The US men's clothing market is enjoying a return to growth, driven by an increased need for personalised clothing, according to a new report.

'Men's Clothing in the United States' says the US$47.9bn market is showing signs of recovery following sliding sales from 2000 to 2003.

There has been increased need for suits and tailored clothing during 2004 and 2005, according to the report, as well as rising sales of sportswear.

Many of the market's largest manufacturers and retailers have recently demonstrated excellent financial performance, and a number of retailers have been able to acquire new brands that further consolidated holdings in space already dominated by gigantic companies.

Despite this positive news, the men's clothing category continues to be challenged with the task of motivating men to keep up with styles and clothing trends, the report points out.

Male respondents in consumer surveys demonstrate an aversion to clothes shopping and a desire to avoid making 'fashion statements'. Additional research reveals that a quarter of men are not the primary shoppers of the clothing they wear. These men admit they leave the task to wives, girlfriends, or other female friends.

Furthermore, retailers seem stuck in a cycle of promotions, perpetuating the male tendency to shop the sale racks.

Consumer research in the report reveals the attitudes, needs and behaviour of male clothing consumers, with analysis broken down both by demographic characteristics and by apparel types.