The economic recession led to drastically decreased sales for retailers, but perhaps none were affected as much as stores and designers that catered to men. In recent years, men have largely curbed spending on clothing and accessories, causing sales of men’s apparel to drop at double the rate of sales of women’s apparel.

Today, as retailers such as Macy’s and Saks Fifth Avenue have reported increased earnings after the 2011 holiday season, a new trend has emerged among shoppers. Retailers are reporting growing sales in accessories, most notably in men’s accessories such as bags, umbrellas, and jewelry. In 2011, sales in men’s apparel and accessories surpassed sales for women, growing by 8%.

Inspired by the unprecedented trend, designers are rebranding and redesigning traditional women’s accessories to attract male consumers. Designers note that bracelets in particular are popular among men, adding that the subdued pieces, many made out of leather or metal, can add a touch of elegance to a man’s look both inside and outside of the workplace.

The shift in men’s clothing sales may also point to a brighter economic future in that men are taking careful consideration of how they present themselves. Many see this concern as a clear indication that men who have been affected by job losses are moving back into the workforce and wish to maintain a more polished and professional appearance.

About the Author

The former President and COO of Versace, brand strategist Patrick Guadagno also held leadership roles with Dolce & Gabbana, Calvin Klein, Giorgio Armani, and Yves St. Laurent.

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