Top 7 Retail Shopping Mistakes for Men: Welcome back to the Gentleman’s Gazette! Today’s post is about the seven biggest mistakes men make when shopping retail. I’ve got a fair amount of personal experience as a customer but today, I’d like to introduce an expert, someone who’s been in the menswear retail space for over 15 years. Let’s welcome Kyle Thibodeaux to the Gentleman’s Gazette! Hi, Kyle! Hello, nice to have you here! Thank you! Yeah so you know you’re new here, new to the channel, people ask me, why don’t you do all posts? Well, we firmly believe that style is manifold and that it’s the Gentleman’s Gazette, not the Sven RaphaelSchneider’s Gazette.
So even in the realm of classic men’s clothing, there are different styles, right? Absolutely. How would you say your style is different from mine? I would say I like my clothes to look a little more modern, a little bit trimmer. Oh yeah, totally! I like a full cut, he likes a slim fit. I really like pleated pants, what about you? I don’t like pleated pants. Yeah, Imean obviously, he has a beard and I don’t. This is true. So I hope you’re as excited to see more of Kyle’s posts as I am because with Kyle and Preston, we’re a team of three now and we’re hoping to expand. With that being said, Kyle as the expert, he’s gonna take over.
Just one thing to keep in mind here, he’s filling posts for the first time, it’s hard, I think he’s a lot better than I was when I started. Thank you! And if you don’t believe me, just watch my first post. Now with that being said, let’s get right into our topic for today, the seven big mistakes men make when shopping in retail. Number one, not shopping with a purpose. It’s helpful to think about what is the reason for this purchase when you go out shopping. I find it helpful to keep my wardrobe from bursting at the seams, think about what this item could end up replacing, what could I remove or end up donating or selling to make room for this new piece that I am bringing in.
Also, how many outfits could I end up creating by adding this item into my wardrobe? could use this jacket with a different pair of pants? Could I use the shirt or tie with something else for multiple outfits? How can you make things stretch? Shop smart! I find it helpful that when I shop, I like to fantasize about what I would look like in that particular outfit that I see in a magazine or on a particular mannequin but I also like to think about how I could break this outfit up, how could I utilize these pieces differently than how they’re being shown? Once I do that, I then know I can use this outfit for multiple purposes and it becomes much more useful in my wardrobe. I could use these shoes or that particular pair of pants in a multitude of different ways.
Number two, people also forget to do their research when they go shopping. Let’s say, hypothetically, you happen to see a suit online on GQ or through Pinterest and it happens to be retailing for about $4,500, now you could A. go directly to that designer’s website and purchase it through them immediately or you could also wait a little while longer and save some money. How upsetting would it be for you to find out that if you had just waited a little while longer, you could have saved nearly 50% on that outfit? Or you could always ask someone at the department store if there’s an upcoming sale.
Maybe if you would wait for a little while longer, you could also save by purchasing it through them, as well. I can say, with complete honesty, this has happened to me on multiple occasions and it’s extremely frustrating. Do your research. When you see something that stands out and it’s calling your name, see where else you might be able to purchase that same item; check different websites, check different stores, look around first. These days, most of us carry our smartphones or some kind of smart device in our pockets nearly all the time, you can always scan the barcode in nearly every store and try to find out where else that item is being sold or even check prices.
Number three, have you checked the clearance section first? One of the main things I was taught when I was growing up about shopping was the importance of not wasting money. I remember my parents always saying “look for the best for less” or “search for the top of the line for bottom dollar”. Now, this didn’t mean that we could never spend money on nice things but just to not go spending money frivolously on things that we just did not need. Now, many of us today want to look amazing at all times, you see people on Instagram, you see people in person that you would like to emulate but it can be very expensive to stay on trend with high-quality garments all of the time.
By searching the sale or clearance section first, you might find some hidden gems that you may have otherwise overlooked. It may feel like a very slow and daunting process searching through rack after rack of things that you don’t want or feel like you don’t need but keep going, you might find some great things there. Just remember, as we’ve said before, don’t buy something simply because of it’son sale if it doesn’t work with your wardrobe. We’ve covered this phenomenon in our post 11 bad men’s style rules to ignore that you can find here.
Number four, not taking advantage of seasonality. Now, we’ve all been to the mall or to different stores and seen the advertisements for the new items at the beginning of the season. I don’t know about you but for me, it can certainly be very tempting to buy all those brand new things right there, right on the spot. However, there is a way to avoid the trap of overspending. Are you on a tight budget? If so, try shopping out of season. For example, try shopping for sweaters or coats in the midst of summer or looking for swimming trunks around the time that they’re being put on sale when winter things are being sold. By shopping this way, you will notice both the pro and the con. The pro, by shopping for classic items, you might notice that they never go out of style. So even though they’re not necessarily trendy, you will always be fashionable.
