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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, Fairyhouse or student day at Sligo.

    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, 6th Sense and Magee 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 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.

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