Men hate shopping. Men only buy things they want to wear and wear them until they have holes in them. Men don’t care about their clothes. I think that’s enough gender-stereotype clichés for now.
Truth is some men, like many women, are unenthused by shopping. They hate the crowds, the queues, the cranked-up heat and the lack of air in fitting rooms. (Seriously, retailers, what’s up with that? Are you that worried about shoppers camping out there that you just can’t give us air conditioning, often prevalent in other parts of your stores?)
And then there’s the simple matter of finding the right item: a cut that suits you, in the right size and colour, at the right price…
This post was directly inspired by my boyfriend’s brother, who finally decided he wanted to find clothing that fits. He listed most of the common complaints outlined above and during our little shopping adventure did walk out of a particularly tropical fitting room at Next. At the end of the day, however, as the proud owner of five new shirts, he rated our shopping trip a success. So here are a couple of things to make your experience better.
- Do it in bulk if you can afford it. (If you find a cut that fits, buy ten and look for other colours.) It may look like a lot of money at the time, but think of all the time and effort you save not going to a shop for another year. Or, alternatively, only buy the items you need now, but try on everything, writing down or taking photos of the tags of the items you can consider ordering online later.
- If your location permits, go to a shopping centre or department store. This way you can hit several stores/brands at once and don’t have to face the high-street shuffle.
- Go at a non-peak time. This is during weekdays, when a vast chunk of the population is at school or at work, or later in the evening, opening hours permitting. Late nights at weekends tend to be quite calm as most people have been and gone, already wearing their new rags to a club somewhere.
- If you have good attention to detail to find the right size, alternative options and notice little faults – bingo. If you don’t, take someone along who can help you.
- Of course, just as important is taking someone honest with you. You don’t want people saying you look lovely no matter what. If that was the case, you wouldn’t be bothering with this shopping malarkey in the first place!
- Shops to tend to be hot – even when they are not crowded. The best you can do is leave your coat in the car or wear a thin jacket you can easily ball up.
- Treat yourself to a break and a cold beverage.
- Don’t be scared to experiment. Just because the pattern on a shirt looks slightly pink doesn’t mean it will look garish on. Maybe don’t pair it with those pink linen shorts though.