Maybe it's just me, but I've noticed a distinct lack of stores for men in the Capital Region. Women get all of the fun boutiques and quaint shops, while the men are left waiting on the couch for shopping to be over.
Recently Jonathan Brust has done something to change that. He just opened Enigma.Co, a men's clothing shop. Located in downtown Troy, Brust is aiming to elevate men's style by offering interesting brands and goods.
Brust, who's 24 years old, has a few ideas why there is a relative scarcity of shops for men in the area. "It's not expected [for men] like it is for women. Guys just don't think about clothing. For a long time it was weird for guys to care."
He says he originally came up with the idea of opening a menswear shop while drinking with friends. While teasing a buddy for his generic underwear, the group realized that there weren't any good options for men's shopping in the area. "Men around here don't have the opportunity to explore designer goods," he said.
Brust has a background in landscape construction, but wasn't inspired by the idea of a career in that area. So he decided to draw on his retail experience and start Enigma.Co, which celebrated its soft opening this past August Troy Night Out.
Brust is focusing on t-shirts, jeans, button-ups, shoes, underwear, personal care products and other accessories. I was impressed that Brust could speak at length about each product, offering details about every designer and brand, and often had personal stories of convincing a brand to be stocked in his brick-and-mortar shop.
Because of the designer nature of the products, you'll certainly see prices higher than in mall shops. For example, Enigma.Co carries a line of denim from Mott + Bow, a New York City-based company. A pair of these jeans will run you $96, although Brust points out its high quality Turkish denim.
Some of the brands at Enimga.Co will be familiar to the fashion-conscious, like Ben Sherman, Original Penguin, and Ursa Major skincare. Others are emerging US brands like JD Fisk, and Roosevelt Grooming Company, a Cohoes-based company that refinishes vintage straight razors.
While I imagined price would be a turn-off to the "everyday man," Brust is not concerned. "With any boutique you have a price jump," Brust said, "but these are USA made, and USA based companies. You're buying quality product. People don't bat an eye at it, at least not yet." Brust says the products range in price from $8 to over $100.
So if you're ready to upgrade from your Hanes, Enigma.Co can help. Brust assured me that modal and bamboo blends breathe better to keep you cool where it counts.
Enigma.Co hours: Tuesday-Friday 11 am-6 pm, Saturdays 9 am-5 pm.
Lauren writes about shopping, crafting, and living well on a small budget at The Thrifty Ginger.
16 1st Street
Troy, NY 12180
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