Retail is back! And boy do we love to see it. While there’s a lot to be said for the convenience of online shopping, it will never compare to the experience of visiting brick & mortar shops; seeing, touching, feeling and trying on a product before you buy and of course, taking it home with you instead of being at the mercy of a courier.

So with all our favourite shops and boutiques open again, a familiar problem will soon begin to rear its head – how do you get a man to go clothes shopping?

Now, at the risk of sounding sexist, I should state clearly that this does not apply to all men. There are plenty of modern stylish men who are well able to shop for themselves and enjoy doing so. This is not directed at them in any way, shape or form. This is for the man in your life who still needs to be dragged kicking and screaming to go shopping for clothes. The kind of guy who will happily wait a full year to receive socks and underwear as Christmas gifts rather than going out and buying them himself. These men are still out there and are, sadly, still in the majority.

So if you’re going to get one of these men to go shopping, you’re going to have to be savvy about it. And if you want to make it a productive and enjoyable experience for everyone involved, you’re going to need to apply a little strategy. Here are my top tips on getting the man who hates shopping to go shopping.

Find Out What He Actually Likes 

Ask them what their favourite items of clothing are and find out why they like them. Is it the colour, the comfort, the fit? It’s important to know what they like and value in order to figure out how best to help them. It’ll also help you to shop for things they will actually enjoy wearing.

Make A List 

Look at the clothes he already has and try to identify the gaps in his wardrobe. Make a list of what he needs to prevent him buying the same stuff over and over. This list will also help to identify some new must-haves.

Limit The Number Of Shops 

If he’s a man who doesn’t like shopping, then he’s going to hate being dragged around to a lot of different shops. Pick 2-3 shops and try to make them places he doesn’t normally go so that he is less likely to fall into bad habits. It’s always good to end on a high note so if he finds something that he really likes then call it a day and let him walk away feeling good about himself and the whole experience. (He’ll be much more likely to want to repeat it too).

Constructive Criticism  

Some men genuinely don’t realise that small details (think visible white sports socks or thick gold neck chains) can take an outfit from great to grating in seconds. If they are things he loves and wears a lot then you need to be extra gentle, explain why it doesn’t really work and offer alternative suggestions. Don’t make be too negative as you might hurt his feelings and defeat the whole purpose of the mission.

Box Clever 

If he’s on the fence about something you really love, then by all means use your powers of persuasion; but if he absolutely hates something, then don’t try to force it. If you fight him on it it’ll only put him off the idea of shopping with you.

Be Patient 

As much as you’d like to, you’re not going to be able to overhaul a man’s wardrobe in one shopping trip. Think of it less as a makeover and more of a gradual transformation. If there are certain things he wears that you absolutely hate, then make them your primary target by slowly replacing or upgrading them. Baby steps and a little positive reinforcement will go a long way.

Don’t Shop For Yourself 

Make it all about him. It’ll be worth it in the long run.

Patrick McLoughney is one of Ireland’s leading men’s fashion and lifestyle bloggers. A former personal shopper for Brown Thomas, male model and a qualified psychotherapist, Patrick has written about style, grooming, dating, haircare and a variety of other topics relating to the life of a modern man since 2016. As a model and influencer, he has worked with brands like GANT, Barker, Jack & Jones and Littlewoods and was named Male Model of the Year in 2017 and Ireland’s Most Stylish Man in 2019.  He has also been featured on radio shows like The Jenny Greene Show on 2FM and Spin Talk on Spin South West giving dating and fashion advice for men. Patrick is very happy and excited to bring some of his tips and life experiences to the readers of GALWAYnow.