Shopping across the gender divide

by S&M

Most of us would have no problem stepping across the baby blue/pink divide to pick up an item for our children, but for ourselves, as adults? Have you purchased or do you use items not designed for your gender? Why or why not?

My feet are size 10 in women’s, size 8 in men’s. I’ve bought men’s shoes twice: my leather Converse for high school basketball and a pair of oxfords. The BB shoes were ok, but the others never felt right on my feet. Maybe it was just the shoes, I don’t know, but that put me off buying men’s shoes. 20 or 30 years ago, I bought “men’s” bikes because the crossbar made them more stabile. I consider the tools I own to be gender neutral. Some were my grandfather’s. When I chose the others, color was not a consideration.

5 Items You Should Buy From the Men’s Section

So how about it? What do you own that might be considered not gender-appropriate? How did you make the choice to buy or use it? Do you feel any repercussions from either crossing that line or following it too closely?


89 thoughts on “Shopping across the gender divide

  1. I ride a bike that my son outgrew. It fits me and I ride infrequently, so I don’t want to buy a new bike. Because I live in a house full of boys/men, our decor and bedding is very gender neutral.

    I used to buy gender neutral earbuds and they kept getting “borrowed”, so I bought myself a pair of pink earbuds which I have managed to “keep”. : )

  2. I have bought boys’ youth shoes because they are cheaper for the same thing. I wear a women’s size 7, so a men’s size 5.

    I also will get men’s t-shirts for certain uses. I HATE the shrunken women’s t-shirts that are usually given out for running races & the men’s ones have gotten more fitted so they are actually better because of the sleeve/body length (although not the most flattering across the chest).

    That’s about it. I would never buy tools marketed to women like in the photo because I would just assume that the quality is lower.

    I didn’t realize duffle bags were a gendered item. My gym bag is ancient & unisex. Same with my hiking pack and my work laptop bag.

  3. “I used to buy gender neutral earbuds and they kept getting “borrowed”, so I bought myself a pair of pink earbuds which I have managed to “keep”. : )”

    This is actually a great idea. I might have to steal it.

  4. I didn’t realize duffle bags were a gendered item.

    Phew, at least you’ve never heard of Vera Bradley.

  5. Our only intentionally gendered thing is the Key of Shame, a/k/a the “Hello Kitty” key on a pink lanyard that we bought when DD lost her housekey for about the 8th time.

    Generally speaking, I run like hell from intentionally pink/”girly” stuff.

  6. The pink phone charger only stayed “mine” for a little while. Dang feminist kid!
    Ivy, we must have read that list differently. I saw it as saying “these five items are the same whether they’re in the men’s or women’s dept, but will be cheaper in the men’s, so you should get them there”.

  7. Looking at it again, I see Ivy’s right; the article does claim some kind of distinction in 4 out of 5 of these categories.

  8. Ivy and I had the same issue with the duffel bag. Even if it is cheaper in the men’s department, why is it there to begin with? I usually buy my luggage from a national retailer’s “home department”. That being said, my baggalinni tote bag is decidedly feminine with it’s hot pink color. I bought it because it is huge and versatile. I had 2 colors to choose from and the pink was the least offensive.

    I really don’t purchase things from the men’s department. I have such a thin frame that most men’s clothes hang on me. I also don’t fall for marketing towards women – such as the tools in the photo.

    My sons have worn infant girls leggings because they fit their skinny minny legs better. But they were/are infants so they only cared if they were warm. DH does buy moisturizer and other “beauty” products from Lush, which is either feminine or metro. He makes up for the “frilly” smells by using Irish Spring and “for men” lines..

  9. I agree that pink tools would probably be inferior, but I have small hands, so would love to have tools that fit better.

  10. My boys really like pink stuff. While simultaneously thinking it is girly. So, if it is something that is for home only, they will pick the pink version if possible. If it is for school or around friends, they will not. My daughter LOVES pink and purple and sparkles and frills. She is 2 and yesterday I found her lovingly staring at her open closet talking about all of her beautiful clothes. It is ridiculous and I don’t know what to do (if anything). I don’t really encourage such nonsense but it makes her so happy.

  11. I have a pair of men’s oxfords but no other men’s stuff. I have tried to buy men’s shirts in the past (for overshirts) and they just don’t work – boobs make them ride up in front and then the shoulders sit all weird and they’re not comfortable.

