Stolen From The Men

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April 17, 2013

Do we yearn for simplicity?

Do we yearn for simplicity? It occurred to me last week while I was shaving my legs (fine, arm pits), using my partner-in-sex’s razor for the umpteenth time, that the last time I even attempted to use a razor designed for women was at summer camp in the year 1999, when the hair on my legs was so sparse and fine, I probably could have done the job with tweezers. Years later, a Venus shave is never as close as a Mach 3 shave.

My shaving ritual was followed by deodorant application. And you know what I realized then? The last time I even attempted to use deodorant constructed for women was in 2001, before I’d gotten my period once and fretfully for all, and hormone was still just a vocabulary word that did not feature a silent H.

Initially, I’d thought that maybe my proclivities were unique to me and that my overactive bodily functions insinuated that while yes, technically I am woman, I maintain a generous dose of masculinity. (Case in point: I get 5 o’clock shadows on my knees, have been told by an ex-boyfriend that it takes some time to get used to my “musk.”). But then I commissioned the opinion of three of my most devastatingly feminine friends (they smell like rose petals and garden themed spa parties) and guess what? They use mens products as often, if not more, that I do. Face wash, cream, nail clippers and so forth.

But what is it about our male counterpart products? Are we unwittingly yearning for simplicity and the uniformity of having one product for every such bathroom routine? Maybe. In trying to figure out the made for him, used by her allure, I found myself teetering off topic and thinking about other items that when made for a man seem far more superior for use by a woman.

On the roster I found: (1) small card holders to store our money in place of enormous wallets–I stopped using a big wallet months ago when I forfeited large purses. Frankly, though, it’s also not in our best interest to roam around with our entire fiscal lives contained by one multifaceted yard of fine leather. (2) Watches–our wrists are historically smaller and as the hypothesis goes, chunky watches = sexy. Though in my opinion, they equal a trendy opportunity for weight lifting and take care of the now-beaten-ad-nauseam “arm party” without requiring too much though. (3) White shirts–show me darting and I will recoil. A fitted blouse seems so downright dated it’s hard to take shirts designed for females when not of the Equipment variety seriously. And the thing to remember about a mens white shirt is that it’s like a pair of clogs and as such needs the right dose of tender love and care to break in and reach its maximum potential.

Now, what are some of your favorite mens products? And why do you think we get such a sufficient kick out of his shit?

Photographed here: Gillette razor, Bottega Venetta wallet, Recipe for Men deodorant, Panerai watch, and Comme des Garcons SHIRT (though as I’ve often preached, the selection in the little boys department at Lands End or Uniqlo or Club Monaco, or anywhere, really, is pretty decent as well.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/ashley.m.harms Ashley O’Connor

    I use my husband’s shaving cream and, yes, sometimes razor to shave my legs. Totally agree. Much better than what is made for women.

  • Caitlin

    Mens ability to go out wearing not a scrap of make-up bewilders me, not so much a product but an infinite power. My jealousy towards the opposite sex’s simplicity seeks no end…

    • http://www.facebook.com/TheGodsofVictory Joel Harris

      It’s true. We are Gods walking the Earth.

  • Marzia

    I have been using my father’s and boyfriend’s shirts for so long that I can’t even buy women’s shirts anymore. They just never seem to fit right.

  • Charlotte

    Venus is literally another planet if you ask me. I couldn’t agree more, when it comes to a razor Gillette somehow has more to do with cosmology and is most definitely from a different galaxy :)

    (Very excited for your book!)

  • http://www.facebook.com/nina.c.dumas Nina Colette Dumas

    I used to steal my dads white tee shirts in high school.. I always felt I needed something to hide my tummy pooch that he always made fun of! That, and it’s way comfortable. I proceeded to “borrow” his super 80’s gold Cyma watch, and have gotten so many complements on it. It’s like my gold wrist candy! It’s been over a decade since I used a women’s razor, its like using a butter knife to cut a steak. Frustrating and pointless. Media (perhaps society) markets women as these precious delicate flowers who can’t hang with the real shit. Yeah, we may be pretty flowers, but we can definitely handle it, ya damn goons (society, media, tampon commercials, etc.)!

  • shelley

    Men’s products to me aren’t about simplicity so much – they just work better and longer. I love men’s razors (I have my own, the same as my fiance’s), deodorant, cologne (can be tricky but there are plenty that work for women), button downs, and undershirts for hanging around.

  • Aimee

    I have long savored my men’s razor in place of my old go-to Venus. Hello, it’s made for sensitive skin of the face! Who’s to say my beloved pits and bikini like isn’t worth saving!?

