by Karen Alberg Grossman

For MR’s video dive into this precarious business, devastated by pandemic shutdowns in 2020 but coming back with a vengeance in 2021 when postponed events got rescheduled, we selected a group of smart, successful specialty store merchants who live and breathe tailored clothing. Initially aiming to post a 20-minute roundtable, we soon realized that, with so many great ideas in this 45-minute discussion, we couldn’t cut it back any further. Trust us: you’ll be glad you stayed tuned.

MR Magazine Tailored Clothing: Unbuttoned from Location 8 on Vimeo.

Among the things you’ll learn from these hands-on merchants, whose tailored business represents 30-80 percent of their store volume:

**What’s hot, what’s not?

**The potential of looser fits and less construction…

**The potential of tailored sportswear…

**Sales vs. rentals?

**In-store events that work (just don’t call it a trunk show!)

**The impact of inevitable cost increases (will throwing in a dress shirt with the suit purchase soften the blow of higher ticket prices?)

**How to attract younger customers?

**How much does made-in-Italy matter?

**How much does made-in-America matter?

**How to get more mileage from print catalogs (have you tried using your sellers as models?)

**How to find artisanal Italian brands that are not overly distributed and not selling direct (check out the ITA section at the Chicago Collective!)

All this and more…. Feel free to leave comments if you’re so inclined: your thoughts and ideas can help us all.

Much appreciation to our wonderful retail panelists: Al Leinen, Vern Ticknor, Frank Ventresca, Joseph Orlando, Tina Popp and Anthony Manno. And special thanks to Peerless Clothing for sponsoring MR’s Tailored Clothing Week.