WSJ: Average Joes to Get Technicolor Coats

Discussion
Jan 28, 2011

Color us skeptical. A report on The Wall Street Journal website says
that fashion designers are looking to brighten up guys’ lives by putting them
in Pepto-Bismol pink overcoats and other similarly "vivid colors."

According
to the Journal report, it’s not far-fetched to think that
average American guys will go for neon fashion. It cites recent style changes
including "blinding,
multicolored plaid shirts" that have sold well in recent years. But, "Fanta
orange" overcoats?

"It’s always color that draws a person to a rack," Eric Jennings,
men’s fashion director at Saks Fifth Avenue, told the Journal. Saks
intends to carry the new bright, bright outwear in its "contemporary
zone," he
said.

Discussion Questions: Will American males buy “Fanta orange and Pepto-Bismol pink” coats in large numbers? What should retailers do to introduce a fashion change that is so radically different from what the consumer is used to buying in this category?

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20 Comments on "WSJ: Average Joes to Get Technicolor Coats"


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Alison Chaltas
Guest
Alison Chaltas
10 years 3 months ago

Neon is a fun fad, but still a fad. However, color has now become gender-neutral. Just walk the halls of our kids’ elementary schools and you’ll see almost as many fifth grade boys in pink polos as girls of the same age. My ten year old son summed it up: “If girls can play on the football team, why can’t we wear pink?”

Jonathan Marek
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

I sure hope not! Someone once told me (though I haven’t seen the data) that the sale of bright yellow cars peaks just before the economy tanks. It’s a sign of overconfidence. If these suits do sell, with the Dow over 12000, I may just have to cash out everything and go short! But I don’t think they will sell….

Dr. Stephen Needel
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

We can only hope the answer is no. On the other hand, if Nehru jackets make a comeback….

Nikki Baird
Guest
Nikki Baird
10 years 3 months ago

Seriously? So someone discovered vats of “vibrant” dye stashed somewhere and decided it was cheap enough that it was worth the risk to try and get men to wear those colors too?

I love the branding effort–they definitely get points there for trying. This reminds me of the effort made around “chocolate diamonds.” I can imagine the conversation now:

“We have all these rocks. Technically, they are diamonds, but they’re, um, brown. Like, dirt brown.”

“I know! Let’s brand them as chocolate! Women love chocolate!”

I know we will see men in day-glo orange pants with Pepto-pink overcoats lounging in the streets of New York. Here in Denver? Not so much.

It was a nice try, though.

Steve Montgomery
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

My short answer to the questions is “No.” Men will not buy ‘Fanta orange and Pepto-Bismol pink’ coats in large numbers. Will someone buy them? Yes, it is likely as the article pointed out that the very fashion conscious might. That being said, I don’t see these colors being a hit with the mainstream male customer. I admit rather than drawing my attention to the rack it would likely make me believe someone put a rack of women’s coats in the men’s section.

John Boccuzzi, Jr.
Guest
John Boccuzzi, Jr.
10 years 3 months ago

Fashion is a tricky area and you can never say never. That said, I think this may be a stretch. Don’t put a 42 long Pink blazer on hold for me just yet.

Liz Crawford
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

No way.

Ryan Mathews
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

Hot pink overcoats? I think not for the majority.

Fashionistas may flock to neon-colored outerwear and dramatic colors will continue to sell in the urban and youth markets, but the odds of catching your local grocer in an iridescent raincoat are still slim.

Dramatic fashion statements work well for the so-hip-it-hurts crowd and have always been a significant element of economic underclass wear but, let’s face it, the majority of men are still struggling, wrestling with which shade of navy blue goes best with which shade of khaki.

Business casual may have done some damage to the idea of dressing for success but that isn’t the same thing as getting your fashion freak on at work.

So we can probably count on seeing brighter colors on the club kids and maybe even a bit more colorful casual wear but those who can’t afford two separate wardrobes will continue to favor a more conservative color palate.

Anne Howe
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

I’d love to see more color on men. It would brighten the mood overall, especially in the Midwest. I see brights in shirts, but not a lot of other places, especially outerwear. I don’t see bod outerwear selling at a scalable rate. I hope the GenY guys hop on board, but most of the Boomer guys I know are spending cash on travel again, not apparel.

I happen to own a red, an orange, a white and a lime green coat, and would happily shop for more color! But that’s why they call me @ShopperAnnie I guess.

Mel Kleiman
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

The designer got what they wanted: attention. You won’t even be seeing these at the local Goodwill store in 6 months. Goodwill won’t even take them off the retailer who buys them as a donation.

Dan Berthiaume
Guest
Dan Berthiaume
10 years 3 months ago

Highly doubtful. The only time these types of clothes have appealed to mainstream American males is the early/mid 80s, because of “Miami Vice.” Don Johnson is not a great actor but I give him credit for being able to dress like that and still seem macho. Unless Hollywood can recreate some of that Sonny Crockett/Rico Tubbs magic, this won’t work.

Ed Rosenbaum
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

I could not help but think of some of those stereo typical movies or TV programs with the men in the pastel colored clothes, large hats, bejeweled and huge brightly painted Cadillacs. You know the ones; those with a stable of women of the night. Starsky & Hutch for one.

No thanks. This is not going to become the next Nehru jacket fashion of the season. Unless the manufacturer intends to sink his ship.

Craig Sundstrom
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

No.

Don’t.

Ted Hurlbut
Guest
Ted Hurlbut
10 years 3 months ago

In a word, no.

Bill Emerson
Guest
Bill Emerson
10 years 3 months ago

Depends on where you look. In an urban environment, there will be some selling. Peoria, not so much I think.

Lee Peterson
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

Here’s the thing: they won’t buy coats, but as with all fashion, some things will translate nicely. Like shirts, maybe even something as fun as socks or ties or hats or glasses. But don’t discount the idea. Fashion has a tendency to go mass in different ways than originally produced. ‘Vivid’ colors may surprise you.

Mark Burr
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

Nope. Nadda. Zip. Zero. No.

Tim Henderson
Guest
Tim Henderson
10 years 3 months ago

It’s about time! I can definitely see these bright colors working for younger, more confident and urban hipster guys. These standout colors are obviously not going to replace the traditional men’s apparel palette of black, navy blue, gray, olive, and tan. But like a standout neck tie, today’s more confident and stylish men do like to occasionally add a splash of color that lets their personalities shine.

Fabien Tiburce
Guest
Fabien Tiburce
10 years 3 months ago

If enough “early adopters” buy and wear these and if the trend does not fizzle, this may just reach the mainstream…eventually. These are two big IFs though.

Steven Collinsworth
Guest
10 years 3 months ago

NO!

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