Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Mankles and manbags
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Volume 15, Issue 4.
I sit here thinking what, if anything, the clothes I am wearing whilst I write this editorial say about me. Not something I feel I give a great deal of conscious thought to even though I am aware that I do try to dress accordingly – for whatever situation I can at least plan for getting in to. I feel confident in saying that our journal does not often consciously consider men as consumers and what they wear either, except in this issue we do. Kang, Sklar and Johnson present a very stimulating piece on how men do use dress to communicate identity (especially at work) of particular interest is their expansion of the ‘appearance labor’[sic.] phenomena – a feeling of dissonance between what one wants to wear and what one should wear – something I am not immune to myself! It would appear from Sindicich and Black's paper that men are also preoccupied with the sizing and fit of their business clothing, even if we are not so sure what the most important measurements are to worry about are. If that sounds a little bit different to the way women think about clothing, then we really are opening up an interesting area for research that I hope we can explore further through our journal.
It is worth contextualising these thoughts by considering the state of the menswear market in the UK. In 2010 the UK menswear market was valued at £9,600 million and has experienced a contradictory dynamic through the recent recession. Men's purchasing behaviour reflects the general reduction in consumer sentiment with men purchasing fewer but often higher priced garments and/or moving to value retailers. When combined with the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT) and the steadily rising UK inflation rate the menswear market is increasing in value – if not in volume – as we progress through 2011.
So, what am I wearing and what does it say about me? Well, let's just say you can see my mankles as I pack my manbag before leaving for the University today!
1. Mintel – Men's fashion lifestyles April 2011.