Men learning the fine art of shopping


July 17, 1991|By Jean Patteson | Jean Patteson,Orlando Sentinel

American men are reinventing themselves, said Tom Miller, a senior vice president at the Roper Organization, who presented the findings of a recent poll by Playboy magazine and Roper at a Men's Fashion Association meeting.

"They're changing their roles as lovers, husbands, fathers and friends. They're shifting priorities to the quality of their lives," Miller said.

These days, about 75 percent of men shop regularly for groceries, 62 percent cook meals for the family and 52 percent help with the laundry, according to the Playboy/Roper report.

But, as the male stereotype changes, men yearn for the comfort and security of familiar things. This includes clothing they can relate to styles that fit the future, but echo the past.

The Playboy/Roper Report focused on two groups of men:

First, the baby-boom generation, which is settling into its "nesting" phase and looking for fashions that are comfortable, durable, versatile and affordable.

Nothing illustrated this nesting activity more clearly or endearingly than a parade of male models cuddling tiny babies during the JCPenney fashion show at the MFA meeting.

Second, the "new romantics" men in their 20s and early 30s, who are concerned with courtship, romance and projecting an attractive personal appearance. Of this group, 79 percent said they believe the "right" clothes (by which most mean casual clothes) help a man look his best.

Both groups are doing more of their own clothing shopping an activity Miller calls "mall jamming." And most have an eye for both quality and style.

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