Wednesday, 4 September 2013

The solution for men who hate shopping for clothes

I’m not much of a snappy dresser (the world that knows me shudders with surprise).  Not really ever paying attention to fashion, or what the dudes are wearing these days.

Thing is shopping for clothes is one of my least favourite activities.  Extortionate shopping centre parking, masses of people everywhere, the queues to try things on, not knowing what goes together.  Euurgh.  Not worth the bother until I absolutely have to do it.

There was actually a period of widowhood where I don’t think I bought myself a single piece of clothing for over three years.  Other people bought me the odd thing, and the mandatory consumables for feet and the nether regions, but me, myself and I didn’t go get a single piece of clobber.

So when Mainline Menswear said how would I like to spend £150 via their online store, I thought at the very least it would spare me from clothes shopping for a little while longer.

Now, if you know what you are looking for their website is very easy to navigate and search across.  They stock some very cool and reputable brand names (not that I’m the authority) so if you have something specific in mind it is all very easy to look at and compare prices for.

For me I was a little more scatter-gun in my approach, deciding I should replace my favourite hoodie, and look at some other stuff for the summer months.  But you are able to organise your search via item type too, to save time and see all your options in one place.

My £150 stretched a good way, and I ended up with that replacement hoodie, three different shirts and a pair of flip-flops.

All the stuff was of a top quality that you would expect from names like Diesel, G-Star, Bench and Luke 1977 (not that I knew much about the latter, I went for it as the stuff looked good and on an incorrect assumption that the brand name had a Star Wars connection).

Does my bum look big in this?

One of the problems cited with buying clothes online, or via a catalogue is getting the sizes right and what arrives not really looking like what you’ve ordered.

With the sizes I actually made use of the Live Support Online feature of the website, where I got a real person to go and measure the hoodie I liked so I could compare it with the one I was replacing.  Guessing not a regular request, but one they did without a problem, providing a personal service, albeit from afar.

The stuff arrived quickly, and for free due to my size of order.  And one of the things I liked was that I could have chosen to have the items delivered on a Saturday morning at no extra cost.  Some retailers offer free delivery, for you to then find it isn’t their default setting and it is only free if you can wait longer and be in to sign for it all week.

However, there was a problem.

The cement blue polo shirt I’d chosen ‘didn’t fit amongst my suitable clothes colour palette’.  When I’d stopped laughing at my girlfriend for lovingly pointing this out and double-checked I didn’t need a doctors appointment to sort it out, I quickly logged back on to arrange a return and exchange for a different, entirely more suitable, colour.

The process was simple, a couple of clicks and I had a label on my stuff to send it back.  I obviously had to stomach the cost of returning this item, which at under £4 I’m guessing is subsidised, but I’d have had the inconvenience of physically returning the item, fuel and petrol costs, if I’d come home from a shop making the same terrible faux pas.

Smart men's clothes at a discount

So I have to say I’m grateful to Mainline Menswear for the review opportunity, and also for providing me with a discount code for any reader wishing to grab themselves something from their store.