  • http://twitter.com/_jessgamble Jess Gamble

    love this! and totally agree with the darting on shirts!

  • http://twitter.com/Highlandista Highland Fashionista

    I love my husband’s jeans. Perfectly distressed. He puts them on, and in exactly four minutes, they look like the ones that I have been coveting all my life but have never been able to achieve.

  • http://twitter.com/AliceinEW Alice in East Wash

    I never use a razor designed for women. And, this is really kind of awful to admit, but I wear Stetson Black as my perfume because I love the peppery way it smells. So sue me. It smells damn good. And its cheap.

  • alcessa

    I prefer men’s (electric) shaver, shirts (at home, his old lumberjack (or is it grunge?) shirts, otherwise I re-fashion his white and/or light blue business shirts because they are too chunky for me, but they are still visibly his when I am done), also my watch is … unisex to male style (no nonsense parts, no strass/Swarovsky “gems”, pink leather, other purely decorative bits, also large enough to make my wrist look smaller, just like you said :-)), summer hats, sun glasses (actually, we both have exactly the same model), outdoor trousers & shorts and other functional wear, sneakers (like you, I’m a darky and pastel colors (usual in Germany) just don’t do me any justice or look plain silly on me (gentle wifey colors on a tall, non too thin girl? I don’t think so) :-)

    For no particular reason, I still prefer women’s tees, jackets, scarves and underwear :-))

  • yuyis

    your’re absolutely right, I occasionally use my boyfriend’s
    deodorant and cologne and figured it was because I liked his odor. Then I just started liking it for me. I thought I was so original and cool.
    Now I just think I’m cool …and also glad other women do it.

  • gp

    there ain’t no brief like a men’s white brief ’cause a men’s white brief don’t wedge.

  • http://twitter.com/HotchoSunshine HotChocolateSunshine

    In my closet I have tons of men shirts and tees, all stolen (back them borrowed) from my dad, brothers and ex boyfriends. I sleep in men briefs, because that little “pocket” in front is perfect to put my phone in when getting out of bed, putting my hair up into a bun and brush me teeth. Until I have had my first coffee in the morning I can never remember where I left my phone so that way it is VERY close to me :) Also 80% of my socks are also long term borrowed by the men in my life.

  • Nadya

    It doesn’t bother me all that much. If I find the product suits me, then to hell with homme/femme. But I must say that I can’t stand using men’s face wash, they make my face very dry (have tried 2 in the past, won’t do so anymore).

    Nadya
    eyeshadow illustrator
    http://thedillychic.com

  • Hannah

    I am obsessed with Shea Moistures, “Utility”, three butters soap for men. The packaging suggests using it for shaving, shampooing, and regular old bathing. It does have a slight musky smell but I love it. It leaves my skin soft and above all else, the convenience of its ability to lather up and allow me to shave my legs on a whim is great.

    I promise I don’t work for Shea. I did however, recently just buy the last two bars at my local Tar-jay.

  • http://www.hauteinhabit.com/ Haute Inhabit

    Wearing right now Diptyque men’s cologne and Old Spice deodorant. I always, always smell like a man. There is nothing more gross than the smell of fruity perfume/Dove deodorant and sweat. Men’s scents are just so much more fresh. Fact o’ life.

  • Taylor Fuller

    i always use a mens razor and shaving cream. I stole so many clothes from my ex boyfriend that I still wear… I forget which are his….

    Taylor

    http://www.whiskey-ginger.com

  • brunetteletters

    Lol!! I’ve used men’s razors and they are not bad at all. In fact, I think they are better than those Venus that just bc they look cute, doesn’t mean they perform the job!

    Brunette Letters Blog

  • N G

    At least for razors, don’t you guys think it’s physiological? I swear they’re the same exact product just one is labeled for women and the other for men.

  • Aubrey Green

    razor. deodorant. shirts. sweatpants, or any pant that is sleepwear. sometimes jeans. wallets. briefcases. beer, i know that’s not really a man’s, but kind of, no? Scotch neat.

    • Aubrey Green

      cologne, definitely cologne.

  • http://twitter.com/selenaaponte Selena Aponte

    I have forgone purchasing women’s hygiene products (with the exception of Lemisol & pads) since we’ve gotten married. Its cheaper to consolidate our supplies and having been blessed with a overly keen sense of smell leads me to deduce that perhaps my enjoyment of smelling like him stems from a deeply rooted affection for men who’ve held a place in my life (including my father). Don’t get me wrong, the femininity bleeds through me through wardrobe & etiquette, but there is nothing like snuggling in his work shirts. I adore the softness of Lucky Brand men’s button downs (THINK: Dries on a beer budget; washed & tumble dried 30 times), RRL anything & Barbour jackets are some of my favorite steals.

