Menswear Market: How We Shop Now

According to cliche, black men hate shopping. But if thats right, how come menswear market sales are booming, in the real world and online?

Somehow, the truism that men hate shopping persists. A recent tabloid survey suggested that eight out of ten men “hate’ shopping with their partner, while 45 percent avoid it at all costs. One in four will end up going home without their panne’, citing being ‘hungry,’ “thirsty,” and “wishing they were outside” as the main reasons. There is an Instagram account called “Shopping With Their Ladies: The Miserable Men of Instagram” that has 180.000 followers, reports Monarch Magazine. “It’s a global epidemic,’ it suggests, above a sorry selection of sorrier-looking fellas, head-n-their-hands in the shoe concession, with thousand-yard stares by the changing rooms, or, in one memorable case, conked out completely in the middle of H&M. Twenty-six minutes apparently, that’s how long it takes us to get bored at shops. I say us, but if you are reading, let us make the assumption that you’re a mere enlightened sort of chap. Perhaps you even enjoy making a few purchases of your own. Because actually, some of us must like shopping for clothes in menswear market. The statistics say so.

In Jure, market researchers verdict announced the UK menswear market was forecast to grow by a whopping 25.7 percent by the year off 2019. outperforming all other clothing sectors. That’s on top of an 18 percent growth in the past five years, making the market worth £12.9 billion, a serious rival to the traditionally dominant womenswear market in the UK. Although trends tend to move more slowly in menswear, research by Mintel suggests wearing clothes that feel current (as opposed to bowler hats or spats, presumably) is an increasingly important sector for young men. Twenty- sot percent of those aged 25-34 sad they were driven by the latest fashions when buying clothes, compared with 17 percent of women in the same age bracket. ‘Retailers must act now to take advantage of this flourishing market,” – verdict admonished.

In fact, they already are. If much of the menswear market boom is down to changing attitudes among men to their appearance the boom in gym-time. David Beckham as a role model, knowing one end of a moisturizer from another, at least some of it must be down to the change in attitude of refers in the past few years, both physical and or the shops have massively upped their game. They’ve risen to meet our needs. No wonder we’re buying more clothes and not all of us are running screaming from the sales. Simply: there’s never been a better time to be a man and go shopping.

You can see it in the success of online portals including Mr. Porter, Matches Fashion. The Chapar, and Thread. There’s also the fast- enhancing retail topography, which includes new boutiques dedicated to men by McQueen and Burberry (opened in London in 2012 and 2014, respectively), and the new menswear floor at Hermes Bond Street locator, which opened this year. In the capital ai least, you can now take your pick of the new platoon-destination drags of Chiltern Street (hosting Trunk and John Simons, with fancy swimwear brand Frescocbol Carioca nearby). Lamb’s Conduit Street (home to British independent brands including Folk, Oliver Spencer, and Private White VC), and Redchurch Street (APC, Sunspel, and Club Monaco) over to the east And these smart new physical destinations are being complemented rather than complemented by online retail. Another recent report suggested that not only are men happy to be shopping online. but that also 40 percent of them would happy do all their spending on the internet.

And if you have ever considered the profusion of styles worn by all the men sauntering around Oxford Circus and Old Street in London, and then boarded the tube and wondered what, exactly, these same blokes are staring at on their phones, chances are they’re doing the same thing both on URL and IRL (In Real Lite): suiting for lashing, buying it and embodying it. Because that’s how a lot of men’s fashion shopping happens today: between smartphone and changing room, remote algorithm and bricks-and-mortar store, alone and in the company of someone they trust.

Fashion had long set conformisms under the masquerade individualism, but today’s teched-up menswear market is moving closer to true individuation: that is, selling to every chap as the individual he feels himself to be, rather than as a demographic a tribe member, or a market digit. It’s where a generation of informed and researched, individualistic and experimental, and technologically equipped male shoppers meets the trickle-down of me bespoke practice in a booming industry, and it makes for a lot of style, and a lot of money.

According to Simon Oilers, men’s style director at Matches Fashion, buying online ‘solves the problem of changing room anxiety.’ Often these days, menswear shoppers browse intensively on personal devices before journeying to my house for try-outs, and the online-offline experience exemplifies much of how men shop, and what they want Irom fashion.

If fashion retail has changed, it’s because men have changed too. “It’s more than a moment; Chilvers says. ‘It’s a profound shift

Menswear is less done up today,” – Chivers continues That’s partly to do with confidence, partly because men’s lives have changed. There’s less formally in the workplace, more opinions. Everything is more open about shopping and how men are wearing clothes.’

Enduring masculine anxieties around being perceived as vain, or silly, or caring too much are also facing away. ’Eighties style magazine culture broke my barrier of being interested in clothing,’- says Chivers.’New mere is a generation who are more exposed to more things Social media, bloggers, all me stuff around me fashion shows; for men, fashion is more out mere and much less. Oh. I can’t be fashionable.”

