EJ Menswear

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  • Why the fashion business is all in a day’s work at EJ Menswear

    The buying team are busy all-year round hunting for new styles at great prices. Here’s how we do it…

    Business never sleeps in the fashion trade and even though we’re just over half way through July, the work to prepare for Autumn and Winter season is almost done.

    EJ Menswear is dotting the I’s and crossing the t’s on an exciting collection of styles and brands instore and online at ejmeanswear.com from August/September.

    So, you might wonder, how does it all work?

    Well, the lads have already been back and forth to different European fashion capitals, including London, Berlin and Florence, visiting brands such as Gant, Hugo Boss, Paul and Shark, Ralph Lauren, Boss, Farah and Tommy Hilfiger.

    Tom Clarke, Eamonn and Mark Cunningham would have been among the EJ’s expert team who earlier this year visited the home of the big brands and got to see all the 2017 offerings, sampling new styles and making crucial buying decisions.

    Planning what to sell in a busy men’s store and as part of a constantly evolving 24/7 online retail requires through, imagination and a bit of a gamble on new styles.

    “Planning is everything and we do our homework. The lads have so much experience, they know what’s popular, what’ going to look well and their judgement is always spot on,” explains EJ’s online marketing manager Gary Dolan

    “The guys stay up to date and on point with current trends and they see things from a young lad’s perspective, what they are looking at, what they’re wearing,” adds Gary.

    Mark explains: ”Part of that is knowing, for example, when we see someone walking down the street in London in a particular getup, that it may not work so well in Ireland!

    “We are constantly trying to stay ahead of ourselves – the visits are by appointment only and you might have three to four hours to look at the clothes. We would analyse every single piece personally.”
    Mark recalls visits to Carnaby Street, the home of 1960s London fashion as well as Ralph Lauren in Old Bond Street and Hugo Boss in Camden Town – “a 30,000-sq. ft. showroom that was more like a 5-star hotel.”

    EJ’s is an important customer for these big international brands and the team always gets a warm welcome. “We don’t pop over on a wing and a prayer – our logistics and planning are well planned,” adds Mark.

    A ‘digital wardrobe’ is part and parcel of buying trips for Autumn and Winter. During a visit, brands produce a ‘sampled up’ product in a single colour with the item in other colours displayed on screens or a ‘virtual catwalk’.

    The summer may have been hit and miss but one thing that is always in, even for Autumn and Winter, is t-shirts – though they tend to be made of heavier material, such as a very popular line produced by Superdry.

    As usual, knitwear, coats and boots will be big sellers for Ej’s - browns and navy will be staple colours for many garments but and there’s more than a whisper this year that Ralph Lauren has fallen for military green in a big way – so expect to see plenty of that gong on this winter.

    Though the half price summer sale is in full swing, the Autumn and Winter styles are being rolled out on ejmenswear.com – and there will be more items added soon as photographers catalogue all the new stock.

    In the shop, Eamonn, Mark, Tom and the rest of the team will be thinking about the season after that and the season after that, to stay ahead of the game.

    On the floor, Rodney will be among those leading the work around store layout, creating displays to show the Autumn and Winter offerings to best effect.

    At the same time, the lads will be booking more tickets to London for new collection previews for Spring and Summer. They’ll have a cheeky peek and then make the buying decisions for the threads destined to hit EJ’s in 2018. It’s all in a day’s work.

     

  • Giddy up! Race season is here lads and it’s time to think about the outfit

    It’s all about mix and match. With help and advice from the expert ej menswear team, you can get past the winning post in style.

     

    “We can guarantee that when you leave ej menswear you will be pristine! But I can’t tell you what the story will be at midnight outside Supermacs on day three of the Galway races!”

    So jokes Tom Clarke, one of ej’s style gurus who is gearing up for the influx of young (and relatively young) fellas popping in to ej’s for an outfit that will do them justice at the races this year, whether it’s for Ballybrit, Limerick, Leopardstown or Fairyhouse.

    Time was when a man came in and they’d head straight for the suit department; now it’s about assembling an outfit that can enjoy a shelf (or is that wardrobe?) life well beyond race week.

    “It’s all about mix and match,” says Tom. “Lads will come in to get decked out and they want something different.”

    “They’ll have seen us on social media and seen the customers we have had here in the shop with like Conor McGregor,” adds Tom. “Conor has started a whole style of fashion among young men. They want to dress like him.”

    The team at ej’s specialise in the trend of ‘outfit building’ where the mix and match is tested, different items are tried on and discarded if they don’t work.

    It can take time too. “Guys come in here and it can take two hours to mix and match an outfit after we give our advice on what to put together. Some lads definitely need our help!” says Mark Cunningham, a member of the ej’s team.

