Article on Women's gear

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mrphil
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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by mrphil » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:37 am

balzaccom wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 7:55 am
Where does it say they are going shopping? They are simply putting together their gear, and discussing it as they pack....I think this is a projection on your part--and an unfair one.
Reading back on the article, I stand corrected.

But, retailers carry what the majority of their customers want to buy. What sells. And if they keep on buying it, nothing will change. Why should it if it's working and generating a huge portion of sales in a $489 billion a year industry? 1/3 of REI's current board of directors are women. Sally Jewell was their CEO for over a decade, going on to become Secretary of the Interior. Jill Layfield was CEO of Backcountry for years. All are very involved and brilliant marketers that understand their consumer base, and were very much instrumental in developing the current state of what's available to women. When they spoke, manufacturers listened.

I've also seen a huge selection of gear and clothing that's plenty technical and designed specifically for women, for no other reason than fits that are specific to their body types. Give them all men's clothing in dull colors and black, designed to fit men, and watch the revolt. And if you're a woman that's holding the map, and you know how to read it, I'll defer to you.








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mrphil
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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by mrphil » Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:43 am

John Harper wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:15 am
It's obvious you've bought into the stereotype.
Stereotypes only exist when they're reinforced by actions....and by sales.

I can honestly also tell you that, in spite of funding a few purchases, I've never personally bought women's clothing. It's not a realm I step into either comfortably or willingly. When they show it to me, I respect the choices they've made and their motives behind it, regardless of what those happen to be. I'm not one to tell you what to wear, a) because it's up to you, b) because I could care less, c) because I expect the same courtesy from you in what I choose to wear. If it's pink, so what, don't buy it if it's not to your liking. Easy.

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John Harper
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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by John Harper » Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:44 am

mrphil wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:43 am
I can honestly also tell you that, in spite of funding a few purchases, I've never personally bought women's clothing.
Never bought lingerie for your lady? That's a shame. It has it's own rewards, if you catch my drift.

John

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mrphil
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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by mrphil » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:31 pm

John Harper wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 11:44 am
Never bought lingerie for your lady? That's a shame. It has it's own rewards, if you catch my drift.
ahahahahaha!! Well, you got me there. I consider it a class unto itself. \:D/

Thinking more about this though, I have to wonder about market share and just who and what are involved. We have two aspects going on. One is demand for what we want and the desire to look good. Maybe it's a stereotype, but it's not gender specific, and I think it's a safe bet to put out there.

The other is that there's money to be made. Everybody wants a piece of the huge outdoor retail pie, including companies that were once only fashion-based. You still have the "gear" makers and a more functional, respectful set of offerings, but then you have the others that are bringing their take to it. Frankly, I think there's a partial effect of polluting the well and/or those traditional gear manufacturers that are then forced to follow suit to meet the demand, fad or otherwise...TNF and Patagonia have sure morphed! How many times do we see people with knock off brands that might have better lines or colors, but no real functional practicality on the trail? More often than not is my experience. Could most people explain the rationale between choosing one brand of clothing over another beyond claiming that they bought it because it looked better on them?..."What's the temperature rating of that?" "Huh???" Those of us that are older, and more particularly, the women of this forum, must remember a time when the complaint wasn't that things were too colorful or "girlie", it was that there weren't enough products suited to their particular needs and fit. I guess we've maybe gone full circle, and maybe even too far.

If a woman likes something, it makes her feel good, and it works in every way she needs it to, more power to her.

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by longri » Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:43 pm

mrphil wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:37 am
But, retailers carry what the majority of their customers want to buy. What sells.
You have it backwards. Customers buy what's available. The choice is often very narrow. That's the whole point of the article.

mrphil wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:43 am
Stereotypes only exist when they're reinforced by actions....
I don't think you thought about that one very carefully.

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rightstar76
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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by rightstar76 » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:12 pm

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Last edited by rightstar76 on Wed Aug 14, 2019 2:12 am, edited 1 time in total.

