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Sales and clothing: the history of the origins of a custom

   

Summertime is for holidays and relaxation, and more importantly the sales! Have you ever wondered why the joy of buying always coincides with the moment in which you go on holiday? Going back in time will help you to understand, and it is an excellent opportunity to buy the man’s shirt that’s been on your wishlist for ages.


 


Let’s start with Italy. Sales have been in existence in Italy since the end of the ‘30s. At that time the price of unsold items could be reduced at the end of the season, and were, therefore, classified as “extraordinary sales”. It wasn’t until the ‘80s that prices were discounted at certain times of the year. From then on, the custom of two sales seasons was established: from early January to early March and from early July to the beginning of September it was possible to shop at a discount! 


 


France has a longer history of sales. In fact, in the middle of the nineteenth century, starting from a Rive Gauche stall, Aristide Boucicaut set-up Bon Marché, which marked the beginning of the large-scale distribution. With this visionary Parisian merchant prices become fixed and clothes, much to the joy of women, begin to be discounted twice a year. Even today, the left bank of the Seine is full of fashion boutiques. Remember to have a look at the shop windows if you happen to be there, a man’s shirt could be waiting for you just around the corner!


 


This taste for discounted fashion went abroad too, and stopped in New York, the city that has always established the new trends! In general, sales in the USA are on at all times of the year, even if they officially start on Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving! There are different theories about the origins of this name. Black for the black ink used by American businesses in the Sixties for the profits in profit and loss accounts (losses were in red!), or black like the traffic jams of thousands of cars on the streets of the Big Apple. There is also time to pick up a bargain in the metropolis that never sleeps, between a brunch break in SoHo, the area with the most fashionable shops, and a hot dog in the afternoon in the middle of Manhattan. 


 


Milan, Paris, New York … but also the much-loved sofa at home! In fact, today the sales are online, as if the screen of your smartphone screen were a big shop window. No queues, no crowding, with your head comfortably resting on a cushion, in a few clicks you can shop for menswear online, effortlessly and perhaps in the company of your favourite TV series!


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