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Trend Update: Denim, Accessories Drive Better Menswear Market

Clothing business stagnates as men keep it casual. Furnishings flounder on slower suit sales.

San Francisco, CA, August 01, 2006 --( Demand for jeans and accessories are driving the better retail business, while suit sales continue to level off, according to exclusive 90-day trend figures from Blacks Retail Analysis (

Denim sales soared over 70%* in the three months ended June 30, while sales of suits inched up a mere 0.16%, Blacks reveals.

“The casual dressing trend continues to march on. This trend is not new and there is no reason or data to indicate a change in direction,” said Blacks Senior Consultant Steve Pruitt.

However, there is a movement toward cleaner looks in casual, which will lead to greater acceptance of laid-back dressing in the workplace, Pruitt added.

As men turn away from suits, sales of dress shirts and neckwear have also been affected. Neckwear sales dropped 8.5% compared to the same period last year, while sales of dress shirts posted a slim 1.2% gain.

Jackets and outerwear fared better, with a 20% gain in the 90-day period, thanks to the continued popularity of the casual, constructed jacket paired with sport-casual pants.

“This look moves casual dressing across almost all boundaries. Pair the casual jacket and sport pant with a fancy pocket square and you’ll have a well-dressed man,” Pruitt said.

Look for fancy belts and shoes to tie the look together, he added.

*All figures represent year-over-year comparisons

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Blacks Retail Analysis
Scarlet Pruitt
(831) 521-4203

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