    I will have to start buying all men’s sneakers soon though, if my bunions get any bigger.

  12. I’ve never really thought about this – interesting topic.

    I’ve always only had boys’ bikes, from childhood. They’ve always seemed far cooler to me. My current mountain bike is approximately 1 million times better looking than its feminine counterpart. I’ve bought men’s shoes a few times — for sports only — but not lately. I think sports equipment is an area where the women’s styles have exploded, where they were once (in my childhood and even early adulthood) far inferior to the men’s selections.

  13. Kate – do nothing. I found all liking princesses etc. to be a phase. DD still likes pink but now wears all colors and is of the healthy bodies, healthy minds category. Has taken all the healthy habits to heart. Maybe she will turn vegan down the road.

  14. I was quite the tomboy growing up and never played with dolls etc. We never had or talked about any color being gender preferred etc. But I still like pink and purple and sparkly stuff. I come to it naturally. My current gym bag is lavender and will be replaced with something in similar color. My clothes also tend to be colorful than boring black or beige.
    But I will certainly not go for pink tools and a pink room will make me gag. Our home decor is quite neutral, just the way I like it.

  15. City bikes often have a double v frame – those are not for girls, just a European design. Kayaks and paddles come in sizes – the smalls are for women or small men. With Amazon, there are a lot of small sizes for the East Asian origin population, so I can find small enough women’s socks that don’t bunch up and specialized unisex gloves that fit me. Also scissors and tools. And they are not usually pink. I gave myself a present of a designed for a woman luxury pen that is perfectly sized and weighted for my hand. European sized sensible shoes are often unisex or boys/women sized.

  16. I’ve honestly never tried to buy anything for myself in the men’s section – I would think clothes would be too big because I’m petite. And I’ve never bought a duffel bag, although I know we have some that we’ve gotten for free from work. We generally buy gender neutral sports stuff/bikes so we can pass them down but I love outfitting my girls in cute clothing (although my oldest is just starting to care what she wears at 9 and my youngest loves pretty, sparkly things but will be covered in mud five minutes into wearing anything nice).

  17. I wonder how much of my dislike of pink is a reaction to the overly-pinkified girldom stuff and how much of it is that I just don’t like pastels, and that particular girly shade of Commercial Pink (somewhere between bubblegum and Pepto Bismol) I find extra abhorrent. Blue has been my favorite color since the dawn of time — not some wussy sky blue, but the color of light through cobalt blue glass. I have strong coloring, and I have always looked better in blacks and jewel tones, so sort of like Dell, that is what I like and what I wear. So I am happy to wear a magenta or fuschia, just not a pale washed-out imitation of a real color.

  18. “I can find small enough women’s socks that don’t bunch up and specialized unisex gloves that fit me.”

    Meme: I have this problem and wear kids size L socks and kids gloves. Any suggestions on brands with smaller sizes that I should peruse on Amazon?

  19. I often buy men’s shorts especially for sailing. I like the running shorts with the “underwear” inside. The women’s shorts are too short. The men’s shorts are longer so I don’t get as sunburned. I always have to try them on and usually go up a size because I have hips and a waist that are different measurements!

    I usually select unisex or men’s tshirts because I hate the “ladies” cut and they tend to be shorter for general t’shirts as I don’t mind them loose fitting. For nicer t’shirts, I buy women’s because of the bust issue.

    I have never been able to buy men’s shoes as my feet are very narrow even for women’s.

    Areas to buy “mens” – If it is anything – razors, luggage, tools, electronics, clothing where body shape isn’t an issue (like winter hats/scarves or bathrobes) – that shows a price differential for the one marketed to women. Razors are colors other than black/grey are often more. Tools that are pink are the same tools as those that aren’t. Many retailers will mark up the “prettier” colors of the same item. They aren’t specifically saying purple is a female color, but there is an upcharge for it, but not for blue. Caveat – Some things are scaled smaller for women, like tools that fit your hand better. In general, these are not “pink”, but may be called a small or extra small widget. If it is something I use all the time, I will buy the smaller size that fits my hand rather than struggle with it. I find this true with hammers. When we did a lot of remodel work on the house, I broke down and bought a smaller hammer. I found the lighter weight and smaller handle meant I go work longer at a time.

  20. Houston –

    sport socks brand SeoulStory7. No dress socks listed. Size small (women’s 6-8) fits me very snug – I need the stretch in the fiber after they shrunk in the wash (shoe US 7, euro 38).

