By Kelli Freeman
Buyers scooped up soft unconstructed coats, stretchy fabrics and dazzling colors at the spring 2014 West Coast Trend Show in Los Angeles.
Andy White from the Ascot Shop in La Jolla, Calif. loved 34 Heritage’s trim-fit, stretch pants. “The washed colors with a buttery touch were one of the coolest things I found. I wanted to put them on right then and there!”
Thomas Malvino from Louis Thomas Fine Men’s store in Corte Madera, Calif. says [performance] fabrics are in: “Men want performance; we’ve finally caught up with the women’s market. Now they can find comfort at any size.” He adds that stretch pants can help anyone look better without being uncomfortable.
Massoud Emami from Anderson & Emami Spokane, Wash. Agrees that men like to be comfortable, but stretch only works to a point. “I’m finding the sizing more accurate [with stretch]—a size medium is actually a medium!”
David Smith Australia showed shirts in vibrant colors and bold paisleys. At Eton of Sweden, Matthew Becker says, “We take what we do seriously, but not too seriously.” He was referring to their new “Retro Robots” and “Angry Octopus” prints on shirts, ties and pocket squares. Malvino says that the more detail and craftsmanship the better [the product]. “In shirts, we still love cool double collars, piping, mixed-matched buttons and crisscross stitching.” Baxter Boggus at Brady’s Coronado, Calif. says their customers are jumping on color, especially in polo shirts, linens and bottoms.
Also hot were lightweight, easy to wear unconstructed jackets in cotton and cotton/stretch blends.
There were also lots of great gift items. As Ascot Shop’s White explains, non-apparel items like watches, cologne, sunglasses, briefcases and wallets are important. Emami liked pieces that complement each other. He explains, “Every man needs a pair of beautiful denim, a sport shirt and jacket to create an entire look.” Emani also says that he’s particularly fond of darker colors for fall from black to purples and “dark midnight always makes things look cool!”