Dapper dudes: an exploration of young men's fashion consumption and conceptions of masculinity
thesisposted on 23.05.2021, 15:06 authored by Dylan Martin
If sensationalized media reports are any indication, the men’s fashion industry has entered into an exciting phase of expansion and evolution. As the market diversifies to become increasingly vibrant and varied, prominent ready-to-wear labels continue to showcase evermore divergent and gender-blurring designs in what is celebrated as an anything-goes period in menswear. To examine whether these clothing trends and industry transitions have lasting real world implications, this research seeks to give voice to fashion-conscious male consumers - the subject of scarce qualitative scholarship. Insights gleaned from 20 in-depth interviews with young Canadian men point to contemporary shifts not only in shopping habits and tastes, but also in hegemonic masculinity. Responding to romantic assertions that there are “no rules” in twenty-first century fashion, findings examine the extent to which long withstanding Western menswear conventions prevail. Through illuminating the lived experiences of sartorially savvy males aged 19 to 29, this study uncovers how Generation Y men navigate gender norms and expectations while crafting an idiosyncratic sense of style. Ultimately, this research enriches existing industry and theoretical understandings of how young men approach fashion.