For the full John Bartlett Consensus line, check out our photo gallery.
Milwaukee’s own Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. and designer John Bartlett have come together to create a fashion forward menswear collection for their stores, not only here in town but across the country. The brand will be titled John Bartlett Consensus and will offer men’s sportswear for both career and casual lifestyles.
The line is available now in all area Boston Stores and feature themes that have personally influenced Mr. Bartlett. And, may I say, these are looks that men of all kinds would actually want to wear. Pieces that stand the test of time and tides of fashion are what he is known for. In fact, I own a military influenced denim trench coat of his from a decade ago that I still get compliments on to this day. The looks here fall into 3 categories: refined lumberjack, (which I pointed out to you last season as a coming trend), rugged military and, of course, university prep.
What is a refined lumberjack look you say? This collection features an iconic plaid shirt, combined with a dressier black suit jacket and skinny tie. This is a great way to mix it up, guys. The shawl-collared cardigan is a great holiday party option while the Fair Isle pattern sweaters makes the outdoorsy style he champions in this collection chic but wearable.
Ivy League style combines a group of charcoals and navy hues that are accented with shades of purple and a lighter sky blue. What I liked about his interpretation of “American Sportswear” is that it is NOT literally red, white, and blue, like so many of the other popular menswear designs out there. The suits here are slimmer and the argyles are mixed up with stripes and plaids to keep it modern and on trend in the pattern department.
G.I Joe style goes less camouflage and more detail oriented with the outerwear in this collection. Epaulets and updated cargo pocketing look less bulky and many of the pieces incorporate animal-friendly faux leathers. The camel colored corduroy 5-pocket jean is the perfect work pant and can be paired with any of the other designs here or easily integrated into your existing wardrobe.
“The main thing to keep in mind with both collections is that these pieces are designed for guys. The fit is trim, yet relaxed, with engaging details that aren’t over-decorated,” notes Bartlett. “I paid very close attention to the hand and feel of the fabrics, the washes, and the best in noble fibers to create the highest price to quality ratio possible.”
Born and raised in Ohio, John Bartlett knows a thing or two about how men like to dress here in the Midwest. It doesn’t hurt either that he has won numerous awards from the council of Fashion Designers of America (C.F.D.A.), including Best Menswear Designer of the Year in 1997. Most recently the American Apparel and Footwear Association recognized him as the 2010 Designer of the Year.
In addition to the Bartlett line, the ladies who frequent Boston Store have some wonderful new designs available from the Nine West Vintage America Collection. The Fall 2011 collection from the veteran footwear company includes not only shoes and boots, but denim, tops, handbags and jewelry that all have that lived-in American heritage feel. Many of the pieces incorporate metalwork, fringe, embossing, patchwork, and plaid that give these new styles an aged aesthetic. Price points here will remain moderate with shoes, boots, handbags and jewelry starting at $49 and topping out at $209. Until October 11, customers can text NINE to 266866 to receive 25 percent off their Nine West vintage America Collection purchase in store or at bostonstore.com, a gift with purchase, and to enter for a chance to win one of nine $250 shopping sprees!
The shoes and handbags in the collection are the perfect foil to a more girly dress and will give it a toughened up modern feel. Mix up the more rough hewed belts and accessories with your more delicate pieces for up-to-the-minute “fashion stylist” looks. The worn-in quality makes them easy to integrate into your wardrobe for fall. Don’t forget the rule of thumb in fashion is “go together” not “matchy-matchy.” Stop back later in the week for my “Four Fall Fashion Must-Haves.” Until then, let the fall fashion hunt begin.