||Survey Finds Upswing in the Way Men Dress
When it comes to men, it's okay to judge a book by its cover: A new survey from Men's Wearhouse reports that 91% of Americans think that a man who dresses well seems more attractive than he really is, while 83% of women think a snazzy dresser is sexier than one with lots of dough.
And in what will surely come as a wake up call to all those 30-somethings running around in skater shoes and ballcaps, 65% of those polled believe you can measure a man's maturity level by what he has on.
"It is time to get back to business and make men look like men, whether that means a suit or dark denim jeans and a sports coat," David Lawrence, director of merchandising for the Fremont, Calif.-based chain, told Marketing Daily. "Men look better when they're dressed well."
The good news is that the majority of guys know how clueless they've become: 72% of men admit they feel underdressed most of the time, and 73% believe men don't dress as well as they did 20 years ago.
Retailers hope that with the economy recovering and the job market perking up, these guys will start putting their money where their mouths are. The NPD Group, a Port Washington, N.Y.-based market research company, reports that in the last 12 months, spending on men's clothing fell 1% to $51.38 billion, on top of a 5.5% decline in the previous year.
"Men's fashion is always the first thing to drop in a recession and the last thing to come back," Lawrence says. "But what we're starting to see is that men are beginning to view dressing well as something that is not an option, but something more important."
Indeed, men see their wardrobe as an integral part of career and financial success: Some 75% say they believe men in suits are more successful, and 22% even admit that they think they'd get paid more if they dressed better. And 42% say they would dress better if they knew how. (It's not that their partners aren't dropping plenty of big hints: 32% of the women in the survey have secretly thrown away some of their men's clothing without telling.)
Part of the issue, Lawrence says, is a shortage of generation-appropriate sartorial role models. "You think of George Clooney as being very dapper, but to a lot of young men, he seems older. There are a lot of professional athletes, especially in basketball, who dress really well for their post-game press conferences."
But for both Gen X and Gen Y, he says, "how to dress is a grey area."
(Source: Marketing Daily, 01/05/11)