Letters

Letters 08-25-14

Save America

I read your paper because it’s free and I enjoy the ads. But I struggle through the left wing tripe that fills every page, from political cartoons to the vitriolic pen of Mr. Tuttle. What a shame this beautiful area of the state has such an abundance of Socialist/democrats. Or perhaps the silent majority chooses to stay silent...

Doom, Yet a Cup Half Full

In the news we are told of the civil unrest at Ferguson, Mo; ISIS war radicals in Iraq and Syria; the great corporate tax heist at home. You name it. Trouble, trouble, everywhere. It seems to me the U.S. Congress is partially to blame...

Uncomfortable Questions

defending the positions of the Israelis vs Hamas are far too narrow. Even Mr. Tuttle seems to have failed in looking deeply into the divide. American media is not biased against Israel, nor or are they pro Palestine or Hamas...

The Evolution of Man Revisited

As the expectations of manhood evolve, so too do the rules of love. In Mr. Holmes’s statement [from “Our Therapist Will See Us Now” in last week’s issue] he narrows the key to a successful relationship to the basic need to have your wants and needs understood, and it is on this point I expand...

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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