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A perfect stranger came to Jackson & Connor on a Saturday afternoon and said, "I'm going to take my wife for a surprise date. I haven't done this since we were dating, we've had three kids, and I really want to delight her. I want to look really sharp, and I thought this would be a great place to do that. Can you help me out?"

We went to work.

"I love this," he said, as he handed me a dark blue shirt. We picked out some pants that went perfectly. He found some socks he loved, and a stunning black leather duffle, some pocket squares...45 minutes later, he loved most of the things in the store.

He was almost in shock. "This was the best clothing shopping experience I've...ever had. I felt great coming in, I felt so comfortable working with you, and I love what I'm taking home with me. Thank you."

That's what we do at Jackson & Connor. We provide a stunning curated selection of men's clothing and accessories -- from jeans and tees to sport coats and custom suits. We're dedicated to providing the best possible service, a warm atmosphere, personal attention, and a discerning eye for details.

Most importantly, we love to do what we do -- it's our passion to work with our customers. Our little store on the 2nd Floor of Thornes Marketplace in downtown Northampton is always buzzing. Stop by J&C, and see what menswear is all about.

If you want incredible upscale menswear, you have to go upstairs to Jackson & Connor.


Sunday, May 3, 2015

Jackson & Connor Ties: Spring 2015

Hi again, Folks!

If you've been in the shop lately or if you've checked out our facebook page, you've probably heard us (read: Will) gushing about our brand new line of neckwear. For the first time ever, Jackson & Connor is having specialty ties made specifically for the shop, and sold under our own Jackson & Connor label. The coolest thing about this line is how it's split -- one part of the line is a series of stunning silk satin ties printed and made in Como, Italy. The other part of the line is a collection of silk and cotton skinny ties, made in Manhattan.

We decided to tack in these two different directions because it provided us with a rich variety of neckwear; the Italian-made ties are more traditional in terms of width, and the American-made ties are funkier, younger, and more modern. The difference in materials is also pretty pronounced; the skinny ties are a little more funky and rugged with their cotton prints, while the Italian silk ties are rich, luxurious and so soft to the touch. Check out this season's offerings:

     
Each "Jackson & Connor" label is actually printed onto the tie and color-matched to the tie's pallet.





     

And this is our NYC-made line of ties. We split this up between silk wovens and cotton prints. We love the bright retro florals done up as a nice modern, skinny tie. These American-made ties are fresh and bright -- simply stunning. Take a look:





   






     

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

News from the Front

Hi Folks!

It's been a while since we posted on the blog, so I thought I'd just fill you dapper folks in on some of the goings-on at Jackson & Connor!

The Annual Best Buddies Fashion Show was a huge success! Thanks to everyone who came out and supported this incredible annual fundraiser. We've been working with Best Buddies of Western MA for years on producing this spectacular fashion show. This year, we had about 17 student participants, and a dozen different sponsors who generously donated their time, energy, goods and just plain old help to pull this amazing event off. We had support from Best Buddies of W. MA, Ode, 25 Central, Salon Herdis, Thornes Marketplace, Rao's, Paul & Elizabeth's, The People's Pint, The Lady Killigrew Cafe, Dani. Fine Photography and Forget-Me-Not Florist.

The students are always so excited to get decked out in all the finery (provided by Ode, 25 Central and yours truly), and to have a huge group of supporters cheering for them and supporting them -- it's a really magical night. If you weren't able to make it out this year, we do it every April! Already looking forward to next year...check out some of the great shots provided by Dani. Fine Photography.



     





     



  

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Best of the Valley 2015 goes to Jackson & Connor once again for best local store for men's fashions! We're so so lucky to be voted in for the fourth consecutive year (our fifth overall win out of six years we were eligible for the award) by our wonderful, brilliant customers. We're so very lucky to have you -- thank you so very much for all of your years of support and friendship.


(From left: Kari Dahl, Will Brideau, Marisa Gold)
 (Original photo and caption): Will Brideau, owner of Jackson and Connor, says the store aims to provide everything one would need to look sharp for work or an event — “men’s style, soup to nuts.” “We try to be a haberdashery in the truest sense of the word,” says Brideau. Brideau says customers who come in end up bonding with the employees, who work really hard to help them find exactly what they’re looking for. “Our service — that’s really where we hang our hat.”