    Gloves brand Tenn-Outdoors. No dress gloves. I use size XXS, 18 cm circumfrence. I wore department store size 6 or 6 1/2 in leather gloves (back when I bought leather dress gloves for work). Lord and Taylors or nordstroms always has those sorts of gloves on sale with the coupon.

  21. Ryka is a shoe company that claims its shoes are made specifically for a woman’s foot. I own a couple of their sneakers and like them. The narrower heel and roomier forefoot part makes sense to me. I could never wear a man’s shoe mainly because I have narrow feet.

    Ryka knows that a woman’s foot shape, muscle movement and skeletal structure are all inherently different from a man’s. The “Q-angle”(quadricep angle) – the anatomical relationship between the hip and knee – measures 5–7 degrees greater for women than men. As a result, women tend to shift more weight to the outside of their feet which leads to over-pronation, instability at foot strike and higher risk of injury. All Ryka sneakers, including Ryka walking shoes, are designed and developed taking into account a woman’s unique fit needs.

    Our design philosophy integrates all of our technologies into one of the most researched, women-specific lasts in the industry. A complete footwear solution that fits the shape of a woman’s foot perfectly – with a narrower heel, roomier forefoot, increased instep volume and a more secure footbed. The result is a high-performance, athletic shoe engineered to address the unique biomechanics of active women for unsurpassed fit, comfort, cushioning and control.

    Back in the Stone Age I took a course called Powder Puff Mechanics. (I realize today that name alone would need a trigger warning.) Anyway I should have bought the pink set of tools because instead I bought an impressive Craftsman set like this that was overkill and collected dust in my garage for many years.

  22. I have recently started buying clothes for #1 in the boys’ section. She wants sweatpants and not skinny pants, and they are easier to find in boys, and longer than the girls’ styles (her legs are quite long and she outgrows pants fast).

  23. Even for tee shirts I generally like clothes that fit closer around my waist as I think that style looks more attractive on me. So I stick to women’s departments.

  24. Children’s clothes are often cheaper in the boys department, even things like basketball shorts. My DD#2 hated her schools uniform shorts as she felt they were too snug in the crotch, always wore boys. Now in HS with minimal dress code, she wears much shorter and tighter shorts.

  25. I sometimes buy men’s hats (e.g. straw sun hats), since I have a freakishly large head, and most women’s hats don’t fit me.

    On the other hand, other than my head, the rest of me is very petite, so I occasionally buy clothes from Lands End Kids (they go up to size 16). Last year I needed a puffer jacket, and I found one in the kids’ catalog (got the size 16) that looked like an adult style, but it was half the price of the women’s version.

    Kate – I agree with Louise – do nothing. My DD was all about pink and purple and tutus and tiaras from toddlerhood through preschool. Now, at age 10, she is a self-described “tomboy” whose favorite clothes are all grey. Just roll with the phases and stages.

  26. I didn’t even think about the sizes issue, probably because nothing about me is small. I’m 5’8.5″, which is on the tall size in the US. I think German women are a little taller, because I seem to be more average height there. But men’s hats fit my head fine, my shoes are size ten, which is the last size most styles are sold it (After there, the concentration of sparkly heels is much higher). My hands are big too. My kid is probably going to be the same way. At 5’7″, he already has bigger feet than I do, and our hands are the same size.

  27. NoB, that is brilliant. I easily fit into a child’s large for things like sweatshirts, jackets, and I never thought about actually buying it that way.

    Otherwise, nothing in the men’s department would fit me.

    And I adore pink. Bring on the Lilly Pulitzer for me.

  28. CoC, I got some of those Ryka shoes after you mentioned them, and they are sooo comfortable. Thanks!

  29. I’m supposed to be getting my first women’s shirt from an employer to celebrate a project milestone. This will be 22 years after my first engineering internship- maybe I should build the shirt a shrine. Mr WCE gets my men’s polos, because they typically don’t offer small and often have the logo in an awkward place. I wore my dozen-plus XL men’s promotional corporate T-shirts during/after my twin pregnancy and then threw them away.

    My soccer shoes were men’s (no women’s soccer shoes available locally when I was in high school) and my steel-toed boots/shoes were men’s. (There are more choices for women now.) The main downside to men’s shoes for me is the width.

    Baby WCE is currently wearing a package of Lion King (boy’s) Pull-Ups. She also has packages of girl’s Pull-Ups.