    And that advice is much sought after. Just last week, the store hosted a visit from four eager young men who had hot-footed it to ej’s Sligo base, all the way from Galway itself.

    After an afternoon’s shopping and advice from Tom and Mark, they left with their race-day outfits – not before posing in front of the magnificent portrait of Ireland’s style-king, Mr McGregor.

    So, what’s at the races this year? Well, blazers for starters, maybe with chinos or dressy denims. And of course, nobody’s gets into a race meeting without a jacket on.

    “The blazer is a very structured garment,” says Tom. “It’s important to get the quality right.”

    With brands such as Remus Uomo, Herbie Frogg, Mulish and Gibson to choose from, Ej’s has it covered across all budgets.

    Tom adds: “Things have gone to another level; with attention to detail on accessories, colour and even socks – or the lack of them. It’s a thing for some guys not to wear any.”

    Shirts with grandfather collars are also in and some guys are going for knitted ties with square bottoms.

    The TV drama ‘Peaky Blinders’, starring Corkman Cillian Murphy, has played a big part in establishing this kind of sharp but edgy look that young lads clearly love.

    But the team at ej’s haven’t forgotten tradition either. The guys dress people for all race events including Ascot where top hats and tails are the order of the day.

    “To get into most of the enclosures at Ascot, you need the formal wear and it has to be just right.

    “We always try to give people quality clothes at an affordable price and we cater for all budgets,” adds Mark. “The benefit of ‘mix and match’ is the value – guys can use the clothes for other occasions after the races are over.”

    Finally, just when they thought all the decision were down to blokes, it turns out that the ladies still have a big say in what’s being worn by their man. They won’t put up with any old clobber, explains Tom.

    “The lads are outdoing each other on the outfits but they still need to pay attention to the girlfriend or wife. That’s key!”

    Of course, if you can’t visit ej’s in person, buying online has never been easier; the summer sale with 20% of many items is in full swing and ejmenswear.com is at your service 24/7. Drop by!

  • Why investing in a good pair of shoes is a no-brainer

    Shoes tell stories about you – make sure they’re the right ones!

    “Strangely enough, I really think that shoes are a communication tool between people.”

     

    So, says one of the world’s most celebrated women’s shoe designers Christian Louboutin, whose expensive creations have cost many a man and woman a small fortune.

     

    His shoes can cost over €1,000 - so it’s unlikely you’ll be too concerned about bagging a set of those bad boys anytime soon. Anyway, men generally don’t look great in heels.

     

    But while the price tag might put people off, Mr Louboutin is right about one thing: shoes tell stories about people.

    No amount of good clothes can make up for the wrong pair of shoes; the wrong colour, shape or design can ruin a careful chosen suit, ensemble or any kind of outfit for that matter.

     

    There’s another decent quote about shoes which pops to mind and sits well with the advice that the EJ’s team give people when buying footwear: “Good shoes take you good places.”
    But why is that?

     

    “Shoes are such an important fashion accessory. They are there for all the world to see,” says Mark Cunningham one of EJ’s shoe experts. “Good shoes make an outfit.”

     

    They also impress men and women alike. “People look at shoes and they can form positive impressions there and then. They are as important as the clothes, so make sure you put the effort into selecting a pair that’s right for you.”

    Some styles never go out of fashion; brogues are still popular along with Chelsea boots and hush puppies. Even shoes with tassels are back in fashion – the 1980s will be thrilled!

     

    Men are more likely now however to be brave with different colours; Mark says burgundy, mid-brown and navy are still goers but, curiously, green shoes are proving a big hit.

     

    “People are moving away from tans which ruled for a few years and green as a shoe colour choice has come into its own – it’s not for everyone but can work well with the right ensemble.

    Monk strap shoes are popular too says Mark, and whether the brand of choice is Herbie Frogg, Bugatti or Remus Uomo, the expert team at EJ’s are on hand to advise and assist.

     

    “It really is true, shoes can make the outfit and that’s the case whether you are buying shoes for a work suit, a wedding or special occasion or to go with more formal wear,” adds Mark.

     

    So, shoes tell a story about you –but that doesn’t mean you must go down the Christian Louboutin route by splashing crazy o’clock cash.

     

    “Everyone can afford to pick a good quality pair of shoes. Our mantra at EJ’s is a quality pair of shoes at an affordable price,” says Mark.

     

    We’ll leave the last word to designer Tom Ford. “Shoes are always the most important thing for me because they are who you are. They change the way you walk, the way you move.”

     

    At EJs, if we can help someone to walk tall in a pair of shoes that suits the budget, job done.

  • Don't Forget The Old Man This Father's Day!

