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In this week's Thursday Styles, Critical Shopper Jon Caramanica checks out the newly relocated Rothmans which has moved itself to a more spacious location just a few steps up Park Avenue South. The goal of the relocation was not only to escape the store's cluttery longtime home, but also to broaden the retailer's scope by showcasing more sportswear and an upgraded fashion image. Our shopper seems to think that Rothmans's has only partly succeeded.

The store's suit selection remains extensive, if not particularly adventurous, but Caramanica feels that the store lacks expertise in its more contemporary sportswear selections. He is only marginally impressed by a new, exclusive line from Duckie Brown, and the other brands seem poorly curated, including a disappointing appearance by dodgy off-price store mainstay, Bugatchi Uomo.

Here, though, it was represented by several shirts, many in clashing agglomerations of vertical stripes ($145) that recalled the outfits I would see, during my time in late-’90s London, on City bankers out for a certainly loutish and potentially violent night of pints and crisps. (Or, once the contrasting inner cuff revealed itself, it evoked the five-alarm shirts worn by Cameron on “Modern Family.”)

Apparently, a taste intervention is needed at the new Rothmans if it wants to follow in the footsteps of Barneys, that other humble downtown suit-seller that transformed itself into a paragon of fashion. This place sounds like it has a long way to go, but Our shopper manages to find a pair of Ted Baker pants to keep his visit from being a total loss. Hey, if you write about them, are they a tax deduction?

Critical Shopper: Seeking an Elixir of Youth By Jon Caramanica (NYTimes)
222 Park Avenue South at 18th Street


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