Brrr…It’s Finally Cold. Time for Sweaters and Coats That’ll Keep You Warm

The cold weather has finally set in here in Fort Wayne, which means it’s time to add a few extra layers. Ward off the chill with these fine coats, sweaters, and accessories. Everything you see is available right here at Christopher James Menswear.

Save the Duck puffer jacket


Just looking at this all-weather proof puffer coat by Save the Duck ($258) makes us feel toasty, so you can imagine what happens when you put it on. You’ll get warm and fuzzy about helping Mother Nature too – the alternative down used in this jacket makes it earth-friendly.

A cashmere sweater by Kinross


Cashmere is our favorite winter fabric. It’s soft, lightweight, and extremely warm, like this purple cashmere sweater by Kinross ($450). And come mid-winter, the bright purple hue will be a perfect cold weather pick-me-up. The shirt is by Robert Talbott ($228).

A tweed topcoat


Tweed is our second favorite winter fabric. It’s warm, moisture-resistant and it looks very sophisticated. We have several ready-to-wear tweed coats in stock (prices vary), but if you want something more unique, Christopher James Menswear has an array of tweed fabrics by Gladson and Huddersfield and we can custom make you your perfect coat. (Again, prices vary.)


Fabric swatches from Gladson and Huddersfield

A winter vest

A vest is the perfect way to add warmth without adding bulk. Like our topcoats, we have several ready-to-wear vests in stock (prices vary), but we can also custom make something just for you.


 The shearling overcoat by Aston

This black shearling overcoat by Aston ($1,895-$2,095) is an investment in enduring style. The elements are no match for this beautiful, yet hardwearing, jacket.


Flannel shirt by Barbour

Stay warm indoors with this flannel shirt and sock tie by Barbour (sport shirt, $119, tie, $95). Top it off with a matching beanie, also by Barbour ($59), on chilly morning commutes.


Cashmere scarf

Warmth and sophistication all rolled into one classic accessory: the cashmere scarf ($85-$99).


Complete the look: Stentroms dress shirt ($235), Betenly blazer ($550), Robert Talbott tie ($155) and socks ($28).

It’s only going to get colder from now on, so stop into Christopher James Menswear today and get everything you need to stay warm all winter long.

10 Holiday Gift Ideas For the Well-Dressed Man


Still shopping for a gift for that well-dressed man in your life? Perhaps you haven’t found a present yet because, well, let’s admit it–he’s hard to shop for. But do not despair – here are our top 10 holiday gift ideas that even the pickiest guy will love.

Everything is available right here at Christopher James Menswear, and we offer complimentary gift wrapping so all you’ll have to do is place the gift under the tree.

1. Pair of cashmere socks


Because fine socks are the foundation of good style. Cashmere blend socks by Punto ($39.50)

2. Smart sweater and sport shirt combo


Real (well-dressed) men wear purple. Cashmere sweater by Kinross ($450), Robert Talbott hidden-button-down sport shirt ($228).

3. Plush fleece pullover


Because he’s got style even when he’s dressed down. Add a colorful, hand-woven scarf for a dash of color. Fleece pullover by True Grit ($135), scarf ($235).

4. Shearling overcoat


A worthwhile investment for the guy who always dresses up, even in a blizzard. Shearling overcoat by Aston ($1,895-$2,095)

5. Wintertime office attire


He’ll feel festive and professional. Sport shirt ($119), beanie ($59), and woven sock tie ($95), all by Barbour

6. Cozy puffer vest


The newest, most earth-friendly way to stay stylish and warm. Puffer vest in blue fog by Save the Duck ($218)

7. A little something sweet for his stocking

virginia diner sweets

Refined taste in clothing = a sophisticated taste in sweets. Salted peanuts and cashews, chocolate-covered peanuts, and peanut brittle, all by Virginia Diner ($18-$27.50)

8. Accessories he’ll actually wear

trask cufflinks and wallets

It’s not the size of the gift that matters. A pair of sterling silver cufflinks and a beautiful leather wallet will surely impress him. Cufflinks and wallets by Trask ($65-$125).

