Since the beginning of time, it has been crystal clear. If it has ever seemed as though it weren’t crystal clear, then some seemingly wise person has dropped the obvious on us: women and men are different.
Yes. Thank you, Captain Obvious, that is, in fact, one of those crystal clear things that we have known since we were old enough to chase each other around the playground at school.
At the same time, it can be a concept that we can stand to be reminded of whenever we shop for clothes. It only takes a quick look around a department store or a clothing specialty store to figure out what gender is being marketed and sold to. But, still, women love their pants and blouses, men love their trousers and shirts. The ladies love a nice dress and the gentlemen love the sharp looking suit. Shoes, though. That is where things get out of hand.
Women own the shoe market. Their shoes, in whatever styles you like, outnumber men’s shoes by the thousands. In fact, the men’s dress shoe only makes up roughly 6% of the overall shoe market. If you go into a huge box store that sells shoes to both men and women, invariably the men’s section is quite a bit smaller. Maybe not 6% of that particular store, but it can sometimes feel that way.
You are almost always going to find the traditional best sellers for men’s shoes and there is a reason for that. One of the reasons is that Italian loafers, especially luxury Italian loafers, are somewhat timeless. They worked in the 1950s and they still work today. Match those designer leather shoes with designer leather belts and you are well on your way to having a great look put together for yourself.
The new designs are also selling well for the men in the Millennial generation who are become very active in the men’s dress wear market. These young men are looking to make their marks in the business world of today and are shopping with the intention that they will be dressing to impress.
The designer footwear market had an increase that was steady from the years 2009 to 2014. The current retail sales growth was 39% over that period of time, showing that designer footwear for men was a market that would like to compete with the ladies. Italian loafers are great to have in the closet, ready to perform their duties when necessary, but designer shoes for men are becoming more and more exotic all the time.
Another interesting statistic is that in addition to Italian loafers, gentlemen are becoming more interested in small leather goods. Men’s luxury bags and leather cases saw a sales growth of 24% for luxury bags and 40% fro small leather goods from the years 2009 to 2014. Showing up to the office on the first day of a new job with a sharp suit and worn shoes is not going to get you to where you want to be anytime soon. If you want to make an impression, find that suit, but complete the look.
It is time to find a pair of men’s dress shoes that will make the kind of statement you hope to make at your new position. Find that perfect leather belt that will go with your new Italian loafers or alligator skin shoes and make that outfit come together perfectly. After the clothes are together, pick out the perfect leather briefcase or bag that will accentuate all of your positives the minute you walk through the door.
If you have ever watched the television show, Mad Men, then you already know that the young men who are entering the workforce have been schooled in college about what class used to be. They are bringing that touch of class back into the business world with some nostalgia mixed right in with a contemporary feel.
Women will undoubtedly always be the ones that the shoe industry targets the most. However, that does not mean that the men who want to look sharp can’t do so. The shoes are out there somewhere. You just have to know what you’re looking for.