Real Men Don’t Shop

— Wed, 20th August 2008 —

Nationwide, it looks like guys are increasingly dressing up their casual-wear — a trend that is helping men’s wear sales to actually outpace the sale of women’s wear.

“Men’s fashion has gotten a little dressier on the casual side, and guys are sporting better sport shirts and slacks, which is a big change in a down economy,” one analyst tells industry rag DNR.

As a result, men’s apparel sales rose 2.1% to just over $57 billion for the year ended June 30, according to new figures released by The NPD Group.

Why should we care about these macro-trends?

Because, you wouldn’t believe how many seemingly savvy people insist that men don’t shop. Maybe that dying breed of narcissists branded in the 90s as “metrosexuals.” But, not regular guys with more honorable pursuits like career and family.

Most guys, these people must assume, have their wives or girlfriends to do their shopping. Or, perhaps, they think average guys get by on a few catalogs, from J. Crew and Brooks Brothers, and a trip to Macys once or twice a year.

And while that may be true for men outside of NYC (not likely with $57 billion in sales last year), us city boys are simply held to higher standards — both at work and at play — and thus must necessarily invest more time, energy, and money into our appearances to remain competitive and relevant.

That absolutely does *NOT* mean New York men must obsess over fashion and shopping to the entirely irrational degree that women do. The Beggar advocates — and attempts to facilitate — guys spending as little time, energy, and money needed to acquire a respectable wardrobe.

High-quality, durable, classic, trend-proof… these are the most highly-regarded attributes a product can possess. Acquire such a product at minimal cost and you’re golden. But, to do so, we must shop. And shop we do.

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