On matters of taste, traditional gender divides still apply

Matthew SmithHead of Data Journalism
September 21, 2016, 1:07 PM GMT+0

As London Fashion Week takes place, new YouGov research highlights how perceptions of 'good taste' still conform to gender stereotypes

It’s London Fashion Week this week (although like the Queen’s birthday, there are actually two a year) and hundreds of models will strut their stuff to the press and potential buyers. The dose of high fashion might prove a helpful lesson to the rest of us, as new research from YouGov finds that only 29% of people consider themselves to have “excellent” or “above average” taste in clothes.

Few people (15%) actually believe they have a below average or worse taste in clothes – most of us simply believe our taste in clothing is average (56%). London is definitely the right venue for fashion week though: at 37%, the number of people in London who think they have above average taste in clothes stands eight points higher than the national rate.

Perceptions of taste strongly conform to traditional gender stereotypes. Men are far more self-assured of their musical and media tastes, with 49% of men saying they have at least above average taste in music (compared to 36% of women) and 46% of men saying the same of movies/TV shows (compared to 30% of women).

On the flip side, women are also comparatively much less likely to say they have below average or worse taste in clothes and interior design, with just 8% of women saying this for clothes (compared to 22% of men) and 15% saying it for interior design (compared to 29% of men).

Compounding this, men are very happy to defer to their partner make the decisions when it comes to clothes and interior design decisions. Six in ten men (59%) would prefer to let their partner make the decisions on interior design, whilst 34% would prefer to leave clothing decisions in the hands of their partner.

Women are equally happy to oblige – just 10% of women would let their partner make the interior design decisions, and a mere 4% would let their partner make the clothing decisions. Men and women are, however, about equally likely to want to make the music and media decisions themselves.

There is also an age component to taste. Younger people are much more likely to say they have above average or excellent taste, but as people get older they become increasingly likely to think that their taste is average.

Photo: PA

See the full results here