Whatever Gerry Harvey and the bricks-and-mortar brigade might say, the advent of online shopping is a godsend to men such as myself. And no, this isn't because of some stereotypical male apathy towards the physical act of shopping. I love shopping. What's the point of earning money if you're not going to spend it?
No, online shopping is a godsend because I exist at a level of laziness you would normally find in an ill-tempered sloth. You see, unless it's to get up to go to the fridge or to take up position in front of the television, I'm unlikely to even get out of bed on the weekends. The fact that online retailers are now becoming increasingly mobile-friendly is only exacerbating the situation. And making my life easier at the same time.
A couple of swipes, a prod and voilà! - new shoes, some undies and a jacket. And I haven't even left my bed.
Most retailers are already beginning to see the light and now offer an "app" version of their online store in a clear attempt to make the most of what could be termed the "sloth dollar". A couple of swipes, a prod and voilà! - new shoes, some undies and a jacket. And I haven't even left my bed.
But there are some who are definitely doing it slightly better than others, with smoother interfaces and usability. With that in mind, I thought it was time to spread the love/laziness and make a shortlist of some of the top apps men can use to keep their wardrobe full from the comfort of their bed - or wherever.
An online store for men par excellence. Shirts, pants, jeans, accessories, you name it. While the selection on offer is on the more conservative end of the style spectrum, it remains a great first stop whenever you are in need for something for that weekend wedding or happen to work in an office that requires the rather ambiguous "smart casual" dress code. The other plus is their speedy delivery and returns service – all done at your door, no questions asked.
The Shopstyle app works like an online shopping mall – all you need to do is go to the category you're interested in and Shopstyle does all the searching at other online stores for you. And just like a shopping mall, the product range is enormous with brands and styles for all tastes.
This US-based store offers flash sales on high-end brands. This is where you can find yourself a daily bargain on labels such as Bally, Dolce & Gabbana and Paul Smith. Because of this, the site operates on a high turnover basis with products selling out quite quickly. Since the daily sales always change, there is literally a first-in-best-dressed ethic in place.
While not an app per se, The Iconic has still mastered a smartphone-friendly website. Their same-day delivery (if you live in Sydney) makes this site a procrastinating purchaser's dream and is super-convenient when you're caught out at the last minute for work or the weekend. The price range is also diverse and you can just as easily pick up a $20 t-shirt or a $500 jacket along with all your socks and jocks.
This might be the last thing you would expect to find in a section called Executive Style, but give me a chance to explain myself. I like shoes, particularly sneakers. Always have. Urbanoutfitters.com is a US-based, General Pants-style store that stocks brands such as Nike, New Balance, Puma, Adidas, and Grenson. And they are cheap, especially so with the current strength of the Aussie dollar. Add to that free international shipping for purchases over $50 (easily achieved) and I've recently found myself clearing out space just to find room for my growing collection.
You might be might be familiar with Incu's stores in both Melbourne and Sydney and the great mix of brands they stock. The guys behind the store have recently launched an online store that, like the Iconic, isn't an app but is still easy to use and gives you access to all the same great brands available in-store such as Weathered, A.P.C, Acne, and Oliver Spencer. Shipping and returns within Australia are free for orders greater than $30.
Now, if only there was an app that could make me a sandwich …
What are your favourite online menswear stores or apps?