Why Do Men’s Clothes Have More Brands Than Women’s?

Julie and I were remarking on this fact the other day while shopping in Gozo’s only mall. I’m not talking about sportswear here–just standard, average clothes for day to day ‘business casual’ or weekend wear. I’m also not referring to people who voluntarily wear big brands across their chest. This is more insidious.

The branding tends to be small but present on men’s clothes. It’s a visible tag along a shirt’s side seam, or a stitched logo on a the sleeve or pocket of a dress shirt. Here’s a good example of what I’m talking about. The branding is often in a similar colour to the garment itself. It doesn’t stand out, but it’s certainly there.

A few years ago I bought a grey hoodie from FCUK with a grey logo high on the shoulder–I didn’t notice it until I brought it home. Being averse to visible brands, I was displeased.

This occurs much less frequently with women’s clothing. Why?

I don’t even have a theory on this one.


  1. I’m not fond of it either, but I’d rather see stitched logos than printed ones. Depending on the fabric, stitched logos can be easily removed with something like this, without leaving a trace.

  2. Could it be because men are less likely to see,or are actually looking to, advertise brands? You said you didn’t see the logo until you got home.

    I, too, am adverse to the continued advertising on something after I bring it home (to such a point that I turn plastic bags inside out for the second and third uses).

    When I do look to advertise something, it’s usually something with meaning (e.g. The “Oui, je parle francais” shirt I still have from a summer at French camp that advertises the university).

  3. Because (broad generalisation) women know what kind of clothes they want to buy but men don’t. So to reassure them that they are cool and are buying the right thing, the brand is there on the shirt. ‘It must be ok, it’s FCUK and they wouldn’t make an uncool shirt.’

  4. Or Nike/Addidas/Tommy Hilfiger made it …

    I was reading about a new trend of famous people starting their own cheaper lines of clothing – the basket ball star creating cheap-but hip sneakers, Issac Mizrahi wedding dresses for Target, and Sarah Jessica Parker creating a line of clothes with everything around $20. Perhaps this will provide a reverse trend.

  5. Perhaps (and this is just a theory, I haven’t done any of the research/legwork to back this up) men are just more susceptible to brand name advertising. Women are the type that (while they may want a brand name) aren’t always as “locked in” to a certain one, which is evidenced by the stereotype of a woman taking 4 hours to find a t-shirt she likes; she may want a name brand shirt, but she isn’t looking for any specific brand.

    In my experience (being one), men like certain brands; we get used to them, we feel “safe” (for lack of a better term), and therefore, companies have a harder time trying to lure new buyers to their lines. By putting their name directly on their product, they’re giving themselves a bit more surface area to market with.

    As a possible other/another reason, I can’t think of a single instance where I or another male have gone up to another male and said “Wow, that is awesome. Who made it?/Where did you get it?” Women seem to have no qualms about doing this. The companies recognize this (I’m sure) and know that since no guy is going to make an effort to ask another guy, they’ll just put in the legwork for us and tell everyone.

    That’s my theory, anyways.

  6. Justin: That’s some sound thinking. I definitely look to certain labels when shopping. I don’t want to see the brands on my clothes, but I do have a fair amount of label-loyalty if I’ve been happy with their clothes in the past.

  7. My guess is that men don’t care if a shirt is branded or not. Most guys I know just walk around in jeans and t-shirts when they aren’t at work. When they are at work they wear polos and slacks. They aren’t brand obsessed like women are and don’t really care what they are wearing as long as it is clean, it is comfortable and it is appropriate for the setting.

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