In order to be taken seriously in this climate, we have gone back to the notion that keeping up personal appearances is important. To be taken seriously at work, or indeed when looking for work, everyone is upping their game to remain competitive.
Men are possibly the best at getting value for money, and they are very clever when buying clothing. Most men demand that each piece in their wardrobe works very hard for them. I was curious how they do this, and sat down with Sinead Donnellan, Brown Thomas menswear manager, and asked her to reveal of a few of men’s secrets, in the hopes we girls could learn something.
Lisa: Sinead, I have to ask, men don’t seem to enjoy shopping, how come they’re so good at it? It doesn’t seem fair.
Sinead: They know what they want. It’s as simple as that. Those who really hate shopping tend to text me a two liner with what they need [note ladies, what they need, not want] and they just come in and pick it up. It’s quite painless that way.
Lisa: Whose style do you admire on the Irish scene at the moment?
Sinead: Brian O’Driscoll always looks well, so does Keith Duffy.
Lisa: Are you forgetting Liam Neeson and Gabriel Byrne?
Sinead: Of course not! You can never forget the older man.
Lisa: What are these guys doing right?
Sinead: It’s all about finding a label that suits your frame best, for instance the bigger guys tend to find that G Star jeans always have a comfortable fit. Wrangler jeans would give a more tailored look.
Lisa: Will guys actually try things on?
Sinead: Yes they do, but we would always try to save them time and advise on what their best options might be, cut-wise. It’s about efficiency in menswear. They don’t dilly-dally. Generally men who come downstairs mean business, they have a plan, and they stick to it. I have noticed women are happier to browse.
Lisa: What three items must every man, regardless of age, have in his wardrobe right now?
Sinead: A great shirt, a good pair of jeans, and a great versatile jacket that will see you through day to night. My personal favourite on a guy is a basic chino.
Lisa: What is your pet fashion peeve on the Galway man? Stick to one, the one you find most painful. Mine is short sleeves, just roll them up guys.
Sinead: So many to choose to from! But I have to say an ill-fitting pair of jeans.
Lisa: You’ve been a menswear manager with Brown Thomas for six months now, what’s next?
Sinead: I love my job! We’re planning a menswear workshop in the middle of March, piggy backing on the popularity of the womenswear workshops, which I think are going to be amazing, good networking opportunities for guys, and plenty of entertainment on the day. It’s not all about the girls, Lisa.