Can Men’s Clothes Get Any Cheaper?

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Have you noticed that your email junk folder is brimming lately with ‘Summer Haul’ and ‘Price Slashes’? A lot of men’s e-commerce stores are having some real fire sales right now and I echo the sentiment of Sasha Wilkins who spoke about men’s fashion reaching ‘peak stuff’ on the Wake up to Money podcast.

In the interview Sasha (the former editor for the Wall Street Journal) mentions that we simply can’t cram anything more in our wardrobes. Of course I’m paraphrasing, but it hasn’t gone unnoticed that e-commerce stores are reacting to what’s happening on the high street.

So is men’s fast fashion here to stay? 

God I hope not. It’s at times like these I remember the quote from Stacey Wood from King and Tuckfield when she spoke about her new collaboration with Richard Biedul.

Nowadays we buy a top for £15 and forget about it. People from our parents and our grandfather’s generations would wear their clothes and cherish them, even hand them down. We need to get that back.”

The bottom line is that men are becoming more fashion conscious with the rise of social media and digital influence. However, the majority have been paying rock bottom prices for clothes for so long that it’s very difficult to persuade them otherwise.

The trouble is the more affordable clothes from the likes of H&M and Zara are good value for money and thanks to Zara, seasonal drops are becoming a thing of the past. E-Commerce stores and retailers have to introduce new collections a lot quicker.

That all said, whilst disposable fashion is stagnating price rises, these clothes will not last. They simply won’t.

Wait, have we completely done away with seasonal collections? 

My thoughts are, yes. At least we don’t need 4 seasons. The climates in this country is like the showers Eddie Izzard describes in stand up, ‘fantastically hot, or effing freezing’.

Travel has become wildly accessible so it doesn’t make much sense to stick to this draconian format of four collections a year.

Final thoughts

We will see more closures on the high streets. It will get worse before it can better.

You’ll see more e-commerce stores introduce charges for click and collect because free deliveries won’t be sustainable with the margins getting infinitely more squashed.

In fact I’m already feeling the squeeze on my own e-commerce store Hawkins & Shepherd and can no longer offer free deliveries even to UK customers. Couriers are raising prices higher than inflation and quicker than ever before, meaning that it’s really hard on our margins and even harder to pass on these price hikes to customers. At Hawkins & shepherd, we’re now subsidising delivery costs for our customers, meaning that as a brand we swallow part of the costs and the customer continues to see a consistent delivery price over the years.

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