Share This Page

The boys of summer: Pittsburgh men are partying down on the style front

| Sunday, July 6, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Embracing an effervescent approach to the same old stitch, it's not uncommon to see our city's most fashionable fellas making statements all their own that bid adieu to the stereotypical black ties and tails.

Indicative of a movement that has clearly slammed the door on their father's closets, a simple Google search using “men's fashion” yielded an impressive 131 million results while a similar one for “women's fashion” lagged behind with a mere 110 million.

“I feel like the gals have always had all the fun, and so, we're following your lead, I guess,” says Joe King, a well-known fashionista on the social circuit.

The numbers have been equally surprising to clothiers.

“I'm not sure exactly how that happened,” says Anthony Farah, a sales associate and men's personal shopper for Larrimor's. “But even with my friends, things that they would never think about wearing or putting together, it's really catching on.”

As the tide turns toward a more personalized approach, tried-and-true wardrobe staples are being reinvented in ways that don't just beg for attention — they demand it.

“I think that guys are becoming lot more comfortable with color. They are stepping out of the box a little bit, and that's good,” says Tim McVay, who frequently makes the Best Dressed lists with his partner, David Bush.

“They're a little bit freer to step outside of the black tux,” King agrees.

“In the world of men's fashions, this is probably one of the biggest changes in 20 years as far as styling. There's a big evolution coming on,” says Joseph Orlando, whose namesake store has been dressing gentlemen since 1981. “I tell my customers when they come in, ‘I know you don't have a 6- or 7- or 8-year-old cellphone, right?' I just try to put it into perspective: You update everything else in your life; wouldn't you do that in clothing?”

Even those having a hard time saying goodbye to yesterday's pleated pants and cuffs are slowly warming to the idea of a more personalized, tailored look. In large part, Orlando says, this is because of the contagious nature of social media — ideas are as accessible to your friends as they are to complete strangers halfway across the world.

That's not to say, however, that change doesn't come without a few growing pains.

“I think a lot of men are a little anxious to try a new style of clothing … but once they do it, and one person comes up and gives them a compliment, then they're all in,” Orlando says.

“But that takes a little bit of doing,” he says.

“Whenever we have an appointment, we're putting together things that they never would think of,” Farah says. “And that opens their eyes to a whole other world.”

Kate Benz is the social columnist for Trib Total Media and can be reached at kbenz@tribweb.com, 412-380-8515 or via Twitter @KateBenzTRIB.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.