Menswear maven Barry Kirschner is perfectly suited to offer fashion advice to the often sartorially skittish Y-chromosomed set as CEO of Lubin’s men’s wear boutique. Relocated earlier this month to inside Rothman’s in Scarsdale and now known as Lubin’s of Rothman’s, Lubin’s has been outfitting boys and young men for the past 55 years.
Why are there so few men’s shops left in the county?
The ‘casualization’ of the workplace and suburban culture seems to have started with ‘casual Fridays.’ Now jeans are okay for everything, including going to church or having a seventy-five-dollar steak dinner at Morton’s. Men don’t have a need or desire to dress up now.
What suit should every man have in his wardrobe?
What I call the ‘good occasion/bad occasion suit’—a good, basic, single-breasted, two- or three-button, navy blue or charcoal gray suit in a nice year-round worsted wool.
Is there a correlation between how much a suit cost and how well made it is?
Yes. I can confidently tell you that the one-thousand-dollar suit is twice as good as the four-hundred-dollar one.
Describe the perfect interview suit for a job-hunting new graduate.
One that doesn’t offend—err on the side of being conservative—like a solid blue or gray worsted wool worn with a light blue or white solid shirt or soft pinstripe, a small-patterned tie, and black lace-up leather shoes. Socks—preferably solid—and belt should always match the shoe.
How many suits do you own?
Thirty, plus three tuxedos.
What other dress attire is in your closet?
Fifteen sport coats, three blazers, twenty-five pairs of dress pants, thirty dress shirts, and more than a hundred ties.
Any fitting dos and don’ts?
The shoulder is critical; it should always fit comfortably and not be too tight or hanging off you. Unlike other seams or the length of the sleeves or pants, the shoulder can’t be easily altered. And as a rule of thumb, the jacket length should fall between the knuckle of the thumb and the bottom of the fingertips.
Why is men’s tailoring usually free and women’s tailoring not? Unfair, don’t you think?
Yes. But some department stores now only give you the basics for free—say hemming pants or sleeves—but charge for all other tailoring. And even when the tailoring is included, nothing is really free—it’s built into the prices, so no one’s really giving anything away.