Thursday, October 9, 2008
HART SCHAFFNER MARX, HICKEY FREEMAN, BOBBY JONES SPRING 2009
PRESENTATION OF TAILORED CLOTHING AND SPORTSWEAR FOR WELL- DRESSED GENTS
745 Fifth Avenue, NYC October 7th, 2008- 9:45 AM
WORDS, IMAGES JUDITH ECOCHARD
If you talk to the guys manning the trading desks these days…it’s like a group therapy session.
One thing we are certain of however…is the importance of appearances…and men get this.
After all, a correctly attired man exudes confidence. And with everyone scrutinizing their budgets, whether they really need to or not, it only makes sense to shop labels that have deserved reputations for being well made …and that always offer timeless modern classics.
HART SCHAFFNER MARX:
We favor this upscale collection- and know many inside the Beltway, high-ranking guys- from our DC days-who wear this company’s suits exclusively.
Founded by Chicago dwelling, German immigrants in the late 1880s, Hart Schaffner Marx manages to reach a younger 21st century audience not used to wearing suits to work, via a fresh approach to silhouettes and styling. Subtle tweaks like a slightly wider lapel, and a slightly slimmer cut are perceptible but not overly trendy.
Meaning, these suits ($795-$995.00) are “Board Room Ready.”
A good thing- and what keeps this brand in the numero uno spot as the largest (and oldest) American brand in tailored clothing.
For Spring 2009 (which ships February-March) there are three major silhouettes:
-A classic British Tan Suit …a popular color
-A handsome, breathable Navy Pinstripe suit that’s all cotton (though it looks like wool) with a partially lined jacket for hot weather comfort. (Pictured above)
-A dapper pin cord seersucker suit.
Since there is a “synergy between everything we do,” the dress shirts are equally appropriate and fashionable. We admired the contrast stitching, (our fav color combo- a white/blue Broadcloth Stripe shirt), spread collars, and barrel cuffs on the shirt.
INFO: HART SCHAFFNER MARX
The luxury brand Hickey Freeman stands for power attire and high-end elegant sportswear- for men living the “classic Gentlemen lifestyle.”
For Spring 2009, there are two new suit silhouettes, the Presidential Collection and the more progressive- The Vanguard.
Our brief tutorial on the ne plus ultra Presidential Collection was an eye opener. Inspired by Hickey Freeman’s wardrobes’ past that outfitted our country’s leaders, the suits feature “the finest level of hand tailoring and exclusive materials…(and) are almost entirely hand stitched, have sleeves lined with Bemburg silk, have genuine horn buttons from England, and gold plated zippers on the trousers.
We may not respect our politicians but we do have respect for their positions and understand why a Made in America (Rochester, NY) brand of the finest suits would appeal to males belonging to upper echelon political circles.
However, we think this reinterpretation of the senior executive suit that comes in two (with a matching vest) and three button double breasted silhouettes, and modern flat front or double reverse pleats- will appeal to the inner moguls inside the many men we know.
The Vanguard, a contemporary line “with a custom look” features “a slimmer fit with a higher, more defined shoulder, narrower lapels and slimmer trouser leg.” Available in two or three button styles with front or single reverse pleat pants, the garb is cut from innovative textiles including lightweight wool, cashmere, silk and linen blends in patterns (glen plaid, houndstooth, graphic chalk stripe)… and neutral/bold tones.
Hickey Freeman’s business attire also includes Italian and English silk neckwear in vibrant and modern graphic colors. For traditionalists, there are old-school paisleys and argyles too.
The sportswear is equally as luxe.
Outwear options for the men who expect the best tailoring fused with performance-will be happy with the plush textured leather golf jacket with contrast stitching and ribbed trim at the cuffs and waist, and a water/windproof, suede trim- quilted vest made form Loro Piano’s Storm System materials.
Lightweight fine cashmere sweaters in this year’s it color – lilac, and handsome cotton knits round out Hickey Freeman wardrobe selections.
INFO: HICKEY FREEMAN
We were jonesying to preview the Bobby Jones collection of women and men’s golf /resorts wear because we are avid golfers.
We have a list of complaints about other female golf garb on the market…primarily the fit or lack there of. Only our tropical pink swirls’ one fit us. But after a certain day on the Fall calendar, the perky pants look out of place in our New York area locale.
Happily, we believe we can wear the Bobby Jones ladies line on and off the course. Sporting the signature shamrock logo (hey-whatever lowers our handicap) the full collection of skorts with comfy elastic waists, tapered long walker shorts and clam diggers with zipped pockets and tee holders, mercerized Egyptian cotton shirts with ornate buttons and ruffled collars, and Peruvian Pima cotton sweatshirts- come in a thoroughly modern black, white and yellow pop pattern.
There are soft pastels (candy pink, lime fizz and pop yellow) and ivory, china and powder blue feminine separates too -in cashmere and summery seersucker.
We truly liked a reversible quilted black jacket that conveniently packs into a matching tote. ($795).
And a 3xDRY fabric used in a long sleeved half zip top, skort, clam digger and polo (all moisture wicking, water resistant) are technical pluses that athletic ladies demand from their attire.
The Bobby Jones women’s collection is suitable for gym bunnies and yoga –sters too ...and can go from workouts to later excursions with ease.
Retail prices are in line with other top collections…from $125-$175 (tops), $150 (sweaters), $145 (bottom pieces).
Men have two distinct Bobby Jones lines to choose from.
For the traditional guy who frequents a country club or an upscale resort –the Italian made knits (mercerized and pima cotton) collar shirts with woven collars (and the Bobby Jones Player tape)- come in masculine pastels and solid “Carmel” shades of blue and green. (Short sleeve $100-$195, long sleeve $175-$220)
A handsome bunch of sport jackets hand tailored by Hickey Freeman in classic materials (madras, seersucker, linen/cotton) and 100% prim cotton vests ($195) are perfect for 19th Hole celebrations.
Total looks are completed with pants and shorts in flat front and pleated styles, made from cotton and linen. New for this year is the cotton flat front trouser with a nano fabric finish - for durability.
For a more “transitional” customer, there is a performance line made from the X-H20 fabrics that are anti-microbial, have UV protection, and possess moisture wicking properties.
Trendy zipper closures mesh with functionality-as exemplified in a water repellent jacket with lots of stretch, a protective collar, and extended sleeves for more coverage. ($275)
A rain jacket with waterproof fabric has a vented mesh lining ($175) is another essential for golfers.
And as one employee correctly observed…Bobby Jones stands for “quality without trading down.”
ACCESSORIES: Classic watches with ribbon bands made by Seiko, a flask, and a re-launch of the woodsy, oak, clover scented Bobby Jones fragrance are also available.
And of course the Bobby Jones Golf Clubs.
INFO: BOBBY JONES
Image from BOBBY JONES website