Skinny Denim Blues

Buying jeans has never been more difficult for me. “I’m a regular guy,” I growled to my girlfriend yesterday at Uniqlo. “I’m a 32×32, I shouldn’t be so hard to fit!” I was angry because while Uniqlo’s jeans had just dropped in price from $49 to $39, they had also eliminated the boot cut fit […]

Men’s Colognes in Independent Retailers

As I research my article on men’s fragrances for our August issue, a lot of questions come to mind. I used to assume that there were men who were cologne guys, and men who weren’t, and I figured that never changed. I wore cologne in high school—too much of it—and avoided it like the plague […]

Rethinking Luxury

“It’s crazy, I can’t even afford my clothes.” Poor Michael Bastian. The designer of $600 cut-off shorts said that to The New York Times‘ David Colman in an otherwise glowing article this week. Bastian’s menswear is made in Italy by Brunello Cucinelli, and he told The Times that it may not last if his manufacturer […]

What We’re Doing About All the Bad News

As the news writer for MRketplace.com, I’ve been dodging bullets from readers since October. We received an indignant letter from a reader yesterday, calling the daily News Flash “The Doom & Gloom Report.” It’s true, the news is pretty sour much of the time. Karen, our editor-in-chief, ever the diplomat, responded to the letter explaining […]

New Ideas in Neckwear

New ideas in menswear aren’t impossible, but they are hard to come by. Men, we hear, don’t like to stand out. So menswear designers, their creativity bound by CFOs and retailers loath to take risks, are forced to hide some of their more vibrant impulses—hence the wildly colorful suit jacket linings we’ve been seeing for […]

Experts Talk Recovery

We’re all looking for good news. Every vendor and retail I speak to asks me to report something positive. If you’ve got some good news, I tell them, I would love to report it. But most have news that is merely hopeful if it isn’t downright bad. Not that hopeful news isn’t a hopeful sign. […]

Men’s is in the Back

When I wrote about Topman, shaming them for being in the basement, and praising Uniqlo for putting menswear on the second floor, someone asked, “Who cares what floor menswear is on?” My answer is that men care. The average man doesn’t shop like the average woman—we all know that. So why lay out stores as […]

The Loudest Voices Aren’t Always Negative

My recent blog post, Listening to the Loudest Voices, may have been a bit too negative. In the post, I cited research from CARMA International, a media analysis firm, about how bloggers see big retailers. I focused on only one side of the study—the negative retail commentary—and ignored the genuinely positive reactions some bloggers have […]

This Line is a Sham

Underneath three floors of Topshop, Topman is an over-priced bunker full of polyester. “Listen,” said a disgruntled Topshop customer to the security guard at the door, “this is digusting. There’s nobody in the store. Why are you making everyone line up outside?” This was an excellent question. I was poised at the front of that […]

Listening to the Loudest Voices

A media research firm called CARMA International has released a survey in which they found that bloggers tend to loathe Walmart and adore Costco—not a surprise. Bloggers, they found, also tend to love Target and hate Macy’s. CARMA monitored some 50 million blogs every day during January and February, looking for mentions of 17 different […]