  • http://thepoppie.com/ Poppie

    This is a great post because I steal my Jason’s razors all the time. Once he actually thought my razor was his razor and I had to set him straight! Also I have forever vowed to never use huge wallets due to never being able to find my mothers debit card when she needed it while out shopping. Most items for women seem to be such a hassle and I feel that as women we are hit with so much stuff all the time that these simple items allow us to have a piece of our lives be minimal and peaceful.

    Poppie
    http://thepoppie.com

  • http://www.fancyalterego.wordpress.com/ Heather P.

    Tshirts have to be the biggest male thing I use / steal from my husband. I often prefer stealing them from him because they’re already well worn-in, sometimes a bit faded, and since my husband is skinny by guy standards, they make my boobs look amazing. :-)

    I did recently discover that the ironical tshirts at Target in the guy’s section are the comfiest shirts I’ve run across in years. They’re cheap, high collared (you know, because I don’t need my cleavage hanging out ALL the time…sorry Old Navy), and anything that references Arrested Development is good with me!

  • http://twitter.com/marialoi96 Maria Loizou

    I am only 16 but I often get into my father’s wardrobe or even my brother’s, digging out any sort of jumpers. I have recently discovered an amazing denim jacket of my father’s perfect in adding a cool character to my colourful kind of girly look! Perhaps what attracts us to masculine clothing is the contrast between neat,cute looks and baggy, rough looking pieces which give an interesting shift to our character(even realistically challenging our tough side)

  • Isabella

    I have to admit that I have more t-shirts from Topman than from Topshop… because they’re way cooler. that sums up a lot, doesn’t it?

  • A

    has no one mentioned the fact that this razor in particular vibrates? I found this out happily when borrowing my boyfriend’s Gillette once. I bought my own for this happy reason, but the cartridges are way too expensive. Back to Venus for me.

  • Nora

    i love how you made the arm party such a term that you feel to put it in quotations! that’s cool.

  • Muddz

    Shavers yes!!! And what I always find so frustrating is that mens sneakers (the prints and shapes) are always so much more thoughtful and abundant than women’s? I just love sneakers but there just aren’t as many options, :( :( sad really… Anyway, I digress, go mens shavers!!!

  • http://www.fashionsnag.com/ Fashion Snag

    Their razors, shaving cream, and deodorant are ripe for stealing and using.

    http://www.FashionSnag.com

  • Schmattamatters.weebly.com

    Old Spice

  • http://www.facebook.com/bianca.g.ugalde Bianca Giacomina Ugalde

    Love them panerai watches, wanna steal my boyfriend’s :)

    • http://www.facebook.com/bianca.g.ugalde Bianca Giacomina Ugalde

      Oh, and i steal my dad’s sweaters and wifebeaters :)

  • Helena

    A mens shirt, slightly skinny boyfriend jeans, his watch, double strap monks (mine)… Couldn’t feel more feminin. And yes I do use a razor made for mens an his deodorant, too. My perfume can be used officially by me, it’s unisex ;) I do get a lot of stuff at the boys/kids department at zara.

  • Moira

    garance dore JUST posted this! well, razors specifically. and i wear my boo’s deo for my bo every day. whatever, girl stuff doesn’t work, and in my experience it ALWAYS leaves white marks and men’s deo NEVER does? what gives?! i think the allure is the utilitarian aspect of it. the dude attitude that seems so obvious, that i plainly ignore, like “i’m wearing shorts, cause it’s hot” when i’m in a leather jacket. or sometimes when i’m wearing my frilliest thangs and i’m all pumped up walkin down the street, and i walk by a well-dressed man in a simple button up and pair of well-cut pants, i get outfit envy that practically shames my frills off.

    • Moira

      And for the record, all of my “boyfriend jeans” are my boyfriend’s jeans.

  • http://twitter.com/some_thing_nice Mary Boersma

    Oh, there’s nothing as close as a Men’s Gillette Razor. I’ve been using them for years!!

  • Alba B.

    I don’t know if I got it wrong but to me this post looks like the WHITE T-SHirt of American Apparel: “All blogs post the same stuff!!”
    Where is the fantasy lying?!!!!
    abdsign.blogspot.com

  • Jess and Erin

    I love the white shirts from the little boys section that’s where I get mine from. And men’s cologne? So much nicer than lady’s perfume haha

    Jess x

    http://aroseandapeony.blogspot.com.au

  • ana romero

    hahahahhahaha Leandra eres demasiado especial ! me encanta tu honestidad http://www.rockafollow.com

  • Guest

    I can’t get enough of men’s shirts. Mens clothing,in general, seems to pay much more attention to proper tailoring — proper tailoring being clean lines and not overbearing in its stiffness or fit. Plus, whenever I’m thrifting, my greatest moments are those when I find

    • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

      Oops, this was the start of a comment I had posted that for some reason had not been published.

