Over the last decade, an interesting trend has spread throughout the fashion industry: More and more men are popping up as successful designers, moguls and icons. The most important development, however, is that men aren’t only making clothes — they’re buying them.
Last year, men overtook women in online shopping sales, outspending them by around 20 percent. Although this statistic relates to general commerce — not specifically to apparel — fashion is the largest growing segment of online commerce and the men’s segment is growing much faster than the women’s. By the end of this year, some predict the gap between the two will close and, for the first time ever, the male share of the online fashion industry will exceed the female share.
Although this expectation might seem surprising, it makes sense given the recent attention paid to men’s clothing. This groundbreaking overtaking has been fueled by another digital revolution: The rise of the male fashion blog.
Thousands of blogs, Tumblr and imgur accounts, and discussion forums that completely dedicate themselves to the topic of men’s fashion now sprinkle the Internet. These sites share advice, ideas and (perhaps most importantly) sales, making it entirely possible for a man to do everything fashion-related from home.
It is largely the ease and simplicity of these digital wonderlands that account for the increased interest among common men. And it speaks to their effectiveness that men aren’t only looking and learning, but shopping too.
Although the focus of this revolution is the online aspect of fashion, the effects are spilling over into the non-digital realm. Large retailers such as Target and H&M have been revamping their in-store menswear selections, attempting to draw in the new fashion-conscious clientele. It has gotten to the point where Harris Tweed jackets (Harris being one of the most, if not the most, respected tweed mills in the world) have been spotted at Wal-Mart for $79.99. If this isn’t a sign of what is to come, I don’t know what is.
The increased interest and activity of men in the fashion world is predicted to continue to rise, and there is no better time to get involved than now. So ditch your mom and girlfriend, lift up your laptop and go shopping.