Posts filed under: Shopping

Are men fashion shopping more?

For men of a certain age, the concept of taking an active interest in fashion may seem somewhat alien. Shopping for clothes would be seen as a necessity, rather than a passion, but the statistics show that men are fast catching up with women in the fashion stakes, and indeed (if the trend continues), could soon overtake women as the biggest spending gender on the high street.

A 2014 UK wide study, commissioned by the Westfield Group (the world’s largest shopping centre operator) makes for interesting reading.

As well as gathering statistics on the size of the industry, the study included a survey, which questioned 3,673 men and 4,082 women aged between 18 and 49.

Here are the key takeaways:

Men’s Fashion Is Booming

The study valued the UK men’s fashion industry at £13bn a year, working out at an incredible £998 for every male in the UK.

This is backed up by information from Statista, which shows the total retail spend on menswear in the UK growing steadily from £9.34bn in 2008 to £10.64bn in 2013.

According to the study, this spend of £998 per man, is just £99 less than women, who in the same period spent around £1,087 each per year.

This gap is even smaller for the 18-34 age group, with a difference in spending between men and women on fashion in this demographic of just 1%.

Most Men Say They Enjoy Shopping

Contrary to popular belief, that shopping is somewhat of a chore to be endured for men, the vast majority of the men surveyed said that they enjoyed shopping.

In fact, around 70% said they enjoy the high street experience, which is the same number who said that they enjoy watching sport, and just 7% less than those who said they enjoy a visit to their local pub.

One difference between men and women that was raised by the survey is that men are not so keen on browsing as women; preferring to have a strong idea about what they are looking for, get into the shop, locate it, and complete the purchase as quickly as possible.

Indeed, 59% of those surveyed said that they would decide on a purchase within the first few minutes of entering a store.

Men Are More Attracted To Designer Labels Than Women

Surprisingly, men were also found to be more label concious than women, with 41% (compared to 34% of women) saying that they would rather purchase a small amount of designer clothes, than larger quantities of cheaper, non brand labels.

In terms of the actual brands, Nike topped the popularity list for men, with Adidas, Next and M&S also proving popular. Indeed, Marks & Spencer currently has the biggest market share of men’s clothing sales in the UK.

The majority of those surveyed stated that they would rather save up for an expensive, genuine designer item, than purchase a fake – bad news for holiday market traders, but good new for the high street!

It’s Not Online Shopping That’s Driving This Boom

It may seem logical to assume that the explosive growth of online shopping is behind the increase in spending on men’s fashion, but half of the men surveyed said they preferred shopping on the high street to purchasing online.

That being said, around three quarters of those surveyed admitted that they would browse online first to check prices, availability, and store opening times before venturing to the shops to physically make their purchase.

Of course, with the increased use of smart phones for internet browsing, and apps which give users the ability to compare prices in a locale, this percentage is only likely to increase.

But Technology May Be Driving The Trend Nonetheless

While the spend may not actually be online, one prevalent theory behind the rapid growth of men’s fashion, is the modern dot-com workplace having a more relaxed ‘unbuttoned vibe’ when it comes to work-wear.

Whereas in the past, all a man would need for his work week wardrobe was 2 or 3 shirts and ties, which didn’t allow for much individuality, nowadays, with many offices and workplaces allowing more casual dress, men may be increasingly feeling the need to spruce up their wardrobe to ‘keep up with Joneses’.

Of course, aside from the workplace, men are not immune from the modern day celeb obsessed culture, and if a popular male movie star rocks a certain outfit, you can be sure that sales of that style/look will quickly increase.

So Will Men’s Fashion Overtake Women’s Fashion?

Well, while nothing is certain, the trend is certainly heading that way.

For the modern man, a couple of pairs of jeans and a handful of t-shirts no longer cuts the mustard, and you can be sure that over the next few years brands will be doing all they can to ensure they secure a slice of the lucrative male fashion pie – with more and more ads and campaigns directly targeting men.

This should only serve to accelerate the trend.

