Meet the new demographic: The Lumbersexual

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By Max

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Perhaps you too have spotted a ‘Lumbersexual’ out in the wild. I know I have. There he was, walking into Target, a mountain of a man, sporting a lush, yet groomed, beard that dipped from his chin to his clavicle. Bulging muscles stretched the red and white plaid of his thin flannel shirt, which made me wonder whether he spent eight-hour days in the gym, or actually was a lumberjack by trade. His tight, distressed skinny-jeans gave him away. No lumberjack of my acquaintance would sport such skin-tight duds.

Never heard of a “lumbersexual”? Or maybe you think this is just a new fashion trend brought on by those crazy hipsters. Whatever your familiarity – whether you live in their home turf of the Pacific Northwest, or observe from afar – we’ve got all the information you need to get inside the heads of this new, rugged incarnation of yesterday’s metrosexual.

Yes, it’s a real demographic – one you’ll want to know

The Lumbersexual ‘look’ may have started as a trend, but it’s grown into a real demographic among male consumers. The trend’s origins are up for debate, but GearJunkie (which coined the term) puts it best:

Whether the roots of the lumbersexual are a cultural shift toward environmentalism, rebellion against the grind of 9-5 office jobs, or simply recognition that outdoor gear is just more comfortable, functional and durable, the Lumbersexual is on the rise.

The Atlantic contributor Willa Brown has a different perspective in “Lumbersexuality and Its Discontents.”

This particular brand of bearded flannel-wearer is a modern take on the deeply-rooted historical image of Paul Bunyan, the ax-wielding but amiable giant, whose stomping grounds were the North Woods of the upper Midwest. Paul and his brethren emerged as icons in American pop culture a little over a century ago. What links the mythic lumberjack to his modern-day incarnations is a pervasive sense—in his time and ours—that masculinity is “in crisis.”

I think it’s all this and more. Masculine virtues have gotten short shrift in recent decades; there has been a strong shift towards environmentalism; and outdoor gear is decidedly more comfortable than suits and ties. But Lumbersexuals are about more than this. Their clothing may harken back to turn-of-the-century aesthetics, but their values are entirely modern. These are men who can build a live-edge coffee table with hairpin legs – but use their Smartphones to search YouTube for instructional videos first. They’re technically proficient, politically liberal, and are as likely to tout the wonders of bacon as strict veganism.

In short, Lumbersexuals delight in primitive pleasures by night, but code software by day. They’ve got good jobs and expensive tastes. And they are definitely a demographic to watch. 

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Yes, it’s a real demographic – one you’ll want to know

You’ll recognize him by: 
• The Beard
• The Flannel
• The Outdoorsy Fashion Sense
• The bold Beanie – a fashion staple

You’ll find him:
• Riding his Motorcycle
• Drinking small-batch Bourbon or Moonshine
• Getting another Tattoo
• Hiking, shopping, or at the gym

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Trends he’s driving:

“For the first time in history, men spent more cash on male-specific toiletries than on shaving products.” – IndependentRetailer.com

The Men’s grooming market is expected to hit $6 Billion by 2017, proof positive that men are caring more about their hair – and not just the hair on their heads. On social media, 41% of conversations about lumbersexuals is related to their beards.

Facial hair and the products used to care for it aren’t the only trends coming from the Lumbersexual movement. Plaid shirts – whether or not they’re flannel – are taking over the menswear sections of stores, along with distressed denim and bomber jackets.

The bomber jackets go great with the Lumbersexual’s transportation of choice:
Motorcycles (popularity index of 190.2).

Where’s he going on that motorcycle? Most likely to meet up with friends at the new, trendy bourbon joint in town – where he’ll order moonshine. This is a man who appreciates his amber liquids. Don’t even mention vodka in his presence.

Buzzfeed published a spot-on Holiday Gift Guide for Lumbersexuals which features “Lumber Yard” scented beard oil, a stainless steel hip flask, and bourbon-spiked maple syrup.


Find out more

We took a deep dive into the passions and preferences of the Lumbersexual demographic. You can download this free, in-depth research here. Enjoy!

DOWNLOAD FULL REPORT

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Topics: Knowledge; Infographic; New Business Pitch