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mrphil
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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by mrphil » Thu Oct 18, 2018 2:44 pm

longri wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:43 pm
You have it backwards. Customers buy what's available. The choice is often very narrow. That's the whole point of the article.
I think some do and some don't. Some will settle, some won't. I know just enough about women's clothing to be dangerously opinionated, but still enough to steer clear whenever possible...apparently, except in this case. In my own experiences of selecting my own clothing, I may not always get exactly what I want, and often take a pass, but it's always an informed choice out of many many things to choose from. There are times when I would go so far as to call the process "epic". You go into any retailer and compare men's vs women's, and the volume and overall selection differences are massive. Even with styles and trends being what they are, I'm sorry, but it's more than pinks and pastels with not enough pockets. I get dragged along regularly. I don't have anything to do but sit there and observe. I find myself envious of what women have available to them in the way of selection.

As you know, when confronted by not finding what you need or something that's inadequate, you make it work or make it yourself. You adjust. Obviously, not everyone is willing or able to have custom clothing made to their specs, but enough people make demands, the powers that be respond if they want to stay the powers that be.
longri wrote:
Thu Oct 18, 2018 12:43 pm
I don't think you thought about that one very carefully.
You're right, and you keep me honest. Stereotyping isn't always fair or right, it's even prejudicial in many ways, but stereotypes at least exist within a modicum of some basis in truth that does require some element of reinforcement.

What I can't believe is that I stepped in front of this one so forcefully. I kind of regret it, but I'll take all my lumps, and I expect to be busy because of it.

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by AlmostThere » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:19 pm

I didn't say I buy kid's clothing - I know a lot of women who do.

I do however buy men's clothing at times. It's actually easier to find women's active wear if you go to places where professionals shop - the 5.11 store, for example, has sturdy men's and women's active wear. It won't be pretty but it will be serviceable and fit the female body better than the stick-straight men's 5.11 tactical pants....

But women getting into backpacking go first where they know to go. REI is the top of the list. Then they get into women specific backpacking groups on Facebook and broaden their horizons, as the women who have done this for a while share all the lists -- Sierra Trading Post, Kuhl, Duluth Trading Post, and onward to online stores for pro deals for paraprofessional outdoorswomen who need something better than REI Sahara pants.

Good gear vs generic mass market gear. The pink-purple-teal crap is not difficult to replace if you know where to go. I'd rather spend $70 on pants I can wear for a few years than the thin breathable stuff Susie (who hikes four times a year and never sits down) says works "great."

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by Harlen » Thu Oct 18, 2018 3:40 pm

...We all love new stuff, but I'm fine looking like a dirt clod and using my gear and clothing until it's disintegrating , others aren't, and will always resort to making a fashion statement in how they perceive themselves, and in presenting how they want the world to see them in that light. This is true of everyone, women and men alike.
"....I'm fine looking like a dirt clod and using my gear and clothing until it's disintegrating...." I can only agree with this part of the above.

My 1.25 cents: The only things I will grudgingly buy new are mountaineering boots, and z-bags- and only after I have exhausted all hope of finding them on Craigslist, or at the used gear store in Bishop. We buy nearly everything used, and our clothes come from Goodwill, and cost peanuts. I recall aggravating my folks as a teenager when it came to the clothes I would wear, but that was decades ago! Style? Lizzie's and my style is Cheap! (*saves money for travels.)

P.S.
Longri writes:
....But I suppose it makes my rear end look nicer.
Can you provide some photos? :nod:

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Re: Article on Women's gear

Post by balzaccom » Thu Oct 18, 2018 4:24 pm

Just to review the original article again, one of the points it made was that retailers may be underestimating the size of the women's market because many serious women hikers buy men's clothes instead of women's clothes. That makes it look like fewer women are buying this stuff...but it's wrong. And as a professor or marketing, I can tell you that marketers get it wrong all the time.

My wife would like the spectrum of colors that the article criticizes--but she also really resents the fact that the clothing that comes in those colors isn't very functional. She would love to buy men's clothes if they fit her, but they don't.
Balzaccom

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