In the first phase of the men’s fashion revolution in the United States, men started using online retailers to dress better.
Now in the next phase, they’re not just using online retailers to create a shopping experience they can stand, they’re actually starting to enjoy the process of dressing and shopping online.
“We’ve seen this massive shift,” Vishaal Melwani, CEO and founder of Combatant Gentlemen, told Business Insider.
His brand is directed at the young kids, the second-time suit buyers and first-time job interviewers.
“We’re really excited to be teachers,” he added.
Melwani’s customers are reading content about everything from how to tie a scarf to what to wear to a beach wedding. They’re asking good questions, and they’re even taking a few risks.
“For such a long time in the early days of the brand it was all about mono-chromatic suits,” he said. “Now, we’re really getting to do some crazy stuff.”
“Crazy,” of course, means pocket squares and patterned suits, brighter colors, and accessories. In response, retailers like Melwani are figuring out ways to conform classic looks to modern lifestyles.
For example, Combatant Gentlemen decided to make a suit that’s 98% your classic wool, 2% an elastine that makes it really easy to move in. They call it “The Endurance suit.”
So go ahead and do parkour on your way to work, or whatever.
Taste, get some
Younger guys are starting to pick up on what they like and what they don’t. This is the foundation of something called “taste” — taste is a good thing.
Another behavior men are picking up — they’re learning how to shop online intelligently.
“They [customers] definitely are getting smarter, asking a lot more questions and looking for deals. We get a lot of traffic that pushes in from discount websites too, meaning they leave our site, go on retailmenot.com or promopro.com then come back to our site using a discount,” Philip Sblendorio, co-founder of men’s accessory retailer, SprezzaBox, told Business Insider.
SPREZZABOXAnd men don’t just want their clothes and shoes — they want it yesterday. Guys expect the same kind of service from small retailers as they do from huge companies like Amazon, and the smaller guys are racing to keep up.
“I had a dude in Dubai call us on Monday morning (he ordered on Sunday) wondering where his shoes were,” Ben Earley, co-founder of men’s shoe brand Paul Evans told Business Insider via email.
“I said ‘You ordered half a world away, yesterday, on a Sunday.’ He said ‘Sunday isn’t a weekend in Dubai, and my Amazon order from yesterday got here already.'”
See, all of this takes effort, and effort used to be something no real man put in his clothing. What the data is showing online men’s retailers, however, is that this is changing.
Most men aren’t completely ready to show that their hobby is filling their closet, though.
“I think it’s more of a private thing,” Melwani said. “[Guys think] ‘no one’s going to judge me. My boys aren’t here. My girlfriend’s not here. No judgment.'”
Definitely not. If anything, guys, we were judging you before you figured out the right way to wear a sweater under a blazer.