The nifty shade

By Frank Pagani


This season, Neiman Marcus has used its gray matter to discern that “Gray Matters,” hailing the color as “fall’s definitive neutral” – for men as well as women.

“Our customer has shown a passion for hand-tailored suits and jackets and patterned pants designed in all shades of gray,” says Stacey Talieres, assistant general manager of Neiman Marcus Westchester in White Plains.
Look for lots of men in gray flannel suits. The Neiman Marcus team has seen an increase in the use of flannel by many designers. The sharp contrast between matte suites that are fabricated with the classic soft woven material and shiny suits that were in vogue until  recently was the focus of an August article (“The Return of the Grey Flannel Suit”) by the noted British menswear blogger Marcus Jaye. He observed: “The menswear pendulum has swung back over to the non-shiny side—the matte suit, if you will—and the ultimate version has to be one in grey flannel… Oozing understated luxury and gentlemanly sophistication, it makes a versatile and practical addition to any cold-weather tailoring collection.”

Some examples showcased in the Neiman Marcus fall line are Giorgio Armani’s Wall Street Wide-Pinstripe Charcoal Flannel Suit, Ralph Lauren’s Black label Charcoal Suit and Isaia’s Plaid, Blue Gray Suit.

Regardless of the materials and textures used, the biggest difference in styling from a year ago is that power suits are cut to fit closer to the body, noted Joseph Senese, manager of The Man’s Store at Neiman Marcus Westchester: “It’s a much softer, more natural look, a departure from the styling in the ’90s when the shoulder and chest were bigger.”

Of course, a smart-looking business ensemble also calls for well-matched shirts, ties, belts, socks and shoes as seen here. When the executive arrives at a restaurant for a power lunch or at a meeting with a new client, a stylish raincoat – a significant portion of sales at Neiman Marcus – completes the look. It might be something along the lines of the classic-looking Burberry Kensington Brit Double-Breasted Trench Coat.

“The raincoat goes hand in hand with the power suit and makes positive first impressions,” Talieres noted.

So regardless of what the Dow does this fall, Neiman Marcus is going to help its well-attired clientele look bullish.

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