I have to admit that I used to think “men’s fashion” was an oxy moron. I know that will sound incredibly sexist, but I’ve just never really thought too much about it. Everything is blue, black or grey. A suit could cost $5,000 and look exactly like a $500 one (in my opinion). It’s pretty cookie cutter.
And since my husband isn’t very into it himself, we haven’t invested much time into building his closet. While he has spent *hours* giving me advice on my outfits, I’ve rarely returned the favor. We also don’t really set aside funds for it–we only shop when something is ripped, broken or stained. Meanwhile I give myself a monthly allowance for Rent The Runway. I know–totally not fair!
But it wasn’t just my lack of interest that drove the problem—menswear shopping is a major mojo killer! Try going to a men’s store on a Saturday afternoon and you’ll see. First of all, helpful salespeople are nowhere to be found. And they’re so necessary! Guys rarely know what they need—they need suggestions. And they also need help with fit. Oh, and the prices have to be good.
I did not think that all of this existed in one store—until we tried Bonobos.
ICYMI, the brand launched in 2007 selling men’s pants with a focus on fit and comfort before being bought by Walmart for $300M and expanding to brick-and-mortar stories. They’ve also added other categories such as shirts, suits, jackets and more. Their big thing is “the perfect fit every time.”
My husband’s New Year’s resolution was to up his fashion game, so when we found ourselves child-free doing some Christmas returns this month and came upon a Bonobos store, we stumbled in.
We were immediately greeted by a clean, manly space and a friendly salesman named Yousef. We shopped the floor–they call stores “Guideshops”–for a few minutes before Yousef jumped in to offer his services. We explained what my husband needed, and he immediately started pulling out different pairings: this goes with that, you might want to try this. He helped my husband with sizing and chatted me up about where I could find those brown loafers my husband needs. We both immediately dropped our guards about what we thought menswear shopping had to be like–this was by FAR the best experience we’ve ever had.
Then it got even better. My husband started trying on pieces that were a little bit out of his comfort zone, like the super soft Unconstructed Italian Wool Blazer–and they looked great! The brand’s original emphasis on “perfect fit” is very much still alive, you can tell. Sizing was easy and accurate, and what they didn’t have in the Guideshop, Yousef was able to pull up online and add to my husband’s profile. Oh yea–that’s the best part! After you visit the store you’re immediately sent a follow-up email with everything you tried on and the sizes. We were both blown away by this! How many times have you walked out of a store scratching your head like, what did I just try on? He didn’t want to buy everything at once, so this was incredibly useful.
My husband ended up with the top-rated Washed Button Down Shirt ($68) which is sort of a work/weekend button down hybrid, Premium Stretch Jeans in the dark ‘Resin Rinse’ wash ($148) and the Unconstructed Italian Wool Blazer, which is “the most comfortable jacket I’ve ever worn.”
He plans to wear the three pieces together for an upcoming dinner, and separately as well. Everything fit perfectly off the rack, and we’re both so excited for him to wear them! Because we’re not just tolerating men’s fashion in 2020… and we can thank Bonobos for that.
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