Bucker is the type of store you really can't judge by its cover, or in this case, their Sexy Bastard underwear. When you walk into Buckler, your initial reaction might be, "darn, did I get the address wrong, is this G Star Raw?"
Buckler is one of those big time brands that shows at New York Fashion Week, so you know they've got some credibility internationally (and money). What you'll notice about the brand are their updates to closet staples, like a plaid shirt that has gingham lining on the cuff of the sleeve and an apron of fabric as a closure. The apron will not flatter your body if you have a man bosom, but for every other man with a slimmer physique, you will do it justice. It is a piece of interest because it modernizes the ubiquitous plaid shirt (which I adore).
Next up is an innovation in pants. Most of Buckler's pants boast a suiting hem, which are ideal for the "tuck." Most people will tell you to tuck your shirt in, because you look sloppy. In most cases they'd be right (not always), but Buckler's suit hem makes for easy tucking, assuring that the shirt stays in place, rather than riding up. If you are going for a more put-together look, these pants are ideal.
The store's architectural elements are very basic, but the twist is a lavish back room that seems modeled after a beautiful walk-in closet. The lighting and overall space allows for testing outfits and mirrors are conveniently placed for optimal viewing. Not sure about an outfit? Manager Emily Forbes is ready to assist every step of the way. Initially challenged by the aesthetic, I was offered options that would suit my own personal fashion goals. That is what I got out of the experience the most. Clouded by my initial judgment, I had the help of very friendly staff who helped me see all of the extra details that make a Buckler piece special.
You'll find near-clerical collars, contrasting fabric where the button closures lie, gingham lining and practical suit hems on pants. These are all options that aren't readily available at most menswear retailers.
If you are looking for menswear in the city and are eager to find more interesting pieces that aren't limited by a heritage or minimalist aesthetic, then Buckler has the options to put impact in your wardrobe. Don't make the same mistake that I did and look for the details that will make people take a second look. I certainly had to and you will notice that the perfect Buckler piece will make others do the same.
Photos by Jason Tavares