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It’s not all about the ladies – men’s formalwear matters too

The menswear market should be given greater consideration when it comes to occasionwear

An interesting press release hit my inbox this morning, presenting me with new research conducted by, which claims that ‘45% of British men prefer a classy, reserved style on members of the opposite sex’ when it comes to partywear.

The suggestion given by George Charles of was as follows:

“Men do notice women’s clothes, so perhaps keep this in mind when planning your next party outfit! Tailor your look before going out and perhaps tone it down.”

Flagrant sexism aside (the idea that women may dress for themselves appears to be a notion passed over during this ‘research’) it brings to the forefront the issue of occasion or partywear and the lack of attention menswear is often given in this market.

It could be that the men’s occasionwear market is most often considered around Christmas, when adding a touch of rhinestone to a naff tie has often been the go-to look for high street stores. But I think a shift is occurring across the board.

You only have to look at our recent menswear special to note that formalwear for men is at the top of its game at the moment. Look at the emphasis on summer tailoring, or the attention to innovation in shirting this season, through new ideas with button-down collars, contrasting fabrics or statement cuffs. 

Look too at the spring 14 menswear collections across London, Paris and Milan. Tom Ford’s entire collection is based around new notions of summer formalwear, with the man himself admitting that the eveningwear market largely carries the brand at the moment.  On the younger, more affordable side, brands like Topman Design have come up with new silhouettes for formal trousers, or dressed up shirting in silks with western cowboy aesthetics.

It’s time to throw off the idea that womenswear is the market that matters when it comes to eveningwear. I’m sure more than 45% of British men would agree with me. 

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