Why the "Man-cession" is over.

No, I'm not talking about (from what I hear) the lack of dating options for the single ladies here in NYC, sillies. I'm talking about how men are getting back out there and shopping! According to an October survey conducted by BIGresearch, men plan to spend about 3 percent more than they did in 2009; women plan to spend about 1 percent less. On Black Friday of 2010, men spent on average $100 more than women- about $417 during the weekend (source: NRF). Why the surge in spend? Well, men are overall more optimistic about the economy. They feel overall that their finances will improve, while women are a bit more pessimistic. Two years ago (right when the recession began) both men and women were equally pessimistic. What's exciting is seeing retailers respond to the surge in male shoppers. $JCP and $SKS reorganized their menswear sections trying to appeal to the male 25-45 demographic. $SKS generates 14% of its sales from the mens department and $COH is also getting on the band wagon-- they opened two stand alone mens stores stocked with $198 messenger bags and $798 jackets. And PS, those items are pretty much sold out. Above is my segment on CNBC's "Power Lunch" talking about the return of the male...

J.Crew vs. Jack Spade: Which is more "new dad" gift worthy?

My best friend just had a baby. And while I've been busy purchasing cute clothes for him and fun mommy items for her, I sort of forgot about her amazing (and also a dear friend of mine) husband who is putting in double duty as diaper changer, baby feeder and nerve calmer. I know! I'm the WORST.

So you can imagine how psyched I was when the Jack Spade Spring 2011 look book crossed my path/in box today. For me, Jack Spade has always been the go to stop for all things hip-male/ perfect gift source for a new dad who fits the former description. With that said, I was compelled to check out www.jcrew.com since I've had $JCG on the mind for the past four weeks. Hate to say it, but I think $JCG is encroaching on Jack Spade's market share of snazzy man bags and tailored over coats. Check it:

This Waxwear-Pocket Brief looks like can double as a work and baby bag. It's on the high budget side ($365) but what a great design, no?

My friend's husband does want a coat. This Herringbone Field Coat at $525 seems appropriate for a southern California winter.

I think new dads are in need of new shirts as much as moms. While I don't think my friend's husband will be wearing the Chambray Triple Stitch while burping the little one, at $225 it may be work shirt worthy.

Meanwhile, I am convinced part of the reason why $JCG is killing it on the earnings side is because of the mens business and thier "In Good Company" designer collaborations. For example, the Barbour Sylkoil Bedale Jacket ($379 shown at the top of this post) is almost as awesome, if not more than the Jack Spade Field coat.

And check out the Belstaff Colonial shoulder bag 554. To me t his seems a little more functional as a baby bag for dads than the Waxwear Pocket Brief.

Instead of the present being a surprise I might cave and have him pick something out of the options listed. Can't believe how far Jcrew has come from the roll sweaters of 1990.

Discuss: Men in tights.

A friend of mine told me he was watched "Iron Man" this weekend and loved it. THEN I came across this piece in The Independent about the recent fashion trend of men wearing tights sparked by superhero movies. OK, my friend is probably one of the best dressed guys I know and is definitely NOT the type to start sporting spandex anything EVER much less a pair of tights for men, BUT it did get me wondering especially since Calvin Klein sent men in tights down the runway three seasons ago. Has something that had dudes in a tizzy a year ago resurfaced??

Guys: would you wear tights even if all of your friends started wearing them and said it was cool? Ok, let's take wearing them out in public out of the equation- would you even wear them to the gym?

Ladies: would you ever hang out with a guy in tights? On a personal note, I've hung out with some eccentric dudes in my life, but I don't think I could go there...