So, in the future will it be the man dragging the woman round the shops on a Saturday afternoon instead of the other way round? Time will tell.

Jordan is the owner of Mr Style – collating the best in men’s fashion for the modern gentleman.

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Dabbling with diamonds can be dangerous

They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend, and so for many guys, they can be an easy (if expensive) go to gift to get the lady in their life at Christmas time. Most women do indeed love receiving expensive and attractive jewellery, and it will certainly show you have gone to some effort, however actually, it isn’t always as good of an idea as it sounds.

Clarity

If you are contemplating any sort of diamond jewelleryfor your girlfriend this Christmas, here are a few things to consider before you take the plunge and shell out!

Do You Actually Understand Her Taste?

If you haven’t been together for long, or, if you are just a guy who has no idea at all about women’s fashion and doesn’t pay all that much attention to what she wears, it could well be that you don’t really know what she would like in terms of jewellery. This isn’t a bad reflection on you, some couples go their whole lives quite happily without every really understanding each other when it comes to taste in clothes and other aesthetic things, but it does mean that you may get the choice very wrong.

Don’t assume that just because it has a diamond in it any woman would be happy to own it. If your girlfriend is a sporty, casual type of girl she may have no use whatsoever for some Audrey Hepburn diamond earrings, whereas if she likes the finer things in terms of her jewelry a fun, blingy necklace that another girl might love might be quite unappealing to her. Some girls don’t even like the idea of wearing fine jewelleryand prefer more natural stuff made of things like wood and beads. Think about what you have seen her wear or any conversations you have had about what she likes, and if this doesn’t inspire you, forget jewellery and buy her something else instead – for some women a new iPod or vacuum cleaner is better than a necklace anyway!

Will It Be Misunderstood?

Diamonds, unless you are a billionaire playboy who hands them out to every girl he meets, tend to be a gift only really given in a serious relationship. If you have only been dating her for a little while, they can actually be misunderstood as meaning more than they do. To you it might be that that diamond bracelet is a pretty gift she will like which might win you some points, but to her it could be seen as a symbol of undying love. Worse, if you have been together for a while but aren’t thinking marriage yet (or at all), never give her a diamond ring. It should be obvious why this may lead to a conversation you don’t want to have!

However, if you are in a long term relationship, are in love, and intend to give the diamond with the right sentiments behind it, there is often no substitute for diamond jewellery as a Christmas gift – assuming you are confident you can pick something she will love!

The author of this guest post, Nolan Grey, is a receptionist at Diamonds on Web, a leading provider of diamond stud earrings. In his free time, he loves to indulge himself in creative pursuits such as painting and sculpting.

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How to Match a Handbag to Your Outfit

When it comes to choosing the right handbag there are several things you need to take into consideration, such as colour, shape, pattern and size. As a rule of thumb, your handbag should carry across the main theme of your outfit, but it should not match identically in colour or print because this causes clashes. Ideally, use it to pick out one or two colours which are played down in your clothes or shoes, or vice versa. We’ve included some advice on specific styles and what to wear them with, using carefully chosen high street and designer handbags from Style in View.

Tote Handbag

With a good designer tote bag you can generally wear anything, except for evening gowns of course! Dress your tote up with tailored trouser suits for the office, or use your designer handbag to add a bit of glamour to a casual outfit, such as skinny jeans and a tunic. This Fiorelli red tote bag shows how handbags can be classy yet fun. Use it on shopping trips or as a striking addition to a smart black suit, as the bright colour will lift up your outfit from the shadows.

Red A4 sized tote bag

This tan Michael Kors bag will go with every colour, while the cross-body straps adds a practical twist to the traditional tote, allowing it to double up as an overnight bag or satchel with more casual looks.

