FASHION FORWARD: Men’s Style in the City

By Kathie Morris

Photography by Dennis Fernando Photography

Styling by Pastel Makeup and Style


Today men’s fashion options are many. Look around Downtown Syracuse on any workday and you will see what I’m talking about. Gone are the days of dark suits, white or blue shirts, ties, and trench coats. Workplace dress codes are more relaxed, and men in most lines of work are able to try new trends and find a style that defines them. The new atmosphere has fostered a growth of individuality, and men of all ages are gaining fashion confidence, and enjoying defining their own style. There is also an increased emphasis on grooming and skin care. Local fashion retailers shared their thoughts on the evolving men’s fashion scene.

John Massara at Projex 214 sees and sells national styles in Syracuse. His customers like clothing with technical fabrication that allow movement and comfort. He also sees abstract tees becoming more prominent, unconstructed sweaters replacing traditional blazers, and sneakers taking the place of casual shoes.

At Cifra Barber Shop, Anthony Cifra and Kevin Abreu speak about the emphasis on changing hairstyles and beards. Fewer men are getting “the usual.” Instead they bring in pictures of from magazines or Pinterest and ask to “look like this.” There is increased use of product like styling gels and pomades. Beard care is very important, and hot towel shaves, beard oil and balms are increasingly popular.

Stacy Daniel at Frameology Optical sees increasing numbers of men owning more than one pair of glasses. Men are enjoying experimenting with frame color and style. They want to wear frames that are different from their peers, and see eyewear as an important accessory. While the priority is always good vision, they also demand comfort and fashion.

I interviewed four stylish men who work and/or live downtown to get some insights into their style choices: Rudy, an attorney, Matt, a bar manager, Larry, a retiree, and Matthew, an operations manager.

What would you call your style?

Rudy: European and street fashion.

Matt: I wear mostly vintage and find that vintage pieces fit me much better.

Larry: Laid back, casual.

Matthew: Somewhere between Steve Jobs and Stevie Nicks.


How important are trends?

Rudy: No value. I do an independent determination of each piece, to see if it fits my style. A choice may intersect with a trend, but trends don’t drive the search.

Matt: Not at all, not into labels.

Larry: Not important.

Matthew: Not serious, I like to stay with heritage classics, with some influences.


How important is comfort?

Rudy: It depends on the occasion. For work or formal occasions it is more about the fit.

Matt: Very important! I’m on my feet at work and wear Red Wing boots.

Larry: Very, no more suits and ties.

Matthew: Very.


Have you recently changed your style and why?

Rudy: No, but it does evolve, and I try to stay ahead of the curve.

Matt: No. I’ve owned the same belt for nine years.

Larry: Yes, from corporate world, to retired, living downtown, and working in my wife’s business.

Matthew: No, I trust in quality.


How important is grooming?

Rudy: Very.

Matt: Very important.

Larry: More than ever.

Matthew: Non-negotiable.


There’s no question that men’s fashion has come to the forefront, and the men of Syracuse are owning it!


Kathie Morris owns The Changing Room, located at 425 S. Warren St., Syracuse. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Friday and Saturday.