Today’s post is dedicated to menswear. It’s a topic that I’ve always been interested in, but that is outside of my expertise. Several of my male friends have encouraged me to write on this topic, and to offer menswear options in my store. Challenge accepted!
But a challenge it is. I’m not a man. I’m an only child. And I’m single. So it is sufficient to say that I offer a totally female perspective on men’s clothing. This left me wondering: how do men evaluate clothes? I imagined that it was completely different than the way that I approached shopping. Until I saw this:
My friend Seth posted this photo on facebook. His caption says it all:
“Lunchtime purchase of Hunter boots already paying dividends.”
As a woman, I evaluate clothing based on fit, quality, and economics.
- Fit is everything. The wrong silhouette or cut is disastrous. A poor cut not only adds the illusion of weight to your frame, it makes you look sloppy.
- Quality trumps quantity. Having a few well-made options is much better than a closet full of cheap, disposable fashion. Over time, you spend more money replacing cheaply made clothing. This also means you have to spend more time shopping to replace them. A minimalist wardrobe of high quality pieces pays for itself in terms of cost-per-wear, and makes getting ready easy.
- Budget, budget, budget: Buy the best that you can afford. But don’t go into debt in the process. Save up to buy a high ticket item. Also check online retailers to see if you can get a better price. And remember: certain items are worth a splurge.
From the photo caption, Seth seemed to agree on the idea of cost-per-wear and quality over quantity. Hunter boots are great for inclement weather. With an average price of $140, Hunter boots can seem a bit steep for a pair of wellingtons. But after a hurricane or snowstorm comes, your feet are warm and dry. You won’t get sick or ruin your other shoes, either.
Maybe men and women don’t think so differently about shopping after all. Seth let me ask him a few questions about how he dresses and shops. Let’s see what he says:
1) What do you do for work? Is how you dress for work extremely different than how you dress for nights and weekends?
Some of the challenges that I face when looking for clothes online, is not knowing if something will fit my body right. I find it hard to venture into new brands if I haven’t tried something on prior to purchasing. Even though many websites provide measurements, a difference in a type of cut or fit tends to differ according to brand. (So true, Seth!)
Once I do find a brand that I like, I find myself being very loyal to that brand. I found a shirt maker in London, Charles Tyrwhitt, whose dress shirts and casual weekend shirts fit me great. They are also very reasonably priced. The difference I’ve found with buying shirts from Charles Tyrwhitt, compared to shirts you’d find at department stores like Lord & Taylor and Macy’s, is they offer more with cut type. For example, there are greater varieties like slim fit, classic fit, tailored fit. They also offer more precise arm length measurements. At Charles Tyrwhitt, the sleeve measurements are exact (i.e. 35) whereas most shirts at department stores are 34/35. This makes a big difference on how a shirt fits and looks while wearing.
3) How often would you say you buy new clothes and accessories?
Lately, I’ve been adding something to my wardrobe monthly. I’ve been updating “staples” by either upgrading the brand or replacing due to normal wear and tear. I’ve also been venturing into new territory with some of my purchases, items which I would not typically wear, trying to stretch my look. For example, I bought a brown leather jacket at Zara for the fall.
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