Testing the waters of men's "fast fashion" and online shopping 2 months ago

Testing the waters of men's "fast fashion" and online shopping

Well, here goes nothing.

If you've ever seen a single episode of Love Island or I'm A Celebrity or... well... anything on TV lately, then you're probably aware of Missguided, or Boohoo.com, or Pretty Little Things.

The adverts are filled with beautiful people of all sizes and races, usually hanging out poolside, but sometimes they're just on a street somewhere sunny, wearing some great clothes, while an impossibly-hip, "you wouldn't have heard of them" track pounds throughout.

The other thing you've probably seen is that they are ALL aimed towards women.

For whatever reason, the advertising campaign doesn't aim towards potential male online shoppers at all. However, the recent announcement that Migos front-man Quavo was designing a line for BooHooMan seemed like as good a reason as any to try it out.

So after checking out the website and choosing some items in my size, we played the (short enough) waiting game for the clothes to arrive.

In the meantime, we asked around as to why men seem averse to online shopping for clothes, and if there is actually an untapped market there.

Presenter James Kavanagh told JOE: "Personally speaking, I do 90% of my clothes shopping in real-life shops. I need to feel the material and try it on. Unless it's a designer or shop I truly know my sizes with, I'm staying offline.

"I also feel online menswear stores do very little marketing to entice shoppers. If you look at the female market, you see so much female fashion Instagrammers promoting the brands, etc. and you just don't see that with menswear brands. So that might explain the lack of men using the sites."

He's not wrong.

All of these ads? Not one for men, as far we've seen.

Clip via Sohni Ahmed

But why are men being so roundly ignored? Surely you'd assume that the taking the hassle out of actually going shopping and getting it all done in a few clicks of a button would be an enticing prospect for male shoppers?

TV presenter and style entrepreneur Darren Kennedy agrees: "It is quite an interesting one, because the world of men's fashion is less 'fast fashion', and the big players tend to be things like List.com and MrPorter.com, which is a global phenomenon," he says.

"And I think that's the thing for men shopping online, they're far more interested in quality as opposed to fast fashion. Like I know there are girls who go and buy a dress on Boohoo every Friday for their night out.

"Yes, some guys will dip into fast fashion, obviously, but when it comes to shopping online, I think it is more about quality and about knowing what you're getting. So while a man might be a little more dubious about shopping online, in the first instance, once he finds a website or brands that he enjoys and likes, then he will regularly go back, and I think that's the loyalty that is different in terms of the shopping habits of women.

"Also, there is the anonymity of shopping online, so not the hassle of going into the changing rooms, which most blokes don't enjoy.

"I think there is always going to be room for bricks and mortar shops for men's clothes, absolutely, especially when it comes to tailoring. Because even though you can buy some really high end suits online, I don't think you can beat the tailoring experience of getting a bespoke suit."

With that in mind, the Quavo-designed items arrived, in a pretty attention grabbing bag:

quavo

Four items inside; two hoodies and two t-shirts. Nice material, nice designs, all (supposedly) the same size.

Having tried them all on, only one of the hoodies and one of the t-shirts actually fit. Asking someone who is a full size smaller to try on one of the hoodies, they remarked it was a bit tight. So, essentially, an  XL item was a tight fit on someone who normally wears an L.

Not a great start, but perhaps that is simply the way of online shopping, a trial and error system until you discover which items you like, which will fit, and then continue to tap that resource until you've bought everything on their website.

Truth be told, the items that did fit were really nice on, but the shot-in-the-dark nature of "This XL fits, but this XL doesn't" seems a bit off-putting. The speed with which the items arrived, however, the very reasonable prices and the variety of styles on the site is reason enough to try it again.

Except probably go for an XXL next time...