To coincide with the kick off of London Fashion Week Men’s on June 9, research firm Mintel released key facts showing how Britain’s males are giving the nation’s female fashionistas a run for their money.
“More retailers and brands have been tapping into the growing menswear market by expanding their men’s clothing offer, as well as launching stores and separate websites dedicated to men’s fashion,” says Tamara Sender, senior fashion analyst at Mintel.
As more retailers are entering the menswear market and men are faced with a greater choice of products, styles, and sizing, the sector is becoming more competitive. Millennial men are also becoming more demanding, wanting higher quality pieces, frequently updated collections and unique designs, and they will choose to buy clothes from those retailers and brands that step up to the plate, Sender adds.
Research reveals the U.K. men’s clothing market is estimated to have grown by 2.8% in 2016. This growth rate is more than twice that of the women’s clothing market, which rose by a slim 1.3%. Other findings from the firm include:
- The menswear sector still only accounts for 27% of the total clothing market, reaching £14.5 billion in 2016, compared to the womenswear market which hit £27.25 billion.
- More than three in five (61%) male shoppers agree that frequent special offers make it unnecessary to purchase clothes at full price.
- As young men are buying clothes more frequently, they are looking for retailers to respond to this, with one-fifth (21%) of male shoppers aged under 25 wanting more frequently updated collections.
- Menswear is expected to grow by 12.3% between 2016 and 2021 to reach £16.3 billion.
- Young men are more likely than young women to have bought footwear in the last quarter (47% of male 16-24s versus 45% of female 16-24s), with the rising popularity of trainers driving men’s footwear sales.
- Men aged 25-44 have overtaken women of the same age when it comes to buying clothes in the three months to December 2016 (47% of male 25-44s versus 43% of female 25-44s.)
- As many as three in five (59%) men agree that they feel more attractive when they are well-groomed.
- One in five (21%) of men believe a good role model is one who looks after his appearance, for example, with grooming or clothes.
- Almost two in three (63%) male shoppers agree that models in retailers’ ad campaigns should reflect the age of their customers, rising to almost seven in 10 (68%) Baby Boomers (aged 52-70).
Willing to pay more
Mintel also reports that men are more likely than women to agree that it is worth paying more for clothes made in Britain, with 42% of male shoppers agreeing compared with 37% of female shoppers. When it comes to trying on clothing, 45% of men are interested in fitting rooms with a tablet that allows shoppers to request additional sizes and colors and 39% would like time-delayed mirrors. More findings from the firm include:
- Willingness to pay a higher price for locally made garments peaks among male 25-34s (62%).
- Over a third (36%) of male shoppers would be interested in more eco-friendly fabrics used in clothes. This rises to two in five (40%) men aged 16-34.
- One in four men (26%) would like the option to purchase directly from a social media site.
- Younger Millennial males are the most interested in a delivery pass that has a membership fee for free annual, unlimited delivery and collection. Over half (55%) of 17 to 26-year-old men agree with this, compared to an average of 41%.
- A third (32%) of male shoppers would like to see more consistent sizing, this rises to four in 10 (39%) over-55s. With the obesity crisis driving the need for larger sizes, some 13% of male shoppers say they would like to see more plus sizes.
- At the other end of the scale, one in twenty (6%) would like to see more petite sizes.
- Men are increasingly dressing more casually, with almost three fifths (58%) agreeing that sporty styles of clothing are practical for everyday wear. Men are more likely than women (50%) to agree with this, highlighting the importance of sportswear for the menswear market.
- Three in 10 (30%) men aged 16-24 and around one-quarter (23%) of men aged 25-44 have bought sportswear in the last three months.