9. An elegant timepiece



A nice shirt looks even better with a fine watch. Daniel Wellington watches are sophisticated yet understated; making them a practical gift he can wear every day. Daniel Wellington watches ($200-$250)

10. Pamper him in a manly way


Grooming products all with dude-approved scents, perfect for adding a touch of luxury to his morning routine. Travel kits are perfect for guys on the go. Products shown are from the Art of Shaving, SAXX, Royall Lyme, and Wurkin Stiffs. Prices vary.

Do I Really Need a Shoe Tree?

Yes. Yes, you do.

brogue shoe with a shoe tree

The world is full of gimmicks. A shoe tree, however, is not one of them.

Despite their goofy appearance, shoe trees are an important part of proper shoe care. The wooden inserts help dry out shoes and preserve their shape, allowing them to stay as fresh as they were the day you bought them. And not just for a year or two—expensive dress shoes that are properly cared for with a shoe tree can look like new for decades.

What a shoe tree does

Your shoes take quite a beating during the day, even if you mostly sit at a desk. They bend, flex, and stretch, all the while absorbing loads of foot sweat. Over time this moisture accumulation causes the lining to rot, leather to crack, and the shoe to become deformed. It might also emit a not-so-nice funk. (Pretty picture, eh?)

And get a whiff of this: it takes 24 hours for shoes to dry out completely.

A shoe tree quickens the drying process by absorbing moisture and odors, all while holding the shoe in place so that the leather and lining dry in the right shape.

Types of shoe trees

Cheap ($15-$30)

cheap shoe tree

It’s not necessary to spend a fortune on shoe trees. For $15-30, you can get a good pair, but it probably won’t have a full wooden heel, which is ideal for moisture absorption and shaping. Instead it’ll have a knob or thin piece of wood. Some $30 shoe trees are actually pretty decent, however, and a $15 cheapie is still better than none at all.

Quality ($30-$50)

quality shoe tree

Nicer shoe trees have ventilation slots that help dissipate moisture, and they also have fuller heels. More wood means more moisture absorption and odor control, and better preservation of the shoe’s shape.

Pro tip: Don’t be fooled by varnished shoe trees. Their shininess might make you think they’re fancier, but in fact, it’s the exact opposite. The varnish acts as a sealant and doesn’t allow the wood to draw out moisture, so opt for unfinished every time.

Lasted (prices vary)


A really expensive pair of shoes (we’re talking $700+) usually comes with a last, a fancy term for a custom shoe tree. Lasts are the crème de le crème of shoe trees because they’re the closest it gets to having an entire cedar foot inside your shoe. Plus, a last is shaped like the shoe, so it preserves the original shape for much longer.

Travel ($10-$15)

Plastic travel shoe tree

Cram as much stuff as you want in your suitcase without worrying about deforming your expensive wingtips. Travel shoe trees are lightweight, plastic, and perfect for road warriors.

So, stop walking all over your shoes

Show them some TLC.

And all shoes need a little love–so whether you’re a luxury shoe connoisseur, or a guy with a modest budget who wants to maximize his investments, shoe trees must be in your closet.

You’re Invited to Our Fall Fashion Bash

Don’t have plans for October 27? You do now.

Join us for one of Christopher James’ biggest trunk shows, where you can mix, mingle, and sample the newest looks from eight of the world’s best menswear brands.

Assemble your best fall wardrobe yet in one stop

We’ll be showcasing the following brands. Follow each link to see what they’re about:

  • Superb custom suits, sport coats, and trousers from Samuelsohn
  • Luxurious dress shoes from Donald Pliner
  • Dapper casual pants from Meyer
  • Classic, 100% made-in-America topcoats and vests from Upmarket Stitchers
  • Refined dress pants from Sartore
  • Sophisticated outerwear from Barbour
  • One-of-kind neckwear and accessories from S.T.E.P. USA
  • Top-of-the-line dress and casual shirts from Eton

Special event deals available

To show our appreciation for your attendance, we’re offering special pricing to all guests, and it will only be available during the bash. Stop by to learn more.

SweetCars will have a few of their “sweet rides” on display

Stop in and register to win a Master Detailing job courtesy of SweetCars.

Delicious food and drink will be served

Nosh on mouth-watering apps and tasty refreshments from our friends at Catablu Grille.

Don’t miss this event!

This is our last major sale before winter comes, so now’s your last chance to save big on fall and winter styles. Representatives from all the brands–Barbour, Donald Pliner, Eton, Meyer, Samuelsohn, Sartore, S.T.E.P. USA, and Upmarket Stitchers–will be right here in the store to answer any questions you have about your favorite items. There’s no better time to shop!

