Battle of the Sexes: eBay Survey Reveals Fashion Gap

Yoga pants, briefs, plaid shirts are in. Overalls, bow ties, fur coats are out.


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The number one thing to understand about fashion is this: Haters gonna hate. If you surround yourself with people who frequently express disapproval of your attire, you need to reconsider your acquaintances.

That said, we found this eBay survey pretty fascinating. Predicated on the questionable claim that “fashion can represent someone’s identity,” the study queried 500 men and 500 women, asking them what they think about popular fashion items as worn by the other sex.

In almost all cases, there was a significant gap between the sexes appreciation for a given piece of clothing. Let’s take a look at some examples.


The biggest difference of opinion centered on woman’s large bags: 71 percent of women like them, while only 36 percent of men think they're worthwhile. But that makes sense: Huge totes are often comically large on the women who own them, but they’re supremely utilitarian. If it were socially acceptable for me to walk around with one, I probably would.

(Oh, wait... I do. It's called a messenger bag.)

Another huge gap? Those 1920s-style headbands all the hipster girls (61%) love. Turns out, the majority of guys think they're "ugly" and "dumb."

Turns out, the majority of guys think 1920s headbands are "ugly" and "dumb" on girls.

A few items were liked (or disliked) equally by both genders. For example, the same proportion of men and women (71 percent) are fond of of yoga pants, while only 32 percent of men and women can get behind wearing suspenders. (No surprise there.) Meanwhile, 49 percent of all respondents are fans of boat shoes. (That number should be much higher, in my opinion.)

So which fashion choices were the clear winners in the poll? On women, yoga pants, maxi dresses, tall leather boots, and diamond necklaces all get the seal of approval. On men, fashion sneakers, plaid shirts, leather loafers, and briefs garnered high marks.

As for what looks awful, it’s safe to say women should stop wearing fur coats, overalls, and high-waisted pants (although I personally disagree with that last one). And men should throw out the skinny jeans, suspenders, and bow ties.

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It’s safe to say women should stop wearing fur coats, overalls, and high-waisted pants.

Out of curiosity, I did a few calculations of my own. I had this vague hunch that women tend to be more critical of fashion than men, so I wanted to gauge the relative levels of disapproval between the sexes.

Well, I admit it... I was wrong. (As I so often am.) On average, men were more critical of both men’s and women’s attire—although only marginally. Women were also far more supportive of other women's fashion choices than men were of their fellow bros'.

  • Men’s Average Approval of Men’s Attire: 50.1%
  • Women’s Average Approval of Men’s Attire: 54.1%
  • Men’s Average Approval of Women’s Attire: 52.5%
  • Women’s Average Approval of Women’s Attire: 58.7%

Another way of looking at it? Women dress for other women more than they do for men. Men, on the other hand, don't seem to care as much what other men think of them.

Hero Image: eBay

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