New research suggests that men invest more in fashion than women do.

According to a study conducted by American Express and Nectar, men spend 43 per cent more on clothes every month than women do – shelling out $115 compared to their female counterparts, who only splurge a more modest $81.

Despite this, 64 per cent of men claim they “wouldn’t be bothered” if someone said their style was out of fashion, even though they spend more on their look. Conversely, more than a third of women said a compliment on their fashion sense would “make their day”.

As a whole, the research found that Brits spend an average of $1,093 a year updating their wardrobes, purchasing around 37 new items, and that they spend more on clothes every month than going out ($75), personal grooming ($51) or new technology or gadgets ($50).

But that’s not to say that shoppers aren’t savvy when it comes to purchasing; the three biggest priorities for people when thinking about upgrading their wardrobes to something new is the price, fit and how much wear they will get out of the item.

The emphasis on women’s beauty has increased a lot over the past century or so – and women keeping up with fashion have changed with it. In a media-ridden, photo-manipulating world wear women are expected to look their best (and men’s expectations seemingly moving with this too) – getting the new style of dress that hugs the waist or drapes over the shoulders is the way of beauty for women. The fashion industry is also a lot more focused on women – many magazines offer fashion tips and guides, or tips on where to buy the latest maxi dress; whereas men’s magazines do not put as much emphasis on this type of article.

As well as women’s beauty being a huge part of women’s fashion, there may be a sense of evolutionary instinctive behaviour involved in following fashion. Even from the 1930s, it was noted that gaining the latest fashions was at attempt to “be modern and outdo other women”. Wearing the latest bodycon dress or newest style of swimwear could boost a woman’s self-esteem, and give an edge over potential rivals. Men obviously show their rivalry in other ways that aren’t through fashion – which could potentially explain the reason why men are so interested in gaining muscle and fitness, as opposed to keeping an eye on the new summer eveningwear ranges on the runways, and in the shops and wholesalers.

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