Many of us look to New York, London, Paris, and Milan as the high fashion capitals of the world. But where do we seek inspiration for everyday apparel? Where do we find approachable clothing for the average American that not only looks stylish, but also carries a purpose and function?
Philip Saul, owner of men’s clothing boutique Sault New England in Portsmouth, reminds us that this region has its own unique fashion sense — a classic and timeless style where quality garments carry over from season to season. It’s an aesthetic that doesn’t change drastically over the years because we invest in well-made pieces that stand the test of time. Our clothing keeps us comfortable and looking good during strolls through downtown Portsmouth, summer evenings on the water, fall hikes in the White Mountains, and frosty mornings that melt into sun-filled afternoons. New England is home to the tried-and-true Maine flannels, Timberland work boots, and other essential items that were designed to serve a purpose.
“The products we carry at Sault aren’t all about fashion or all about being in the outdoors. They are utilitarian with a stylish and modern flare,” Saul says.
As a fashion maven and style icon himself, Saul has a passion for men’s clothing, especially “classics with a twist.” Whether dressing himself or selecting clothing to display in his Portsmouth and Boston stores, he has always stood by quality, functionality, and timelessness, often highlighting pieces with updated accents and a hint of modern style. While curating, Saul shops locally as much as possible and works hard to support the regional economy.
“I try to work with as many small businesses as possible. I know how it feels to be a small business owner and to have people support my dreams,” he says.
While it’s hard to bid adieu to summer, bundling up in a new fall wardrobe has its perks. Saul shared some of his favorite brands for the fall of 2017.
For seven years, Saul has collaborated on exclusive products with the New England Shirt Company (based in Fall River, Mass.). Saul’s custom oxfords and flannels have been a bestseller at Sault since the shop’s early days. (Side note: The New England Shirt Company manufactured the red, white, and blue oxford shirts worn by U.S. athletes at the closing ceremony of the 2016 Olympics in Rio!)
Although Patagonia is based in California, Saul buys and sells many of this popular brand’s products. He is inspired by the utilitarian yet beautiful garments, and how the company does right by the environment in its manufacturing processes. Many of Patagonia’s products are made from recycled materials and come with a lifetime warranty. This fall, Patagonia is bringing back some of its classic styles, like the “synchilla” fabric and Retro X jacket. Saul is giddy for their arrival mid-fall.
“I’m also really inspired by Patagonia’s story and mission statement,” he says. “They are going the extra mile to use sustainable practices while making their clothes, and have changed the clothing industry because of it.”
Sault also carries some hyper-local items. Men’s grooming products from Bull & Bell Premium Supply Co. in Hampton now grace the store’s shelves, as well as custom graphic tees printed by Black Sheep Design Co. in Portsmouth.
“Many of the companies we work with are based in New England,” Saul says. “Partnerships like these make running a business so much more fulfilling and make towns like Portsmouth and Boston’s South End such unique neighborhoods to visit.”
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