18 December 2009

The Return of the Gentleman?

If only.

This New York Times article claims a resurgence in traditional menswear as a result of the hit show Mad Men.
The trend reaches from Madison Avenue to the shopping mall. At Paul Stuart, most of the store’s growth is in its trim-tailored, dandified (and expensive) Phineas Cole line, courtesy of customers in their 20’s and 30’s, said Michael Ostrove, the store’s executive vice president.

Brooks Brothers, which has struggled since the 1980s to recapture the all-American style mantle that Ralph Lauren made off with, has received quite a bump from “Mad Men.” The company made the suits the main characters wear, to the specs of the costume designer, Janie Bryant.

And at Topman, the men’s branch of the popular Topshop, the category it calls “smart” clothing — dressier togs that straddle work and play — has been one of the best performers in its new New York store.
Although I personally prefer 40s fashions to that of the late 50s, I am always delighted to see any return of the classically well-dressed man, especially among our youth. Dress shirts to replace tees, and bucks to replace the crocs and flip-flops? Fedoras instead of baseball caps? Yes, please.
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