From flip flops to the James-Bond-approved terry-cloth polo, trends in menswear are getting ever more casual. At least, that’s what Personal Shopper Oleg Brown has observed during the pandemic at Christopher James Menswear in Fort Wayne.
“When you come into the store now, you’ll see a lot more causal clothes, just because things have gotten more casual during the pandemic,” Brown says. “Some of our favorite items right now are pieces, like the terry-cloth polo, and you’ll see a whole lot more of that in the store as we progress into this new era of guys wearing more casual leisurewear.”
Voted Best Locally Owned Men's Clothing Store in 2021, Christopher James at 6410 W. Jefferson Blvd. offers timeless pieces with highly personalized service, where you can sip on a cold beverage or glass of wine—even watch a ballgame—while you shop.
Although the pandemic has hurt brick-and-mortar retail globally, it’s this high attention to detail and eye for elevating the looks of local men that has helped Christopher James survive, Brown says.
“We have a really strong repeat customer base that we’ve taken care of over the years, and they’ve definitely taken care of us during the pandemic,” he says. “They stepped up in a big way.”
So whether you’re looking for a post-pandemic revenge suit—or more likely, a casual fit for your next Zoom call or golf outing, Christopher James is ready to help.
We asked Brown and fellow Personal Shopper Joel Goss to show us a few looks for spring, ranging from formal to leisure attire.
Look 1: A casual take on formal wear
Goss says: This is a two-piece single-breasted, two-button suit from Peter Millar. Peter Millar is basically Garanimals (mix and match separates) for adult men. This particular suite is a nice, brushed wool with a charcoal and brown windowpane design.
Peter Millar sells a lot of sportswear, and I think this suit would stand out a little in our more conservative area.
Look 2: Another casual take on formal wear
Brown says: Like Joel mentioned, Fort Wayne tends to be fairly conservative fashion-wise, so blue sportscoats are an easy sell for guys here from a color standpoint, and adding a pattern to the coat is a fun way to play up a more casual look that’s resonating with professionals in the area.
When it comes down to it, you can tell a lot about a person’s style in the tailoring of their clothes. Everything about this look is a little trimmer, a little bit shorter, and that just plays into the youthfulness of it.
This look also steps outside of the box a bit with a brighter coat and some earthy tones pulled in with the taupe tie, which has flowers on it to keep things casual.
We draw that taupe color of the tie down to the Magnanni shoes. Magnanni is my favorite shoe brand for casual and dress shoes. They’re beautiful and handmade in Spain.Look 3: Golf attire
Brown says: I’m not a big golfer yet myself, but I love watching the sport. We have a big golfing community in Fort Wayne, so here at Christopher James, we offer a lot of golf attire through brands, like Peter Millar and G/FORE.Look 4: Leisure attire
Brown says: This look includes a Stenstroms terry cloth polo, Stenstroms terry cloth shorts, and flip flops from Peter Millar. The idea here is leisure activity, going along the lines that the pandemic has made everything more casual.
Even if you’ve got a sport coat on for your Zoom call, you can still be rocking your terry shorts.