“I have always loved unusual and interesting clothes,” says Jim Fortier, owner of Blueprint 5. “I was very specific about what I wore. I wanted to wear things that the other kids did not have.” Cutting his teeth at chic Boston stores and Providence icons Briggs LTD and Marc Allen Fine Clothiers, Fortier now owns East Greenwich’s only dedicated menswear store, and fills it with unusual - and unusually stylish - men’s finds.
Your store has current fashions blended with vintage gifts. Tell us about your unique blend of old and new.
When it was time to leave and start my own business, I knew I wanted it to look and feel fresh. I wanted a modern feel with an old school customer service approach. I call Blueprint 5 a “modern haberdashery.” We have an Italian tailor on-site doing alterations by hand, but the vibe of the store is current and new. The product mix in the store is current, not trendy.
Tell us about your tailor.
Blueprint 5 offers a full tailoring service for our in-house clients as well as outside tailoring. Master tailor Antonio Palma has been hand sewing clothes for over 60 years. His craftsmanship on alterations surpasses any I have seen before in this business.
I love that you have a new collection each season. What’s new for spring and summer?
This spring we are featuring bold prints and patterns. Today we received our new Sundek bathing suits from Italy – they’re bold, bright and youthful. Perfect for the beaches of Rhode Island or the French Riviera. Short sleeve vintage print shirts from Beveloqua and muted floral polo shirts from Gran Sasso make the normal polo shirt feel dated. Unlined sports jackets made with lighter-than-air fabrics are a breeze to wear. Suits made from some of the finest Italian mills fit better because attention is paid to all of the details of fit and function.
What are some tips for making a suit look truly polished?
If you want to look polished in a suit the first thing you need is the proper fit. An expensive suit can look cheap if it does not fit correctly, and an inexpensive suit can look rich with the correct alterations. Fit is key!
What’s a trend you love this year? What’s your advice for incorporating trends without looking trendy?
Trend can be a tricky word in my business. Being current is different. I think most men want to look and feel current when they dress. That goes for business or casual. Right now men in the US are still adjusting to a trimmer fit. In keeping with what is current… watch for the return of pleated trousers, larger waistbands on pants and larger lapels on suits and sports jackets. Blueprint 5 will continue to push the boundaries of what is happening in men’s clothing. We are launching new lines each season to keep the feel fresh and to stay in front of the pack – just like our clients.
631 Main Street, East Greenwich • 885-2500