Slave to the label: Is the younger male generation more obsessed with designer labels than the females?

An investigation into the younger male generation’s expensive loyalty to top-end brands while women embrace low-cost fast fashion.

We all love to splash out on a designer brand now and again, don’t we? A little treat now and again doesn’t hurt anyone. Buying designer brands is very exciting, if you’ve saved up weeks for it or as a little way to treat yourself. However, these branded clothes and accessories are very expensive, and the cost adds up, especially for younger people.

One thing the younger generation love to do, is go on a good night out. When you are in your late teens, early 20s one of the most important things is being out with friends, drinking and dancing and socialising with as many people as possible. Because of this, it is normal to go out nearly every weekend.

One of the great things to do when going on a night out, is getting dressed up for it. It kind of brings more excitement into the night out, when you know that you’ll look good. However, there is trouble in deciding what you need to wear. For women, it is easy. They can go online to the most popular fast fashion brand and pick a dress, skirt, or top that is on trend at the moment. For men, it can be quite difficult.

More and more men are buying high end designer brands for nights out, and it is seen when they are out and about in the town gathering with friends. They can be seen wearing the latest Valentino trainers or Alexander McQueen T-shirt  that cost hundreds a piece. They are spending more and more money for all of these social gatherings, and the money just keeps adding up and for men in their late teens and early 20s, it is a lot of money to be spending on clothes. So why are they doing it?

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Dion Terrelonge, 35, is a fashion psychologist and she thinks it is to do with wanting to fit in. She said: “I don’t think it is about attracting people or showing off. I think it’s more about fitting in. So as human beings we all go through these developmental stages in our lives and when we are teens we are developed mentally for a need for of sameness, the safety of sameness. One way we show our sameness is the way we dress.”

Wanting to fit in and to belong somewhere is a feeling everyone feels once in their lifetime. It is a usual thing with younger people, when wanting to fit in with friends or fit into the latest fashion trends. So, it comes as no surprised that younger guys would want to spend hundreds and thousands of pounds so that they can fit in.

Another reason that younger men wear more designer clothes isn’t actually to do with men. Terrelonge thinks it is to do with the culture of women sworn against repeating outfits. She said: “So, a man can go out and buy a Hugo Boss t shirt with the big BOSS symbol across it and wear it multiple times. I wonder, if a woman were to buy something and wear it multiple times it can be looked upon as shameful because everyone would know you’ve worn that.”

With women having a need to not repeat outfits, it creates a bigger issue and that is price point. If women have to buy a new outfit for every time they go out, buying designer clothes can’t be an option. That is why more and more women are turning to fast fashion brands like PrettyLittleThing and Boohoo.

Woman shopping fast fashion clothes. Credit: Unsplash

Dion said: “With women having that pressure on to not repeat outfits and have a new dress and new heels for every time they go out, especially younger women, then you do sometimes get pulled into buying fast fashion because it takes someone of a certain class or socio economic status to be able to afford those pieces so if you are buying designer.”

Elliot Webb, 21, Co-Director of Open Attire Ltd said: “I don’t necessarily think they are pressured into [wearing designer brands]. However, in the UK especially, there is a fairly high emphasis on wearing designer clothing once you are at the age of having an income, so when you socialise or go on a night out, you are surrounded by other men wearing high end brands and therefore have a higher chance of liking certain pieces you see or wanting to wear the same sort of brands.”



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A post shared by Open Attire (@openattire_)

Open Attire is an online business selling designer brands. It was created for customers to enjoy luxury designer clothes and accessories without having to pay the full price of them. They have been a huge surge of online businesses selling designer brands for a cheaper price because there is such a high demand for it.

Designer menswear. Credit: Unsplash

Elliott continued on to say: “I wouldn’t say men are necessarily obsessed with designer clothing. However, I do feel that designer clothing and feeling good about your appearance do walk hand in hand. In a generation so obsessive over how one looks and comes across on social media, if wearing designer clothing helps someone feel better about themselves and more confident than I am all for it!”

Overall, it is shown that men care as much as women on what they wear. They like to feel good; they like to look good. Not just to attract people but to also feel better about themselves. But they do feel pressure to fit in, much like everyone and it is that that drives them to buy such expensive clothing. It isn’t an option for women because of the culture of not repeating outfits, it is not realistic for them to buy such expensive clothing, just to wear once. That is why you see more women wearing designer accessories like Yves Saint Laurent bags or Gucci belts, which can be worn multiple times, to treat themselves with something designer!


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