Menswear: British men ditch the High Street for the net



The traditional image of the man who hates high street shopping is being borne out by an explosion in online menswear sales. Rocketing sales figures have been reported by online men’s fashion stores, as today’s men vote for buying with a click over braving the high street. Trend prediction companies are noticing marked differences in how men are now buying and how it differs entirely from women’s shopping patterns.

Various retail experts have put forward theories as to why British men are now far more comfortable purchasing work and leisurewear on the net. The huge shift may be explained by a lack of time – buying online is often simply more efficient. Men tend to shop for clothing and accessories in a more focused, task orientated manner. Research shows that 52% of men surveyed pointed to unwelcome attention from ‘pushy’ sales assistants. They also pointed to blaring music, crowds, queuing and trying things on as entirely off-putting. Women may traditionally enjoy a day at the shops with friends, punctuated by valuable cappuccino stops. Men demonstrably prefer to simply track down what they need, select the right size and head efficiently towards the checkout. Online menswear retailers, Moodys Worldwide are familiar with the pattern:

\”We know that men are looking for certain items, in certain sizes, often for a specific purpose. When we designed our store, we drew heavily on our own preferences to provide the right online experience. Everything our customers need is right there. There are matching elegant silk handkerchiefs and ties; cummerbunds and bow ties; scarves; high quality leather belts, wallets and passport holders. You can see the products in high definition, in all colours, the sizing is straightforward and the origin and manufacturing process is all there. You just click on what you want and it’s swiftly delivered straight to your door. It’s incredibly efficient and moreover, the quality matches the needs of busy executives. For work, for formal occasions, for dapper leisurewear – you can get it all in a couple of clicks\”.

The shift has reached the attention of trend prediction experts, who claim men have other different approaches than those of their female counterparts. Men are described as less trend orientated than women, and more interested in the history of the range and craftwork involved. Moodys Worldwide agreed with the analysis:

\”The attention to detail is key; we know that our customers are extremely interested in how well made our pieces are. They prioritise quality, its about getting good value instead of ending up with cheap badly made items. It makes sense, as our range is going to be worn at work, and at formal occasions. We feature classic British styling, with fine fabrics. For example, our English silk is produced in a tenth generation family run factory, and we rely on a great deal of traditional artisan hand finishing. Our customers like to be sure of the quality, they need to know they won’t be let down.\”