The suits of New York Fashion Week

by Grant Tillery

You know what I don't like?  The crop of suits at New York Fashion Week.

GQ ran a feature on their homepage on Monday touting 92 of the supposedly best suits that hit the runways.  Though there were some standouts, major fashion houses and boutique brands alike were guilty of a heinous sartorial error, the high-cut, three button suit.

As a two button traditionalist, three button suits make me cringe.  A three rolled into a two is a classic look.  High-cut three button suits?  Not so much.  They're reminiscent of the style wasteland known as the 1990's, when businessmen and NBA coaches would wear three, four, even five button suits in unseasonable colors. Apparently designers thought 2014 would be a perfect renaissance for this egregious style.

Take, for example, the Todd Snyder atrocity from slide #16.  Not only is there a high-cut, three button coat, but Snyder (whose work I typically like) had the audacity to slap on a down vest.  Combining two unfortunate trends in one is a punishable crime in my neck of the woods.

Or slide #20, a tan rig by Richard Chai.  Slim cut aside, it's a suit more befitting Michael Jordan than Russell Westbrook.  

Todd Snyder strikes out again with the suit featured in slide #43.  The jacket looks more like a United Colors of Benetton cast off than a designer piece.  The cut's right on, however, and I like the patent leather boots with brown soles, proof that clashing colors can work together.

Though not three button monstrosities, N. Hoolywood's looks from slides #46 and #47 evoke the padded shoulder, loose panted power suits of the 80's.  In a word, yuck.

Before you call me a curmudgeon who takes cheap shots for laughs, there's indeed a number I fancy.  Ralph Lauren's slick, black three-piece, two buttoned suit in slide #52 adapts swaggering, 1970's peak lapels for modern, slim fits. If I could buy three of these suits right now, I would, and it's evident Ralph has taken a few cues from Tom Ford.

Though I wouldn't wear them myself, I like the louche, laissez-faire feel of Mark McNairy's line (slides #61 and #63-#67).  The rolled suit pants are the perfect intersection between corner office and corner stoop.

Based on fashion weeks past, I thought slim cuts and two button jackets were here to stay.  They still may be, and hopefully the three button trend doesn't fully come to fruition.  If it does, then count me out of style.