What's in Store 
Gerry's, a hip menswear spot
that's not to be missed

By PAUL VLACHOS

he next time you're in the West Village, stroll south on Bleecker Street. If you start at 11th Street, you'll pass the fragrant Magnolia Bakery and The Biography Bookstore. 

The next few blocks hold a store selling old quilts, a kitsch emporium, antique shops, Eastern Arts from Bali, Moondog Pies and Ice Cream, and more restaurants and clothing stores than you would think could be wedged into three short blocks. On the southern border of this mini gold coast, just before the tourism strip begins at 10th Street, you'll find Gerry's Menswear.

When you walk in, the boutique-sized shop seems much larger than you'd have thought from the facade. A clean black counter rises from the Mexican terra cotta floor. The track lights and the full front window combine to make the place bright, but not harsh. A simple vase of fresh flowers sits on the counter next to the cash register. Framed black and white photos line the wall. The main decor, though, is the clothes, neatly folded in small piles on the black metal techno shelving along each wall. Further in, a large rectangle of ties, mural-like, beckons you to stand and admire. The rear section holds a collection of darker three-button suits. 

The clothing is subdued, yet hip. Gerry features Donna Karan's Signature Line, from Italy. Sportswear from Calvin Klein and Joseph Abboud are also prominent, all in natural fibers such as wool crepe, cotton, linen, and silk. Bright reds and oranges trumpet the Spring lineup. The shelves are piled with sport shirts of all patterns and textures: sports shirts, camp shirts, and pajama shirts. The fuzzy Sherpa crewnecks, in both black and olive, are especially cool.

Gerry, a smiling, tall man in his early thirties, presides over this domain. Fourteen years in the menswear industry has given him a low-key professionalism, and it's fun to watch the contrast between this and his exuberance when friends and old customers pop in or slow down in their cars on Bleecker Street, calling out "Congratulations, Gerry!" He was co-owner of a men's store up the block for the past eight years and opening this store has been "something that I've wanted to do since I was 18," he says. The spirit is infectious.

Shirts go for $75 to $125. Trousers start at $70 and top off at $225, and suits cost from $550 to $895.

Gerry's is the kind of place that you'll leave wishing you could blow your whole paycheck. Between the understated, but cool casual wear and the sharp downtown business clothes, he seems to have all bases covered.

Open 11:00 am to 7:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday, noon to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Gerry's Menswear 353 Bleecker Street, between 10th and Charles.

Original Story Date: 032797
Original Story Section: Style