RI Style Diaries: Five Insider Tips For Shopping Smarter Not Harder For Your Man

The other day I was in Newport with my old friend Elizabeth Herlihy, of Marc Allen Newport (their 2nd location that opened its doors on Bellevue Ave this summer) and Marc Streisand, the visionary behind Marc Allen Fine Clothiers, which just celebrated ten years in Rhode Island. We chatted about some of our favorite things, including shopping, ready to wear (Marc Allen Newport is more about buy now, wear now while the store on So Main in PVD is more of a destination for custom or what they call their M.A. line. ), and building a wardrobe. I also asked Elizabeth and Marc for some tips for anyone shopping for the man in their life (whether it's a bf, husband, father, etc) and they both emphasized how important it is to bring the man you're shopping for with you, but if that's not possible then:

  1. Lets Talk Sizing. He may tell you he's one size, but, in reality, he could be another entirely. (Yes, ladies, this is 'a thing' with men too.) What this means is that you'll most likely have to go thru his closest, checking and cross-checking labels and sizes on various items. Also, while you're in there, make note of any worn or outdated (As Elizabeth said, 'Just because he can wear it, doesn't mean he should.') pieces that have to go. Add replacements for those to your shopping list as well.
  2. Outfits, Instead Of Items. Giving him a shirt or pant on its own almost guarantees (that) it'll sit in his closet and never see daylight or date night. So be sure to pick up at least one other coordinating piece that goes back to that first item you found and fell in love with, thus, giving him one surefire way to wear and enjoy.
  3. Bring Him Back...For Alterations. Everything - except for socks or maybe shoes - needs to be altered in order to look and fit best. It's another reason why that blazer, or pant, you bought him for his last birthday is still sitting in his closet somewhere. (Speaking of which, Marc Allen has a team of tailors who'll work with your man to get the most flattering results. Seriously.)
  4. Don't Compare Your Man To The Mannequins. Remember that every man has a different body type and style (Sound familiar ladies?) that could have absolutely nothing to do with this week's window display, which brings me to the next point... 
  5. Be Open To What Your Salesperson Has To Say. "They" just might surprise you by suggesting items you never thought of, but that your man suddenly wants to wear over and over again. (Btw, Marc - and Elizabeth - really walk the walk when it comes to spending time, getting to know, and making shopping fun for their clients and their significant others. More about this in the More section below.)


More About Marc Allen

  • Marc Allen is the only store in RI that carries lines like Loro Piana, the iconic Italian label known for highest quality cashmeres and wools. #Exclusive 
  • Marc himself travels to Italy twice a year to pick out fabrics for the stores, but the shirts he designs with that fabric - for the Marc Allen label - are in fact made locally.
  • There's a ladies night twice a year and there are also regular cocktail parties on the cozy back patio at the Newport store, where they recently (as in the other night) hosted luminaries like Chris Tucker, Sinbad, and Magic Johnson as a sponsor of the Jeffrey Osbourne Celebrity Golf Classic. (See photos below of Marc on the patio.)
  • Marc also filled me in on the van (Photo below.), in their signature orange, that's basically a showroom on wheels. It allows him to go out to someone's home or office, if they can't get to either of the stores, and help them shop. (See, I told you he walks the walk!)

Ciao For Now,

Patty J


Photo Credits: All photos, except for Marc Allen van, are courtesy of Ashley Farney.