    I’ve gotten white leggings (when Twin 1 wanted to be a Storm Trooper for Halloween) and girls’ red sweatpants (boys’ sweatpants didn’t come in red) for DS1 because he wanted red pants. I suspect Baby WCE will wear more boy/unisex clothes than her brothers. I like T-shirts that are not explicitly gendered and those are hard to find in toddler/preschool sizes. I saved the brown shirt with the embroidered elephant and the yellow and orange striped shirt with the applique giraffe for her. She’ll probably prefer pink sparkles by then.

    I might choose odd-colored tools, including feminine colors, if I needed to readily identify my tools among lots of other people’s tools.

    Mr WCE has sensitive skin and prefers Oil of Olay and Yardley oatmeal soap, so we all use that soap. I think he buys the unscented Oil of Olay.

  30. When I swing dance, which is very infrequent now, I wear a pair of Ryka sneakers. The box told me they were for Zumba, but they fit, were in my budget, and had enough arch support for dancing. I needed shoes I could wear only on the dance floor, and not dirty or wear out the bottoms. Maybe I’ll look into them for my every day sneakers when my New Balance ones die.

  31. I usually get men’s Tshirts because I hate the Kleenex that they make women’s tees out of. But I always buy a pink toothbrush because pink is the one color that everyone in the house despises, so I know no one will grab my toothbrush by accident

  32. “I’m supposed to be getting my first women’s shirt from an employer to celebrate a project milestone. ”

    Back in my SV days, project and team shirts were a big thing, seen by management as an inexpensive way to promote employee morale. Most of the teams I was on had at least one female, and the shirt vendors we used all had multiple options with both men’s and women’s styles. DW had a bunch of team shirts, and I can tell they’re women’s shirts by the buttons.

  33. “5 Items You Should Buy From the Men’s Section”

    I buy a lot more than 5 items from the men’s section.

  34. “I gave myself a present of a designed for a woman luxury pen that is perfectly sized and weighted for my hand.”

    @Meme – now this is interesting. I have a nicer pen that was a work gift, but i rarely use it because it is an awkward size & weight to actually write with.

    @MM – I do always claim the pink toothbrush in the pack as the only female member of the household.

    I don’t think I have any sporting equipment that specifically for women. My bike is the exact same model as DH’s, but I have the S (or XS?) frame, and he has the M (or L?). Different colors – both neutral. My baseball mitt is sized somehow (it might technically be a youth mitt because it is about the same size as DS’s). My tennis racket is unisex, but a smaller size (not youth though). Same with my snowboard – it is a specific length. I think my snowboard boots are actually youth sized. I can’t think of what else we have that is specifically mine in that area…

  35. I don’t generally shop for myself in the men’s clothing section because things are way too big, and cut straight up and down. However, I do still have an oversized flannel shirt I bought in college (men’s XL and tall) to wear loose over a shirt like a light jacket or drapey cardigan. And I’ll occasionally buy children’s shoes since I fit the upper end of youth sizes.

    I have never worried about whether a bike or duffel bag I was looking at was a men’s or women’s style. (I didn’t know there were gendered duffel bags, but when Rhett chimed in I realized that those flowery ones and probably most of the Sportsac lines are aimed at women specifically). I know that there’s such a thing as “women’s” bikes with the crossbar removed to make way for a skirt, but since I wasn’t wearing skirts regularly when growing up I always thought of those as just one of those weird relics of the past, nothing you had to really pay attention to.

  36. I used pink or purple swim goggles to keep the boys from taking them, and bought a pink flowered mousepad that was heavily discounted, but in desperation one of the boys borrowed it and I had to pry it out of his hands as he claimed, “but I’m secure in my manhood.”

  37. I have bought some of the larger children’s sizes from Lands End and Gap kids. I find that the cut/style isn’t always the same as the same women’s item, but I can save money when the fit is the same. Sometimes the cut is too boxy, and I just prefer the cut in the women’s version even though it is often more money.

    I buy cleats and other athletic shoes for DD in the boys department because the fit is a little better for her since she has wide feet.

  38. How about scent? I have some CB I Hate Perfume stuff, which is nominally unisex, and I’ve certainly run across men’s scents elsewhere that I would consider wearing, but since I feel like I have more perfume / cologne than I ever wear anyway there are also tons of women’s scents that I like but have not purchased.

