Thank you Tom for sending me this article from Mr. Magazine, and the rest of you can thank me for sparing you from reading it. I can’t wait to read the comments today, I am not good at conspiracy theories but there is an agenda for media to continue to push the no-one-gets-dressed-up-anymore narrative, to the point where they are making the following reaches:
I forget, can irony be funny? When you follow the link to the Wall St. Journal Article entitled “What Does Men’s Business Casual Look Like Now?” you get this picture of it:
Ok, so denim. There is a difference between denim and jeans. Denim is a fabric, jeans are a garment. That’s an important distinction as we wade through this reporting:
- From Mr. Chip Bergh of Levi Strauss at a third quarter earnings call (their fiscal year ends November 28 but who am I to keep score?), “New looser fit silhouettes are definitely driving a new denim cycle. The total jeans category in the past nine-month basis is up to $11.2 billion here in the US. That’s higher than it was pre-pandemic. During the same nine-month period, it was $10.6 billion and way higher than it was during the pandemic at $8.5 billion.” A few things to pull apart here. First, the pandemic is over. That’s good news. The second thing is, if this quote is to be believed, the math comes out to (give or take) about $4.6 million a day in jeans purchasing in the US. Can that be right? Not when Mactrotrends reports: “Levi Strauss revenue for the twelve months ending August 31, 2021 was $5.465B, a 17.9% increase year-over-year.”
- But okay, at least the jeans are looser. But those numbers are more bloated than me after cheesecake.
- Don’t worry, in the same article, Mr. Gary Flunn of M. Dumas and Sons in Charleston says, “In the denim world, it’s all about comfort, stretch and slim.” needle scratch Slim? I thought…
- Confused? Wait. Same article. Mr. Justin Berkowitz, the Men’s Fashion Director at Bloomingdale’s says, ” “We’ve been seeing a strong performance in the denim department these last several months due to an increased desire to look more professional.” More professional than what?
- Yesterday on the Facebook Group I posted a picture of me working through some of the white ocbd samples for the review, and got more comments on my hair than anything else. Glad I did that, because I rubbed it all of last night trying to make sense of this quote, same article, from Alan Gibeley of Giblees in Danvers, MA. “Our client views denim as any fabric in that 5-pocket model.” So now we are including any fabric in a report on denim? I am picking the Rams to win the World Series.
And so forth. Numbers get muddled. Sometimes as a writer who quotes people you have to cull through some of the soup and distill a point. None of that is being done here.
Why the fervor to report the dressing down of America? Well, in fairness to the reporter, the numbers can fool ya. Perhaps in some circles the sales of “denim” is going up. In mid-May of 2020, NASCAR became the first sports league (I mean, they call it a sports league, don’t kill the messenger) to resume competition after the pandemic shut down. The sale of Goodyear Eagle Race Tires went up. That doesn’t mean that you see more Eagle Race Tires on the way home from work.
This is anecdotal so take it as such, but the professionals I work with, and myself, have actually stepped up the dress since we went back outside. It could just as easily be argued (and the sales of our advertisers support this) that instead of buying fat pants for the two-days-a-week office obligation, men are actually tired of not having a difference between what they wear to help feed their families and what they wear to bed.
Which is what I suspect. As a society, as a world, probably, none of us really know what is coming next after this turbulence. Sure. But that doesn’t mean we are going to wear a drawstring to it.