The long-held cliche of a couple’s shopping excursion goes like this: Man sits in chair, waiting miserably (holding purse and multiple shopping bags), while woman darts in and out of dressing room, trying on endless options. Sound familiar?
With men becoming increasingly fashion-conscious today, however, the game is changing. While there are still plenty of men who prefer to sit on the shopping sidelines (or even better, stay home entirely), men’s boutiques are coming into their own and gaining in popularity. This trend is evident here in Westchester, where two well-regarded women’s shops recently branched out to add stand-alone men’s boutiques to cater to the demand from Westchester’s male shoppers.
“Boys and young men want trendy brands and style as much as their female counterparts,” says Barry Cohen, co-owner of the Lester’s chain of stores, which branched out in September by adding a 2,000-square-foot men’s store to its Rye Brook location (18 Rye Ridge Plaza, Rye Brook (914) 908-5688; www.lesters.com). The decision to open a men’s shop with a curated mix of casual clothing, activewear, premium denim, licensed team-sports products, and dress wear has apparently been well received. “Dads are loving the new fashion attitude also because it’s fresh and convenient. We’ve been welcomed with traffic from all over Westchester, Connecticut and beyond,” he adds.
Lester’s in Rye Brook caters to the young male, too.
Over in Rye, Angela and Fred Guitard, owners of women’s boutique Angela’s of Rye, have had similar success with their recent expansion: a new men’s shop called Fred’s (22 Purchase Street, Rye (914) 305-4320; www.fredsinrye.com), which opened in November. The shop sells men’s jeans, dress slacks, casual pants, sports jackets, ties, shoes, cufflinks, and outerwear by high-end brands, including Ferragamo, Rag & Bone, VK Nagrani, Herno, Moncler, and other Italian luxury labels. “Fred’s is a nice marriage to Angela’s, and so far we are off to a healthy start,” says Angela, who notes that they decided to open the store after “seeing a void in Rye for a men’s sportswear store that could service my clients’ husbands.” She adds, “Men are definitely caring more about the way they look and dress. Their wives and significant others look great—why shouldn’t they?”