Letters

Letters 8-18-2014

The Climate Clarified

Climate change isn’t an easy subject. A class I’m taking compared it to medicine in a way that was helpful for me: Climate scientists are like planetary physicians. Our understanding of medicine is incomplete, but what we know is useful...

Beware Non-Locally Grown

The article “Farm Fresh?” couldn’t be any more true than exactly stated. As an avid shopper at the local farm markets I want to know “exactly” what I am buying, from GMO free to organic or not organic, sprayed or not sprayed and with what...

Media Bias Must End

I wish to thank Joel Weberman for his letter “Seeking Balanced Israel Coverage.” The pro-Palestinian bias includes TV news coverage...

Proud of My President

The world is a mess. According to many conservative voices, it would not be in such a mess if Obama was not the president. I am finally understanding that the problem with our president is that he is too thoughtful, too rational, too realistic, too inclined to see things differently and change his mind, too compassionate to be the leader of a free world...

Home · Articles · News · Features · For the Best Dressed Man,
. . . .

For the Best Dressed Man,

Ross Boissoneau - March 25th, 2013  


Classic. That word can describe many things: Music. Cuisine. Clothing.

It’s the lattermost that concerns Maurie Allen. Despite some rather, umm, flashy socks on display, the attire at Captain’s Quarters has always hewed toward apparel that is both stylish and timeless.

That’s why Captain’s Quarters was voted “Best Men’s Clothing Store” by Express readers in the Grand Traverse area.

“We started in 1966, and 47 years later we’re still here,” said Allen from his store at 151 E. Front St. in downtown Traverse City.

But if it wasn’t for a decision made by the higher-ups at Montgomery Ward, the long-defunct department store chain, Captain’s Quarters might not even exist.

“I was about to be transferred by Montgomery Ward to Indiana,” he recalled.

“Betsy and I had three kids, and we decided we wanted to raise them here,” Good for them, and good for clothing aficionados. Allen bought a men’s clothing store from a downtown merchant who was looking to retire. A few years later he moved the store next door to its present location when a women’s clothing store moved out.

STAYING POWER

Back then, Captain’s Quarters was just one of more than a half-dozen haberdashers downtown. But while stores such as Hamilton’s, Pratt’s, and PA Jacobs have since closed their doors, Allen and his crew still sail those waters.

And they still provide the same service with styles that are not as trendy as parachute pants or T-shirts under unconstructed blazers.

“It’s an ever-changing industry,” said Allen. “We choose more traditional (lines). It doesn’t have chaotic change season-to-season.”

In addition to its traditional men’s fashions, Captains Quarters offers formal wear and scouting apparel and accessories.

“Prom and weddings – formal wear has become a very, very big part of our business,” said Allen.

So much so that in an effort to connect with trend-setters, the store now clothes students during school hours to showcase their styles.

“It’s our guerilla marketing,” said Allen with a laugh. “Kids relate to their peers much better than to old guys like me.”

SOCIAL GATHERING

Not only do styles change in the fashion industry, the stores themselves have changed dramatically as well.

“The nature of the industry is toward malls,” acknowledged Allen. “Being small, hometown store, we get so many great comments.”

Such as being named a “Best of” winner by Northern Express readers.

There’s no doubt that even after almost a half-century in the business, Allen still enjoys the interaction with customers.

“It’s fun. We are a social gathering place,” he said. “We have some clients that have been with us for 47 years. They come in to chat, share their lives.

“If you do something you love, you never have to work a day in your life.”

 
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