Previously Oilers was a journalist on The Guardian’s lashing desk. “Even eight years ago mere was true sense that the runway was for a very small number of people, but mat’s been opened up by bloggers. Ai you used to see was these skinny boys wearing quite a silt)’ clothes. Once streetwear started to open up, it shifted a sense of what fashion was about: not just boys in Vivienne Westwood or skirts.

Menswear has come out of the shadows of womenswear. slowly it happened, and now everyone gets it. There’s been this huge shift in the way men feel about clothes. There aren’t the hang-ups that used to exist. You can capture more people Inclusivity is a massive part of it’

Just as fashion is itself no longer considered some remote, fabulous savanna rehabbed by mythical, cheekbones beasts. Brian’s clothes retailers now know that older orthodoxies of tribe and trend have also collapsed and been replaced by what can be described as a broader sense of what you can be and wear as a man. It is not as prescriptive anymore.’

In fashion is less shy of men, as well as the other way around, then much of that improved the relationship is thanks to technology, with algorithms delivering customer service, personalization, and identification, all a co-ed up into coherent narrative.

The fundamental shift in the way men shop. This is all the more striking when you consider how fashion has spoken to men in previous decades and how shopkeepers have kept shops. In the past, menswear was often presented bluntly, like something ranged against you: here’s what you can gel. make your choice, now cough up and be gone. Away from the cloistered world of tailoring, menswear was the rag trade’s afterthought: on the whole, fashion wasn’t considered to be a man thing.

In the late Eighties, shopping for men wasn’t especially nice, or fun, or particularly friendly: at the indie end. the experience would be forbiddingly exclusive, wide service in the big outlets icily impersonal as if shoppers like me were there to worship the brands, rather than the brands striving to outfit us.

“It’s different now; service actually serves, particularly men. The consumer is much more powerful and knowledgeable,’ – says Eric Musgrave, editorial erector of fashion trade journal Drapers. ‘There’s tons of information online about quality, provenance, social media criticism. Plus, online, you can shop the world.‘ If the downside of the menswear boom is that, as Musgrave suggests, ‘we’re over-shopped.” then the benefit is that those retailers must compete harder.

Musgrave reckons about £36 billion is spent every year on nothing in the UK, but women still spend more than men and the menswear market is a tougher one to generalize about. Men tend to be more brand-loyal, and buy less stuff, less often, than women, and it means retailers need to work harder. In other words, they have to be nicer.

“Success depends on the conversation between retailer and shopper, particularly n physical shops. You go to an indie boutique to get the experience the owner has created for you. you buy into that vision. People have tons of quantitative information now, but not a to: of qualitative info. E-tailers can’t just run a business on sales data you’ve still got to have a conversation with your consumer,‘ he says. ‘If you’ve got a physical shop the punter comes in. If you’ve get a website, do you know what makes him tick, or are you guessing? How to personalize is a challenge for the industry.

In fact, it’s simultaneously old-fashioned and newly voguish, this kind of personal service-up-close, hands-on, intricate-which was codified by bespoke tailors. The fact that it was overlooked in retail for decades is significant.

According to Karl McKeever of retail consultancy Visual Thinking, the bespoke approach is to men what “pampering’ is to women, it’s about confidence and trust. Women like to feel that sense of indulgence and environment plays a part in their emotions. For men, it’s about the personality and relationship establishing a connection is important. Men are creatures of habit: if you find a good barber, you hang on to him for life. Men prefer to do the research once, do it thoroughly, and then stick with that person for quite some time.’

Brands and retailers have been talking about ‘empowering the consumer” for years now. Has that finally come to pass.” “Totally,” – says McKeever. ‘And they’ve got choices. Online has raised expectations in terms of convenience, and online retail experiences have to combine the best of both worlds. What they can do is swift delivery, exchange, and swatch samples, especially when the exchange is automated. Being able to swap and change orders is what people expect. In the past when you made a bespoke order, getting anything changed was a nightmare. Now, it’s par for the course.

Still, it’s worth asking what that empowerment means for men and the stuff they wear: how it is enacted and what it looks like in the modern fashion merry-go-round. Skeletal Sain; Laurent clone, or gnarly. Supreme-fetishing hypebeast? Double-denim selvage-isto, or blazer- wearing office ankle-barer-or mash-ups of all those every day?

In this new, person-centered shopping, we turn to the founder of person-centered psychotherapy. Carl Rogers, for a clue in the experimental, highly individual mindset that defies how a generation shops today, with its shift from the instrumental 11 need a coal; this one fits) to me expressive (his coat demonstrates who I am).

