The writer Jared Diamond keeps presenting the evidence: no matter what doom and gloom you read in the papers, statistically these remain the best times to be alive – ever. We live longer, healthier, more secure lives than at any time in history.
Not to trivialise such a thought, but the exact same might be said of menswear — sure, you will find those little voices that remind us , as an example, the wastefulness and ecological effects of fast fashion; that wonder the dictatorial nature of seasonal tendencies; or who point out that the large street seems to be slowly disintegrating, carrying neighborhood communities with it. But, nevertheless, when it comes to dressing well, guys have never been in a much better place.
The UK men’s clothing market, for instance, is currently worth #15bn annually, according to market researchers Mintel, also is expected to grow by 11 per cent over the next three years. In the UK at least, that growth pattern outperforms the (admittedly much bigger ) womenswear market. Globally the market is predicted to grow by more, 14 percent, over roughly the exact same period.
There are multiple reasons for this. Men have undergone a fashion instruction, first via publications and latterly via websites and societal media; that has generated an acceptability among men in getting a fascination with clothes — much as the dressing world has fostered an acceptability in care for yourself — something which long ago was considered suspect. Colour, pattern, a mix of the tailored and also the technical, the large brow with the historic — what goes, often in the exact same outfit. There is a confidence to guys and their clothes now, even among men that aren’t that into clothes.
But it’s definitely easier to become into clothes today. The overwhelming influence of street and sportswear — noteworthy among the designer titles — has made menswear both more urban, more approachable and, notably for guys, more comfortable too. Dress codes have softened radically — which means there is more sense in investing in Men’s Casual clothing you get to wear more than at the weekend. And men are investing: nearly a fifth of guys will have spent 100 in their last shopping trip — just 12 per cent of women will have done so.
The market has broken away from the dominance by expensive designer labels too — the 80s, anti-democratic idea of that appears out of keeping with the times today — and noticed a boom at quality-driven, cheaper brands pitched right in the midst; 70 percent of men say quality is important in their garments, against 64 per cent of women. The marketplace has also pushed a ever-growing breadth of ideas to meet any number of tastes or interests — from the practical to the fanciful, from flash to sober. Menswear no longer means a small set of typically quite sober fashions.
That new diversity is part of this slow but continuing breakdown of this idea not only of seasonality but of there being dominant trends. Really, a man can dress how he wants today and fit into his team — and look great with it also. That, possibly, suits the man mindset: not only the package mindset, but that nerdy interest in the specifics of history and make also.