Sell me the shirt off your back

I’ve noticed how few and far between men’s clothing stores have become.   While women have floors upon floors and stores upon stores to choose from, men’s clothing is relegated to the back corners and it can be hard to find even simple items. Case in point, French cuff shirts.   If you’re not familiar, French cuffs require a cuff link and I’ve been everywhere, and have not been able to find much of a choice.   What’s particularly vexing is that every department store carries piles of cuff links as gifts.

Exactly what purpose does a cuff link serve without the French cuff shirt?

Stores such as Old Navy shrink their men’s sections with every season.   My local Old Navy used to have a men’s section that stretched the length of the store.   They shortened it to add a plus women’s section a few years back.   The shortened again to increase the size of the rest of the women’s section.   Next week they’ll likely shorten it to a guy out back by the dumpster. Macy’s in Center City Philadelphia has women’s clothing on all but one of it’s 5 or so floors.   The men’s section?   Half of the first floor.   The other half?   Women’s handbags, cosmetics, and jewelery.   Too bad they couldn’t find any room for housewares.

I know a lot of men don’t care, but I think part of the reason is that retailers simply would rather sell women’s clothing.   Yes women spend more on clothing than men do – but when you’re relegated to Target, what choice do you have?

  • http://merujo.blogspot.com Merujo

    Most men’s clothing is timeless. Women’s clothing, quite often, is made to have limited utility as fashions change (unless you’re buying seriously nice stuff.) So, I think you’re quite right, Spencer. Retailers can constantly sell more and more to women, giving short shrift to the guys. Grrr.

  • http://www.svrspy.blogspot.com Scarlet

    Most guys I know don’t care about fashion at all and many of them don’t buy clothes hardly ever. They say I spend too much on what I wear and they just wait until someone buys them clothes as a gift.

  • Spencer

    Scarlet – You’re hanging out with the wrong guys. Anyway, not really the point. The point is that there are some guys that do care and we have to jump through hoops because some guys are slugs?

  • http://cynicsgirl.blogspot.com Cyn

    Oh – I love French cuffs! Would it make you bad to know that I have at least 5 or 6 French-cuffed shirts?

    I’m sure you could find something if you were inclined to pay the price (Brooks Brothers?) (And does Brooks Brothers still exist? I really don’t know.)

    There are any number of factors at work…I think mostly the timeless thing that Merujo mentioned. And somehow men aren’t “supposed” to care that much about how they look. (Although my husband is always perfectly co-ordinated.)

    I wish there was something in between. Try and be glad that you are not subjected to silly fashion trends foisted on women every season.

  • Spencer

    Thanks Cyn – since this is for my wedding, I’m more than willing to pay a little more. There’s a Brooks Brothers near here so I will check them out.

  • http://www.cynicsgirl.blogspot.com/ Cyn

    Lands End also has a custom dress shirt that offers the option of French cuffs (with your choice of fabrics, collars, etc.)

    Land’s End Shirts

    I can’t vouch for this particular item, but I’ve purchased quite a few of the mens’ oxford cloth shirts over the years (a favorite with dad) and have been very happy with the quality.

    Anyway, it’s an easy retailer to deal with as far as returns.

  • Melissa

    Joel had his French Cuff Wedding shirt custome made by Distante’s. Great service:

    Distante

    Charlie Morrotta’s amazingly tailored men’s and women’s wear is available exclusively at Distante. In addition, Morrotta, who is also a tailor and stylist, and fits clients with dress shirts, custom made to order.
    CONTACT INFO
    1506 Walnut Street
    Philadelphia, PA 19103

    (215) 545-2850