SPORTS jackets and slimmer fits are dominating menswear this fall, as dressier pieces take everyday outfits to the next level.
Casual looks have been a hallmark of both men's and women's fashion in the last few years. But according to several North Shore retailers, dress shirts and casual pants are taking over business from jeans and T-shirts.
"I think the younger guy who doesn't wear suits to work is really fascinated by suits and that's the big push right now," said Christine Baracos, owner of Baracos + Brand in West Vancouver. The store recently opened in the space that for 19 years housed The Mensroom, co-owned by Baracos.
"Now, because these young successful guys aren't being told to wear a jacket, they are wearing a jacket," said Baracos.
Some of the pieces are almost cardigan-like, but are still shaped like a jacket, and most are trim with narrow lapels, said Baracos. Popular colours for jackets and denim include dark brown, navy and charcoal. Brights are also in the picture, said Baracos.
"There's a lot more colour this fall with respect to shirting and sweaters," she said, citing electric blue, orange and emerald green as examples.
Robert Reed, store manager of Tip Top Tailors at Park Royal, said men with narrower suit jackets and pants should opt for shirts with similar silhouettes.
"The worst look you want to see is someone with a slim fit pant with a slim jacket or suit and a shirt that is really baggy and puffy," he said.
Tip Top is offering a selection of tailored shirts and sweaters including cashmere blends, V-necks and argyles.
"It's been an awesome season," said Reed, adding men are getting more and more comfortable shopping for themselves rather than with a partner.
The store's Facebook page also helps with that, suggesting tips on how to pull off certain looks.
"It's telling us the things that customers are afraid to ask," he said.
Also at Park Royal is Boys' Co, which showcases a variety of hip brands and is heavily influenced by the runways of New York and Los Angeles. The store is seeing a demand for coloured casual pants this fall in shades of red, green, blue and mustard.
"It was a long time coming," said founder David Goldman. "Sooner or later the cycle has to change where guys have so many jeans in their wardrobe, they just want something different."
Though they specialize in sportswear, garments are often made with luxurious material, he said.
"We sort of up our game that way by getting a little bit more in the way of sophisticated fabrics," he said. Maintaining a high-quality selection is even more crucial as American retailers such as Nordstrom set up shop in Vancouver, he added. So far, it seems to be working as business is up from the same time last year.
"We think we are competing with the best of the best."
The boutique also offers trendy accessories, including the Vancouver-based Herschel backpacks, watches, ties and shoes.
Baracos + Brand is hosting a Custom Fitted Suit Event, Thursday, Oct. 11, 7 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Shangri-La Hotel in Vancouver. The event will feature suits at three price points: $399, $650 and $999, as well as complimentary breakfast and lunch. To book a 20-minute appointment call 604-925-1812.