British clothing retailer Very.co.uk sponsored a survey to find out what role fashion plays in women's day-to-day lives. The umbrella finding is a definite headline-maker: mirroring the famous (and false!) statistic that men think about sex once every seven seconds, Very's survey determined that women think about fashion 91 times a day.
First of all, the retailer didn't release details about its methodology, so we have no idea how many women were surveyed and whether these women were selected to be a representative sample or if they were just a self-selected pool of visitors on a fashion website.
But most importantly — and sorry to get all Bill Clinton on you — the number of times women think about fashion each day depends on what the meanings of the words "think" and "fashion" are. Thought is slippery and associative, more like a steady current of water than a series of solid blocks. If we think about clothing a lot, it might be, in part, because we wear it constantly, so many of our "fashion thoughts" are less, "Whither the flatform?" and more, "Ugh, it's way too hot for me to be wearing this button-down. Does my face look sweaty? I don't want to close the window but it would feel so good to have the AC on right now. It's never, ever cool enough in the summer, or warm enough in the winter. If it were sub-zero outside, this temperature would probably feel toasty and not stifling, so it's totally got to be a psychological thing. Mind over matter. Sort of like how real, true hunger, in an animal sense, is pretty much always an illusion in the calorie-dense Western World. I wish I were eating a sandwich."
Did that count as a fashion thought? Technically, "hot weather style" is a definite fashion dilemma, but if you're conscious, it's inevitable that you'll experience a kind of passing awareness of the garments stuck to your body. Surely, men think these thoughts, too.