The con, by shopping this way, you will notice a lack of sizes or certain colors that you might be interested in but keep in mind, this will certainly help you save money. Number 5, not understanding your body type. Now for many of us, it’s very easy to see someone that you work with or see someone that you admire, maybe through a magazine or maybe they’re a famous actor, and you really admire the way that they dress. We’ve all done this quite often, I certainly know I do it all the time, I usually do it when I flip through Instagram, sometimes even when I’m looking at cars, and when we do this, we’re jumping into our imagination envisioning ourselves in that particular outfit as that person.
Although this is fun to do, it’s not realistic! Meaning, if the person, for example, that you’re looking at is more muscular or taller or shorter than you, the outfit they’re wearing would not translate on you. One thing I find that’s helpful is when I am browsing through a store or through a magazine, I will cover up the face, sometimes mentally or even with my hand, the face of the model and give my brain an easier chance to better interpret what I would look like in that outfit. Also, take a minute and think, does that color going to compliment me in the same way? Are clothes that are that tight or that loose going to look that way on me that it looks on that particular individual? Is this outfit simply a trend is something that I could wear both casually and professionally for at least a year or longer? To learn how to dress for your body type please check out our post here.
Number six, now this is a big one, is this age-appropriate? I’ve worked in retail for over 15 years and not a year has gone by without seeing someone make this extremely embarrassing mistake. The mistake of wearing something that is clearly too young for them. When I was younger, I used to work at places like Hollister and Abercrombie & Fitch, now years after I left these companies as I got older, I would still casually wear the sweater, the t-shirts with the obnoxiously big logos and after a while, I started to realize that by looking in the mirror, I looked a bit childish by continuing to wear these brands. Now, while working in these t-shirt driven stores, I sometimes noticed a lot of the parents were shopping there for themselves. Now, we all have the ability to choose what we want to wear each day, however, what we choose to wear sets the tone for how we expect to be treated.
Now if you would like to be seen and treated as a professional in your workplace, you probably don’t want to be seen exclusively in brands known worldwide that are exclusively for high schoolers or teenagers, in general. Now, I have also seen the opposite of this problem happen when I worked in luxury retailers that are catering to a more mature client. Typically, while working in these environments, I would find myself working with women but predominantly, men who are between the ages of about 40 to 60 years old. Sometimes, when they would shop with me, they would bring their young adult children along with them. It’s also very interesting to see that the influence of the parents and also the single choices of the young adult children who are shopping, they always would choose to wear things that were a little bit more traditional or full cut.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with doing this but if it doesn’t fit your body type, it can certainly make you look a little bit older. Now if you happen to be someone who has a bit of a babyface and you want to dress older, go ahead, dress older, and if you want to appear younger without looking like a teenager, that’s alright as well. You can find our posts on dressing older than you are and dressing younger than you are dressing your age here. Now number seven, too many opinions. Now shopping can certainly become a group event. Now regardless of who you are, what your normal shopping habits might be, we always like to hear, at some point, the opinion of those we trust around us and what they think of what we’re about to purchase. Now although opinions are great, you ultimately will have to be the deciding factor as to what you decide to purchase.
To avoid having to deal with too many opinions at one time, we, at the Gentleman’s Gazette recommend pre-shopping. Now if you have the time, browse the store beforehand or check out the store’s website and see what they offer before you incorporate other opinions. Once you have found what interests you, we recommend narrowing down your choices to about three items. Later, bring in your trusted friend or family member to help you narrow down and finalize your choice based on those three choices. Now you don’t need to bring your entire family of cat, dog, the fish with you to the store, just the trusted people you know will give you sound advice. You may also find it frustrating to shop with many people because it’s always nearly impossible to please everyone.
Ask yourself, are the people that I’m bringing with to help me shop, are they kind? Are they uplifting people? If not, you might find that a rude or an impatient person that you’re shopping with will discourage you from experimenting and finding the correct things that you might actually need, they might rush you, and this could lead to overall, bad shopping experience. Find that person, that friend, that relative, who knows how to best lend their suggestion without smothering you with tips and questions.
Today I’m wearing a double-breasted Navy peak lapel three-piece suit from Indochino I love wearing this item because it’s extremely versatile the Navy always works and the Pinstripe demands a lot of attention and it’s a lot of fun to wear I also have a white linen pocket square from Fort Belvedere and a pink linen tie also from Fort Belvedere I love wearing this with the navy suit because it offers a lot of contrast to the overall outfitI’m also wearing black wingtip boots from Cole Haan. these have a lot of great detail and worked really well with the dark suit