ML - Boston Common

2013 - Issue 4 - Fall

Boston Common - Niche Media - A side of Boston that's anything but common.

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Parting Shot Male Call OUR EVOLVING MEN'S FASHION REFLECTS HOW THE CITY ITSELF HAS CHANGED FROM ACADEMIC AND ALL-BUSINESS TO AN INTERNATIONAL, CREATIVE M√ČLANGE. BY R.S. COOK T whole, while also helping to dilute the unfortunate onslaught of boot-cut jeans and Bruins jerseys that gives our city a bad rap. All in all, Dallai scores Boston more stylish than Chicago, on par with Los Angeles, and on an entirely different runway than New York's bolder, more unblinking approach to style. Boston itself breaks down further from there. The South End takes the blue ribbon with a legitimate high-fashion sensibility that probably has its strong gay community to thank. The Financial District has its Vineyard Vines ties and Gucci loafers (sans socks, of course). The Waterfront loves a pressed button-down, un-tucked over Diesel jeans. Cambridge? Well, let's not go there (maybe GQ went only to Cambridge, come to think of it). So what's the unifying thread to this diverse patchwork? I submit that Boston's longtime lean toward the unadventurous wardrobe stems not entirely from a lack of confidence, but rather a deeply sewn belief in utility and humility. Many men grew up watching their no-nonsense dads. The very thought of purchasing clothes for any other reason than comfort was something the old man would laugh at. But Boston remains a city where fathers still dream of better lives for their sons. Perhaps in the same way a son brings home a college degree to a proud dad, a perfectly tailored one-button blazer over slim-cut, colored "fine denim," along with immaculate Italian loafers, is the mark of making it in this town. So we've learned to dress more fearlessly, because even a little ridicule comes out in the wash. BC ILLUSTRATION BY DANIEL O'LEARY wo years ago, Boston was named the worst-dressed city in America by GQ, out-schlumping the "drug rugs" of Burlington, Vermont (#28), the "wife beaters" of the Jersey Shore (#19), even the "terrible towels" of the Steel City (#3). Sure, Boston is no Milan when it comes to couture, but America's worst offender? I mean, aren't they still wearing fanny packs and jellies in Orlando? It's high time to air out our dirty laundry and set the record straight. Men's fashion in Boston has always been predicated upon one primal instinct: fear. Our fashion-minded men wish to look classy, but never so fancy as to leave themselves open to public ridicule. No matter how becoming an outfit may be, it can all be undone once some knucklehead in a JETER SUCKS T-shirt chirps across the bar, "Hey twinkle-toes, your sistah pick out those pants?" Alas, those slim-cut khakis your girlfriend said looked great on you have suddenly become just another artifact entombed in your closet. Thankfully, over the years a few brave souls have dragged men's fashion in Boston kicking and screaming to a place somewhere between blue-collar and popped-collar: tough enough to strip an engine, but suave enough to pick a wine. Look no further than Tom Brady for inspiration, a guy who readily rocks a fedora and Uggs when he's not braiding frozen ropes across the field. (Of course, who could ridicule his style when Gisele is on his arm?) "Bostonians have always been considered so preppy because of all the universities," explains Riccardo Dallai Jr. of Riccardi, a clothing boutique in the Back Bay, "but I don't think they understand that the world comes to Boston." Dallai, who happened to be heading to Paris Fashion Week when we spoke, credits Boston's international student body for upping the men's game as a 152 BOSTONCOMMON-MAGAZINE.COM 152_BC_BOB_PartingShot_Fall13.indd 152 8/2/13 2:15 PM

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