Categorized | Fashion, Living

Main Line Men’s Fall 2008 Fashion Guide

By AML Staff Writer
Photos Courtesy of Kevin E. McPherson

A Bryn Mawr boutique helps AroundMainLine.com identify and understand key fall trends.

Jon Segal, Owner of Pants, Bryn Mawr, PA

Jon Segal, Owner of Pants, Bryn Mawr, PA

As a Main Line lifer and confessed full-time people watcher, the rapidly changing face of suburban men’s fashion has been clearly evident to me over the past year. From preppy private school students strolling around downtown Wayne, to fresh college grads enjoying happy hour at the neighborhood Great American Pub, to retiring baby boomers hitting the links at Aronimink, the Main Line young, middle-age and ‘seasoned’ man is more discerning with his personable wardrobe than ever. As AML’s resident fashionista, I went straight to the hippest new men’s store on the Main Line, Pants in Bryn Mawr, to find out what exactly has set the stage for these local style icons, what guys need to wear this fall and why the Main Line (fashion) boys are back in town.

Lower Merion native Jon Segal certainly has his hand on the pulse of men’s fashion in his neck of the ’burbs. The first time I walked up the stairs to his second-floor men’s clothing store in the heart of Bryn Mawr, I was immediately impressed with the comfortable, quiet room brimming with sophisticated but wearable men’s apparel. Balanced with home decor that made Pants (www.shop-pants.com) seem more like a hip So-Ho apartment in New York City than a retail space, Segal, 39, has carved out a unique, intimate environment that a strip mall, shopping center or major department store cannot deliver. A clever, cool color scheme of camel, teal blue and walnut sets the stage for a warm welcome—as some co-eds checked out the store’s cool variety of accessories, Segal was there to offer a personal greeting. I was immediately brought in, not only by the clientele, but Segal’s personable, direct contact with me. We met for about an hour to discuss what the hippest, in-the-know college kids a hop, skip and jump away (at Villanova) are grabbing off his shelves—and other trends setting the fashion stage for every guy who wants to dress to impress around the Main Line.

Cool Accessories Abound at Pants

Cool Accessories Abound at Pants

Top Men’s Fall 2008 Fashion Trends According to Pants Owner Jon Segal

1. Slim Jim: “The baggy thing, the oversized sweatshirt, any sense of baggy is gone,” Segal quickly points out, running over to a rack of what seems like super fine-whaled corduroys (they are not cords, just a gorgeous, flattering blend) noticeably tapered at the bottom and super soft. “The body is back BIG TIME and even 40 year-olds aren’t backing down from showing it off. There’s been a resurgence of a slim fit over every article of clothing, from jackets, to sweatshirts, even suits that seem kinda ‘too-tight’ in their cut. The guys may look slightly stuffed in some of these clothes appearing as if they are about to tear a seam…but that is the look.”

2. “You’re turning violet, Violet”: I ask Segal about all the unexpected splashes of color mixed in with the muted wardrobe pairings around Pants (I spy a confident mustard henley under a steel gray button down) and he quickly corrects my acknowledgement of ‘purple.’ “Pomegranate is in, you will see it everywhere.” It sounds better than purple so I run with it. If you don’t have hundreds to spend this fall but want a quick update, Segal encourages guys to gravitate to any variation of pomegranate–like amethyst, lavender, violet, magenta, or dark pink. One piece with subtle purple accents can work as well, so even fine grape stripes in a crisp white business shirt is a win. Segal adds that purples and pinks are complimentary to just about every skin color and complexion. Pair this color scheme with a gray or dark heather pant and you are good to go. Pants has some outstanding purple options in more biz-style button downs, some more vibrant hues than others. This fall gray is everywhere in women’s fashion accompanied by unexpected pops of color: this is clearly being echoed from the men’s side.

Messenger Bag and Accessories

Messenger Bag and Accessories

3. Messenger in a Bottle: Messenger bags are the new briefcase since the suit is OUT OUT OUT. Segal is adamant about the death of the suit—and says that no man should buy a new suit unless you are going to a wedding, have a corporate interview with a law firm, or need an update to a very out of date version. Part of the casual sophisticate look is the redefined “briefcase” and Pants’ line of Hideo Wakamatsu (www.hideostore.com) bags are to die for . If you need that wow factor for your first interview at Pepper downtown, this is the way to go. Contemporary and professional, Segal says this is his most popular accessory to date.

4. Entourage: Yep, it makes sense, I was so expecting and secretly praying for Ari Gold to show up while I was on my fashion tour. And, that’s exactly the influence in many of the pieces Segal selectively stocks. With Seven and a concerted commitment to AG jeans, the jeans and clothing line inspired by the show (www.agjeans.com), Pants delivers to the discriminating and young local trendsetters. AG, as the cult fashion followers know, are strategically distressed to communicate a certain ‘age’ of jean. Segal compares a three-year-old slightly worn pair to the next style of thirty-three year old jeans. Granted brand-new and never worn, the ‘thirty-three year old’ pair have flawlessly stitched holes and a layered casting. They are perfectly imperfect and would make a fall wardrobe.

5. Nova Nation: What are the Nova guys buying? “Hands down my graphic tees, are still going strong and the edgier look still works mixed in with a preppy college feel,” Segal points out. Details in denim, no more just ordinary blue jeans, is huge (Segal shows me some amazing stitching on back pockets that make the jean) and Pants has some of the best lines, including the aforementioned AG which three prospective customers specifically come in and request during my time there. I inquire if a certain fashion-centric very good looking head men’s basketball coach has sauntered in (no names of course) and Segal says “Not yet.” Darn. I’m coming back…next week.

Cashmere Blend Cardigans

Cashmere Blend Cardigans

6. Leave it to Beaver: Sounds like a trend disconnect with the previous five, but the cardigan ala 2008 is back, better than ever, and honestly, can be just as flattering as a graphic tee or fitted shirt considering the unique combination of fabrics and cuts. “This look is actually very hot, very body-conscious because the designers are taking the classic cardigan, adding upscale blends and t-shirt linings and cutting it deceptively close to the body. I tell all the guys who snicker at these cardigans…trust me, you have to try them on. Once they do, they’re hooked. People just need to get over the stigma, it’s a new era for these cardigan sweaters,” insists Segal. These are not your grandfather’s cardigans, for sure. And, the blends are beautiful, the colors very classic—very Jake Ryan from Sixteen Candles to me, illustrating the resurgence of that era but with a modern twist.

Pants, is located at 931 Lancaster Avenue in Bryn Mawr, PA and is open Tuesday through Sunday. Check out www.shop-pants.com or call 610-527-6900 for special fall hours and times. Email: info@shop-pants.com.

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