Description

This report explores the US menswear market, revealing the opportunities behind the consumer statistics. Below, we provide the report scope, summarize the key topics covered, and offer select insights from the report itself.

Report Scope

This Report identifies behaviors and preferences of male clothes shoppers, and it focuses on purchases that men 18+ make for themselves (versus as gifts). Clothing in this Report covers the following categories: jeans, pants/slacks, suits, T-shirts, button-down shirts, sweaters, jackets/coats, swimwear, shorts and workout clothes (tops and bottoms).

Sleepwear, underwear, footwear and accessories are not discussed in this Report but are included in the overall clothing market size. Note that the market size includes all sales of men’s clothing – as opposed to boys and junior wear – regardless of the purchaser.

Key Topics Covered

  • The impact of inflation on the men’s clothing industry.
  • Most important clothing attributes.
  • Reasons men have purchased clothing in the past year.
  • Where and how men are shopping for clothes.
  • The role of sustainability in the clothing path to purchase.
  • Areas of opportunity for clothing retailers and brands.

US Menswear Market Overview

Menswear is, unfortunately, not immune from inflationary pressures in 2023. Men are being more careful with their finances, with 35% shifting clothing purchases toward essentials instead. It’s not all bad news, though. The year should end with men’s clothing sales up nearly 4%. Read on to discover consumer trends and a unique opportunity for brands.

Menswear Consumer Trends

  • Unlike women, men tend to buy seasonally, rather than steadily throughout the year. This could change in the future, though, given that nearly half of men say seasonal clothing isn’t as important to them anymore. During off-peak periods, retailers can engage men with relevant promotions to stimulate short-term sales.
  • Of the surveyed attributes, men say that fit is the most important, with function a close second. Brands should consider this. Marketing menswear effectively means understanding men’s perspective, and this report reveals this through consumer data.

Opportunity for Fashion Brands in Menswear

With inflation, consumers are now more value-oriented and conscious of their shopping choices. Researching for sustainability initiatives is becoming commonplace, leading to a shift toward circular shopping options. According to Mintel’s Circular Shopping Market Report, preowned clothes, rentals, and repairs are appealing to 68% of men. Retailers should market the benefits of circular shopping, like affordability and uniqueness. It’s also important to consider that rentals appeal to men the most, so rental businesses can target effectively.

For a complete analysis of opportunities for menswear brands, buy the full report. Alternatively, you may be interested in our other Fashion Market Research.

Brands Discussed

A number of brands are discussed within the scope of this report. Our expert has conducted deep research to reveal what brands have been doing and how they’re making an impact. From J.Crew’s new mobile app launch to Olderbrother’s promotion of gender-fluid clothing, you’ll understand the competitive strategies that you can leverage.

Additional Features Included in Your Report

Different Digital Formats: PDF for conveniently sharing with your team, PowerPoint for quickly including in your presentation, as well as an Infographic and an Excel Databook.

Mintel’s Clients Portal: Our portal offers instant access to actionable analysis and trends pieces relevant to your industry that are published almost daily. You can also browse for more market research reports.

Expert Analysis

Our leading retail/eCommerce analyst Diana Smith delivers in-depth commentary to highlight current trends in the US men’s clothing market.

The perception that men don’t like to shop for clothes is misguided. A majority of men think it’s fun to shop for clothes. Men are more likely than women to be purposeful about their shopping conquests and seek out direct means to find what they want in the most efficient way, and they relish in the confidence, energy and self-expression they gain from their clothing. Moving forward, men represent key targets for retailers’ personalized styling services as well as their circular business offerings such as rentals and repair services as men look to do their part to protect the environment.

Diana Smith, Associate Director, Retail & eCommerce

 

Diana Smith
Associate Director, Retail & eCommerce

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
    • This Report looks at the following areas
    • Definition
    • Market context
  2. Executive Summary

    • Top takeaways
    • Consumer trends
    • Gen Z and Millennial men are the most engaged consumers
      • Figure 1: Shopping frequency, by generation, 2023
    • Men shop with a purpose
      • Figure 2: Reasons for buying clothes, 2023
    • Men value expertise, quality and ethics from the merchants they shop
      • Figure 3: Retailers shopped – Any shopping (net), 2023
    • Digital on track to play a bigger role in purchase journey
      • Figure 4: Future shopping method, by generation, 2023
    • Competitive strategies
      • Figure 5: J.Crew launches new mobile app
      • Figure 6: Olderbrother promotes gender-fluid clothing
      • Figure 7: ASKET educates consumers about sustainable fashion
    • Market predictions
      • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of men’s clothing, at current prices, 2018-28
      • Figure 9: Men’s clothing outlook, 2023-28
    • Opportunities
    • Help men look their best through personalized recommendations and services
    • Earn favorability among men by being a change advocate
    • Double down on activewear
  3. Market Size and Forecast

