Victorinox Swiss Army

Moving in a new direction can take an inspirational jolt from outside, like bringing in Eric Schmidt to make Google more business savvy, or The Bobs to make Initech more John C. McGinley. Bringing in a fashion ringer, Victorinox Swiss Army.

Legendary for bladed precision and compact utility, VSA recently snagged a former Prada head to overhaul their apparel and retail divisions, resulting in gear that's as stylish as it is...Swiss. Outerwear ranges from purely fashionable to functional-yet-sharp, including a nightlife-friendly, tailored chocolate-moleskin jacket, an olive-hooded "super light" number combining a bomber's style with a water-repellent shell and loads of pockets, and a pair of jackets (one padded, one shirt-style) cut Euro-slim from "shape memory" fabric -- a Japanese water repellent twill, not a nostalgic remembrance of running sub-ten minute miles. Solid-colored sweaters are thin and streamlined, e.g., fine wool crewnecks and zip-front cardigans with nylon piecing, v-necks with softshell piecing, and turtleneck sweaters with "ultrasuede" trim, because plain old super suede is for poor losers.

For your bottom half, VSA offers water repellent trousers in a new poly/nylon skinny style, or a crisp-looking black "shape memory" cargo; stretch twill comes in a five-pocket model, or a "classic" fit that also runs modishly skinny -- so size carefully, or you'll give everyone else a jolt that'll inspire them to wrap a sweatshirt around your waist.