Monday, November 03, 2008

Make Him Cool, Ted Baker & John Varvatos

I feel like Ted & John create special items for men that are modern classics. Keep in mind that neither are inexpensive. Neither are for ultra conservative folk. And I wouldn't recommend anyone wear full Ted or John garb on a regular basis (overkill!). But if you are in need of something special or cool and have some money burning a hole in your old, boring pocket, I suggest checking these two stores out. Here's my p.o.v.:

Ted Baker 107 Grand Street - As I meandered the fashionable downtown streets on my day off, I visited Ted Baker for the first time in years. Not only have they expanded their square footage with a full section for women, but they have also held their own for the men. This UK-based outfit is fun and always incorporates a bit of colorful surprise into each piece. I really like their suits (see photo, left) although some of the flowery print shirts may be a bit too over the top for the American boys. But remember, these chaps hail from the motherland, so try to go with the flow. And if you shop online now, you can get 30% off some items for men and women - although I can't tell if that applies to deliveries to the U.S. The Web site does not do the brand or the stores justice - so try to ignore the discount retailer look and feel. This brand is anything but.

John Varvatos 315 Bowery (ye olde CBGBs) - I visited this shop the day it opened, loved it, and thought I'd make another pilgrimage last week. It's really cool. Yes, totally overpriced, but I am a sucker for marketing in this case. If you have a rocker's look and/or attitude, you can pull this stuff off at any age. If you don't, then you can still buy a jacket or a shirt and start to transform yourself into the rock star you've always wanted to be. The current campaign with Perry Farrell does it for me. As does all of JV's advertising. Yes, yes, I get that it's flying in the face of what rock and roll is supposed to be about, but let's get serious -- everyone from Janis to Diamond Dave have been paying out the waaz for their cutting edge outfits for decades, so be honest with yourself (unless you subscribe to the Grateful Dead's approach to tie-dyed T-shirt fashion, bleh).

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