote vastly more space to women than men -- just as in general retailing. But until a lot more women hit the outdoors, that won't happen, simply because the economics won't work.

K ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Cute on 07/21/2011 14:59:56 MDT Print View

There are clothes out there that are functional and look good, just not that many. Cute is subjective, too. If you have a fit body then form fitting and functional is "cute" in my opinion. Bright, prints, tiny pockets are cute for some, but not others.

Jason Cravens

Locale: Cumberland Plateau
$$$ on 07/21/2011 15:03:15 MDT Print View

The outdoor companies are thinking about this the wrong way. They should target more women, my wife has all my money! Think about it...

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
moah sales on 07/21/2011 15:07:14 MDT Print View

i definitely wont disagree with that ben ... women are DEFINITELY more picky

i can get a guy any jacket in the right size as a present ... and theyll be happy

cant do that with many women ... they need to try it on, look at all the pretty features, look themselves in the mirror, etc ... not all women, but the majority i know

nor can i even trust the women sizes ... in men's im pretty confident that im a medium in most US brands ... there is a well know fudging with sizes in womens clothing in the US where the larger sizes are given a small size, so that women dont feel "fat" ... ie yr more likely to buy a small size piece that fits you even if you arent really a small

not saying it happens with all brands ... but the size can be quite variable

as to why slim sizes and fits? ... this is going to sound cruel so stop reading if you dont like it ...

but as an outdoor company that wants young fit slim active people wearing my clothing, or the appearance of such ... and attract those yuppies who want to feel young again, or the appearance of such ... i want those types of people wearing my clothing ... not people who dont "fit" the image ... i personally dont agree with it, but its the same as nightclubs not letting in certain people, or other clothing brands not producing plus women sizes

someone once posted on the patagucci facebook something like "why dont you make women plus sizes" ... the basic responses were from posters were like ... "go shop at LL bean or wmt", "go outdoors and lose weight", etc ...

if there was money retailers would do it ... or if you think theres an opportunity and they are wrong, go do it yrself

thats my elitist, sexist male piggay rant for the day ;)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Please someone explain this to me on 07/21/2011 15:09:30 MDT Print View

Hey Justin, how did you know exactly it was a Yuppie? must be psychic :-P Did ya holler down the valley "Hey duuuuude! Did you buy that at Mt. Hardwear?"

Just for that I think I am going hiking this weekend in ALL hot pink - above treeline.

Seriously, if you let a red jacket ruin your view you need to relax! Better that than some old dude out for a nude hike on a popular trail....or the family of 12 who plop down 3 feet away from your lunch at a scenic lake when there is acres of places to sit.

John Nausieda
(Meander) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Please someone explain this to me on 07/21/2011 15:13:53 MDT Print View

Yeah . That family of 12 with a total I.Q. to match,

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: sales on 07/21/2011 15:16:10 MDT Print View

As well, I look at REI, GoLite, Patagonia, etc. and it seems to be that the women's selection is equal to men's -- if not a bit more actually. But as mentioned above, I think women are simply more used to the vast selections that they find in general clothing and shoe stores -- and feel "constricted" in outdoor retailing stores -- when in fact, the selection is really no less than men's.

I don't ever shop in the women's section and have no experience with individual item selection (obviously). But I really do feel that their section is just as large as men's -- if not slightly larger.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: Tahoe
MB on 07/21/2011 15:18:36 MDT Print View

I'll just add that my girlfriend just ordered the green Montbell Alpine Light Down Parka and it has to go back. That shade of green is just awful. The other color options aren't much better either. When searching it seemed like previous year models had more reasonable colors, just nothing available in a medium anymore. I can't make any sense of the current season color choices.

Edited by csteutterman on 07/21/2011 17:47:08 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: And on harping on "Yuppies" on 07/21/2011 15:21:40 MDT Print View

OK, can we quit harping on Yuppies. Jeez, be happy that there are still people who have $$ to spend on clothing in the recession. Who cares what they buy! It doesn't spoil anyone else's adventure!

I don't feel guilty that I have a North Face jacket that I wear in town - it is nice, warm and functional (but simply too warm to wear while hiking). I don't feel guilty that I wear Chaco and Keen shoes in town. They are comfy! Ooh, today in Starbucks I had a lady ask me what brand of sandals I was wearing becuase they were....CUTE!

And ya know, if someone wears $300 jeans while hiking big freaking whoop!

Aaron Benson
(AaronMB) - F

Locale: Central Valley California
Re: Re: Re: Please someone explain this to me on 07/21/2011 15:25:31 MDT Print View

Right, Sarah. I love my bright Gecko green PataG' Nano Puff. I'm definitely no yuppie ...AND...I like to wear my "gear clothes" around town. There's a reason - it fits and feels good. I'd wear it all the time and wear it out if it wasn't so expensive.

So, in the eyes of some here, I guess in the city I look like a yuppie. And on the trail I look like city folk fresh out of REI (yuppie). How do you really know? But either way, does it really matter?

Perspective is an interesting thing.

I believe it's "Hike Your Own Hike," no?

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
red on 07/21/2011 15:25:37 MDT Print View

i consider wearing a red or orange shell a SMART decision in an alpine area ... not a dumb one

nor a yuppie one ;)


Locale: Pacific Northwet
Re: Please someone explain this to me on 07/21/2011 15:46:21 MDT Print View

Well first of all, I would highly advise people against hiking in the outdoors. I remember climbing to the top of a mountain in Denali National Park and I was enjoying the amazing, breathtaking view until some hiker caught my eye about 4 miles down in the narrow valley. It kinda ruined it for me, as I like to go into the wilderness for solitude.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Please someone explain this to me on 07/21/2011 16:12:55 MDT Print View

I am dying to make fun of Sarbar's "lifestyle clothing" comment, but she has given me far too many great recipes to ever say an unkind word. So you go girl. You're a goddess. In hot pink even.