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Author Topic: A humble request to Steampunk convention merchants  (Read 1765 times)
Herbert West
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« on: October 18, 2014, 01:56:49 am »

I love going to Steampunk conventions, but could we please have more items geared towards men?

 I'd love to be able shop for a new hat, waistcoat, tie or other accessories. But it seems as if the vast majority of sellers only carry jewelry, corsets, or other feminine attire. How about a little love for the menfolk?
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Maets
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« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2014, 02:12:22 am »

Art and craft shows in general cater far more to women than men.  A women will see something and if she likes it will by it.  A man at an art show is far more restrictive.  Far too many art/craft shows have become the women's clothing, jewelry, purse shows.  This is not sexist, just true.  I have been watching it for years.  A contributing factor is that a women has no problem having 20 pairs of earrings or 10 purses etc.  Nothing equivalent in the men category.
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Herbert West
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« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2014, 02:51:38 am »

You're right of course. I was just imagining how lovely it would be to have the opportunity to try on an assortment of hats, waistcoats, ties, etc.  As a male, unless I'm shopping for a belt pouch, a book, or a pair of goggles, I feel a bit left out.

I was curious if anyone else felt the same.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2014, 02:54:57 am by Herbert West » Logged
Maets
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« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2014, 03:24:09 am »

One of the problem with shows is that the men come to the shows less and less because they don't want to watch their wife try on dresses or jewelry.  The stuff for women sells better and next year there is even less available for men and more for women and it can easily snowball.  A number of shows have set aside areas just for women and then put women's stuff in with the rest of the art anyway.

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Drew P
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« Reply #4 on: October 18, 2014, 07:53:30 am »

"' Nothing equivalent in the men category."

Men have watches to buy.
Just saying.
And, yes, some have more than one. I know a few who have several. I working my way there.

I buy coats.
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Herbert West
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« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2014, 09:53:31 am »

"' Nothing equivalent in the men category."

Men have watches to buy.
Just saying.
And, yes, some have more than one. I know a few who have several. I working my way there.

I buy coats.


But I've already got three bloody watches.
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grimnir
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« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2014, 10:01:55 am »

As a seller at shows I can confirm it's mostly women that buy things.Even if it's for men it'll usually be a woman who parts with the cash for it! Men will try stuff on, tell me what wonderful workmanship it is... and then wander onto the next stall.

This is why I'm making more items aimed at women.

I had huge interest in leather armour, right up until I made it (with quite a large outlay!) and then all the men who'd been so keen to get it were saying "Great workmanship! Love it!" and moving on...

I make for women, they buy. If you want stuff for men, get your wallet out and BUY stuff for men!
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Herbert West
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« Reply #7 on: October 18, 2014, 12:40:24 pm »

It seems we're at a bit of a Catch 22 here. Men don't buy enough to make things profitable, but then how can we buy if nothings available?
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Maets
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« Reply #8 on: October 18, 2014, 01:41:48 pm »

But I've already got three bloody watches.

A woman would NEVER say that about earrings, purses, dresses, etc.

Much of the stuff I make, one might consider more manly.  But I sell to way more women than to men.  Often it as my friend grimnir said the woman will buy it for their man.
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Hey Joe
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« Reply #9 on: October 18, 2014, 04:48:17 pm »

Go to Civil War events. A lot of stuff for men there.
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« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2014, 07:14:14 pm »

My items include a selection for men (for one thing I can wear a few to show how they look which is a great way of advertising my creations).  For example my 'little eccentric' can be worn as either a brooch, lapel pin or on a hat (where I usually wear one).
After all neglecting either men or women in your range of stock or how you market it is denying yourself 50% of your potential customers.