  • http://madamecouture.blogspot.com/ Emma Hager

    I am always envious of the tailoring of men’s clothing. It
    seems that tailored women’s clothes can often times end in a tragic,
    awkward-fitting waist tuck rather than the clean lines that grace the shirts of
    our male counterparts. Thus, I am always excited when my father is gifted
    shirts in patterns he isn’t keen on or in the incorrect size (I may/may not
    have deliberately gifted a pattern that isn’t his taste), so that I may claim
    them and wear them on a regular basis. There is nothing more refreshing than to
    wear a pair of peg-leg jeans (not unlike the prized Paige pair that we see on
    this blog), my father’s shirt with a perfect sleeve roll, and a pair of Adidas
    Dragons. Somehow, though, I feel more feminine in these pieces because I don’t feel
    tied down by unnecessary add-ons or tailoring made for a woman (or girl) that
    clearly would need a more profound bust than I possess to fill the precisely-placed
    creases. In the end, I believe peak pride comes for me when I can surpass the
    boys (in terms of wearing their things), all with the ability to transform and
    be feminine whenever I please. Harboring a vagina (aka being a girl, and a girl
    in men’s clothes at that) is just a really, really good thing.

  • http://thehannahblog.tumblr.com/ hannah

    I use a long handled safety razor (Merkur) with a shaving brush and shave soap, and I’ve used it everywhere with no problems. There’s really no substitute, and the results are very close to waxing.

  • thechicndamned

    Every time I shop, I always end up in the mens section. No question. Always.

    x karen

    http://www.thechicndamned.blogspot.com

  • http://teacupsandbcups.com/ nicole | teacups + B cups

    One word. Hats. One-size-fits-all is a big fat hat misnomer that almost compares in size to my large head. Oh, and I love sporting a tie every now and again.

  • Dandy

    I wear men’s parfume, beanies, shoes, shirts, jackets, all in a femine way it’s great the boys have the good stuff lucky we can borrow! They can’t really borrow ours!

    http://www.thewhatiwores.blogspot.com

  • Lois

    Without a doubt men’s coats! They have so many pockets, especially interior ones – ironically “breast” pockets – to hold your sunglasses, wallet, gloves, etc., etc., etc.

  • Julia Jones

    I like to use the skin stuff because it smells good to me and why not? But I still like my big wallets. I’ll switch cards around into small ones for a few months, but I like having all I need in one place. Not good for clutches though, that is true.

  • http://www.yourhairmaximizer.com/ Jonathon Dunrobin

    In the animal kingdom the male is usually the sex that is “beautiful” and the female drab.Funny how this has been reversed in humans. OK OK in general!!

  • Belén Cavas Hernández

    Every men things could be unisex!!!. Today in the blog Fosco by Maya Hansen.

    http://iwanttobeavoguette.blogspot.com.es/2013/04/fosco-by-maya-hansen-skully-tulum_18.html

  • http://runs-theworld.blogspot.co.uk/ Ore Runsewe

    I have two brothers and their t-shirts are the best pajamas/home clothes in the world.

  • Chiara Marta
  • Tammy

    This is why American Apparel can be a goldmine, s0 much unisex goodness in just my size (XXS).

  • http://www.facebook.com/jhelson Juliana Helson

    I wear the pants. Forget boyfriend jeans in the women’s department. I go straight to the men’s department.

  • kate

    Barbasol shave cream — it’s cheap, it doesn’t smell like ‘apple peony blossom’ and it’s not pink.

  • Alice

    I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m still in grading mode: et al. refers to people, not things, and women’s wrists are smaller only historically (but not prehistorically)? Sexual dimorphism in humans has been around for a long, long, long, long time. On the other hand, I have officially been inspired to start using men’s razors. Mine is decent quality for a women’s razor but still not great :(

  • http://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/ Newborn Fanatic

    I took your advice for the little boys department from Lands End and seriously love the white shirt. And I love how I can not take it too seriously since the price was so goood! :)

    http://newbornfanatic.wordpress.com/

  • Toyosi

    I stopped using women’s razors almost two years ago. I’ll explain why… I was in the downstairs shower (I normally shower upstairs, along with my sister and mum, (who was taking too long) whilst my dad and brother (when he’s home sometimes) shower downstairs, I don’t know why) and I forgot to bring my razor with me. I was in rush, I think we were getting ready for a family thing and I refused to get out from the warm water and retrieve it and looking down I saw my dad’s Gilette one. This is perhaps a little crude, but I was hoping the only placed he’d ever used it was his face and he’d never have to know that I’d shaved my legs with me. And can I just say it was the best experience, I didn’t even have to use soap, just water and I left the shower without blood streaming down my leg.

