If you’ve been paying attention, as I’m sure you have, you will remember my earlier rant about wrap coats looking too much like a bath robe. I’m biting my tongue as I write this review … sort of. When I saw the first two looks from Paul Smith this afternoon, my hands reached up and instinctively pulled at my hair. I get that there is a strong emphasis on being casual this season, and having Fleetwood Mac’s “Go Your Own Way” playing on the catwalk is a great way to emphasize personal style. However, I have a very important question for you: Why would you spend thousands of dollars on a wardrobe that looks as though  you’ve been shopping in your mis-matched pajamas at Wal-Mart? One can be casual and comfortable without being sloppy and, quite unfortunately, that’s exactly how the first part of this Paul Smith collection looks: sloppy.

And no, wearing a scarf over it doesn’t help.

Rather than railing over pieces I hope you’ll never actually see in stores, let me instead focus on this ones I hope you do.

  1. The full-length overcoats. All of them are wonderful, but be on the lookout for one in particular: a pink and blue brocade that, on one hand, is reminiscent of a large sheet of wallpaper, but at the same time is impeccably tailored so that it looks amazing.
  2. The tweed jacket on look # 13. It’s shown with a mustard-colored turtleneck and black/white brocade pants. The shirt works, the pants don’t. The jacket, though, is one of those timeless pieces you’ll wear forever.
  3. A mustard-colored mohair jacket. Granted, this color doesn’t work for everyone, but if it does then you definitely want this as part of your wardrobe.
  4. Black pinstripe masculine-tailored suit with a black silk shirt is an instant classic.
  5. Black and grey reverse crown inset jacket (look # 20). So very well tailored and suited to go with so many different things.
  6. Most (not all) the men’s styled trousers. These are, of course, a Paul Smith staple and as long as one stays away from the silk pieces they are as wonderful as ever.

I do not intend any disrespect toward Paul Smith. He is a talented designer who has proven his brilliance season after season. However, one needs to show some respect for themselves in the clothes they wear and choosing styles that look like mismatched pajamas fails to respect anyone.


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