According to today's Times "Styles" section, men have discovered that thing called "fast fashion." You know, just like women did forever ago. And just like women, they love it. Rather than spend hundreds on a Dolce & Gabbana scarf, they've realized they can enjoy the knockoff that looks the same and costs a fraction of the price from stores like Urban Outfitters or H&M. “A lot of these clothes are great now,” said one such man, 47-year-old film executive Robert Pini, who luuurves his $99 Uniqlo cashmere sweaters. “You wear them into the office and people ask you where you got it, and they’re expecting you to say Prada. I used to be more into the whole label thing, but I don’t think guys are into it as much now.” It's symptomatic of These Economic Times, you see: A recent study revealed 51 percent of consumers said this month they plan to spend less on apparel, up 14 percent from last month.
If, however, you remain a label whore and the knockoffs just don't cut it for you (which we totally understand — that kind of label validation really is a mood booster), but feel you really should tighten your belt a bit, remember the biggest difference between the real and knocked-off items is the price. Marc Jacobs's business partner, Robert Duffy, explains:
“No one wants to pay $500 for a pair of flip-flops,” Mr. Duffy said, sounding more like a consumer advocate than a luxury-brand kingpin. “Sometimes I’ll walk past a store and see that, or see rubber boots for $500, and it disgusts me. I know what it costs to make them.”
So bargain-hunt, you men. Bargain-hunt.