Guys, Do You Face Fashion Challenges When Shopping?

Photo by Clem Onojeghuo on Unsplash

Exposed: The reasons behind why Britain’s modern man can’t find his match in 21st-century fashion

There’s something interesting going on at the moment and we have the survey results! Guys in the UK find it incredibly daunting and difficult to buy clothes that are on trend and fashionable. British men appear to be buying more clothes than ever before, and this new survey reveals the raft of challenges they encounter when searching for on-trend outfit inspiration. Some of the key points that came out in this survey are:

  • A sheer lack of coherence and transparency when it comes to understanding various sizing options is identified as the most prevalent worry, with the amount that clothing costs following closely behind.
  • Restricted (and therefore restricting) size options also appear to be a factor that’s putting men off, implying that both online and high-street retailers aren’t effectively catering to the needs of their male clientele.

Encountering everything from the wave of unrealistic Instagram ‘models’, ill-proportioned, poorly-fitting sizes and inflated price tags, it’s no wonder why the modern British man is struggling to find his own way in the fashion world. In this latest survey conducted by the men’s fashion experts over at Buy Jeans, they’re helping to expose the hurdles that one half of the population encounter on a daily basis, by asking 1,000 men all over the UK about the challenges they’re faced with when clothes shopping. This includes denim as well, but since you can’t wear denim alone, we’ve included the entire section as outfits come as a whole.

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

Unreliable Sizing

The biggest issue as determined by 33.5% of those surveyed, was the notion that while different clothing brands and retailers sold items of the same size, their fit was drastically different from store to store. For example, a size medium might fit comfortably in one shop, while the same size in the retailer next door may be completely unsuitable, coming up either too large or possibly even too small.

This, combined with a view where 21.8% of respondents agreed that sizing options are excessively restricted, it’s clear that clothing brands and retailers aren’t efficiently catering to the requirements of their diverse male consumer market. Women also struggle with consistency as I know I can be a size XS, S or M, depending where I shop, but I do feel like we have much more sizing options available. Men seem to only have S, M, L and XL, sometimes an XS if they’re lucky, so I think retailers need to wise up and start doing even smaller and bigger sizes too.

Problem Price Tags

The results of the survey went on to show that for 28.7% of those who voted, the prices associated with new clothes are asking too much – a view that under 35’s particularly identify with as being their greatest difficulty.

Whether it’s an issue of insufficient disposable income, or the growing familiarity of expensive designer fashion being sold on accessible online retail outlets increasing what’s considered to be ‘normal’ prices, the cost of clothing is clearly discouraging many from buying.

Is this something you find a problem too? There’s so many sales, discount codes, and other ways to buy designer pieces, especially jeans, that I think nobody likes paying retail for anything. I know I sure don’t, I often wait for discounts if the price is too high.

Too Much Choice?

Photo by Bart Jaillet on Unsplash

As the fourth most popular response, 17.5% of those surveyed revealed that they simply don’t know where to find the clothes they want. From this we can draw a number of conclusions. Firstly, perhaps there’s too little choice available for some men with specific tastes and styles; or it may be that Britain’s male population believe that the sheer amount of options available to them, combined with the fast-paced change in seasonal trends, makes it difficult to shop around with confidence.

Whatever the answer, with such a large proportion of those surveyed feeling like they don’t know where they can buy the clothes they’re looking for, this could be a key signal to brands and retailers that they need to appeal to a wider, more diverse demographic – or invest in targeting strategic marketing techniques to their existing audience more effectively.

I’m very interested to know if this applies to any of you too? Is there too much going on that you just don’t know where to look and shop? I know a lot of you have sent messages to me over the last few years asking for advice and help, which I’m happy to give, but I didn’t know it was so daunting. The fashion world is filled to the brim with trends, and obviously when it comes to denim, it’s even tougher because you have the fabric to contend with now, along with the wash and cut, so it can be overwhelming. I’m interested in your thoughts there!

Misled And Misinformed Body Image

It seems that it isn’t just female shoppers who have concerns over body image, over 1 in 10 men surveyed revealed that unrealistic models pose an issue to them when shopping – with 14.1% further admitting that the bodies portrayed in stores aren’t applicable to the norm. With retail models typically reflecting the often desirable yet unattainable standards placed on men, the pressure these depictions create is a challenge for men looking to build their new wardrobe.

Perhaps more interestingly, the survey declared that the older the voter, the more likely they are to cite this issue as a challenge. Therefore probing the question of whether or not there is an increasing problem with demonstrating the lack of age diversity when it comes to the models we see in high-street shops and online outlets? What do you think?

Intimidating Designer Brands

Photo by David Lezcano on Unsplash

From the entire survey group, 8.6% of voters told us that they were intimidated by designer brands. Like many other findings taken from this survey, this implies that some clothing retailers are out of tune with the wants and needs of the 21st-century man.

