Before the bride walks down the aisle, a sharply dressed groom can catch the attention of the crowd. Gone are the days where a groom’s only job was to order his tuxedo and cummerbund to match the bridesmaids’ dress colour. Keeping a keen eye on the trends for the modern day groom, Caswell’s Fine Menswear in Niagara Falls has been measuring and fitting grooms in style since 1959. Today’s groom isn’t afraid to venture away from the traditional black tuxedo.
“It’s blue, blue, and blue,” says Michael Caswell, Store Manager at Caswell’s Fine Menswear. “For suit colours, men are favouring blue paired with tan shoes. It’s a hot colour right now. Followed by grey and black.”
In terms of style and accessories, Caswell’s is on top of the current trends and classic looks. “Slim fit is still in and bow ties are making a comeback,” says Caswell. “Anything goes, depending on the wedding party,” he adds. “In the last several years we are seeing more of a shift towards buying suits instead of renting a tuxedo,” says Caswell, who adds that some of the decline is due to the rise in destination weddings. “We see a lot of beach weddings where grooms are wearing linen, silk, or light coloured pants,” says Caswell. “Every November, we start bringing in the destination wedding program,” explains Caswell.
Tommy Bahamas’ clothing line is a popular choice for beach weddings.” Destination weddings and fashion choices are not the only reasons for the shift from tuxedo rentals to the purchase of suits. “A lot of suit rental places closed down when Freeman Formal Wear, who supplies the majority of suits, streamlined the market and made one price across the board,” explains Caswell. “This eliminated the need for grooms to shop around the region to see who had the best deal,” explains Caswell. Despite the shift, Caswell’s still caters to a lot of suit rentals with a price that can’t be beat. “We supply everything including shoes and a vest for $179.00,” says Caswell. “Well, everything except socks and underwear,” laughs Caswell.
Understanding that one of the most important rules in fashion is that the suit fits properly, Caswell’s has a tailor on site making any adjustment needed to achieve the perfect fit. “We offer free alterations on purchases and over 50 per cent of the garments we sell, we end up altering,” says Caswell, adding that their alterations have a quick turnaround.
“Whether it be tailoring shirts or pants, people come to us for the service and the quality,” states Caswell. Caswell’s also services grooms who travel to Niagara to tie the knot. “We have delivered to the hotels and worked with grooms who send in their measurements ahead of time,” says Caswell. Over the years, Michael Caswell has observed an evolution in men’s fashion. “Now, there is more colour for men and the shirts are a little louder,” says Caswell who states their biggest selling shirts are the colourful and patterned Au Noir brand. “It’s not a traditional look. Men are coming in searching for something different they can’t find anywhere else,” says Caswell. “That is why they come into our store.”
If wearing a bold shirt is a little out of your comfort zone, Caswell suggests adding a touch of pattern, colour, and style to your suit with a pocket square. When compared to women’s fashion, Caswell’s rolls with the punches. “Women’s fashion usually dictates how it’s going to go,” says Caswell. “There is more fast fashion with women and men tend to have a classic look that changes more with pattern and colour,” explains Caswell. “Grooms often come in and look and then bring in the bride to help them make the final decision. That part of weddings hasn’t changed,” laughs Caswell. Outside of weddings, Caswell’s has a lot of hot ticket items in the store. “The days of dress pants and sport jackets are gone and it is all denim with blazers,” explains Caswell. “The louder the better with fashion shirts,” he adds.
Next year the Caswell family and staff will celebrate 60 years in the business. “My grandfather, Harrold, opened the store in 1959 in the Town and Country Plaza. Ten years ago, we moved to the Montrose Road location,” says Caswell. “We have shifted to a more fashionable and a little higher end product line.” An understanding that a well-dressed man stands out in a crowd, high quality clothing, and customer service is what will make Caswell’s Fine Menswear the leading store for men’s fashion in Niagara for many more years to come. Caswell’s FINE MENSWEAR