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Do Clothes Make the Man? Survey Reveals Men's Fashion Views

Clown . / Credit: Clown image via Shutterstock

For retailers of men’s clothing, a new bit of research confirms what many women have known all along — one in four men admits to being clueless about clothing. But there’s hope – and the opportunity for savvy retailers to do a bit of up-selling to their sartorially challenged clientele — that clueless quartile told researchers that they’d love to dress more stylishly if only they knew how.

Eighty-five percent of men who've been clothes shopping recently said they dress primarily for comfort, but would be willing to step outside their clothing comfort zone and spruce up their style if they were better educated about styles that look best on them or how to create a distinct look, according to a recent study of 980 men 18 and older by Mintel, a consumer, product and media intelligence group.

Moreover, 17 percent of men said the last time they got new clothing, it was selected and purchased by someone else. Ten percent of men stated that while someone else picked out their latest fashion acquisition, they did the buying. Sixteen percent haven't purchased or received any new garments in the past year.

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"In general, we've seen that men, especially younger men, are quite comfortable dabbling in things that have traditionally been stereotyped as 'women-only', like anti-aging creams," said Alexandra Smith, Mintel's director of consumer trends. "In fact, the beauty industry has responded to this 'new male' mentality quite aggressively — but it seems that the retail space is yet to catch up."

Mintel research also found that 37 percent of recent male clothes-shoppers said they were interested in clothes and fashion, while 29 percent reported that they would like to keep up with the latest fashion trends. Meanwhile, 21 percent said they put more emphasis on shoes rather than clothing.

Reach BusinessNewsDaily senior writer Ned Smith at Follow him on Twitter @nedbsmith.

Ned Smith

Ned was senior writer at Sweeney Vesty, an international consulting firm, and was Vice President of communications for iQuest Analytics. Before that, he has been a web editor and managed the Internet and intranet sites for Citizens Communications. He began his journalism career as a police reporter with the Roanoke (Va.) Times, and was managing editor of American Way magazine and senior editor of Us. He was a Captain in the U.S. Air Force and held a masters in journalism from the University of Arizona.