  39. Lauren, I remember getting my soccer cleats from the boys’ section because the store didn’t even carry women’s cleats . . . I’m sure that’s changed!

  40. I can attest that being pink will not protect a USB cord from theft in my household.

  41. I love how the recurring theme here seems to be “I buy the pink stuff not because I like it but as a protective mechanism to keep the boys from taking over all my stuff.” :-) Now there is a marketing campaign just waiting to happen.

  42. Boys started wearing bright pink soccer socks – I think it was for breast cancer awareness. Then since they had those socks lying around they were used at random times and it became common. Bright colors suddenly were on boys everywhere.

  43. Rhett — I actually own — and regularly use — a Vera Bradley backpack. It’s just the right size and shape for toting my laptop and work files to and from the office (I often walk to work, so the backpack is more comfortable than a shoulder bag would be).

    Now, if you had told me even a few years ago that I would eventually turn into one of those middle-aged ladies who wears Talbots clothes and carries Vera Bradley bags, I would have been horrified. But, well, here I am.

    The bag:

  44. I’d say this is also a gendered duffel bag, though in a different style from the Vera Bradley:

    I don’t think I’ve every seen a boy or man carrying a tokidoki bag.

  45. One gendered item that I own: a bike that is clearly a women’s bike. Back when I was a teen and early 20’s, it was a point of pride that if you were really into bicycling, you had a man’s frame bike. You just did not own a step-through. So I rode men’s bikes for years, all the way through a bike tour in France when I was in my early 30’s. At that point, I realized that lots of guys in Europe ride step-throughs, and I badly wanted one myself. Men’s bikes are just so impractical. Not only can you not wear a skirt when riding one, you can’t wear a longer coat, and getting on and off is awkward if you have panniers, or a bike trunk on the back (have to swing your leg over a lot more). So I got myself a nice Trek bike, optimized for touring, with a step through frame and nice reasonbly upright handlebars. I love that bike. It is similar to this one, though since it is now quite old, is not this same model

  46. Mooshi, it depends on what your want out of your bike, and what kind of riding you’re doing.

    A women’s bike frame, even the mixte style, isn’t going to be as stiff as one with the triangular main frame. For casual riding that’s OK, but if you want to carry a lot of weight, sprint, or climb, the “men’s” frame is the way to go.

  47. Vera Bradley – Ugh. My mom has a ton of it. Doesn’t look very durable to me.

    First thing that came to mind – razors. I’ve used men’s for years – much cheaper.

  48. BTW, the current trend in bikes is for smaller main and rear triangles and longer seat tubes, so the difference between those bikes and women’s bikes is getting smaller.

  49. Finn, I was going to say the same thing. My oldest boy bought a bike last year that isn’t all that much different from my women’s frame.

  50. But I think the stiffness factor used to be bigger years ago. Materials are just so much better now. I don’t sprint or do long hard climbs, but I do bike touring, and carry weight, and have been very pleased with my bike. Its first trip was to Iceland, where conditions were very rugged, and it performed well. It is officially a higher end hybrid.

  51. I had no idea about tokidoki before. I suddenly need lots of tokidoki things. If only I had more babies, I would need one of these:

    Would it be gender neutral?

    I read in “Cinderella Ate My Daughter” (which was very good), that the biggest driver for making pink baseball bats and pink carseats is simply to increase sales. (Perhaps that is obvious to everyone else, but I always assumed it was some patriarchal conspiracy). Making things that can’t be handed down or reused increases profits.

  52. My daughter always chooses the blue lacrosse stick instead of the pink one.

  53. “pink baseball bats”

    Pink softball bats are really common, especially in smaller sizes. I bought some for DD, although color was not a factor in those purchases.

  54. I have a Vera Bradley toiletries case that my mom bought me at least 10 years ago. I am tired of it and want a new one, but it is still in great shape, so I can’t bring myself to toss it and get a new one!

    I remember buying a guy’s button down shirt right as the preppy phase was coming in, and I couldn’t find any for girls at the time. I’ve also bought shoes that seem to be unisex – they have a tag with mens and women sizing. Blundstones and some sneakers.

  55. I have a black Vera Bradley hand bag. I like it. Decent quality, not flowery. Enough pockets.

  56. So I just caught up on this morning’s posts from yesterday’s threads and now I’m going to be lying in bed at 2 AM worrying that my house stinks and I don’t realize it. Thanks, y’all.

