Last week, I stumbled upon a recent study showing that over the course of our lives, women pay more than men for basically the same items. I was livid. The report found that on average, personal care products carry a 13% higher price tag for women, and adult clothing will typically cost a woman 8% more than a man.
Reading the results of the study sent me into a mini-rage spiral that felt all too familiar. At one of my first jobs ever, I remember finding out that I was making far less than two male coworkers doing the exact same tasks, and nearly hulked out when I realized my bosses weren’t at all keen on fixing the issue. Almost 10 years later, it still makes me fume — a $4 an hour disparity in college is the difference between well drinks and sneaking a flask into a bar, folks — but now I’m hearing that my money is worth even less?
Oh, hell no.
Though these findings are enough to irritate anyone, it doesn’t mean that we have to cough up more money because what we need is in a different aisle, or because a company slapped some flowers on the packaging (I’m looking at you razor manufacturers).
Here are five retailers that I definitely plan on hitting up in the future, since their prices are the same whether you have an XY chromosome or not. Some are old standbys that I’ve been shopping at for years, and some are newly discovered places that will definitely be getting more of my hard-earned 77 cents on the dollar.
While it must be said that American Apparel has committed some pretty serious faux pas, the retailer has definitely received the “basic ass clothing should be priced equally” memo.
Regardless of the wardrobe staple you need — be it a V-neck or an oversize hoodie — American Apparel offers plenty of gender neutral options at the same price point. As a bonus, anytime I’ve needed a last minute accessory for a costume party, be it a pair of knee socks ($24), a blindingly neon tank ($40 for a 5-pack), or a fanny pack ($22), I’ve been able to find what I needed here.
Plus, it helps me avoid the awkward looks I’ve gotten at Gap when I start holding kids shirts up against me to see if they fit. (What? I’m not paying $20 more for a plain gray tee when I could just as easily get one in the little boys’ section.)
Although this do-gooder cosmetics and bath products company does have a line geared towards men, the bulk of its products are divvied up by skin type. This means that if you need a body lotion to soften dry-as-hell skin due to winter weather, you can cough up the same amount of dinero as your male roommate.
The Body Shop's Hemp Hand Protector has saved my hands from completely cracking open every time it gets cold since I’m consistently losing my gloves, while their Tea Tree Oil Skin Clearing Lotion is the only moisturizer I can put on my oily skin that doesn’t make me look like I just went for a 12-mile run and sweat out half my body weight in the process.
If squeaky clean is what you’re into, then you’re in luck if you hit up this facial brushing company’s website. Clarisonic’s “Mia Fit” brush, marketed to women, and “Alpha Fit” brush for men both come in at the same price tag. I just ordered one with a leftover Christmas gift card, and am hoping that it lives up to the hype and helps out my acne prone skin. If the reviews are to be believed, then my skin will be softer than a baby’s butt by the time President’s Day weekend rolls around.
Classics are classics for a reason, which is why CK One — a unisex fragrance from Calvin Klein — has stuck around for so long. I have preteen memories of stealing spritzes of my older cousin’s CK One to feel more grown up when she wasn’t looking, and using it now still makes me feel almost as cool as I thought I was then.
You can scoop up this fragrance in deodorant and eau de toilette form, without worrying that you smell like a bowl of potpourri or spent $7 more than your boyfriend did. Note: While many retailers have CK One on their shelves, The Perfume Spot has the most affordable prices I’ve found online.
If you make your way across the pond, you can benefit from the company’s agender campaign, which touts itself as “a celebration of fashion without definition.” No worries if you aren’t hopping on a plane any time soon — you can now pay in USD on the Selfridges website and take a look at a curated list of the best gender neutral beauty products. One of my personal favorites, Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1, makes the cut and for good reason. This product has saved me from scaring people with bleeding, chapped lips anytime the temperature drops below 50 degrees.
Are there any other brands or retailers you love that have equal pricing for both genders? Do you just “borrow” toiletries and clothing from your male friends and never return them to right the scales of justice? Let me know in the comments!