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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

When you think of men and fashion trends, not much comes to mind right away. After all, what could be so dynamic about the suit? This staid staple of conference rooms and courthouses, and for many, shul as well, has not changed much over the years. Or has it? Colors, patterns, buttons, vents, flat fronts, slim cut or wide cut—trends can be brought into men’s fashion in subtle ways. As a suit salesman once said to my husband, “Conservative doesn’t have to mean dead.” He encouraged him to veer slightly out of his comfort zone (and outfitted him in quite the dapper duds).

As fashion heads into spring, colors lighten and brighten to reflect the sunny nature of the season. Everyone is used to seeing the brightly colored floral patterns, and especially this year, the metallic pastels used for women’s apparel. Over the past few years, brighter colors and eye-catching plaids trickled into men’s fashion as well, and even into their formal wear and suits. “We are seeing a much bigger demand for color, lots of blues, all shades and patterns of blues and grays,” said Joe Elashmawy of the Suit Store Outlet in Paramus. As popular as pattern suits have been in the past, all trends point to even stronger season for plaid and lighter-shade solids.

“Vested suits continue to sell in boys and have been much stronger for the Spring 2018 season,” Elashmawy added. The vest look adds a crisp touch to a boy’s outfit without always going for a whole suit.

Elashmawy encouraged parents bringing their sons in for suits to make sure they get properly measured and fitted, and then get skilled alterations. He said this is important not only for appearance’s sake, but for comfort as well, warning that an uncomfortable suit can make your young man feel less confident in his own clothes.

Attention to suit cut is also important. Slim-cut pants are still popular, in both men and boys, said Elashmawy, though how narrow can vary depending on the wearer’s build and individual taste. Keep in mind that a slim-cut suit is narrower than a regular fit, though even regular-fit suits have a more tapered line than the boxier-cut suits of the past.

Though it’s only March, spring fashion is in full swing. Though many readers of The Fashion Week seek new suits for Pesach, which this year starts in March (collective gasp), for stores this is the start of a busy time. “We are fully stocked and are excited to get the boys and young men in our community suited up for all of the events this spring. Kicking off the season will be Passover, followed by prom season and graduation,” said Elashmawy.

By Jenny Gans