A survey of 1,232 American men age 18 and older from public relations firm Boutique @ Ogilvy has found that men spend more money than women on clothing.
Menswear sales are expected to grow 8.3% by 2017 to $110.3 billion, according to the study, outpacing the expected 4.2% growth in womenswear.
The survey also found that men on average spend $85 each month on clothes and accessories, $10 a month more than women.
Evidence of men taking greater care—and spending greater amounts of money—on apparel, shoes, and accessories may be a sign of a new phenomenon. Or it could be the resurgence of an older one — “dandyism.”
The good old-fashioned American dandy, like Beau Brummell in the 18th and 19th century, has come to be thought of as indulging in an excessive style, with loads of lace and accessories. But the reality then—and now, apparently—is that men taking care with their appearance, including their clothing, is a way to express themselves. These days it may be collector-quality sneakers, bespoke jeans, a well-fitting suit, or even a well-placed tattoo, but men are once again paying more attention to (and spending money on) their clothing.
The Wall Street Journal talked to many in menswear retail who say that men have more interest today in choosing their clothing, and that in many cases those choices are more daring than they have been in years past.
“I do find more men who in the past might have been satisfied with basics to be more interested in and willing to try things they may have never considered before,” Julie Rath, a men’s style consultant and founder of online style education site NextLevelStyle.com, told the Journal.
Another reason for the discrepancy may be the so-called “pink tax,” where several comparable items, like cashmere turtlenecks, socks, or dry cleaning services, have been found to cost more for women than men.