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Club Monaco's mad men

August 31, 2009 | 10:17 am

Club monaco Men might find the trend for tailored dressing troubling: Though new suits can cost up to four digits, men's wallets aren't getting fatter. Club Monaco is addressing this conundrum by launching a collection of trendily tailored men's suits that retail for less than $500 and transition easily from work to weekend, dressed up with a white shirt and tie or dressed down with Converse sneakers, a cardigan and jeans.

"Although our suits are under $500, they have everything a high-end suit has," says Tim Farah, Club Monaco's vice president of men's design. Farah, who previously worked with Thom Browne on the Brooks Brothers Black Fleece Collection, said he joined Club Monaco this year with the intention of designing an affordable suit for men 25 and older.

The suits, in stores this month, come in two styles: the Wright and the Kennedy. The Wright suit is more fitted, with narrow lapels, higher button closures and slim-cut pants. The Kennedy comes in a more relaxed fit, with straight-leg, barrel-cuffed trousers. The modern touches on both suits are shorter backs and multiple interior pockets to stash gizmos like cellphones.

Farah says he based his two suit styles on classic silhouettes popularized through the television show " Mad Men."

"There are a lot of guys who aren't in the fashion industry who want that style," he says.

For fall, the suits are made in an evening-ready black herringbone, Prince of Wales plaid, tropical weight wool and gray flannel. A tropical weight wool jacket is $349 with $139 pants, and a nailhead weave jacket is $369 with $149 pants. Pebble tweed and cashmere options will be offered in November.

Farah, keeping in mind that Club Monaco is still a bastion of casual separates, invites guys to wear the suits with pulls from their own closets.

"I never want to dictate to someone what they need to be wearing," he says.

-- Max Padilla

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Photo: Wright jacket in a nailhead weave, $369. Credit: Club Monaco