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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
The rhetorical title of the thread is maybe a little provocative, but of the "big three" [the others, naturally being Press & BB], Paul Stuart obviously doesn't fit the mold nearly as well. They don't offer a single sack in their line (maybe some of you here know when the last time they actually did was), plenty of their suits have pleats, you don't see them selling any tries on their website embroidered with golf clubs, tennis raquets, ducks, etc. Maybe that's why they are discussed much less frequently here than the other two [their prices are also a bit higher...].

I guess I just find the Paul Stuart phenomenon kind of interesting- is it lineage and proximity on Madison Ave. that makes them "trad"? The natural shoulder? I get the impression Paul Stuart is almost "alternative trad"- the place for the guy who moved in the same social circles as J. Press and BB buyers, but was a little more adventurous, sophisticated or international in tastes and outlook. Maybe a little more secure in blatantly wearing "nice clothes."

Sorry for the marketing study, but Paul Stuart seems like a really good example of the exception proving the rule.
 

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My boss (a British female) once remarked that I seemed to "have a sort of Paul Stuart thing going on" sartorially and I didn't really understand what she meant and never bothered to research it. But your post helps. I've never shopped at a Paul Stuart store and mostly wear timeless "trad" BB and Press stuff.
 

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I don't think I understand. On what basis are you saying that Paul Stuart is trad? Is the company discussed as such around here?

They offer some things that fit into the trad canon--shell cordovan penny loafers, corduroy pants, argyle socks, grosgrain belts, etc.--but as a whole they aren't trad. (For that matter, neither is Brooks Brothers, but that's another thread.) Classic American, sure, but not trad.
 

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Paul Stewart is certainly "trad" by the standards of other American brands, though perhaps not the standards of this forum. Very few people nowadays that dress "trad" by the standards of this forum do so without consciously knowing that they're going by this vintage style. For a lot of body types, there's no way a jacket is going to look its best unless the waist supression that comes from darts is part of the design.

Paul Stewart is also absurdly expensive, even compared to Brooks.
 

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Several posts here and on other forums and sites (FNB comes to mind) have cited Paul Stuart as the birthplace of the "updated American" suit silhouette - 2B, center vent, darted, double forward pleats.

The "updated American" silhouette is usually described as an American silhouette that openly displays international influences. Its wearers are also usually considered to have more dandy inclinations than sack wearers.

I think that Zot!'s observation is right in line with the generally accepted history of PS...
 

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Because I say so!

One of my favorites for almost 40 years, they have wandered far from their traditional roots. Each year they stray further, as new generations gravitate more and more to a European sensibility. I'd like to see them move the other way.

Still, as recently as 4 or 5 years ago, they were selling brightly colored corduroy odd trousers and handsome tweeds in many shades, when other NYC non-traditional haberdashers were only selling black, gray and khaki.
 

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I remember flipping through their (more recent) catalogs, my overall impression was that PS was well-made "safe" menswear, (save for that stupid "seated newsboy" logo they embroidered on half their stuff).

Reminded me of a higher quality version of the stuff Dillard's house brands put out.
 

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I remember when...

I remember my father (who was a devout J. Press man) saying years and years ago that he remembered when Paul Stuart was the "poor man's J. Press".

Prior to their late 70's/early 80's re-design birth, PS was very Trad- offering all sorts of what might be termed "switchblade" Ivy (the Ivy look for less).
 

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Would you still consider Brooks to be trad? They have the OCBDs and some striped ties that a lot of us like, but I am under the impression that they don't have many sack suits anymore.

BB has two stores within a 20 minute drive from my house, but I have not been in one of their stores in a long time. I have never found a sales person at Brooks that was of much help except as a cashier and the last time I bought trousers there, they were hemmed at least two inches short from a 'slight break'. I guess I got the Thom Browne look before anyone else.

So, I almost always buy my BB purchases from their website.
 

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I remember my father (who was a devout J. Press man) saying years and years ago that he remembered when Paul Stuart was the "poor man's J. Press".

Prior to their late 70's/early 80's re-design birth, PS was very Trad- offering all sorts of what might be termed "switchblade" Ivy (the Ivy look for less).
Not sure what you mean. I started buying from them in 1971 and they were always more than either Brooks or the original or subsequent J. Press, and more than Chipp as well.

However, their current astronomical pricing, and price differential compared with either the new J. Press or Brooks is largely a blessing of price point marketing. However, I suspect the carnage in the financial industry might require a bit of rethinking of exactly what those points shoud be!
 

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Paul Stuart is certainly "trad" by the standards of other American brands, though perhaps not the standards of this forum. ...
I think this is exactly right.

To me, Stuart's clothing is beautiful.

It's also distinctive, which I realize is anathema to many here who seek out clothing that falls within only a very narrow set of rules.

The stores remind me of what it was like to walk into a Brooks Brothers "back in the day."

Unfortunately, the sales help are like used car salesmen.

It's still possible to spend a half hour in the store and come out with a very traditional wardrobe; at the same time, it's equally possible to come out with something fairly out there.

Most beautiful cuff links in the western hemisphere.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
I think this is exactly right.

The stores remind me of what it was like to walk into a Brooks Brothers "back in the day."

Unfortunately, the sales help are like used car salesmen.
I started going to Brooks Brothers well after "the day" was finished, so I can't speak to that. The salesmen at the Paul Stuart Madison Ave. store weren't any more or less pushy than the ones at BB or Press on my visit (though with variations: the 346 BB guys were older yet seemed hungrier, the Paul Stuart guys were a little more brash, and I guess the Press guys were the most "civilized"- maybe that's why I decided to buy from them). As for the clothes and accessories themselves, Paul Stuart did have some amazing items, albeit out of my price range.

I do think that the Paul Stuart flagship could use a bit of a facelift. The interior design/layout of the store is kind of still stuck in the late 70's/ early 80's, and reminds me of Neiman Marcus.
 

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I do think that the Paul Stuart flagship could use a bit of a facelift. The interior design/layout of the store is kind of still stuck in the late 70's/ early 80's, and reminds me of Neiman Marcus.
I hear what you're saying, but I think that's part of its charm. I like it, though admittedly I'm a big fan of that time period in retail design. They really could use some new carpet though.
 
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