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Fashion with Convincing Comfort

Vince, a contemporary fashion house, recently opened its doors in Union Square. Found in luxury department stores such as Saks Fifth Avenue, Vince now operates a standalone store that promises a wide range of staple wardrobe pieces for today’s sophisticate. Known for its quality fabrics in casual styles, Vince offers another option to San Franciscans who seek versatile looks that are not only fashionable but also comfortable.

The store space is divided in the middle with a runway of mannequins that don layered looks without any sense of contrivance. The left wall rises with black bricks that act as a backdrop to all the knitwear, plaid flannels, blazers, and tees for men. Opposite this wall a smooth relief rises as a backdrop for all the women’s selections. Both walls buttress a ceiling that shows exposed piping and skylights strategically shining on the mannequins and sequined garments.

Co-founded by Christopher LaPolice and Rea Laccone, Vince operates from New York and Los Angeles. Despite the opposing coastal presences, one thing is certain: Anything deemed too trendy gets trashed. Instead classic cuts dominate with a twisted element. For example a standard turtleneck is tweaked to drop the shoulder holes for ease of movement. Add stripes and crop the cut — now a standard turtleneck has held to its classic form but with a touch of style.

Knitwear makes up a large component of Vince’s collection for this fall. In the women’s department, turtlenecks ($245) made of 100 percent cashmere means an investment in classic comfort. Choose ebony or cream. For men, Vince offers thermal sweaters starting at $135, double-breasted cardigans ($290) and lightweight hoodies ($195).

Other basic separates for women include tanks that start at $48. Really who needs another tank but a shopper nearby pipes, “I like this tank top. It looks comfy!” Men can select from many neutral-colored tees ($42) in white, oat, and grey. They look great alone or underneath a sweater for contrast.

Outerwear also comes into play as part of the Vince brand. The most fashion-forward piece for women is the shearling aviator jacket ($1,450) and the leather biker jacket ($775). Definitely hitting the high end of the price points, these looks nevertheless aren’t overly decorated and remain relevant for multiple seasons.

There lies Vince’s strength — sustained looks that offer comfort. Cut in classic forms, they provide essential elements for layered looks. With mostly a neutral fall palette (navy, brown, grey, and black) and high quality materials (pima cotton, cashmere and silk), Vince is able to offer styles that have potential to carry to future seasons without looking dated. It should take a San Franciscan little convincing to get a piece of Vince.