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The Mount Shoot - Jackson & Connor was honored & privileged to work with Dani. Fine Photography on a styled wedding shoot at The Mount, Edith Wharton's home in Lenox, MA. The shots were simply stunning! You can click here for the original article, but be sure to take a gander at a few of these first:

Our model's first look:
Jack Victor windowpane plaid sport coat, Forsyth of Canada ivory shirt, Braemore Neckwear silk paisley tie,
Edward Armah boutonniere, Barbara Blank NY silk hand-rolled pocket square, Giorginni trousers

     


Our model's second look:
Tallia Orange charcoal grey flannel suit, Luchiano Visconti velvet vest,
Ingram shirting, Braemore Neckwear wool tie, Edward Armah boutonniere and pocket square

     



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Upcoming Styled Shoot - We were recently asked to do a styled shoot at the Wheatleigh Inn in Lenox, MA! We're working with a fun team of stylists, makeup artists and wardrobe consultants. Jackson & Connor will be responsible for styling all of the menswear at the shoot. The shoot happens next week, and we'll post pictures and tell you all about it here when it publishes!

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Upcoming Event: Valley Wed - Valley Wed is a remarkable wedding expo for all our lovely local Pioneer Valley folks. They sum it up best on their website:

"Valley Wed was created with the goal of inspiring connections and honoring your style with a locally sourced approach. It's designed especially for couples that value local businesses, personal relationships and exceptional products and services. 

From rustic to elegant, casual to classic, you’ll find bakers, photographers, DJs, event planners, musicians, officiants, florists, caterers and other highly skilled independent professionals to help you plan your wedding in the Pioneer Valley!"

Jackson & Connor is proud and excited to be the menswear vendor for Valley Wed, helping your dashing grooms avoid the boring and ill-fitting in favor of something with a little more character -- and a little more class.



There's so much going on! Keep tuned for more updates, folks!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Winter Stinks Sale


Winter stinks. This winter (more than any other in recent memory), I feel like the folks coming into Jackson & Connor are just totally burned out by the winter, ready for it all to be over. The cold, the snow, the cold and the snow, the momentary thaw followed by colder cold than the cold we had before (so that everything turns to ice and becomes deadly), followed by everyone's favorite -- more snow.

That's why we went this direction...Winter stinks, but you can save some serious money on your fall favorites, at prices 50%-75% off. Craaaaazy. Especially winter in New England looks like it'll stretch on into late April/early May, you'll get some good use out of this stuff. Come check out some of the great finds now through March 8th!







Monday, February 9, 2015

CLOSED

Hi Folks!

The snow strikes again -- we're expecting to open up at 12:00 noon today, due to the weather. If Thornes has to close for the day, we should know by 10:30 or 11:00 am, and we'll talk about it here and on fb. Stay warm, folks!

UPDATE: (11:52am) Hey everyone, we're deciding to close for today...it's supposed to snow through 10:00 tonight, and it's just not safe out there. Enjoy the snow, and stay off the roads unless you can't help it.

Cheers,
~Will



Thursday, February 5, 2015

NY MRket Review

I've gotta share with you some of the incredible things I just saw in New York City for Fall 2015.

MRket is a massive, sprawling menswear trade show:


It includes well over 350 different menswear vendors, selling everything from suits and sport coats to shoes, denim, sportswear, hats, ties, leather bags, belts, jewelry, accessories, care products, cuff links -- you name it. It's always beautifully merchandised and decorated, and some of the booths are incredibly elaborate...and it has a cash bar (I really should've made better use of that). I won't bore you with a blow-by-blow of over eighteen hours of meetings, but check out the highlights:

Paul Betenley is a relatively new line with us...we started with them this Fall season, and we're continuing with the line, because they're an amazing vendor. They provide stunning tailored clothing (suits and sport coats) that rival even Jack Victor in terms of quality. They're a fully integrated company, so they own the sheep, they spin the fibers into threads, turn the threads into fabrics, construct the garments and do it all themselves -- they even have their own Italian wool mill. Half the fun of this appointment is also getting to chat with our rep Gene, who is as much a salesman as a friend. Over the age of 70, and he still reps several different lines. When we sit down to this meeting, we're really looking for something special that we can't find with any of our other clothing vendors -- unique patterns, unusual fabrication, we're trying to sniff out the good ones (I mean, they're all good, but you know what I'm getting at). Here's what we looked at:




Edward Armah is one of my favorite lines, and favorite people in the menswear industry. As I was chatting with one of the line designers at Will Leather Goods, Edward walked through and gave me a hug on the way to his booth. The designer turns to me and says "I've seen people walk up to him and meet him for the first time today, and within twenty minutes, it seems like they've been best friends for life." That's the kind of guy Edward is...his charisma and infectious energy are matched only by his raw talent and brilliantly creative mind.
The first time I saw Edward's booth, it was half the size of a traditional booth at MRket, and it was decked out from wall to wall with finery, most notably with the pocket rounds and boutonnieres we love so well. The second time I saw him, his booth had doubled in size, as had his offering. It looked like this:




