Jeans, often torn, tucked into partially untied boots, worn together with a tight t-shirt and stubble – the clothes worn by thousands of labourers, carpenters and digger drivers all over the UK - has created the most powerful male sales image of the last 20 years, their sales figures reveal.
Even world famous celebrities such as Justin Timberlake, Cristiano Ronaldo, and Seal are now copying the ultra masculine style, known as Working Man Chic.
Said Debenhams Director of Menswear Buying, Paul Baldwin: “Somewhere out there is a labourer whose dress sense started the whole thing off. The trend has created a billion pound industry – but he probably doesn’t know it.”
Debenhams sales of working man style boots have leapt by 106 per cent in the last two months alone. Lumberjack style shirts, braces, and jeans with multiple pockets – classic clothing for the building trade - have also rocketed by 270 per cent, 114 per cent and 139 per cent respectively since January.
The style has even appeared in Spring/Summer 2011 collections from leading designers such as Dolce and Gabbana.
Said Debenhams Paul Baldwin: “When demand began to rise three years ago, we first thought it was caused by genuine working men buying their working clothes from our stores.
“However, when the trend spread quickly to stores where a high percentage of our customers are young and fashion conscious, we realised that the style was moving from the building sites to the high street, pubs and clubs.
“We believe that the sudden popularity of Working Man Chic may say something about the changing role of men in society.
“For the last two decades, fashion conscious men wanted to look like successful City slickers.
“Now, when times are hard and banking has lost its appeal, they want to be seen as rugged but very dependable - the sort of man who has a large tool box as well as a warm heart.”
Working Man Chic has also found favour with leading pop groups such as JLS, the Wanted and teen heart throb Zac Efron.