    • Inflation is muddying sales forecast for 2023
      • Figure 10: Total US retail sales and fan chart forecast of men’s clothing, at current prices, 2018-28
      • Figure 11: Total US retail sales forecast of men’s clothing, at current prices, 2018-28
      • Figure 12: Average annual household spending on men’s clothing, 2018-23
  4. Market Drivers

    • Inflation is the current biggest threat to the men’s clothing industry
    • Good news is that inflation is improving for the most part
      • Figure 13: Consumer Price Index change from previous period, 2022-23
      • Figure 14: Consumer Price Index for all urban consumers: apparel in US city average, 2022-23
    • Men still find clothing to be rather affordable
      • Figure 15: Consumer goods and services: perception of current costs, 2023
    • Consumers are pulling back on clothing purchases in reaction to price pressure
      • Figure 16: Inflation-driven behaviors, 2023
      • Figure 17: Inflation-driven behaviors, by age, 2023
    • Men are reducing overall spending, not just clothing expenditures
      • Figure 18: Reasons for buying clothing less frequently in past year, by age, 2023
    • Younger men view the circular economy as a way to boost their income
      • Figure 19: How earnings from selling clothing were used, by gender, 2023
      • Figure 20: Financial health and financial outlook, 2023
    • The widespread obesity epidemic in the US fuels the market for extended sizing
      • Figure 21: Age-adjusted prevalence of obesity among men aged 20 or older, by age and race and Hispanic origin, 2017-18
    • Increase in remote and hybrid work settings drives demand for comfortable work attire
      • Figure 22: Employment and work from home status, by age, 2023
      • Figure 23: Birddogs compares its work pants to other brands
  5. Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

    • Bring on the tech
    • Observations
    • Opportunity
    • Brand examples
      • Figure 24: J.Crew launches new mobile app
    • Fashion brands go genderless
    • Observations
    • Opportunity
    • Brand examples
      • Figure 25: Olderbrother promotes gender-fluid clothing
      • Figure 26: IJJI partners with Urbody on a genderless fashion giveaway promotion
    • Rentals and repair services are popping up
    • Observations
      • Figure 27: Attitude toward preowned clothing, by gender; age and income, 2023
      • Figure 28: Method of acquiring items, by gender, 2022
      • Figure 29: Attitudes toward rentals, by gender, 2022
    • Opportunity
    • Brand examples
      • Figure 30: Hyde promotes its men’s styling subscription service
      • Figure 31: Taelor makes it easy for men to know what’s in style
      • Figure 32: ASKET educates consumers about sustainable fashion
  6. The Men’s Clothing Consumer – Fast Facts

  7. Shopping Frequency and Seasonality

    • Men can be enticed to shop more frequently – reminders and incentives will help
      • Figure 33: Shopping frequency, 2020-23
      • Figure 34: Google promotes new ways to search by featuring fashion and sports
    • Age, more than income, is the primary driver behind shopping frequency
      • Figure 35: Shopping frequency, by age and income, 2023
    • Men inclined to shop for clothing seasonally rather than year-round
      • Figure 36: Shopping seasonality, by gender, 2023
      • Figure 37: Shopping seasonality, by age, 2023
  8. Important Attributes

    • Fit is king, but men consider multiple attributes when clothes shopping
      • Figure 38: Important attributes when clothes shopping, by gender, 2023
      • Figure 39: Cuts highlights versatility of its AO Pant
      • Figure 40: Important attributes when clothes shopping, by age, 2023
  9. Reasons for Buying Clothes

    • Tangible reasons and occasions drive purchase incidence among men
      • Figure 41: Reasons for buying clothes, 2023
    • Trends and designs can appeal to younger men
      • Figure 42: Reasons for buying clothes, by generation, 2023
    • Looking good is feeling good, especially true for Black men
      • Figure 43: Reasons for buying clothes, by race and Hispanic origin, 2023
  10. Items Purchased

    • Casual items purchased in the store define how the majority of men shop
      • Figure 44: Items purchased, 2023
    • 18-44 men are a sweet spot for brands
      • Figure 45: Items purchased, by age, 2023
      • Figure 46: Items purchased – Index versus all, by age, 2023
  11. Retailers Shopped