    With Father’s Day rapidly approaching, it must be admitted that there is a tendency among some people to dismiss it as yet another commercial racket dreamed up by Hallmark to sell cards. If you find yourself thinking along these lines, it’s worth bearing in mind that Father’s Day has been celebrated since the Middle Ages – don’t mention middle age to your Dad though! So, salve your conscience about rampant capitalism and do something nice for the old man.

    As fathers can be complicated creatures, we have a few killer tips that should ensure your Dad is still talking to you on Monday:

    First, don’t be fooled, there is always ‘something’ that you can get for the man who has everything.

    Second, when he says he doesn’t want anything, it’s possible your Dad is lying to you – yes, we know, it’s shocking behaviour.

    And, if he has been more couch than 5k for the last few years, he’d probably appreciate an extra cushion and a foot stool far more than he would some ridiculous contraption designed to make him cycle miserably for hours in a shed.

    Similarly, if he has never shown any inclination to jump out of a plane flying 10,000 feet above his couch, he might not want to do that either.

    At EJ Menswear, we’d rather you weren’t disinherited by your loving father and shunned in the streets you call home, so we’ve come up with some gift ideas for you:

    Secrid Mini Wallet

    The Secrid wallet combines both quality and style while also providing security against unwanted card fraud. The state of the art ultra-thin aluminium card protector prevents your cards from being scanned by a mobile device using radio frequency readers. In this new era of high tech card fraud the Secrid wallet is an innovative solution that looks and feels just right.

    The Secrid wallet card protector can hold 6 flat cards or 4 with raised lettering. There is ample space for notes and additional compartments for other cards or coins. If you are looking for additional space then the twin wallet holds up to 12 flat cards or 8 cards with raised lettering.

    Gift Cards

    Our gift cards are our number one Father’s Day gift, allowing your father the choice of getting whatever he prefers – and as an added bonus our gift cards never expire.

     

    Shirts

    Shirts are also a very popular Father’s Day gift and we have a range of Ralph Lauren shirts to suit men of all ages. The most iconic brand of the 20th & 21st century, they are synonymous with style and elegance.

    Farah shirts are another popular brand. They are an exceptionally good fit and are available in a broad range of colours. Our range of Farah shirts includes a grandad style which is back in fashion with a bang.

    Socks & Jocks

    Socks and underwear are always popular gifts for Father’s Day. GANT are probably our most popular choice and are said to be the most comfortable boxer shorts on the market. We also carry a range of gift pack socks from Tommy Hilfiger and Bugatti.

  • The EJ’s guide to choosing an affordable, quality graduation suit

     A suit for the grads is a must. Getting it right requires a little planning, some expert advice — and your mammy.

     

    After spending six or seven years in the same school uniform, it’s time to suit up, and look sharp for your graduation.

    Choosing a suit for the grads is a big moment is anyone’s life, and it’s usually the very first suit you will buy.

    Back in the day, graduation attire was the hire of some god-awful tuxedo - and a cumberband (it’s a long story!)

    Times, fashion, and the rules for formal dress have changed. But that doesn’t mean you have to go all Dumb and Dumber or Liberace to stand out from the crowd.

    The two boys in Dumb and Dumber chose Orange and Powder blue with top hats while Liberace liked bling and big frilly collars.

    We wouldn’t recommend either look - but at EJ Menswear we do have the insights to make your big night a success.

    In the 1980s, things were very simple. You asked the ould lad for €100 and got down to your nearest formal wear rental shop. Nobody bought a suit. Ever.

    But those days are over. “People used to be have to be bet into a suit. But the tux is almost dead in the water,” says Tom Clarke – one of EJ’s resident suit experts.

    Tom’s no slouch himself when it comes to dressing for the big occasion. “People now generally buy a suit. They want longevity, other uses, they want something edgy and exclusive – and to be a trendsetter.”

    EJ’s helps them to tick all the boxes – including exclusivity. “It’s all about the hair and the shoes and the image – and they want to be different.”

    You might hear a lot about obesity epidemics and talk about a sugar tax, but these days young lads these days are fitter and leaner.

    “We are selling lots of small sizes and extra small as well as shaped and cropped cuts,” says Tom. That’s a huge change from 30 years ago when average sizes were 38, 40 and 42. Now we’re selling 36s and 34s.”

    Like all the team in EJs, Tom knows his suits from his ensembles. He knows his 6th Sense from Lambretta, Herbert Frogg from Mulish, he knows what matches and contrasts, when to go plain or patterned, when to choose burgundy shoes home or quietly slide them back on the shelf.

    “With Pinterest and Instagram to inspire them, young men are opting for suits and ensembles in all kinds of styles,” says Tom.

    No matter the budget, the team have grown fairly handy at matching expectations with lads looking at the likes of Conor McGregor and Cillian Murphy in ‘Peaky Blinders’ to find their own wardrobe inspiration.

    “A lad came in there and handed me a picture of Ronaldo and said I want to look like that,” recalls Tom.

