Racked is no longer publishing. Thank you to everyone who read our work over the years. The archives will remain available here; for new stories, head over to Vox.com, where our staff is covering consumer culture for The Goods by Vox. You can also see what we’re up to by signing up here.
Even though cold temps are still lingering, spring is undeniably approaching. Soon we'll be trading in our down jackets for lightweight layers and our corduroys for cutoffs. The best part of it all? Spring shopping. In preparation we're asking the buyers from our favorite spots to shed some light on the upcoming season. Today we're talking to Philip Saul of Sault New England.—Justin Reis
What are you most excited to be getting in for Spring?
Philip Saul, Owner: It's nice to see some color, especially after a New England winter. Color hits all categories from bags to clothing to outerwear. Chalk colors mixed with primary colors are a big trend, as well as neutrals. Classic blue oxfords and raw dark denim make seasonal colors easier to wear. It's all about the balance between color and neutrals; guys don't want to dress like a bag of skittles. It's about what you feel comfortable wearing. I personally like mixing classics with trends. I really try to change up the look of the store to reflect the seasons too. I like when customers see the difference.
What trends can we expect to see on your shelves and racks?
Trends that I believe in this spring are nautical workwear, classic preppy, and some amazing basics. Keep in mind it's all wearable and all easy enough to work a few new pieces into your wardrobe.
Do you have a strategy when you do your buying or attend the shows?
Buying shows can be very overwhelming, especially when I have to go to apparel and gift shows. Depending on the season, I may go to four shows a year. Trust me, it's not all fun like people might think. I think to myself would the SAULT customer go for this? Is he about this? Is it priced right? Keep in mind, I'm buying for eight months in the future. It's a lot of planning. I do get satisfaction when I find that amazing brand or that cool gift item that's perfect for the shop. The real test is if the customer buys it.
What's the trick for tailoring trends with gutsy gravitas for the Boston market?
Boston is known for its academics, not for setting trends in fashion and I love Boston because of that. We are about the classics. Boat shoes, plaid shirts, the basics. I see the change happening. It's about easing guys into trends. I think guys need to see other guys wearing something first before they go out on a limb.
If you had an unlimited budget, what would your store be full of?
I don't think it's as much about the budget as it is about finding the time to do all I want to do. I'm working on some private label woven shirts that I'm very excited about and planning some special events with our favorite vendors for the spring and summer.