Slouch Bag

To add a bit of contemporary fashion a slouch bag is great. These can be available in more interesting fabrics and textures than tote handbags and if that applies to your slouch bag, make sure it doesn’t clash with your outfit. If your handbag is patterned or has lots of detailing, aim for a fairly print-free outfit and vice versa. The shape of a slouch bag is also important; the bigger the better, as you can contrast with a slim-fit ensemble. Pair a handbag such as this white Dune Deja slouch bag with leggings or three-quarter length skinny jeans and a dark-coloured blazer.

dune_deja_slouchy_bag

For the oversized shape of the bag to really accentuate your figure, roll your sleeves up so that your arms appear slim and elegant, and team with bangles for boho chic.

Casual Bag

Casual designer handbags are also becoming increasingly in vogue, with satchels one of the current most popular styles of bag. These are perfect for days out or even a casual yet practical addition to your work outfit. This Jasper Conran white faux leather satchel is both stylish and also can also be worn with sleek outfits such as tailored, high-waist trousers and a chiffon blouse, or with floaty floral dresses, and full skirt-cardigan combos. For a holiday alternative, opt for the navy striped version. A patterned bag must be worn with block colours and match at least one dominant colour in your outfit, so with navy and white stripes go for white wide-leg linen trousers, for example.

Clutch Bag

As opposed to the tote bag, the clutch can only really be worn with evening dresses, gowns or formal wear. Clutch bags with a chain are versatile for carrying but also work well for those with a wider middle as they won’t draw attention to your stomach. The clutch is generally considered an extension of your outfit, so it should match your shoes and scarf/jacket. If your outfit is quite plain then pick out clutches in metallic materials, bejewelled with diamantes, or that are embroidered to add some reflective light, such as this glitter envelope clutch by Julien Macdonald available through Style in View.

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A Shopping Guide to Abu Dhabi

Abu Dhabi is a shopper’s dream, with plenty of excellent malls featuring a wide variety of popular shops.

When you head to Abu Dhabi, UAE, make sure to leave extra room in your suitcases because the shopping in this city is so much fun that you will find lots of great souvenirs to bring home!

Shopping is a popular pastime in the city and the choices of shops are endless, from chic modern shopping malls to traditional-style souks with local handicrafts. Whether you want to treat yourself to a designer outfit or haggle for a bargain on a watch in the marketplace, a brand new home entertainment system or an antique Arabian bracelet, you have come to the right place.

Prices in Abu Dhabi are usually quite affordable, especially for products such as textiles, carpets and gold, and compared to other cities abroad. If you have good negotiating skills, you can get even cheaper prices from the merchants at some of the souks and bazaars. However, bargaining is only acceptable with the merchants in the markets or the independent shops and antique dealers so don’t try to haggle the price down at Marks and Spencers or Dunkin Donuts!

Shopping Malls

There are several excellent shopping malls within the city, where you will find popular chain stores and designer fashion outlets. Here are some of the most popular locations:

  • Abui Dhabi Mall – this three story shopping centre is located next to the Beach Rotana Hotel, in the Tourist Club Area.
  • The Marina Mall – Located in the Water Breaker Area right next to the stunning Emirates Palace, this shopping centre contains a Carrefour hypermarket, musical fountain, and even thunder and rain inside the building!
  • Al Wahda Mall – This brand new modern mall was only opened back in 2007, and it has many high end designer shops as well as an extensive food court and an enormous LuLu Hypermarket in the basement.

Al Meena

If you want to experience the hustle and bustle of a traditional Arabic souk, head down to the Al Meena area of the city. This is where many traditional souks can be found, and it is a great place for shopping for local produce at reasonable prices. You will find beautiful carpets, antiques, spices, jewelry, and so much more. This is the place to practice your haggling skills, so don’t be shy. The first price that the vendor offers you will usually be twice as much as it should be, so you can be firm but polite and suggest a lower price. If they refuse to budge, simply say no and walk away and you will be surprised how many times they will accept your lower offer to keep your interest.

With it now being able to opt to fly to Abu Dhabi as an choice when taking flights to the UAE, there is no barrier to enjoying the shopping in the city that is an adventure in itself, so get out there and enjoy all of the beautiful shops and boutiques that the city has to offer!

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