Event details:

Date: Thursday, October 27
Time: 2-7 pm
Location: Christopher James Menswear, Covington Plaza

See you there!

Save on New Fall Arrivals with Our Now & Later Gift Card

Gift Card Christopher James Menswear

Santa dropped by early this year to deliver a present sure to brighten up your holiday season. And it’s come just in time for our new fall arrivals!

The Save Now & Save Later gift card

With this gift card, you’ll get major savings on the newest styles from your favorite menswear brands like 34 Heritage, Agave, Allen Edmunds, Barbour, Coppley, Donald Pliner, Hickey Freeman, Peter Millar, Robert Talbott, Samuelsohn, and more.

How it works

Shop now: Until October 22, get $100 off $500, or $250 off $1,000

Shop later: From Oct. 24 – Nov. 19, get $100 off $500, or $250 of $1,00

All you need to do is bring your gift card into the store.

Print it out or show us on your phone. Get the gift card here.

Which Width is Which? The Most Common Neck Tie Widths

assorted colorful ties

Just like color and fabric, the width of your tie can change your entire look. Here’s the skinny on the most common tie widths, from thinnest to widest.

2 IN

The narrowest of ties. The 2-inch is for truly fashion-forward gents. Less tie = more statement.

2.5 IN

2.5 inch is the classic skinny tie. It’s a favorite of GQ and looks best with slim suits or trim lapels.

3 IN

Not too skinny, not too wide…juuust right…If you’re a modest guy who wants to try something a tad more modern, go with the 3 inch.

3.25 – 3.5 IN

Wide ties are a very traditional look. They’re also good for bigger guys, or guys with very broad shoulders.

See which ties work best for you by coming into Christopher James Menswear and sampling our selection of ties. We have tons of sizes and styles, and will happily guide you through all of them.

Bigger Men Can (And Should) Wear Slim Clothing

That full-framed guys can’t wear slim apparel is a popular notion. It’s also utterly ridiculous.

Can bigger guys were slim clothing?

Let’s get hypothetical for a minute.

Imagine Bill, 47, a successful investment banker in Fort Wayne. He’s a big guy, say, 6ft tall and 240 pounds, most of it around his middle.

He’s always shopped for bigger sizes in clothing, even when he was a kid.

When the slim trend became a global phenomenon a few years back, Bill abstained, despite his love for dressing well. He resigned himself to “classic” and “traditional” cuts, believing he’d look like an overstuffed sausage in “slim” or “skinny” clothes.

That look is for thin guys only, Bill thinks.

And anyway, he feels better in loose clothing. He can move comfortably (don’t skinny jeans choke your you-know-whats? He wonders), and more importantly, he believes he is cleverly concealing his size by wearing clothes that look “too big.”

So, day after day, Bill wears large suits that hang from his shoulders like a tunic, pool at his ankles, and crease repeatedly in the arms.

Then one day, at a business conference, Bill notices a man who looks oddly familiar. He was built like Bill, even looked like him…and…whayda know…the man is wearing an almost identical suit. How strange!

Bill At first wonders if he’s looking into a mirror, but quickly spots clear differences. The strange man’s suit doesn’t have excess fabric hanging from the ankles and waist. The jacket hem hits just above his upper thigh, and his pants have a clean quarter break just above his shoelaces.

Bill silently marvels at the man. Not only does the guy look incredibly polished—he looks like Bill, only 10 pounds lighter!

Bill grabs his phone and texts his wife to ask if she remembers the name of that menswear store they always pass by in Covington Plaza in downtown Fort Wayne.

Luckily, she does. A few minutes later he has a consultation with the store booked for the following week.

During the appointment, Bill tells the helpful salesman that he’s interested in slim clothing, but had, until recently, thought he didn’t have the right body type.

Everybody has the right body type, the salesman explains. “Slim means that the garment fits closer to your body, not ‘you have to be slim to wear this.’ You can wear a slim 38 and a slim 44. It’s relative.

The salesman then shows Bill a variety of slim-cut suits in Bill’s size. They need to go up a size with a few brands, but, as the salesman explains, this is common with slim cuts, even for skinny guys.