I know from working in charity shops that there is less 'vintage' men's clothing available (we tend to wear it until it's held together by the grease from our machines) but a stall with a rack of men's clothing (waistcoats and military style jackets) on one side, women's (dresses and corsets) on the other with the center having accessories and other steampunk items on a table would work well and attract customers.
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grimnir
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« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2014, 12:53:31 am »

a stall with a rack of men's clothing (waistcoats and military style jackets) on one side, women's (dresses and corsets) on the other with the center having accessories and other steampunk items on a table would work well and attract customers.
You'd think so wouldn't you? But we've a friend who makes clothing and she made an entire rack of menswear, much of it Steampunk, and although there was a lot of interest, both before when she announced she was making mens and at the events, she still has 95% of it sitting on the racks. I have one of her waistcoats. Thing is, men would come over, have a look, say "That's cool, might get one of those," and then wander onto the next stall... She doesn't make menswear any more except for commission work, because men don't buy.
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MWBailey
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« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2014, 01:33:54 am »

Not being married, I can't speak from personal experience, but I have talked with quite a few men and listened to the reasons they don't buy; not to mention overheard quite a few of the scenes that they cite as reasons. I mean no disparagement or insult to the ladies, but reputedly (and from what I've observed from the sidelines) it seems the womenfolk jump ALL OVER THEM when they buy a piece of menswear [especially when they then don't have the extra cash to lend them when the woman runs out of shimoleans and wants "this exquisite piece here" or suchlike].

"What do you MEAN you don't have any more cash for 'doodads' as you call 'em? This is NOT a doodad..." etc.

That part I have heard  at festivals. We men also seem to always have plenty of clothes and the women never enough (according to the womenfolk), a condition almost always determined by the woman in question. I have overheard many more times than I care to remember, something along the lines of

"you've already got three waistcoats, you don't need any more! I need this petticoat because it matches my Agatha Heterdodyne (or whatever cosplay or other design) gown better than the one "we"*  bought at (whatever)con."

Yes, I do realize why I'm still single... Cheesy



*it's always "we," meaning of course that it was the man who should have known better (never the woman, of course) convincing the woman to buy it. As if...
« Last Edit: October 19, 2014, 03:36:14 am by MWBailey » Logged

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Herbert West
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« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2014, 03:33:35 am »

Maybe I should start looking into crossdressing.  Tongue
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grimnir
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« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2014, 03:34:20 am »

I've had just the same response from rabid bachelors as from men 20 years married - "That's really great! I'll have to get one..." *walks away*. It's not the womans fault men don't have much to choose from Smiley
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MWBailey
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« Reply #15 on: October 19, 2014, 03:37:02 am »

Yes it is. We're running scared, you see.
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Maets
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« Reply #16 on: October 19, 2014, 01:41:15 pm »

A good friend of mine does incredible metal work.  This year for various reasons he added some women's clothing to fill in his booth.  Guess what is selling.
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MWBailey
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« Reply #17 on: October 19, 2014, 05:34:32 pm »

I hope everybody realizes I was being tongue-in-cheek earlier. I do feel there's a certain tendency for couples to get into fights/tiff/fracas/spats over who buys this-and-so at cons (I've seen several such in public), but I was really just playing off of that as an attempt at humor.
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Aubreay Fallowfield
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« Reply #18 on: October 19, 2014, 11:02:56 pm »

Herbert,
"I should start looking into crossdressing"
have you got the legs to carry it off!! Tongue
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« Reply #19 on: October 19, 2014, 11:27:37 pm »

Maybe I should start looking into crossdressing.  Tongue
Hahaha!  Don't say it if you don't mean it!

have you got the legs to carry it off!! Tongue
And Mr. Fallowfield's question is not just a joke, but a fact as well!   Cheesy
« Last Edit: October 20, 2014, 12:38:45 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged

frances
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« Reply #20 on: October 19, 2014, 11:48:35 pm »

When I had a regular stall I used to carry lines specifically for men.  Things like leather thonging, leather pieces, brass bits and bobs, braces, leather belts, cuff-links, bow ties, tie tacks and such-like are useful to carry.  They take up little room and are useful in costume emergencies.
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MWBailey
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« Reply #21 on: October 20, 2014, 06:25:46 am »

Leather thongs!?

Wouldn't that be kind of a painful item to wear?
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« Reply #22 on: October 20, 2014, 06:29:50 am »

Leather thongs!?

Wouldn't that be kind of a painful item to wear?

I think she meant items made from leather strips.