    When I left for uni, I eventually confided to my dad because I needed him to buy me one, and he did God bless him, it came with two extra replacement heads. My Gilette razor has since made shaving my legs incredbily theraputic, I admit I don’t do it on a weekly basis to the annoyance of my mother, but when it’s time to get my legs out, I have no problem reaching manly razor.

    I apologise for the parenthesis within parenthesis, I don’t know if it’s gramatically correct…

    • Tatiana Popovitchenko

      Grammatically [Mathematically speaking, brackets first (But, if you have more to diverge into, parenthesis.).] speaking, I don’t know.

      If you want to get super fancy, curvy brackets {these guys} come before straight brackets. If you need to go beyond the curvy brackets, you should reconsider your stream of consciousness.

  • http://twitter.com/christamelonae c.

    love it, especially the watches!

  • http://www.facebook.com/toyosi.fuwa Toyosi Fuwa

    Whenever my dad’s having a clearout I always having a a gander at him shirts, yes they are much bigger, but I feel much cooler in them than women’s ones. I just need to breathe and I hate that women’s tops and shirts are so fitted, how can I breathe in those? Especially when my stomach muscles can no longer hold up all the fat I was sucking in.

    I definitely prefer the ease of men’s fashion and toiletries as well. I once had to used my dad’s Gillette razor because I’d left mine in the upstairs shower, I figureed he’d never have to know since I was just using it on my legs. I did eventually have to confess thoough when the experience left completely bewildered why women continue to buy Venus razors and I needed him to buy me one before I went to university. God bless him he did, and he got me one with two replaceable heads.

    Although I don’t shave my legs as often as my mum thinks I should, the Gillette razor makes it a much more theruptic affair than before.

  • Kristen

    Shirts. Mens button-up shirts, they’re amazingly comfortable and swingy and not too stuffy.

  • Sonia

    I’m guilty of using his razor even though he disapproves, I always always wear my husbands’ shirts, and I use his sport briefs as under skirt-shorts (boyshorts). :)

  • stephanie

    this by far is one of your funniest pieces. I thought I was the only one who wore men’s deodorant.

  • Jess

    I discovered men’s razors about a year ago, and they are wonderful. I have trouble stealing shirts from my dad/brother though, because they are so huge in comparison to my size. However, coats are the best. I “borrowed” a tailored (well, it’s tailored on him, and oversized on me) coat from my brother two years ago, and I have basically been using it every day since and it has still not torn to shreds. (why are women’s coats such bad quality?)

  • http://twitter.com/PrimpedandPrime Sharon Jiang

    Mens deodorant all the way.
    It’s all a lie when they say women’s deodorants are 48 hours (excuse you Rexona but I know how to shower)
    Oh guys t-shirts are just so much more comfy than the ones I own … what is this world?

    http://www.primpedandprimed.blogspot.com.au

  • bean

    hmmm…i just realized i borrow a lot :D sleep in mens pjs or boxers (summer), razor, shaving cream, t-shirts, big hoodies, beanies, sometimes jacket…

  • AK from anna-kathryn.com

    t shirts (all the time). socks. wool trousers (belted of course). belts! cologne..gah i love smelling like my man, especially when he is absent. oo and his oversized military green coat..favorite.

  • Klara

    T-Shirts! Perfect boyfriend fit? Go for what that was initially designed for him. Better though.

  • Eva

    Today I am wearing; my step fathers jeans and Captain Beefheart pullover, ex bf’s well worn American Apparel tri blend t-shirt, and my brother’s undies (which he only wore once and not for very long because “they squished his balls”).
    Men’s basics are the best. They tend to forgo looking pretty/handsom in order to feel comfy, resulting in a very smiccckkkk look. Also they are often larger in size so maintain high levels in comfort! Win!

  • Stella Keogh

    And you look like am man so I think this might be no problem.

    • Leandra Medine

      Wow, thanks.

  • Lizzie

    My husband has all his products from Mercer and James (their shaving sets are amazing, by the way), and I discovered their shaving oil. It’s usually for men to massage into their face before shaving to avoid irritation, and apparently it completely saves your legs too! I’m going through it pretty fast: http://mercerandjames.com/collections/shaving-oils-soaps/products/classic-shaving-oil