Style spotlight: Blue Collar Buffalo
blog by Avery Hartmans • July 23, 2013 @ 11:14am
Ladies, picture your ideal boyfriend. He’s smart, successful, holds his liquor like a man, loves Buffalo and wears the perfect clothes. Well, hang around Blue Collar Buffalo and you may just find him.
Blue Collar Buffalo is the latest venture for the geniuses behind two local favorites: women’s clothing store Modern/Nostalgia and furniture boutique Room. The two formerly shared a walk-through space on Hertel Ave., but owners Bri Klejdys-Long and David Brugh, respectively, combined forces last January to bring us Blue Collar.
Now the two share the entire space at 1382 Hertel Ave. and what a store it is: walk in the left side and you’re treated to the irresistible clothes, jewelry and accessories of Mod/Nos. Stroll through the right and you’ll either want to be the guy who wears those clothes or date him.
“We knew that there was a need for good ‘dude’ shops,” said Brugh. “A shop that a guy can go and just get everyday stuff, plus stuff for going out in the evenings.”
Blue Collar carries everything from Herschel Supply Co. backpacks to patterned bow ties to rugged plaid shirts to an underwear line called — no joke — Wood.
“We have something for everybody,” said Klejdys-Long. “It’s generational. We have something for the high schooler, we have something for the father, we have something for the grandfather.”
But what sets Blue Collar apart from other men’s stores is its total lack of stuffiness or pretension — and with a name like Blue Collar, how could it be anything but utterly Buffalo?
Brugh describes the clothes as simple but detailed — understated apparel that guys can feel comfortable wearing. There’s even a line of chinos that features an adjustable button waistband, like the kind you wore as a kid, that can take your pants in — or let them out — up to half an inch.
And then there’s the welder’s button on some of their button-up shirts that was originally meant to keep your shirt out of the way while welding. If that’s not blue collar, I don’t know what is.
The trio of Brugh, Klejdys-Long and Michael Poczkalski, the co-owner of Room who’s also in charge of merchandising for Blue Collar, bring combined experience from Banana Republic, Gap Inc., Theory and Ralph Lauren to the table. So you could say they know a thing or two about fashion.
“Bri is more of a dude when it comes to buying than we are,” Brugh said. “I’m a little bit more simple. I like very clean, solid colors. A little bit more tailored. Michael is more fashion-forward: asymmetrical cuts, bold colors. That’s three different types of guys that we’re buying for but we’re showing you how it works.”
But besides being a shopping destination and home to some of the best style in Buffalo, Brugh and Klejdys-Long hope to turn their store into a lifestyle store — a one-stop shop for everything you need to become automatically cooler.
Blue Collar hosts small shopping events where customers can learn how to tie the perfect bow tie or just come in for a beer. And soon they hope to have regular Thursday night happy hours, scotch and bourbon tastings, and even opportunities for guys to learn a thing or two about cocktails.
Said Brugh: “Local bartenders will come in to show you how to make that perfect Manhattan. Everyone wants to be a mixologist.”
If this isn’t a place to boyfriend shop, I don’t know what is.
Photos courtesy of Blue Collar Buffalo