BY DICK SHIPLEY
With over thirty years experience in the clothing business under my belt and being the benefactor of great training in every facet thereof, I’ve learned a few things on the winding road of sartorial splendor. First, while fashion is very cyclical by nature, style is linear; it is a straight-line and never ending evolution in refining who we are and how we get there. Second, the desires and motivations of the clothing consuming public have changed immensely over the years. I entered this crazy business - having had a life-altering experience as a customer, myself, looking for a suit that FIT. Then, as I assumed my role on the other side of clothing, met a gentleman who demanded his suit, to not only make him “look and feel the part,” but, also, to last for twenty years - and be in style when he pulled it out of the closet at any time in between. Thus, my career began!
While my clients today care very little, if any, about a suit that would look good in twenty years, they still want the inherent quality and craftsmanship that would allow it to last that long. Further, men of all sectors seek their own unique style, providing them individualism in a homogeneous world. That’s where I, and the aforementioned experience, enter the fray.
Even though I would eschew the engineering degree I went to college to pursue, it trained me to see things in a three-dimensional way, and it has served me well through the years. I developed an affinity to work with the “tougher fit” clients (being one myself), and quickly understood the advantages of having something made for you, rather than fitted to you. I made myself a student of fit and construction, and the art of blue-pencil patterning. Additionally, I was blessed to be tutored by legends in the clothing business - learning the elements of style, and the style of how to sell it properly.
After years managing the finest men’s specialty clothing store in the south, I started Boston Louie’s Custom Clothing in Atlanta. It began as a Valentine’s present to my wife - a Boston Terrier named Louie - who then became my trusted companion and business inspiration. The marriage didn’t last, but my Boston Louie’s Clothing did.
Today, as always, American made quality, fit, classic, but not boring or stuffy, style, impeccable fabrics, value and concierge service are hallmarks of what I do. I constantly seek the most exclusive fabrics from the world’s finest mills; not because I have to, but because it matters. Your clothing is an extension of who you are, as well as where you are in life. The right suit or sport coat affects how you think and feel; as well as how others think and feel about you. Unfortunately, just as there has been a renaissance in gentlemen’s tailored clothing, there is a dearth of professionals up to the task of truly guiding and giving direction to their clients. While everyone wants to look flattering in their tailored clothing, one size does NOT fit all, so to speak. We are not all built the same, and you can’t betray your body-type. This understanding, along with my passion and commitment, are what sets me apart from the pack. Nashville is such a great market for me, as we are a spotlight city, and men here are more and more discerning in their attire. That, along with the diminishing number of capable clothiers, is how I’ve created a thriving enterprise and reputation in a short period of time in Nashville.
Personally, what rekindles the flame for me is the gratification derived from making a difference to someone, whether it’s that singular, perfect interview suit that can change a life; or a fresh look for the gentleman with a stable in the closet. I’ve been fortunate to work with people of varying needs, styles, and life-stations: Pro-athletes, team owners and GM’s, businessmen, and every-day gentlemen. Making a difference, one suit at a time. It’s rewarding, and I love it!.
Springtime is the ideal time for the Southern Gentleman to hit the refresh button on his wardrobe. It’s a time for life and renewal...and fun! Easter. Steeplechase. The Derby. Whether it’s that extraordinary fitting suit, or perfect sport coat to dress up or down for all occasions; or a wardrobe makeover with in-home consultation; I’m here for you Nashville, and welcome the opportunity to provide you with my old-school haberdashery skills, and door-to-door service. Because I’ve learned another thing through the years: A good suit is like an old friend!