At Emporio in Teaneck, Marketing Director Sam Rappaport gave me a tour of what’s new in fall/winter fashion for men and boys. Dressing up is back in style, as we return to the office, shul, school and simchas. For weekday wear, the WFH sweatpants are gone but the comfort we got used to is being infused into more structured clothing.
Stylistic innovations in men’s suits are subtle from season to season, but are always based on quality fabric and detailing. What is the difference between an average suit and a beautifully made one? “It’s the way it drapes, the sheen on the fabric, the stitching in the corners, the way the shoulder lays,” said Rappaport. “Feel it,” he said, gently stroking a suit he showed me. “It has a nice hand.” Hand, I learned, is short for handle, a concept in men’s suits that defines the way a suit feels. Rappaport said popular colors are still black, navy, blue and charcoal.
New this year is the return of the peak lapel. Men’s suits are either notch or peak lapel. The peak design was introduced back in the 1930s and 1940s. Then, it was mostly with a double-breasted suit. Today it’s coming back on the single breasted. Emporio’s most popular brand is Tino Cosma, an Italian designer of quality men’s suits. Sizing comes in three labels. Emporio began to carry the white (slim) label and has extended into red (fuller) and black (larger), all made of luxurious wool.
Pants and a new jacket with stretch fabric have combined style with comfort. “Stretch is the hottest thing,” said Rappaport. “It’s not as dressy but it’s extremely lightweight, comfortable, stain resistant and easy to care for. If you get caught in the rain, it dries quickly. In a wool or cotton pant, if you get wet, you’re uncomfortable all day.”
Each Emporio has its own full tailor shop. “You can have 50 or 60 different sizes, but a suit rarely fits perfectly off the rack,” said Rappaport. “Our tailor can take apart a suit and put it back together to try to get it as perfect as possible.”
We’ve been enjoying unseasonably warm temps recently, but not for long. Emporio’s new collection of merino wool men’s sweaters are perfect for those times when a coat is too much but another layer is necessary. In addition to half button, half zip, full button and V-neck styles, Emporio has a more youthful cotton sweater with a full zipper and hard warmer pockets. For winter, coats are lighter this year while still providing protection from the cold with water resistant fabric.
The style plus comfort trend has made it to men’s shoes. Emporio’s dress shoes for men and boys have classic leather styling but with soft, sneaker-like bottoms. A new shoe just in from Trafalger has a zipper which provides interesting detail and another level of comfort for getting on and off.
Boys suits, especially for simchas, are made with the same luxurious fabrics and attention to detail as men’s suits, also this season with peak and notch lapels. Princeton suits are a popular brand in sizes 8-22. Princeton’s washable blazers and dress pants are good for everyday yeshiva wear and function as suit separates for the hard to fit. Princeton’s stretch pants are very popular with the boys—and their mothers—due to their easy, machine washable care.
It’s not too early to think about Chanukah presents for the guys in your life. Rohr suggests a colorful tie or several pairs of socks. With men’s clothing being generally conservative, socks and ties can add personality and color. Grooming kits or small tool kits to keep in the glove compartment are also good choices.
For a complete view of Emporio fashions, visit the Teaneck store at 215 West Englewood Ave. or locations in Flatbush, Boro Park, Cedarhurst or Lakewood. Online, visit www.emporioclothing.com.