By Julie Lawrence Special to Published Sep 05, 2008 at 5:17 AM

The Third Ward welcomes Flaire to 407 E. Buffalo St. in October. Locally owned by the style-savvy Jenna Shultz, the shop promises to be an intimate, comfortable shopping experience offering names never before seen in the Milwaukee market.

But this boutique isn't just for female fashion hounds. Nearly half the store is dedicated to the Milwaukee man looking for a little more distinction in his dress.

"The boutique market is largely geared towards women, obviously leaving men with less options," says Shultz, whose background is in specialty retail, both as a store manager and an assistant buyer.

"Opening a men's store in Milwaukee will provide men here with another source for style. Men are more fashion forward today and may not always want to turn to the local mall when looking for something different to wear."

In a city that's a little light on menswear, the Third Ward, Milwaukee's unofficial fashion district, seemed like a fitting place to foster the trend.

Flaire officially opens Oct. 1 as a meeting point of sorts between casual clothing and professional attire. Shultz hopes to be a trusted source for customers looking to develop their style and become more comfortable with their choices, no matter their age.

"We have a wide range of buyers, some in their 20s and some in their 50s, so we end up with a great mix of clothing that can hit anyone between the college senior getting ready for the workforce and the corporate executive."

Men will likely find an ample selection of chino pants, button down, sweaters and blazers and women an assortment of blouses, dresses, skirts as well as great basics.

And although she wouldn't dub Flaire a denim-focused store, she's offering a few lines for both men and women, namely Fidelity and Level 99 (the head designer of which used to design for Seven for all Mankind), which she says are making their Milwaukee retail debut.

In the men's department, look for items from labels like Modern Amusement, English Laundry, Five Four and DBLA. On the women's side, she's featuring fall fashions from Charlotte Tarantola, LinQ, Isda & Co., Tribute and native Wisconsin designer Maria Inez. Look for a trunk show featuring Inez's fall collection in '09.

Shultz hasn't forgotten about the ever-growing eco-friendly sector of the fashion landscape and offers selections from Covet, a Japanese-inspired line featuring nature fabrics made from organic cotton and soybean, and Krisa, a designer who flirts with classic feminine style and luxurious fabrics.

Flaire also carries accessories -- jewelry, belts and sunglasses -- for men and women.

Since the boutique is slated to open in time for a colorful Midwestern autumn, Shultz, with her finger to the industry's pulse, offers her fashion forecast for the upcoming season.

"For men, what we're seeing is a return to a fitted silhouette in their clothing, not so much that relaxed, baggy look," she predicts. "Grey is really strong, as are plaids. Some lines are experimenting with Western-inspired looks. Not the total cowboy look, but more subtle approaches in the stitching and detailing on the cuff."

"For women, the color purple I have seen in just about every line, everywhere. We're seeing a lot of prints -- winter florals, rich colors, and artsy prints that look like brush strokes on the garment. Ruffles are big and also very feminine."

Julie Lawrence Special to staff writer Julie Lawrence grew up in Wauwatosa and has lived her whole life in the Milwaukee area.

As any “word nerd” can attest, you never know when inspiration will strike, so from a very early age Julie has rarely been seen sans pen and little notebook. At the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee it seemed only natural that she major in journalism. When offered her an avenue to combine her writing and the city she knows and loves in late 2004, she knew it was meant to be. Around the office, she answers to a plethora of nicknames, including “Lar,” (short for “Larry,” which is short for “Lawrence”) as well as the mysteriously-sourced “Bill Murray.”