If one were to describe men’s fashion using cooking terms, I believe these words would sum it up: overdone, burned and extra crispy. Cooked and reheated so much it has dried up, blown away and the remnants have landed in the women’s department. Slowly it drags all fashion down, anchored with plaid flannel shirts and militaristic attire. Men’s fashion seems to have taken on such a strict, non-creative, uniform role; how long will it be before men are conditioned into robots?
Oddly enough, a recent trip to the local Haywood mall here in Greenville was a bit disappointing and all too familiar. It was quite boring in fact. The biggest department store located at Haywood mall here in Greenville is Macy’s, which normally has something different to offer for men. However, this store is apparently smaller and only carries some of the more bland lines of men’s clothing unlike the larger stores that carry Kenneth Cole or Versace. The Guess store did not have anything to speak of either. The Express men’s store did have some very rich, colorful shirts and ties in purples, blues and even pinks that were quite impressive. In this aspect, Express broke away from the normal blacks and browns.
With such bland, painfully small selection in men’s fashion, one has to wonder if men even shop for themselves. I decided to perform some research, which turned up a New York Times article written by Tracie Rohzon published June 8, 2003. The article can be found here. The article stated women shopped for 76 percent of men in 2000 according to the NPD Group, Inc., which is a market research company based in Port Washington, New York. The numbers dwindled to less than 50 percent by the time the article was published. However, this trend led to less purchases in men’s apparel. Being curious, I contacted the NPD Group, Inc. for the latest numbers to find that an average of 70 percent of men between 2008 through 2010 now shop for themselves.
With the downsizing or disposal of men’s apparel in retail stores and the statistical numbers provided by the NPD Group, Inc./Consumer Tracking service, one has to wonder what cause lies under this trend. Obviously more women are leaving it up to the men to do their own clothes shopping. Why are the purchases dwindling, leading to the down sizing of retail apparel for men? Is it because men are too lazy? Are they scared? Are they ignorant of how to put outfits together or are they simply so bored with the limited choices that there is no urge to buy? It could be a combination of all four. How many black or brown shoes, belts, wallets or coats can one really have anyway?
Stay tuned, as we will explore more facets of these subjects in future articles. If you are interested please click on the subscription link to be alerted when new articles are published.