Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Where can a cool kid from Minnesota find a suit?

Dear ESB,

We're 7 weeks away from the wedding, and my dearest darling fiance doesn't have his outfit picked out yet. He hasn't figured out what the groomsmen will be wearing either, and they're starting to bug him about it (we are fortunate enough to have five very-on-top-of-it-groomsmen who actually want to be prepared, and not naked, at our wedding!)

Ideally, he wants to wear a three piece Donegal wool/tweed suit, or a coat-vest-pants combo that are (classily) mismatched (this Billy Reid suit, on the left, is a perfect example). And we'd like the groomsmen to wear a pants-vest combo but no jacket. Taupe or gray preferred. But... We live in a small Minnesota town (Duluth) and don't have the luxury of shopping at awesome vintage shops or boutiques. We have been scouring Google, to no avail.

Do you have anything up your sleeve?

Naked in Duluth



I emailed my lady Kat from Pierrepont Hicks and she asked her style guru Samuel Fehrenbach, the proprietor of Martin Patrick3, a men's accessories shop in Minneapolis.

Here's what Sam had to say:

Well, I can’t speak for Duluth, but Heimie’s Haberdashery in St. Paul is for sure the best bet in the Twin Cities - and they do all their tailoring in house, which is convenient for wedding things, I’m sure. Otherwise Twill out in Edina Galleria may be a good bet as well. They’ve got kind of a tweedy Hickey Freeman vibe (but they also sell Vineyard Vines ties – which is totally the opposite). I think both shops do custom, though seven weeks is pressing your luck in that regard. You might have some luck at Judd Frost in Wayzata, but I’ve never actually been there, so I can’t give you a full endorsement. Wish I could give you a little more to go on, but unfortunately in Minnesota suits for cool kids can be tough to find.

Side note, I don’t think I’d call Duluth a small town, but that must just mean that I’m really really from the Midwest.

When I was linking over to Hickey Freeman just now (thank you Sam!) I noticed that this tan plaid suit is 50% off. It's lighter weight than what you're looking for, but how cold will it be in Duluth at the end of September?

I'm asking. I have no idea what the weather is like in Duluth. 


(Image courtesy of Kanye New Yorker Tweets.  I trust you have all been following Kanye on Twitter?)


  1. we ended up getting my groom something special and one of a kind-ish but getting his groomsmen this super affordable vest/pant combo from express...i know it's not super unique or vintage but the fact that it is easy to find and try on in a mall or order online made it the right choice to get all our guys in the same get up...*&Mrsavf=*

  2. There's always Indochino, right?

  3. old man shops have some gems.

    as long as you get the thing tailored, after.

  4. lol, I'm going to steal from the Irish and say for Minnesota, "The only thing you can count on is that you can't count on the weather!" Especially in Duluth!


  5. I cant offer any store help, but I can suggest, going more low key with the groomsmen.

    Finding great looking matching but not identical tweed or wool anything is hard work. So you could just focus on the groom, and the groomsmen take a back seat.

    My husband wore a mismatched vintage jacket pants look and simply settled on a vintage wool/tweed jacket, no vest, over black jeans. The groomsmen bought the same jeans (which actually looked more like pants) and just wore a pale shirt in slightly varied colours.

    With 7 weeks to go, this is my suggestion, if you want to avoid any heartache.

  6. Thrift or Ebay + tailor = bespoke menswear

    But get crackalackin man-you don't have much time!

  7. OH! OH! OH! Have tailor replace jacket lining with fuschia silky stuff, or stripey fabric, or LIBERTY FABRIC!!!! Yeah! And have all the groomsmen wear whatev suits with Liberty fabric ties that match the grooms lining......
    O.K., why don't you just send me all your measurements so I can get started...

  8. I don't know what your budget is, but for custom wear, I love Top Shelf. My husband had his suit made there (about the same as buying a new suit from a larger company) and it was perfect and well worth it. Also, everyone I have ever talked with there has been in the suit business for like 30 years, and has lots of ideas and knowledge. Heimie's is also exceptional, but I don't have as much personal experience with them.

  9. I agree with modernhaus. Find a suit at a thrift store or on ebay that is good quality and the closest to his size and then have it tailored. My hub found a decent Brooks Brothers suit on ebay and we had it tailored for our marriage (most definitely NOT a wedding)and that worked out well. The suit cracks us up now, but we didn't spend a lot on it so who cares! :)

  10. Thank you all, and thank you ESB for posting my letter! Great links and advice all around. Looks like we should head down to the Twin Cities very soon...

    And yes, Duluth certainly isn't the *smallest* town in the world, but I guess I was comparing it to NYC or Portland where rad little designer shops are everywhere. Anyone want to move to Duluth and open up a boutique? 'Cause you'd make bank.

    Also, Minnesota in September= 50's, crisp with a light breeze, partly-sunny, and the fall colors will be peaking. It's our fave month around here because the bugs have died but it's not dreadfully cold yet. Actually, every season/month here is beautiful for different reasons. But shhh don't tell anyone...we're OK with everyone thinking it totally sucks to live here...more room for us, hey! ;)

  11. i like the "find me an outfit" posts. Thinking of sending a dear esb: "i need a new wardrobe, help a sister out? k thanx."