    Lark, yesterday I was so desperate to deodorize four of DS’s shirts that came out of the wash/dryer smelling pretty much like they went in, that I bought those Tide 4 in 1 pods with Febreze and then washed on the longest cycle. It worked! I usually use the costco Kirkland pods, but these Tide things save d the day.

  57. We didn’t find out the sex of our kids prior to birth, so I bought all gender neutral clothes and used hand me downs from my neighbors. I regret not buying new and cute clothes for my kids. There is a limit to practicality.

  58. I’m going to be lying in bed at 2 AM worrying that my house stinks and I don’t realize it

    You can smell it when you get home from a week+ trip.

  59. @ssk – That’s how I feel about the giveaway toiletry bags from Sephora. They work fine, so I use them even though they have giant pink lips and are totally not my style. Who sees it anyway besides me & maybe the people in the gym locker room.

    To be fair, I didn’t really like the “boy” little kid clothes either. I generally tried to stick to pretty neutral stuff, albeit in blues and reds. Now that he can pick out his own clothes, comfort is #1, and I try to stick to colors that can’t clash too badly when he picks the first thing out of the drawer. Lots of plain black, navy and grey bottoms. He will dig through the drawer to find the most comfortable item, but not to find something that matches.

    I had not realized until today that Vera Bradley existed. I have seen those bags, but I thought that they were all 31 (the Christian-ish MLM company). Seems like the same style. Does that still exist? I haven’t seen anyone on Facebook pushing it for a long time.

  60. I am surprised the nearby mall still has a Vera Bradley store. It was very popular a few years ago.
    They are things which if someone gifted to me I would use but not buy it for myself. DD is happy with a small bag I bought her from there.

    @Lark – Lily Pulitzer prints and clothes fit with our weather. I just can’t see people up North wearing those. In Boston even my summer dresses were thicker and I would always carry cardigan.

  61. Ivy – I hadn’t heard of 31, but maybe it was a knockoff of Vera Bradley. Are their products sold in stores or more tupperware/stella & dot style?

  62. I just ordered a Vera Bradley toiletry bag last week – bright pink and orange. It is totes adorbs, and will be very happy living by my packing cubes.

  63. Lilly Pulitzer is pretty popular here. We have a store at the mall (along with a Vera store) and the stuff gets picked up very quickly on our local resale site. Apparently certain prints are more desirable than others? Totally not my style so I don’t know a lot about it.

  64. Virginia has a law that deer hunters must wear blaze orange. This past winter a law was passed that now gives hunters the option of either wearing blaze pink or orange. They think that allowing the new color option will attract more women to hunting.

  65. 31 had a boom around here for a while. Now it’s fallen away. Lularoe is the new big thing.

    I didn’t really like the 31 stuff though. I thought it’s like Vera – you like it or you don’t.

  66. Houston, if you’re still around (or any other Houstonians) – I’m having a girls weekend, staying downtown with a couple of my old college roommates. Since I keep to my suburb a lot, I don’t many places downtown/midtown to go. Is there anyplace you would recommend for a nice dinner where it’s not too loud to have a conversation, we could possibly linger over drinks, or maybe a wine bar in that area? I’m looking on Yelp too, but never know if I can trust the reviews. A lot of the places that I like down there can be really loud.

  67. Sheep, that’s hilarious about the hunting vests. If Ohio passes a similar law, I’ll have to get one for my nephew. He apparently amused the rest of the family a couple years ago after I had gone to bed early. He tried on my new lined tights and did a hilarious pseudo ballet for them.

    “I remember buying a guy’s button down shirt right as the preppy phase was coming in”

    Oh yeah, I had a boys polo shirt. Loved it.

    I bought “boys” bikes years ago, but as Finn and Mooshi observed, what used to be called “mens” and “women’s” have converged. I don’t think anybody really calls them by gender anymore. There are step through bikes and bikes with crossbars. I had a step through for several years in Berlin, an awesome Dutch bike that was perfectly weighted and was a dream to ride. My bikes on this side of the Atlantic generally have had crossbars, including the one I have now.

  68. “it’s like Vera – you like it or you don’t.”

    Agree. I have a love-hate thing going for Vera. i like the bright patterns but I would not use their bags because they just don’t feel right for me. OTOH, I often wear brightly colored scarves.

