It’s been called, somewhat cheekily, a “Menaissance” from those within the fashion industry. The continuing rise in men’s apparel sales across the globe has caused leading fashion houses and apparel manufacturers to take notice. Outpacing the growth in women’s apparel for the first time in history, men’s fashion sales now exceeds $403 billion a year. As men become more concerned about their appearance and society norms continue to relax regarding the acceptance of the “metrosexual”, the amounts that men spend on their shoes and clothing is expected to continue its uphill climb.

Many factors seem to have propelled the growth creating a type of perfect storm for the men’s fashion industry. Experts attribute the rise to relaxed office dress codes, the growth of millennials within the work office and the proliferation of social media and the popularity of “selfies. As today’s office atmosphere became more relaxed allowing more casual wear, men started to find that beyond suits and jeans they had little else to wear for the workplace. This new trend in appropriate office wear for males sent men to the stores and online in order to find appropriate clothing items, spurring fantastic industry growth over the last 15 to 20 years. More recently, the bumps are accredited to older generations of men trying to be seen as hip and relevant as they are competing in the workplace with a¬†generation of men that is putting more emphasis on their looks than ever before. And of course, why look good if you can’t take a picture of yourself to be shared with hundreds of friends at a time? Social media has put well-dressed men in the spotlight and other men are doing their best, and spending bigger chunks of their paycheck, to keep up.

Looking at the staggering growth it would be easy to conclude that it may be a great time for men’s fashion stores. Those looking to start an local fashion boutique may do well to look twice at the possibility of opening a local men’s clothing store rather than another woman’s boutique. Of course, appealing to your particular demographic is important and research on the need in your region is imperative but choosing the right inventory is key. By finding the right source for wholesale clothing for men and stocking your store with the trends that men are seeking, a savvy business owner can enjoy the surging “Menaissance” for themselves.