Check out the chart above, via here. There are other charts of interest in said post, but essentially, here’s a quick takeaway: around 1998, the total market for menswear was about $270 billion. This year? It’s going to approach $500 billion. In major economic markets around the globe in 2013 (like the US and Germany), men’s clothing sales outperformed women’s clothing sales. People have been picking up on this trend for a little over a year, but now it seems to have ratcheted up to Gird Your Loins territory. What does this mean for society? Probably not a lot. Women will still (generalization) use shopping as a social mechanism, and it’s possible that men are buying more because of the convenience of online shopping (no driving, parking, trying on, looking for a Ruby Tuesday’s, etc.) It’s also possible that job market adjustments in the EuroZone and U.S. are shifting the need for suits, or that popular culture has made the classy professional male more relevant than the hipster male. These are all theories. I can tell you that most times I go shopping, I see about a 3-to-1 women-to-men ratio, but I also live in a mid-size Midwestern city, so I’m not sure that’s a globally relevant sample, per se.
I do think it’s now less of a “common truth” that men hate shopping. I think part of the whole equation was just fashion-forward adjustments in terms of how we market clothes to men and design clothes for men (if you’re 6-6, 300 like I am, the market is actually very limited at the big stores, which can be frustrating — and probably is tied into why I personally don’t like shopping).