In a follow-up comment to my post “But Pants Aren’t in the Bible!” I asked a simple question: “Blue jeans, tee shirt, ball cap, sneakers. Whose outfit is this?”
Derek didn’t get it. Instead of answering the question he tried to be cute:
Wool socks, snow boots, heavy winter coat.
Who’s outfit is this?
But I pressed him back to the question and he explained why he can’t answer it:
@Cane Caldo – “It is a simple question. Why can’t you answer it?”
Because it’s a loaded question, just like mine is. If I change your question to this: “Blue jeans, t-shirt, pink bra, cap, sneakers, hair bow. Whose outfit is this?”, then the answer is immediately different.
It is obvious that what constitutes women’s or men’s garb is subjective to a society. It is also subjective to both the situation and intention. The latter two are more important than the former because they are more specific.
If both my wife and I wear jeans, t-shirt, baseball cap, and sneakers to a baseball game, there isn’t anyone who would ever mistake me for a woman or her for a man.
Ah…the old “But My Wife” trick; coupled to the old “But everyone’s doing it!” gag.
Well, we wouldn’t dare to impede upon a woman’s desire to dress like a man while at a baseball game. After all: watching baseball is strenuous! Every woman in a stadium needs to look like a baseball player, wear brush resistant pants, and strip down to her undershirt to avoid sweat-stains on her blouse.
That’s what baseball caps were for: Men and boys who played baseball, and who identified with their favorite ball players. Blue jeans were invented as hard-wearing pants for men contending with the rugged terrain of the American West. Tee shirts are men’s undergarments. I’ll grant that there have always been athletic shoes for men and women, but even there I bet the trend went: Boys wore them casually first, then girls invaded. Sneakers aside: Ball caps, jeans, and tee shirts are all men’s clothing, and were intended to be so from the beginning.
Unlike those items: Wool socks were invented for both sexes. Snow boots were invented for both sexes. Heavy winter coats were invented for both sexes. Derek thought he was comparing apples to apples. He wasn’t. A ball cap, jeans, tee shirts, and sneakers used to be the casual uniform of the American Working Class Man until the Boomers ruined it with the Sexual Revolution. Now no one knows what women should not wear, and if they do, they won’t say it.