Is it just me? Or are the posters getting a little cheeky?  Roll Eyes
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #23 on: October 20, 2014, 07:47:29 am »

I've had just the same response from rabid bachelors as from men 20 years married - "That's really great! I'll have to get one..." *walks away*. It's not the womans fault men don't have much to choose from Smiley

So we've established that men's age does not matter in this phenomenon.  But seriously now, it seems to me natural that women would buy more. Gender equality notwithstanding, in the traditional Western Gender Binary paradigm, the onus is on women to decorate themselves more than the men, and hence priorities are different between the two sexes. Even though I firmly believe there is much more room for gender variation well beyond the gender binary (I have written about this many times now in other threads).

~ ~ ~

Are women naturally more inclined to buy baubles and corsets than men?

This is a gender-role type question.  It is hotly debated (with very sharp divisions) in the scientific community whether gender roles have a biological origin or not.  Psychologists proclaim that gender roles are learned behaviour.  And some go as far as saying that gender roles are a completely societal construct.

There are some cultures where the opposite gender binary is true (men decorate themselves more and women adopt masculine roles such as warfare) such as the Hibitoe tribe of Papua New Guinea.  Or there societies where there is simply no gender role such as the Yoruba people in Africa.

But the number of cultures who exhibit a reversal or lack of binary gender roles is rather small demographically.  

However, evolutionist biologists and anthropologists support the idea that gender-specific behaviour is genetic in origin.  Studies where a child was raised believing that they were of opposite sex seem to indicate that biology does in fact play a role.

By studying situations where gender role is reversed at a very young age, when sexual attraction has not yet developed, and where society has not had a chance to influence a child's mind, it is possible to determine if there is a biological cause for that gender-behavioural variation.  Currently there is much attention being paid in the medical and psychiatric community to the emergence of cases where Gender Dysphoria appears before the age of 5, which suggests that gender may be biologically derived, such as by way of hormones during the gestation period.  In such instances, very young children seem more interested in gender reversed roles and complain that their body "is not right," often suffering from depression and exhibiting behavioural problems when the parents try to force the gender role (attire, behaviour, toys, etc.) aligned with their natural sex.

Oddly this pits two LGBQT-friendly fields of science (psychology and biology) in direct and strong conflict with one another.  Primarily because gender-variance advocates benefit greatly from the argument that by way of biology, you can develop a gender that is not aligned with your birth sex (biology before birth vis a vis chromosomes) or sexual attraction (hormones during puberty).  And yet, the opposite argument, is attractive because it justifies trashing the Binary Gender altogether, as a relic of Westerm patriarchal societies.

The problem is you can't have it both ways, son.  Or can you?

I guess the old axiom, "reality is somewhere in between the two extremes" applies here.  Gender roles are both biological and learned behaviour.  There is strong scientific evidence pointing to the two sides of the argument simultaneously.

In such a case, and coming from Western culture, there is a strong argument to be made that women would, statistically, have a greater interest in purchasing wearables and items of body-decoration, in part because they are genuinely more interested and in part because society pushes women in that direction.

I mean, just look at the evidence!  The fashion industry for women seems to be 10 or even 100 times greater than the fashion industry for men!!  Why would the Steampunk fashion industry be any different?

Having stated all this, it's up to society to accommodate the sartorial needs of men, because by default the playing field is not level - if we are to believe that gender is at least partially biological in origin.
« Last Edit: October 22, 2014, 07:55:22 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
Herbert West
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« Reply #24 on: October 20, 2014, 11:20:57 am »

I can live with dealer being mostly geared towards women. But do us menfolk have to be left out in the cold? At 4 of the last 5 cons I've been to I spent more on food over the weekend than I did in the dealers room. Not for lack of trying, but because there was nothing there for me. At the 5th, I was able to pick up an expensive leather bracer, and a couple of cravats and some suspecders decause one dealer had a couple of mens items off to one side.

Surely with all those display cases of pins, necklaces, broaches, etc, you can spare room for a few tie pins? A  rack with a few waistcoats? Spectacles, or some mens hats?

 Anyway, I'll pipe down now, as I think I'm beginning to repeat myself.
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