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A smart guide to shopping menswear online

Dos, don'ts, and must-haves

A smart guide to shopping menswear online
Because dropping the dime on a Raf Simons shirt shouldn't be akin to wagering on your favourite football team

With the exception of Alicia Silverstone, being Clueless is never attactive, especially when a lack of know-how in this instance has direct consequences on one's sartorial rep. While some modern gents have mastered the trade of online shopping like the back of their hand, for others, taming the tricky beast remains a tall order.

Have you (a) stalked a Prada camp-collar shirt online planning to pair it with Negronis in Capri only to realise it sold out within a week (wait, what?!), (b) ripped open a fresh parcel from Farfetch to Valentino sneakers that won't stay on your feet (but I ordered the right size!), (c) can't decide whether to shed your stovepipes for a pair of wide-leg Craig Green trousers (will they look like women's culottes on me?) or, (d) all of the above?

Well, then take heed these tips and tricks dispensed by the menswear pundits at Matches Fashion, Farfetch and Browns Fashion who've aced the learning curve. It'll get better hereafter, we promise.  

DAMIEN PAUL, HEAD OF MENSWEAR AT MATCHES FASHION

Damien Paul, matchesfashion.com

ON AVOIDING POST-PURCHASE REGRET
"Stick to a product that's trans-seasonal when shopping sale. A lightweight jacket or coat bought in summer can be used for colder months ahead — especially in a more moderate climate. Additionally, if you want to get the most wear out of your sale purchases, go for classic staples such as good quality knitwear, denim and fine tailoring."

ON ITEMS WORTH PURCHASING IMMEDIATELY
"Runway and statement pieces currently trending sell out quick. Also, check out our collaboration with brands on exclusive capsule collections — something we've done with AMI and Off-White. These are the pieces that are likely to sell out long before the end of the season's sale as they're only available in limited quantities."

ON KEY TRENDS TO INVEST IN
"The idea of the "normal" jean has gathered momentum in recent seasons. Balenciaga, Loewe and Stella McCartney provide high quality straight and slim-cut denim in classic colours. It'll resonate with every man. Of course, the sportswear trend is going nowhere, but in recent seasons we've seen a shift towards luxe tracksuits, oversized sweats and hoodies taking hold — renewing the look with an added emphasis on streetwear. Vetements, Balenciaga and Stone Island exemplify the trend. I would also recommend investing in corduroy. Prada has set the standard for next season with brands such as Ermenegildo Zegna and Brunello Cucinelli also providing a modern update on this versatile fabric."

 

REECE CRISP, MENSWEAR BUYING MANAGER AT FARFETCH

Reece Crisp, Farfetch menswear buyer

ON AVOIDING POST-PURCHASE REGRET
"Stick with more timeless items and investment pieces!"

ON ITEMS WORTH PURCHASING IMMEDIATELY
"
I would recommend buying runway pieces immediately. At Farfetch, our customers are fashion-forward and very savvy. They generally know what they want and buy as soon as the product is on offer. You need to be on the pulse to make sure you don't miss out." 

ON KEY TRENDS TO INVEST IN
"The open collar shirt — an old school dandy look — is worth dabbling in, athough it still hasn't made it into the commercial fold yet. Designers will continue to experiment with it in SS18. Also, I'm excited about the pink trend. It's brave and bold."

WHEN IN DOUBT...
"Call customer service. They can address your concerns and even make recommendations." 

HIS FAVOURITE ONLINE PURCHASES TO DATE ARE...
"An amazing gingham harrington jacket by Our Legacy, some cool high-tops from Alexander Wang, and a denim jacket by Maison Margiela. All strong investment pieces."

 

DEAN COOK, MENSWEAR BUYING MANAGER AT BROWNS FASHION

Dean Cook, Browns Fashion

ON AVOIDING POST-PURCHASE REGRET
"Preparation is key. The people who go away with the best pieces have put time in — they know what they want and have been watching it until discounts come into play. In general, my personal rule is to not linger too long over a purchase as the best pieces often sell out very quickly. " 

ON ITEMS TO PURCHASE IN-STORE FIRST BEFORE BUYING ONLINE 
"Shoe sizing can vary quite widely between brands so I recommend anyone looking at a shoe brand for the first time to try a few sizes in-store first. Getting that personal touch and advice from a great store associate can really make the whole process much easier."

ON KEY TRENDS TO INVEST IN
"Oversized proportions are something we'll continue to see lots of. Exaggerated sleeves, drop shoulders and baggy pants are all important here. Furthermore, it's a trend that's easy to tap into. Also, we're seeing real growth in technical fabrics and finishes. The use of breathable textiles, high tech Gore-tex and four-way stretch is becoming more popular. It's now completely acceptable to mix these kinds of pieces with high fashion."

FOR THE OPTIMUM ONLINE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE
"The first thing to do is to filter by size. You will then only see pieces available in your size and will avoid any disappointment after. Take time to read the product descriptions and size information thoroughly. Take your steer from there but don't be afraid to ask questions."

TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT...
"Buy what you really, really want there and then. However, if something is out of budget, then it definitely makes sense to hold off till sale season. Do add it to your wishlist so you can swoop in on it if and when it becomes discounted. In the mean time when you're not paying full price, why not try a new brand?"

HIS FAVOURITE ONLINE PURCHASES TO DATE ARE...
"A Haider Ackermann oversized high-neck sweater, a Visvim kimono shirt in overdyed indigo, and a Rick Owens draw cord pants. The first two pieces are from my favourite brands, but the third purchase — the Rick Owens trousers — were a gamble. That really paid off!" 

Get started on Matches Fashion, Farfetch and Browns Fashion. 

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