Paul Stuart | A New Space, a New Face


Paul Stuart is a brand that has always fascinated me.  They’re always very focused and true to who they are, unapologetically dandy, and have a very distinct flavor that is unmistakably Paul Stuart.  The Phineas Cole label, with it’s new corner shop on Madison & 45th, comes at exactly the right time.  It represents Paul Stuart speaking to the younger guy who wants a grownup alternative to the shrunken suit silliness that is Thom Browne, and many other’s, ilk.  Phineas Cole is respectful to timeless style, but in a way that’s approachable and relevant for the younger guy.  

Paul Stuart has always had a strong point of view, which has served them well.  It isn’t for everyone, mind you.  If you’re not well versed on the classics and the art of dressing, then you may be overwhelmed, or simply just not get it.  For me, it’s like being a kid in a candy shop.  I love what they stand for.  After all, many brands have learned recently that if you do not stand for something– you will fall for anything.  

And many of them have.  


Phineas Cole

Photo courtesy of Material Interest

I walked the store last week and was impressed.  The differentiation between Phineus Cole and Paul Stuart is clear to me, and all-in-all looked great.  I do believe I spotted a five-pocket casual bottom in the line, which is pretty standard fare these days, but feels a little pedestrian.  That doesn’t mean it’s wrong, it’s just not my thing.  Personally, I would like to see them redefine the sport trouser offering for today’s younger gent.  I suspect they will come through with flying colors.


phineas cole


The space is just what you’d expect–  very classic, updated Paul Stuart (read: lighter and brighter). Beautiful, leather parquet flooring and their signature herringbone on the walls and shelving are great touches of class.  It would have been way too easy to pull out the wallet and do some serious damage– if there was anything in the wallet that is.  


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They say– “God is in the details” and there are details galore at Paul Stuart.  Every stitch of clothing is an incredible custom piece of workmanship.  It’s even a nice little treat to just stop in quickly for a new pocket square or two– the best anywhere.  And stop with the square fold already– it’s done. 


paul stuart


The light-ground tartan tie feels very fresh for Spring, and the peak lapel SB is a personal favorite.


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13 thoughts on “Paul Stuart | A New Space, a New Face

  1. Every Japanese fashion magazine I pick up lately has had a Paul Smith spread and his store in Paris is quite appealing. His colorful polka dots are being seen more and more… Great read!

  2. Probably because I am a Daddy’s Girl, but the peak lapel DB really tugs at my heart strings. Gorgeous.

  3. The peak lapel DB is the suit to own right now. Tom Ford and others are going to flush-out the shrunken boy-suit look that’s been going on for far too long. It has become cartoonish in my opinion.

  4. I didn’t know they had finished the renovation! I’ve got to get over there. The previous collections of Phineas Cole have been pretty great. The standout for me was their cashmere peacoat sweater from the debut season. It should be noted though that the cut of these suits is anything but classic. They bear a lot more resemblance to Thom Browne than you would think. Try on a jacket next time…they are quite short. It seems to me that if Thom Browne is the shrunken version of classic American, Phineas is the shrunken version of traditional English. Regardless…A DB blazer with hacking pockets? Genius.

  5. You’re right, the jacket length is a bit on the shorter side currently.

    It’s the whole Thom Browne aesthetic that I’m so tired of- where it literally looks like you stole the suit off a hand puppet.

    The Phineas shop is great in that it’s open and bright, but you also kind of feel like you’re shopping in a fishbowl- totally exposed to Madison & 45th. There is something to be said for Ralph, who envelopes you with the lifestyle and keeps your eye and mind focused on what’s going on inside the store.


  6. I totally don’t understand the Thom Browne thing…i think it looks stupid. Why Brooks picked this line up is beyond me…and is a total discredit to a once classic clothier!

  7. I had a DB suit with hacking pockets made a couple years ago. The forum world stoned me. I really like Stuart (especially at sale time) but from the little bit of pricing I’ve seen this Cole stuff is close, if not at, MTM among the better men’s retailers.

  8. terrific post.

    yikes! … having purchased two black fleece coats and many items from thom browne proper ; ) i’m in the minority here. thom browne’s work CAN be silly, but the pieces i’ve committed to feel timeless.

    love paul stuart. have my eye on the paul stuart phineas cole phillip antique stripe suit.

  9. Impressed… 3 of the same donegal jacket and 3 different undercollars!! Brilliant, a brand that understands sometimes it’s ok to spend a bit more to make a unique piece. Although, I can hear it now, “Can I have this size jacket but with that silk undercollar?” But enjoy the details!

  10. I’ll jump on the anti-Browne bandwagon. His stuff was interesting on the runway, for a minute, but it doesn’t translate to real life. There are a (very) few people who can pull it off – including Thom – but most people just look absurd in it.

    A couple of years ago, when the look was taking off, I saw a rig at the RL mansion that was Thom Browned out and I almost gagged. Leggings disguised as suit pants that stop at the ankle? Please.

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