Manolo says, the Manolo he has been most relaxed of late with regard to the regular posting and the writing in this blog. Mostly this it has to do with the busy-ness of the Manolo, and with the Manolo’s general and well-known uninterest in the clothes for the man.
Of the course, just because the Manolo he is frequently bored by the clothes for the man, it does not mean that they are not important, and occasionally worth the close attention and discussion.
Such is the case with this recent article from the Cathy Horyn in the New York Times about the much welcomed return of the tailored suit. (The Manolo he had almost given up the hope.)
The urge to look corporate – sleek, commanding, prudent, yet with just a touch of hubris on your well-cut sleeve – is an unexpected development in a time of business disgrace. But surprising or not, sales of men’s tailored clothing increased 23.7 percent last year to $4.3 billion, with suit sales alone jumping 34 percent. That halts an eight-year decline.
Some of the gain came from men replenishing wardrobes gone stale from casual Fridays. They probably also discovered that a suit, with its clean lines, was a more effective means of transmitting rank to a dull colleague than a golf shirt and a pair of khakis, and a much nicer way to spend one’s bonus. And though “The Apprentice” produced a type that represents to many people in business the worst human qualities, there is no denying the impact of youth on suits, which are now more tapered, with narrower sleeves and flat-front trousers. This can transform seersucker or flannel into a sexy, yet still formal, package.
“Young men are driving this trend, and it’s the guy in his 40’s and 50’s who needs to get moving,” said Bill Downes, the men’s buyer at Wilkes Bashford in San Francisco. “In the business world you want to project youth and vitality. Dockers and a baseball hat, that’s not going to do it.” David Witman, the corporate merchandising manager for men’s wear at Nordstrom, does not agree that young men alone are behind the strong sales, but as he sees it, they now perceive tailored jackets and such accouterments as French-cuff shirts as cool. “It’s a completely new market for us,” Mr. Witman said.
The return of sartorial standards among the young American men it makes the Manolo most happy.
The Ed he posted the most excellent ruminations on this article, ones that brings in the Tom Wolfe (whom the Manolo has intended to discuss for many weeks here), and the article that the Ed had written on the aesthetics in American.
You must go read these things now.
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