    “Ok, so Ronaldo was probably wearing a three grand suit but we had the fella looking pretty smart by the time he left.”

    But where do you begin? Plain suit or patterned? Tie or no tie? Pocket watch or flower pin? Classic white shirt or a splash of colour? How do you stand out from the crowd —for all the right reasons?

    “We try to give everyone a good quality suit or ensemble at a good price. You also get the expertise of our team to make sure the big night is a success. Come on in and have a chat with the guys.”

    Below are EJ’s and Tom’s top tips in getting it right for the Grads.

     1. Suit First

    Start with the suit, then match the accessories. You can choose a full suit or you can mix things up and pair a blazer or jacket with a contrasting waistcoat and plain chinos. EJ Menswear has a huge array of brands. Liberace, god rest him, would have loved us.

    2. Fit is Key

    Thankfully EJ’s has an in-house tailoring service – use it and make sure your new gear fits your shape perfectly

    3. Mix and Match

    It’s easy to get it wrong – check how the different garments and colours sit together and only match the tie if it suits the suit – not the girls’ dress. Stand up for yourself and start as you mean to go on!

    4. It’s what’s on the inside

    You won’t be leaving your jacket on all night so put just as much thought into the shirt and waist coat, if you’re wearing one.

    5. Tie it up

    Whether it’s an ordinary tie, bow tie, or cravat, only match the tie if it suits the suit. Remember it’s YOUR graduation, so stand up for yourself and if the dress doesn’t match the tie then you can either go mismatched or herself will have to wear a different dress!

    6. Shoes

    Remember to leave some budget for the bottom of the house. Often lads splash out on a snazzy suit and then have no money left for a decent pair of shoes and that’s something the ladies pay attention to.”

    7. Listen to Mammy

    She’s probably bankrolling the whole enterprise so take her opinion on board. You’ll be thinking Punchestown races with the new threads; she’s not - she’s got that college or job interview in mind. Compromise here.

  • Quality Never Goes Out Of Fashion!

    Introducing Ej Menswear

    Well hello there and welcome to our newly created blog! Took us long enough, yes, we know, but it’s finally here, up and running.
    This blogging thing is something completely new for me and possibly for you too. To be honest, I’m very cautious about what and how I post on the Internet, so you can only imagine - it took me some time to gather all my thoughts and actually start typing. Is it just me or is there really such a thing as the pressure of first blog? Like think about it - it's the first one, so you gotta make it good, it’s like first impression - you can’t take it back. AND it's gonna be out there forever. For anyone to see… Maybe it's just all in my head, that's what I tend to do - I think and I think and I think some more, then I rethink everything again until nothing makes sense anymore. Anyone else the same? No? Just me?!?
    Aaaanyways... After hours and hours of frantic research on Google, e-books, magazines (basically everything and anything that I could put my hands/eyes on), I decided on the first topic. Not to sound too vain, but it became obvious that it should be about us. Now when I say “us”, I don’t mean you and me “us”, I mean the Ej Menswear team and myself “us”. As much as we would like it, not everybody knows who we are or what we do (not yet anyways, maybe someday). Makes sense doesn’t it?
    So lets get acquainted. We started our journey as a premium menswear store in 1994, offering quality brands at excellent prices. Men’s fashion trends have come a loooong way since then and so have we, I mean Ej’s been in business for more than 20 years, so we must be doing something right, right?
    You can find our award - winning store in the heart of Sligo, in the northwest of Ireland. Oh, yeah, you heard right - award - winning! It’s been voted “Best Independent Retailer in the UK and Ireland”. Not bad for a small independent retail business, huh?

    The customer really is a priority here, quality service is a promise, vast choice is guaranteed plus the lads are always up for some craic, which will make your shopping experience that much more enjoyable, even for the guys, who’re not too keen on shopping for new threads. If you're ever in Sligo - pop in and make sure of it yourself - the staff is friendly and they don't bite (as far as I know).
    We took the next brave step and launched our online shop www.ejmenswear.com in summer of 2015. Trust me when I say - it wasn't easy. We're still working on it every day, trying to make the online shopping experience as easy and convenient as we can for you guys! It takes a lot of time, patience, effort and sometimes even sleepless nights. Not my nights though, no, I sleep like a baby (not that it’s relevant, but why not share anyways?!). I’m talking about the guys who’re developing, coding, encrypting (and all those other fancy/boring programming words) the site and making all that possible, bet they’ve had a few of those. Big shout out to the guys! Cheers!
    Bare in mind we’re new in the blogosphere and we’re learning this as we go. We'll try to keep things interesting and versatile as much as possible, telling you all about what's hip and happening in our world and the world of men’s fashion. Thank you for joining us on this new and exciting journey and remember – quality never goes out of fashion!

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