The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and Images, a consumer magazine, have conducted a study of brand popularity in major Indian cities. Prominent menswear brands of shirts, trousers, T-shirts, jeans, coats, sweaters, ties, undergarments and socks were assessed on aspects like brand appeal, fabric quality, fit, styling, colour, pricing and easy availability.

The survey found that brand appeal was the single most important aspect influencing buyers of shirts, with 26.2 per cent respondents putting it in first place. Fabric quality came second, followed by fit and styling. Consumers have assigned lesser importance to colour, pricing and easy availability, according to the survey.

Favourite shirt brands were Allen Solly for brand status, Vivaldi for fabric quality, Excalibur for fits, Zodiac for styling, Benetton for colours, and Peter England for pricing and availability.

Among trousers, fit is the biggest consideration for purchases (with 34.1 per cent scores), followed by brand appeal (23.2 per cent preference scores) and fabric quality (18.7 per cent scores). Allen Solly scores the highest among brand appeal, ColorPlus for fabric quality, Blackberrys for fits, and Benetton for styling and colour.

Adidas, Benetton, Byford, Duke, Lacoste and Lee are among the 10 most admired T-shirt brands. While Adidas elicits the strongest preference for brand appeal, Lee scores on fabric quality, and Reebok is rated the highest for styling. The attribute that influences purchases most significantly is brand appeal, followed by fabric quality, fit and styling.

Fit was the most important factor when it came to buying jeans, with 39.2 per cent respondents rating it as the main consideration. Levi's came first for brand appeal, Wrangler for fabric quality, Flying Machine for fit, and Newport for easy availability.

Van Heusen coats are ranked the highest for brand status, Givo for styling, Park Avenue for colour and easy availability, and Louise Philippe for pricing.

Among sweaters, Canterbury is rated the highest on brand appeal and colours, Monte Carlo for yarn quality, Mohini for fit and pricing, and Benetton for styling and ease of availability.

Popular necktie brands are Allen Solly, Bentley, Arrow, Park Avenue, Van Heusen and Zodiac. Reebok, VIP, Nike, Bata, Anchor and Adidas have been rated highly among socks, with yarn quality and brand appeal being significant parameters.

Questionnaires were administered to 1,000 consumers across Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Calcutta and Chandigarh. The study, sponsored by Donear Suitings, analysed six to 12 brands in every category.

The study also includes responses by women, since they influence and purchase a sizeable chunk of menswear. In the overall sample size, 28 per cent of the respondents are women, of which 4 per cent are housewives. Among male respondents, only working women were targeted. More than 50 per cent of the respondents were concentrated in the 26-40 years age group, and only respondents with monthly earnings above Rs 15,000 were targeted.