The manly art of shopping

May 08, 1991|By Jean Patteson | Jean Patteson,Orlando Sentinel

Learn to shop.

That's Luciano Franzoni's advice to men.

"Women mastered the art of shopping centuries ago," said Franzoni, who designs the Confezioni Riserva line of suits, sport coats and slacks.

Women's departments are always abuzz, as customers search through the racks, compare notes and dash to the fitting rooms, Franzoni said.

"But men act like they're walking through a museum. They treat everything with far too much respect. For men, shopping still has a stigma attached. It's not considered masculine."

The first step toward becoming a good shopper is visiting your own closet, Franzoni said. "Look at your wardrobe. Take stock of what you have. And be honest with yourself. Try to define your likes and dislikes."

Step 2 is also easy: "Open your eyes," Franzoni said.

"Men tend to be repetitious, to buy the same thing over and over. There are so many options out there. Walk through the better stores. Stop and look. Stop and touch. Become familiar with the options."

Then update your image gradually.

"Select compatible clothes first things that are similar but not the same as the ones you already own. You'll feel comfortable in them and comfort builds confidence. Once the confidence is there, you can get more adventurous."

For example, if you usually wear a black or navy suit, make your next one a light charcoal. Once you're used to that, move on to a "fashion" color such as olive or tan. "You'll find you still look businesslike," Franzoni said, "but you'll also stand out from the .. boring crowd."

Franzoni also has a word of advice for women: "Hands off." A man won't master the art of shopping until the woman in his life quits buying his clothes for him. To get good at it, a man's got to shop for himself.

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