    • Men are open to shopping wherever they can get the clothing and styles they want
      • Figure 47: Retailers shopped – Any shopping (net), 2023
    • Men like to have access to luxury items, even if it means finding them at places other than luxury retailers
      • Figure 48: Percentage of men who shop at luxury stores (any method, net), by attitudes about luxury items – Any agree (net), by age and income; race and Hispanic origin, 2023
      • Figure 49: Gucci and GQ Sports feature sports celebrities’ road to the top
      • Figure 50: Louis Vuitton presented its men’s spring-summer 2024 collection by Pharrell Williams in Paris
    • In-store preferred in all cases
      • Figure 51: Retailers shopped, by channel, 2023
    • Younger men are not the only online shoppers
      • Figure 52: Select retailers shopped online, by generation, 2023
  12. Shopping Approach

    • eCommerce will play a much bigger role in the future
      • Figure 53: Future shopping method, 2023
    • Millennial men will boost mcommerce
      • Figure 54: Future shopping method, by generation, 2023
    • Return policies can impact online shopping rates
      • Figure 55: Return tendency, by age, 2023
      • Figure 56: Attitude toward shopping online and returns, by age, 2023
    • Retailers will need to work harder to drive shoppers into the store
      • Figure 57: Desired in-store experiences, 2023
      • Figure 58: Tommy Hilfiger rolls out AR try-ons in select London stores
    • Men under 35 express the most interest in many facets of in-store retailing
      • Figure 59: Desired in-store experiences – Index versus all, by age, 2023
    • Black consumers in particular express strong interest in most in-store features
      • Figure 60: Select desired in-store experiences, by race; Hispanic origin, 2023
    • Family-oriented experiences can lure dads inside
      • Figure 61: Desired in-store experiences, by parental status, 2023
      • Figure 62: Bergdorf Goodman revamps second floor of Goodman’s men’s store
      • Figure 63: Dick’s Sporting goods rolls out more House of Sport experiential stores
  13. Desired Improvements

    • Men are looking for shortcuts
      • Figure 64: Desired improvements, 2023
    • Digital fashion is an emerging opportunity for brands to connect with Gen Z and Millennial men in a unique way
      • Figure 65: Desired improvements, by key demographics, 2023
      • Figure 66: Decentraland announces line up for 2023 Metaverse Fashion Week
      • Figure 67: Diesel throws a virtual party to celebrate Metaverse Fashion Week
      • Figure 68: Prada drops a 50-piece NFT collection to celebrate one year anniversary of its Time Capsule NFT Collection
  14. Role of Sustainability in Fashion

    • Two in three men think sustainability in fashion is important
      • Figure 69: Importance of sustainability, 2023
    • Sustainability initiatives influence shopping choices and perceptions
      • Figure 70: Attitudes toward sustainability, by generation, 2023
    • Retailers can earn preference by helping consumers be more sustainable themselves and rewarding them for doing so
      • Figure 71: Sustainability-related retailer drivers, by gender, 2023
      • Figure 72: Unless Collective promotes its plastic-free basic T-shirts
      • Figure 73: Sustainability-related retailer drivers, by key demographics, 2023
    • Consumers want information on materials and how to care for their items
      • Figure 74: Types of sustainability-related information consumers think brands should provide, 2023
      • Figure 75: Types of sustainability-related information consumers think brands should provide, by key demographics, 2023
  15. Attitudes toward Shopping for Clothes

    • Men use clothing as a way to express themselves
      • Figure 76: Attitudes toward emotional aspects of clothes shopping – Any agreement (net), strong agreement, by generation, 2023
    • Multicultural men much more likely to think clothes shopping is fun – even more so than women!
      • Figure 77: Attitudes toward emotional aspects of clothes shopping – Any agreement (net), by race; Hispanic origin; gender, 2023
    • DEI is a big focus for Gen Z and Millennials
      • Figure 78: Attitudes toward diversity, equity and inclusion – Any agreement (net); strong agreement, by generation, 2023
      • Figure 79: IZ Adaptive teases new fall products
      • Figure 80: Attitudes toward diversity, equity and inclusion – Any agreement (net), by race; Hispanic origin; LGBTQ+; gender, 2023
  16. Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

    • Data sources
    • Sales data
    • Forecast
    • Consumer survey data
    • Consumer qualitative research
    • Abbreviations and terms
    • Abbreviations
    • Terms
  17. Appendix – The Market

      • Figure 81: Total US retail sales and forecast of men’s clothing, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2018-28
  18. Appendix – The Consumer

    • Additional qualitative research
    • Clothing industry concerns
    • Sizing
    • Gifting
    • Shopping method
    • Men’s involvement with women’s clothing

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our tables of data are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

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