Guy Style

Guy Style

With summer soon approaching, if you’re like me, you aren’t always sure of what’s in style for guys who are past their college-age years. To shine some light (and some help), we reached out to Santo Napoli, owner of assembly88 ( for some tips and ideas. Santo and his team can help you out from the top of your head to the soles of your feet—from hats to footwear, and everything you need in between.

Santo has been a downtown Allentown retailer for the last 20 years, and some of you may know him as co-owner of The Archive and New York Urban. Whereas those businesses were aimed at young men, assembly88 is directed at the mature professional who wants to look good in all aspects of his life, whether that’s the boardroom or at an Iron Pigs game. Incidentally, if you’re wondering where the business name came from, assembly88 is a tribute to Kramer’s Music House—the original occupant of the space at 544 Hamilton Street—and the number of keys on the pianos that were built and sold there.

THE FOCUS OF THIS ARTICLE IS GETTING READY FOR SUMMER. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ESSENTIALS EVERY MAN SHOULD HAVE IN HIS WARDROBE? Santo says you should have some fun swim trunks or board shorts. “Prints are great and they can be subtle too.”  He also suggests solid pocket tees, especially garment-dyed options which look broken in from day one. Also, what he calls “all day” shorts were tremendous last year—essentially one pair of shorts you can wear from the golf course, to the pool, and then to dinner with the family. Also, canvas sneakers and slip-ons are essential.

“It’s best to ditch the athletic sneakers unless you are actually doing something … athletic!” Santo adds.  Performance polos and wovens also continue to trend, as they are easy to care for and keep you looking great (and cool), even on the hottest days!

ARE THERE ANY “RULES” WHICH SHOULD ALWAYS BE FOLLOWED? (E.G. DON’T WEAR SOCKS WITH SANDALS) Listen up, gentlemen: cargo shorts should only be for mowing the lawn!  It’s also time to retire any jean shorts that are still in the closet. During work hours, keep the belt matching the shoes, even in the summer.  Santo says “while there may be other rules, throw most out the window. Guys should do what makes them comfortable and confident!”

HOW DOES A GUY FIGURE OUT WHAT HIS “STYLE” IS?  Santo says that store windows and mannequins help guys visualize outfits really well. “Listen to your friends and loved ones: when you get compliments on an item, take it as a cue that you’re on the right track!” he adds.  It’s summer, so it’s a great opportunity to try something new, like perhaps some brighter colors or different fabrications in shirts and shorts.

GUYS COME IN ALL SHAPES AND SIZES. HOW IMPORTANT IS FIT WITH MEN’S CLOTHING? Fit is very important!  “Too many guys are wearing pants and shirts that are one size too big.  We encourage clients to size down and many end up moving to that size permanently once they realize how much better of a look it is,” Santo says. Some brands cater to slimmer builds, and other brands offer a range of different fits that accommodate athletic or larger frames.

ARE HIGHER QUALITY CLOTHES WORTH THE INVESTMENT? If sustainability is important to you, consider that higher quality usually ensures better environments for the factory workers. If durability is important, most of assembly88’s selections are classic and staple items.  Paying more can also ensure you look great over time, even after countless washes or dry cleaning. “Customers have communicated to our staff that they’ve tried the cheaper options, but they don’t last anywhere near as long or look as new than the better product options available,” Santo shared.

WHAT IF I’M A JEANS AND T-SHIRT GUY—IS THERE HELP FOR ME? Jeans and T-shirts never go out of style!  Twill pants have been very strong, and they now come in 5-pocket style so they resemble denim, and Santo has seen the market shift that direction.  He adds, “T-shirts are always strong for us, and they’ve come a long way. They are super soft and tag-less nowadays, too.”


1 | Invest in no-show socks for summer sneakers and slip-ons!  Your feet will thank you.

2 | Balance out prints, plaids, and solids.  Have fun with print shorts, but balance out with a solid or woven shirt (or vice versa).

3 | Keep the shorts above the knee (between 7″ and 9″) unless you are playing pick-up basketball. 

4 | Embrace performance fabrics that are easy care and wrinkle-free.  These have been a game-changer. Now you can head to happy hour looking like you just changed into a fresh shirt! 

5 | Invest in shoes that are versatile to go from work, to happy hour, to date night, and more. 

For more fashion advice, reach out to Santo directly:
544 Hamilton St, Allentown

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