Wednesday, 23 April 2008

Shopping like a man?

Photo by pdxmac

I leave Steve to run the blog alone for a week and he uses it as an excuse to post about Dylan. Oh, he is a cheeky one; he knows how I feel about that man.
Ok, now I don't care what EJ has to say about Dylan, he is an interesting fellow regardless of whether one likes him or not.

Back from Venice last night: lovely time, great hotel. I took just under 300 photos if anyone wants a slideshow... Steve, I'm looking at you. Anyway, back to business. I was reading this article (another one of those pieces that newspapers and magazines run every so often about how much better men are at shopping) and found myself wondering how true it actually is. Which ones do you follow, or do you have any other 'masculine' shopping habits and tips you'd like to share. I think I'll go through them and compare Steve's and my own habits and see how we do.
Always good to have EJ back in the same country as myself. Welcome back! Ok I thought I should give my own opinion...although EJ does know me very well indeed (possibly more accurately than I do in fact but I couldn't tell her that of course!)

1. Plan and research - I'd say we both do this one, though we are both equally guilty of just 'going shopping'. Steve seems to be better at aimless shopping than me though, as he more often comes back with something. I always find, though, that I plan and research, set my heart on something and then when I think I've found 'the one' it doesn't bloody fit.
Planning and research is a great part of shopping. It is like stalking one's prey, learning where it goes, what it does and then striking at the optimum moment! The internet makes this so much easier than ever before, so I agree with Thom, there is no excuse for not doing at least some research. However, nothing quite beats the feeling of buying that spur of the moment item which transpires to be a superb buy.

2. Have an eye for a long-term bargain - buying quality over quantity? I've made that promise to myself, but it's surprisingly hard to keep. I know that Steve's a fan of the idea too.
Menswear to me is all about quality and strong pieces. To avoid bankrupting yourself, the best way to gain a wardrobe that other men will envy is putting in the time and effort and knowing the market, sourcing the best high street, designer and sample sales.

3. Buy in multiples - does anyone actually do this? Really? Unless we're talking standard t shirts (I'm slowly building up a rainbow of American Apparel t-shirts), the only time I really bought something in multiple, I realised I actually hated it two weeks later. This meant I was left with two versions of a mistake. I don't think I actually know any men who do this, do you? The closest Steve gets to doing this is buying five very similar t shirts over the course of six months by accident... (don't try to deny it!)
I admit it. I don't intentionally buy in multiples because I think it takes the fun out of shopping. Shopping to me is more than just buying what you want or even need. It is a hobby.

4. Hold until the market falls - wait for sales? Hell yes! I am unashamedly cheap. I wait until the price is right for me, then wait a couple of weeks more and then buy it.

This goes without saying. If people aren't doing this they are foolish. That said, I am well aware of the lure of the rack and the desire to get an item when you actually want it. Not months after. The key is getting the balance right.
5. Don't buy that statement dress - I'm not convinced that there is an equivalent to the 'statement dress' in menswear, so enlighten me if you will. I think we both tend to avoid obvious trends unless it's something that can be adapted to suit our own personal styles.
I am coming round to the idea of the existence of the 'statement suit'.

6. Only buy things you don't need during sale time - surely people that stick to this one just aren't that interested in clothes?
Surely everyone does this?


Thomas said...

What exactly does it mean to "need" an item of clothing? As in, you have not a single pair of underwear?

I do all of them to varying degrees, but I have to disagree wholeheartedly with the "statement" dress. I think everyone needs one POW item, bargains be damned.

But otherwise I fit that to a tee - always waiting for sales, do tons of research (with the internet there is NO excuse), holding out until it goes on sale (this has bit me a few times).

I try and buy in multiples, especially in items that might wear out. Right now I wish I had two Andy jackets from Cheap Monday - but alas.

j said...

Well, I guess I'm like most men in that I hate to shop. But I'm not like most men in that I really like clothes, so it is always so difficult. I usually have a general idea of what I want then I find the closest thing to it in a compromise between the most time saving, money saving, convenient, and painless way I can.

Stylesalvage Steve said...

Wow J, you truly are a complex character. I can see why men don't enjoy shopping. Some types of shopping I very much dislike...for example shopping in H&M and places like it because I hate the jumble sale feel and the general lack of love shown to the clothes. There is also the shop assistants to deal with...the lights...but there are so many good things about shopping aswell, too many too mention here!

modernaged said...

I've been a longtime reader of you guys, and I'm glad to see the (odd) shopping habits of men discussed here.

I do a lot of planning in my own shopping. I may go out with a broad mission -- like hunting for a "white shirt" or "shoes." I search physical stores online stores, while narrowing down my broad desire and figure out what I really want. Saving money is always of prime concern. Sometimes I lose this game, when returning to buy a much debated purchase only to find it gone.

Also, buying multiples is lame, unless buying basics like tees. I have repurchased favorite items that have worn out beyond repair.

-h of candid cool said...

I’m with Thomas, everyone needs some POW in their closet. Otherwise it gets quite monotonous. With the internet, plan and research is a big part of shopping. But also it’s good to leave room for discovery by walking into shops, esp. independent boutiques and shops that don’t have online shopping.
The whole buying in multiples, except for basic tees, I’ve done it before only to end up getting rid of ½ of it because I never wore the other 2 colors. But then again I do have a pair of flats in 4 different colors and a pair of pumps in 2 different colors. But I didn’t buy them all in one shot. And I only bought the colors that I knew I would get a lot of wear out of.


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