They find a suit in Bill’s size, but it needs a few alterations. The in-house tailor takes Bill’s measurements, and puts pins in here and there.*

(*Bill enjoys keeps an eye on a football game, thanks to a big screen TV hoisted on the far wall, during this time.)

A week later, Bill sports the slimmest suit he’s ever worn. And he feels fantastic.

To his surprise, he is incredibly comfortable. In fact, he feels more comfortable than before. He hadn’t realized how much all the extra fabric on his other suits had been weighing him down, and the clean, sharp silhouette puts a pep in his step.

Bill’s wife looks at him differently, too–in a way she hasn’t since their first few months of dating. Meanwhile at work, he senses his sharper, more professional appearance is eliciting more respect from his boss. Oh, and Barbara from accounting even asks if he’s lost weight.

Moral of the story: Big guys, don’t dismiss slim clothing. It can definitely look good on you.

Bow or No? Proper Neckwear For a Tuxedo

Should I wear a bow tie or neck tie with my tuxedo?

“Should I wear a bow tie or necktie with a tuxedo?”

We get this question often here at Christopher James in Fort Wayne.

Our answer is always the same: Bow tie.

(Sorry if that was anti-climatic.)

The explanation is more fun, promise.

A matter of etiquette

Black tie is all about rules, and dressing accordingly shows respect for the event, person, place, etc. for which you’re dressing up. Your wedding, for example. Or an elegant dinner party, reception, or formal dance.

Your date didn’t spend hours primping like royalty to spend the evening with a dude who looks like he couldn’t be bothered to gussy all the way up. (And you don’t want to spend a long evening by the punch bowl.)

Not to mention: a long tie with a tux just looks odd.

It’s not quite a tuxedo, but it’s certainly not a suit. It’s a conundrum, that’s what it is.

Don’t be fooled by celebrities on the red carpet, either. Subtract the glitz and glam of Hollywood (not to mention all the heavy photo editing), and a guy even like, say, Chris Hemsworth, will look goofy in a tie tux combo.

Also keep in mind that a stylist, looking to make a name for him or herself, is often behind the red carpet looks of many celebrity men. To stand out, a stylist must sometimes push boundaries, which is especially true for men’s formal wear because hasn’t changed all that much in the past century.

But, wait.

We don’t mean to sound like a sartorial hall monitor, and we certainly don’t want to squash personal expression. Although you can’t break the rules here, we never said you couldn’t bend them.

Therefore, here are a few ways you can have a little more fun with your bow tie.

  • Nobody said your bow tie must be black. Experiment with a darker color, like burgundy or navy. Patterns are all the rage these days too.
  • Bored with silk satin? Try a lightly textured fabric, or if you’re feeling bold, go black velvet.
  • Butterfly schmutterfly. There are many other knots you can create, including the batwing, the diamond point, the club round, and the jumbo butterfly. Mix it up.

If you’re in the market for fun bow ties, or you want to just see how a patterned bow tie will look with your tux, come see us. We have a superb selection of bow ties here at Christopher James Menswear and we’d love to help you experiment.

Today’s the last day to vote!

last day to vote for christopher james readers choice


This is it—the last day to cast your vote for your favorite menswear store in Fort Wayne. If you haven’t done so yet, do it now!

Go here to vote

CJM is nominated for three (!) awards: best menswear store, best shoe store, and best formalwear rental, so if you could select us for all three categories, we’d be forever grateful.

Voting ends tonight at midnight!

Winners will be announced in September on and in The News-Sentinel and The Journal Gazette.

Many, many thanks, friends!

There’s one week left to vote!


Time’s almost up for voting for the Fort Wayne 2016 Reader’s Choice Best Of, so if you haven’t cast your vote for your favorite menswear store (cough Christopher James cough), you’d better hurry!

Christopher James Menswear has been nominated for three awards: best menswear store, best shoe store, and best formalwear rental, and it’d mean the world to us if you took a quick minute and voted for us in each of these three categories. It only takes a second.

Go here to vote

*CJM is listed under “Shopping,” and then “Clothing-Men’s Store,” “Clothing-Formal Wear,” and “Clothing-Shoe Store.”

Christopher James truly appreciates your vote. No opinion matters more than that of our customers and community members.

Voting ends July 28, so hurry and vote today!