Wearing tailored pieces and perfecting structure and fit isn’t just reserved for women’s fashion. Of course the sleek silhouettes at Balenciaga and Louis Vuitton were inspired by classic men’s blazers and pants, but it’s easy to overlook menswear in favor of the more glamorous women’s runway lines.
A great shopping area close to Carnegie Mellon is Shadyside, where retail chains like Sephora, J.Crew, and Gap reside alongside local boutiques that carry an extensive range of designers. At Choices, one can find the latest pieces from Lanvin, Chloe, Nina Ricci, and Dolce & Gabbana, while The Dress Circle offers 3.1 Phillip Lim, Derek Lam, and Jil Sander. Shadyside is the perfect place to score unique pieces, rustic houseware, and great eats. Shadyside’s famous Walnut Street offers great varieties of men and women’s fashion, with a big range of prices.
Dressed crisply and reminiscent of summery days, Delee Jones, an employee at Shadyside’s J.Crew, wears a spotless white fitted blazer that’s tailored precisely to his body. Contrasting with the blazer and floral shirt underneath, Jones embraces the fall weather with an easy checkered scarf, an accessory perfect for completing men’s looks. His personal style, an infusion of “jazz, soul, and R&B,” shines through, even though he buys most of his clothes at J.Crew.
J.Crew continually bridges the gap between luxury clothing and affordable style; their collection of cashmere knits has been exuded by celebrities for their comfort and easy wearability, and cardigans and pullovers in a bright array of colors are priced around $200. J.Crew’s suiting collection is also known for their high quality and good fit, like Jones’ blazer. What distinguishes J.Crew from competitors like Banana Republic is its ruthless takes on the latest trends and its ability to transform plain styles into pieces that are fun, versatile and affordable, without losing its dedication to quality.
A few stores down the street is Moda, a three-story boutique that carries high-end menswear. Evan Scheck, an employee at Moda, displays his great eye for detail by wearing a long-sleeve shirt with a twist. Deviating from the traditional turtleneck, his shirt has just the right amount of layering without being too fussy. While the rest of this outfit is kept slim, Scheck’s boots are modern-day biker boots, with unconventional shape, and great buckling detail.
While J.Crew sells womenswear, Moda is exclusive to men’s designer goods, offering one-of-a-kind pieces from Prada, Y-3, Theory, and much more. Alexander McQueen, a favorite of Scheck’s, also has a spin-off line, McQ, which is more contemporary and affordable. Just looking at Jones and Scheck, it’s apparent that their styles, though heavily influenced by the stores they work in, are still unique to their own tastes and influence.