I recently bought a new “boyfriend watch.” I did not go into the store thinking, “I want a watch that looks like I just dashed out of the house and accidentally put on my boyfriend’s watch.” Whoopsie! Teehee! I wanted a BIG watch.
The boyfriend [fill-in-the-item] postfeminist marketing ploy has been around for a while. I gave the “boyfriend” jeans a miss. If you want jeans cut like a dude’s, just walk across The Gap aisle to the men’s section. Want a “boyfriend shirt”? One that appears as if you just rolled out of your man’s bed and picked up the nearest (stinky) shirt to hand and ran your hand through your carefully styled just-been-fucked hairdo? Any number of shops from American Eagle to Aber-Supermacy & Fitch can hook you up.
The boyfriend gear bugs me because it just reeks of desperation. It’s not even cloaked as the Independent Woman who can afford her own car, house, shoes, jewelery trope—remember the Right-hand Ring? Instead, boyfriend clothing marketing reinforces for women that we’re somehow less than if we can’t at least give the appearance of hetero, child-like dependency. Daddy’s jeans and daddy’s shirt would be creepy. But looking as if you raided your boyfriend’s bedroom means somebody loves you…enough to let you wear their stuff?
I still can’t figure out how they came up with a boyfriend watch, but I will admit that I’m no Don Draper. MOJOMBO WATCH isn’t a sexy advertising grabber. I did decline the offer of the shop’s accompanying sticker for the watch: My Boyfriend is Always On Time.