    Have you seen the new McDonald’s uniform? They’re being heralded as being more dignified for employees to wear on their way to and from work. At the same time, they’re being compared to the uniforms of Star Wars Imperial officers.

  69. MBT: The Grove is fairly quiet and right near Discovery Green. Ask to be seated at a table next to the wall of glass so you can look out over the Green when you eat. Pending weather, the patio is also an option.

    However, if it is nice enough to sit outside, I would prefer Brennan’s patio (Midtown).

    I also highly recommend Backstreet Cafe, which is my current fave in Houston. Great brunch. Try the sangria.

    I haven’t been here, but I’ve heard good things about Liberty Taco in Highland Village (casual lunch tacos–supposedly better than Torchy’s). Bonus: Highland Village is a great place to go shopping.

    Have fun!

  70. This was posted on my kid’s school’s booster organization’s page today. Reminded me of the many conversations here about kids who are bright as all get out, and that forgetful too, and made me laugh.

    “Does anyone have a child that graduated last year who might still have a NHS sash that my son could borrow or buy for his graduation? He missed the deadline for ordering one.”

  71. S&M, love those Dutch bikes. They are like the Cadillacs of the bicycle world, unfortunately with prices to match

  72. The bike comments have made me realize my mountain bike is probably 10 years old. Still works great – but now I feel older, since it’s clearly from a bygone era when men’s and women’s bikes differed greatly. Another thing that used to be gender divided but no longer: ice skates. My sister and I bought “boys’ hockey skates” when we were kids. Now they’re all just skates I think.

    Dinosaur saddles used to be gender specific too, as I recall …

  73. When I bought my road bike, the guy at the bike shop said that there were differences between the men’s and women’s versions. Mainly the frame size (like the circumference of it, to make it lower weight), seats are different to accommodate wider hips, handlebars are placed in different places/different because our center of gravity is in different place and shoulders are more narrow, etc.

    No idea how much this all matters, but at least Trek makes different bikes for men v women.

  74. “So I just caught up on this morning’s posts from yesterday’s threads and now I’m going to be lying in bed at 2 AM worrying that my house stinks and I don’t realize it. Thanks, y’all.”

    ha ha ha

  75. differences between the men’s and women’s versions. Mainly the frame size (like the circumference of it, to make it lower weight), seats are different to accommodate wider hips, handlebars are placed in different places/different because our center of gravity is in different place and shoulders are more narrow, etc.

    Makes sense! Much better than the dated “sturdy bikes with crossbars are for men, because they ride hard; women need step-throughs for their skirts and are too delicate to need crossbars anyway”. The need for those design features is not gender- dependent. A couple women on here have mentioned riding bikes with crossbars, and someone mentioned that in places where bike commuting is a normal (majority?) thing, men ride step-through bikes.

  76. Those grey/black uniforms remind me of salon/beauty counter staff who are required to wear black. They can wear different tops/bottoms/dresses as long as it is black. I love to see what people come up with. Since they are in the beauty business – hair/make up follow the latest trends.

  77. Kate, this, from a Trek competitor, fits right in with your post:
    The most influential measurement we look at for frame geometry is the torso to leg length ratio. Instead of focusing on height alone, we have learned this ratio has the biggest effect on how a woman rides and how she is balanced on the bike. The data from the global body dimension database shows women tend to have shorter torsos and longer legs than men. That means, if you put a woman on the correct size men’s frame, she will likely be bent too far over the bike – resulting in an extreme back angle – and be too stretched out – resulting in an extreme armpit angle.

  78. Going further down the “women’s bikes” rabbit hole, they may not be for me. The Raleigh I have right now fits me well (although the Novara that was stolen a few years ago was even sweeter). It’s easy to switch out a seat, but I like a more stretched-out feel. After going through eight differences, the article concludes
    Women’s specific bikes do work well for some women, but not every woman. Don’t assume you need to have one, but don’t discount them outright either. We’d always recommend trying both women’s specific and ‘unisex’ bikes if you are shopping for a new bicycle.

  79. These two were world champions in 2010. Cervelo made an advertising poster with this picture & copy proclaiming that they didn’t make women’s bikes any differently than men’s. (If Dutch bikes are Cadillac, then Cervelos are Lamborghini). Their point was that the components used in women’s bikes were just as high quality as the men’s. I can’t find the ad online, but do find some hints that Cervelo has dropped this advertising campaign, and maybe changed their philosophy. Not sure about that second part. Still a cool picture, imo.

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