Branding should naturally be appealing and encouraging rather than intimidating. But, with almost 1 out of every 10 men surveyed revealing they feel alienated in the face of the accessible designer revolution, it’s evident that many household brands could benefit from rethinking how they communicate with the UK’s modern man – trading in an exclusive image for a comprehensive, positive relationship with their customers.

How do you feel about that? I know a lot of you here love designer jeans, but when I think about it, perhaps it’s mostly women who gravitate towards to designer pairs as I see a lot of guys in Levi’s, Diesel, Superdry etc. and nothing more expensive. Since I work and live in the fashion world, most of the guys I know live in their designer clothes, and are always shopping, so I personally have a somewhat distorted view compared to the average man. This is why I’m really intrigued by these results and would love your feedback.

So overall, these are the results:

  • Fits for the same size vary between shops: 33.5%
  • They’re too expensive: 28.7%
  • Available size options are too limited: 21.8%
  • I don’t know where to shop: 17.5%
  • Models portray an unrealistic body image: 14.1%
  • I’m intimidated by designer brands: 8.6%

Which of the following challenges have you faced when shopping for clothes and jeans? A huge thank you to Buy Jeans for these survey results, it’s definitely opened our eyes. They’re a retailer of affordable men’s jeans and clothing, from labels like Levi’s, Wrangler, Diesel and Dickies. This information was gathered in February 2019, from 1,000 men across the United Kingdom. Some of you might wonder if it was based on their customers, but it wasn’t, I checked and the men were chosen at random to make it fair. Anyway, let us know!



  1. James
    April 9, 2019 / 10:30 am

    One problem is some shops simply put me off wanting to visit them. It wasn’t so long ago (I hope!) when customer service was a given and given happily. I’d go into a shop to buy some jeans and the sales assistant would help pick out what I was looking for. If I needed a different size, they’d happily fetch one, they’d offer an honest opinion and suggest complimentary items to make up the outfit or look I wanted. They always wanted to see how the clothes looked on and were genuinely interested in how I felt. When I found a shop and assistant I liked and trusted, I’d go back time and again. And do you know what? Shopping was so much fun!!! One branch of Benetton had some lovely ladies and sometimes I’d go over to see them for a chat and take them for a coffee and cake. Sadly, it seems those days have past. Sales assistants have been downgraded to little more than rack and shelf fillers, or put on the till and I’m walking to a changing room with arms full of possibles. Stores you find in any high street all operate in the same way.

    • Lorna
      April 11, 2019 / 2:37 pm

      That’s interesting you say that, I am the total opposite. I hate it when any sales assistant jumps on me and tries to muscle in on my shopping time, I hate it when they’re hanging outside my door, wanting to see how I look, as for me, my shopping experience is personal and I like to just go about my business and I wish they’d leave me alone, ha ha. If I walk into a store and the moment I’m in there someone jumps on me, I will pretty much leave as I know it’s going to be an invasive experience and I know so many other people like that who are put off my pushy sales people, which is actually why I’m wondering if it’s become less of a thing. You might like Allsaints actually as they are one of the worst for it, they are all over you, so try them next time! Everyone is so different though and I can see it from your point of view when you need advice and help, not wanting to do it on your own. You might benefit from a personal shopper or booking some appointment time with a stylist in certain stores!

      • James
        April 12, 2019 / 11:59 pm

        Hi Lorna, I agree with lots of what you say, being virtually mugged as you walk in a store is so off putting and leaves me cold. It’s not only clothes, phone shops are some of the worst. Shopping can and should be such great fun and I’m happy to spend all day roaming around trying all sorts of things. I mean, how else will I know what I like until I try it on? But back to my point, I guess I’m harking back to a time (over the hills and far away……) when sales assistants weren’t anywhere near as pushy as you’ve noted and were much more relaxed. As an aside, All Saints has always been a really good experience for me and they’ve left me alone until I’ve ask for help and then they’ve not been pushy. Or maybe they have and I’m just oblivious to it?!

        • Lorna
          April 14, 2019 / 3:55 pm

          That could be dependent on the Allsaints store I think, the one in Bath is awful for it, as soon as you walk in, but I have been in one in Bristol and nobody spoke to me, so it might be dependent on the store then. But that makes sense what you’re saying! I hate phone shops too, I wont go in them, ha ha.

          • James
            April 14, 2019 / 9:26 pm

            The ones I went in are all in London, specifically Kings Road, Covent Garden, Notting Hill and Camden. Maybe it’s because us Londoners are infamous for not talking to people they don’t know?!

            • Lorna
              April 14, 2019 / 10:41 pm

              Ha ha, that could very well be the case!

          • James
            April 14, 2019 / 9:27 pm

            The ones I went in are all in London, specifically Kings Road, Covent Garden, Notting Hill and Camden. Maybe it’s because us Londoners are infamous for not talking to people they don’t know?!

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