A new study into the fashion habits of Aussie men has found they think they’re stylish, spend up big when in store; however, the vast majority admit they don’t like the shopping experience.
The study by Roy Morgan Research that more than four in every 10 Aussie blokes agree that they ‘try to look stylish’—a figure that nudges 60 per cent among those aged under 25 years.
Last year, 38.7 per cent of Aussie men aged 14-plus (or nearly 3.8 million men) bought clothing in an average four weeks, up from 36.6 per cent (3.4 million) in 2012. There has also been a slight increase in the proportion of men who say they ‘try to look stylish’, from 39.6 per cent in 2012 to 40.8 per cent in 2016. Among younger men (under 25), the desire to look stylish is much more widespread at 57.8 per cent (up from 50.7 per cent in 2012).
While these figures are relatively low compared to the 66 per cent of women who buy clothes in an average four weeks, and the 62.8 per cnet who try to look stylish, they still represent a sizeable market for fashion retailers. Put it this way: the average amount spent by male clothes shoppers in an average four weeks is $164 each … or about $617 million collectively.
Australian men and clothes shopping: 2012 vs 2016
The biggest spenders are men aged between 35 and 49, who spend an average $181 each on clothes, followed by the 25-34 bracket ($171) and 50-64 year-olds ($160). Those aged under 25 spend an average $156, with the 65+ group’s average four-weekly clothing spend being the lowest at $140. All except the youngest age group now spend more compared to four years ago.
But while the average amount Australian men spend on clothes in any given four week period may have increased, less of them are enjoying the experience. Just 23 per cent agree with the statement, ‘I enjoy clothes shopping’, compared with 26.2 per cent in 2012.
This decline is evident across most age groups, with 25-34 year-olds (down from 35.5 per cent to 29 per cent) and 50-64 year-olds (down from 19 per cent to 14.7 per cent respectively) showing the greatest loss of enthusiasm.
Commenting on the study, Roy Morgan’s communications director, Norman Morris, said: “Roy Morgan data confirms what we all suspected: Australian women are much more likely than men not only to go shopping for clothes in an average four-week period, but to enjoy it. They’re also more concerned with looking fashionable and/or stylish. But as mentioned, the proportion of Aussie men shopping for clothes has risen since 2012, as has the proportion trying to look stylish (albeit only slightly).
“With the influx of international fashion retailers into the local market over the last few years, men’s clothing stores are under just as much pressure as women’s boutiques to remain competitive. To do this, it’s crucial to understand how Aussie men feel about clothes shopping, and how this can differ depending on their age (as we have seen), socio-economic circumstances or even marital status.
“Yes, that’s right: single men are more likely than their coupled-up counterparts (whether married or de facto) to agree that they try to look stylish, that it’s important to look fashionable and that they’re ‘born to shop’! It seems that once a fellow settles down with his partner, he no longer feels the need to worry about such matters…
“Of course, Roy Morgan Single Source also contains insights into the shopping habits and attitudes of different stores’ customers, as well as which stores attract the most male shoppers, and so much more: all of which can help brands and retailers reach the consumers most receptive to their particular offering,” he said.