Suddenly he's making hats, wallets, money clips, neckties, bowties, pocket squares, leather bags -- and when I saw him just a few days ago, and he's expanded all of his lines, and gotten into something totally unusual...umbrellas. Full wood-and-leather construction, these bad boys are actually made from bolts of tie material that's then treated and waterproofed, affixed with contrasting fabric to a rugged frame, and these things mean business. They retail for around $248, so I brought in one for myself just to have around the store...more on that when it's in. Take a peek at Edward's booth this time around:






Jack Victor is one of our favorite tailored clothing lines, excelling in their suits and sport coats...they're all made in Montreal, Canada and they've been doing it for 100 years. Amazing. They're also a family-owned business -- Alan Victor (I had the pleasure of meeting him this time -- very nice gent) now runs the business, which he took over from his father Herschel, who took it over from his father Jack Victor. JV is our high end stuff, so we're look for some really unique pieces when we sit down to this meeting. They have to be more adventurous than your standard solid basic suit, but they can't be too far out on the edge, either. We try to always strike a careful balance with Victor, and the quality of their garments speaks for itself. Here's what we saw from them:



Barbara Blank is one of the very best tie makers out there. All of her silk, wool, cotton and blended fabric ties are hand made in Manhattan in their showroom. While we love some of our lines because they pair down their efforts to a hand-picked grouping of ties, Barbara presents you with hundreds and hundreds of potential ties. Some of the patterns are favorites from previous years, some are brand new, and they come from all over -- England, Italy, the States. We saw some incredible fabrics, from prints to wovens...and pocket squares too. (We even convinced her to include a series of paisley ties back into her line that she was going to cut out.) Barbara herself is a riot! She's full of energy and drive, and has a deep, abiding passion for ties...and it shows. She gets so excited about certain patterns or at my reactions (I gush over ties a lot), and we always have a good time and a ton of laughs. Some of her stunning ties:




Tallia Orange Shirting is an on-and-off line for us, but I'm hoping to switch that to "on" permanently. Their shirts are unique in pattern, fabric and fabrication. They have such unusual shirts with a careful attention to small details and fun accents. Our rep here is a wonderful man, a true Midwest gentleman from Detroit who knows his stuff. He knows that line inside and out, loves to talk about how different shirts are performing for him, which ones are selling quickest, which ones will be the national ad pieces...he's excited about what he does. Check out these shirts!







House of Domonique is a spin off line from Edward Armah, and just as impressive. A little younger, a little hipper -- the ties are slimmer and the pocket squares are brighter...and they're doing the umbrellas, too. While I was putting together another small order at the booth, I started chatting up the young man at the table, Benjy. Just 22 years old, he'd already served as the sales manager for a large clothing company, had a business or two of his own, was in the process of purchasing property in Brooklyn, had his sights set on Cuba...this young guy has some amazing ambition. He had a severe undercut with long, floppy hair on top and a wonderful English accent a la Tom Hardy. Now he's also working with Edward to expand his Domonique line in new creative ways.







Will Leather Goods is made in Eugene Oregon, and is a wonderful line. We're excited to get them back into J&C, because it has been a while! Will is all made in America, and each piece is guaranteed for life. A family owned company, Will Adler got his start in modeling and acting, but moved into the garment business in the early 80's. After he got going in LA with wholesale and retail, he moved to Eugene and started making belts, bags, accessories, and it took off. It's easy to see why. His styles are handsome, rugged, timeless and truly built to last. We're bringing in a leather and canvas traveler duffel, a handsome leather messenger, and a couple other smart surprises.




Jackson & Connor is proud to announce that we're expanding our own tie line! This Spring season, we're introducing our own J&C ties that are printed in Como, Italy on Italian silks with CAD-assisted silk printing technology. We're going to have wool/silk ties, as well as silk twill and satin. I met the owner who prints up all the ties, and he told me a little about the remarkable process. They design the prints and patterns on the computer, print them onto large blankets of fabric, and then they put it in a steam chamber where they spray steam and solvents onto the fabric to fix the dye. Next, they'll run it through a series of rollers and into a high-heat, high-power steam box to dry the blankets. Then they'll cut it into the correct size, wrap it around an interliner, stitch it up, and you've got a tie (yes, I'm condensing it quite a bit). Check out some of these patterns:





So, in case you've ever wondered, this is what our buying trips are like...the abridged version. Do that 9am-6pm without stopping for two days in a row, and that's really what it's like. It's frantic and a ton of work, but I'll be damned if there are few things more fun and exciting than looking at brand new product for next year.

Curious about how the Las Vegas buying trip is? Team J&C is headed out there on Saturday February 14th, and we'll be posting pics and great stuff from LV here and on our fb page. Stay tuned!

Cheers,
~Will