Today's Thursday Styles brings a bit of an unexpected twist as the Critical Shopper sends its menswear guy, Jon Caramanica, to the new 3.1 Phillip Lim store in NoHo. Even though Lim has made menswear for several seasons now, we would typically have expected this review to come from Lady Critical Shopper Alexandra Jacobs, but she is presumably busy in Paris covering the Spring Collections. Rather than reviewing the store itself, our shopper stays on his side of the aisle and focuses on the clothes, which he finds rather intoxicating —especially a $1,200 blanket coat found presiding "high on a platform, like the Christ the Redeemer statue that gazes out over Rio" over the men's section
So I wore it for a few minutes — in my size, which was preposterously large, and the size down, which was almost preposterously large. I looked like the Fisher King. I looked like Vincent (The Chin) Gigante. I looked a little ridiculous. I loved it.
And here lies the endless challenge of Men's Fashion: finding the balance between what is new and interesting without descending into clown costume territory. And then one has to contend with silly bloggers who will snark about any men's apparel item that diverges from the norm (or often even complies with it) by using condescending words like "mandals", "meggings" or "mankles" —not really helpful to anyone trying to propel men's style forward through the 21st Century. Thankfully, we have Mr. Caramanica, a guy who is undeterred by the snickering skeptics, happy to explore in search of the new, and even have his long-held beliefs about trompe-l'oeil design effects challenged. Every store needs more like him.