Becoming one’s self. Rogers wrote in 1961. ‘appears to mean less fear of the organismic, поп-reflective reactions which one has, a gradual growth of trust in and even affection for the complex, varied, rich assortment of feelings and tendencies which exist in one of me organic or organismic level “Veronique Nichanian, menswear designer at Hermes, agrees, telling The Daily Telegraph that Then no longer dress solely according to the social pressures of uniform they will not buy a coat or a suit because they feel they must, but par plaisir!”

Indeed, varied, rich and assorted par plaisir only begins to describe what’s happened to men’s fashion in me decade since Scott Shinn launched his Sartorialist photo blog. Back in 2005. it symbolized me revolution that was to come in fashion, with its inverting of hierarchies (and the power to dictate what counts as stylish) Irom me ateliers and runways back to me man on the corner and how he wears it. In Schuman’s optic, the peacocking outside me fashion shows was more interesting and valid than what was happening inside, heralding the kaleidoscope of insta- content, from blogs, feeds, and portals to stores, mags, and personal styling services within which the godlike shopper if finds himself a decade later.

The idea mat men are only just discovering clothes is inaccurate, is a great tune now. More man simply great, it’s also helpful and definitely enjoyable, is tidal surge in fashion consciousness with its currents of permission and expressivity, and its techno-seamlessness It is most alive in London, a city with a unique multilateral heritage in tailoring, subcultural style, streetwear, and the avant-garde, but it didn’t begin there.”

No. today’s shopper was conceived some 20 years ago in Milan. According to David Bradshaw-a creative director who styles Versace menswear shows and owns me independent Huntergather boutiques in London-Italy’s fashion capital was where the conversation on how to dress men was first broached, leading to today’s boom.

In me early to mid-Nineties. me industry woke up to. The fact that there were lots of men who wanted to spend money on fashion. There’s been an upward trend since then. Men and the market are solid catching up saturation? We’re nowhere near that yet.

Jil Sander’s ideas on dressing men pushed a new vanguard, Skiing her 1997 minimalist men’s line to “a piece oi undiscovered code within the syntax of menswear. Later mat year, his interest piqued by Sander. Prada’s Patrizio Bertelli launched Prada Маn.

The thought was, to create that man, you know ’THE MAN’. The first season of Prada was a very significant moment, and the next five to ten years were dominated by mat conversation. Prada knew there was a big space to walk into, and mere was a tot of conversation about how to get more men into more fashion-not ideas purely designed to stimulate fashion editors, but really affecting me way we dress as men. Thai conversation is still gong on.

Considering the past 20 years between London. Milan, and Paris men have all acquired taste through these years Not only was the offer narrow then, so were men’s imaginations about what was allowable, what their peers would support.

Men need people talking about how we should dress which is how progress is made. It makes men more confident thinking about coming, about fashion a lot of men still have a problem with the word ‘fashion.’ And that’s what guys need to know what it is to be contemporary, not break the bank, and not be embarrassed. A wardrobe of staples pieces.

Mix meat with the undesiring of the importance of keeping good shop. As does Terry Betts, former menswear buyer at Selfridges and Mr Porter, now head of business development at thread.com, a start-up that matches pinters to products via personal stylists. Both offer me same insight on the contemporary menswear shopper, from opposite ends of the physical-digital continuum. Whether you call it personalization or the personal touch, in the end it comes down to human contact.

No matter hew/ passionate guys are about shopping, they still want an expert to talk with someone they trust Nonetheless, everwhere is a big problem today. Online has been great for men, because they embrace the tech element. But men think, I could do with a bit of help here, I am interested and I want to know provenance: where these shoes made to Northampton, these jeans dyed in Japan?” It’s trainspotter, it’s a real passion. There’s an overwhelming number of options out there.’

If it all went wrong in me Nineties when blockbuster shops, antiseptic concept stores and immersive experiences were au courant. In the new era shopping strives to make the shopper himself me hero to a yarn of pursuit discovery and transformation: transcendence to the divine in the company of a trusted consigliere.

Social: in the end, isn’t that what the relationship between a man and his outfitter is all about, regardless of what tech best between them? Intimate and confidential in the sense of engendering confidence in me timorous shopper. Thread.com’s uptake-200,00 registered users since last year, and, as with al the best technologies, algorithms only replicate and improve pre­existing behavior, in his case the impersonal source code Savile Row has been developing since the 18th century, the man-to-man bespoke approach. What technology should be able to solve is something quick and frictionless. A real-life human stylist, someone to message back and forth with and go a bit deeper, but you do it on your phone. The is the way guys will shop.’

“Men shop promiscuously, technologically, aggressively, and expressively now but not really alone. All the tech and insight above belies what men realty want from shopping: someone to help them do it. A trusted confidante, a buddy-system, style sponsor, or just a good mate to accompany them on the perilous expedition. As the fez-wearing shopkeeper would have said to Mr Benn. Try this, sir, I felt this is me one for you today.” – before usher ng him through me magic door and on to me next mad adventure in menswear market. Which, when you’re a man, is kind of the point of getting dressed in the first place.

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