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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.


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





Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Snow Day Part II

Hi again! Due to the snow (or perhaps the snow we thought we were going to get),Thornes Marketplace and J&C will be closed today, Tuesday the 27th. See you Wednesday!

 




Saturday, January 24, 2015

Closed Today, January 24th

Due to unsavory weather and projected snowfalls, Jackson & Connor will be CLOSED today, Saturday January 24th. We'll reopen tomorrow at noon. All tailoring jobs ready for pickup today will be ready tomorrow. Thanks, folks! Stay warm and safe out there!

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Voting is Open for Best of the Valley!

Hi folks!

It's that time again! The Valley Advocate has opened the flood gates for your votes for their annual Best of the Valley Reader's Poll. You, our loyal and wonderful customers, have voted us in for four out of the five years we've been entered in the contest -- how about making it five? We're under the "Well Worn" section of the poll, under "Best Local Store for Men's Fashions." With your help, we'll do it again! You can head over here to the voting page. They've done it slightly differently this year -- the layout and navigation of the poll is very different, and at the end of the poll, they send you an email to click and confirm your vote...so don't forget to open that email and confirm your votes!

Thanks!
~Will, Marisa & Kari


Tuesday, November 4, 2014

We Recommend...

At Jackson & Connor, we celebrate good taste and excellent craftsmanship, as all dapper & respectable gents should. Here's a sampling of some of the stuff we're into right now. Some brandly-new tasty treats and trusty old favorites...let us do the legwork, and you can reap the rewards.

1. Shiner Beer


Wow. This stuff is great...recently released in Massachusetts, this range of beers are from TX and worth every red cent. Flavorful, smooth, delicious, and the Wild Hare Pale Ale is a perfect mix of malty goodness and hoppy tang. The Bock is fresh and crisp, and the Family Reunion (a mix of Black Lager, Kosmos, Wild Hare, Bock, Prickly Pear and Shiner in a six-pack) is a nice sampling. Even my sleepy neighborhood package store has these on shelves, so go out and snatch up a six pack.

2. Fulton & Roark Solid Cologne Limited Release #1


This emerging line in men's care products is getting a ton of press for their innovative product and design. Fulton & Roark makes a slick-as-hell solid cologne that applies nice and clean, smells intoxicating, travels well (especially with those TSA liquid regulations), and hell, we've never seen anything like it before. They've just come out with this bad boy: Limited Reserve #1, their first in a series of limited edition colognes. Jackson & Connor was honored enough to carry three of these bad boys in the shop (of which two remain!), a rare privilege to be sure. The Limited is made from Madagascan geranium and oak moss (whaaaaat?), and smells like a dream. Available at Jackson & Connor.


3. KA-BAR Knives


Made in  originally by the Union Cutlery Co. in Olean NY (just down the road from my hometown of Rochester) the KA-BAR was adopted by the Marines in November of 1942. They're useful for just about anything, and a good sharp one will last forever. It features a full tang blade and a stacked leather handle. Accept no substitutes. Available in quality outdoor outfitters, or online.

4. Yamazaki single malt Japanese whisky


Yamazaki, how can I describe thee? Pure fucking malty goodness. Whenever I go into a nice liquor store, I sniff my way to the whisky aisle and find myself something I've never had before. I received a bottle of Nikka Coffey grain whisky from a dear friend and knew the Japanese distilleries were up to some good stuff. Most of the Japanese single malts were $100 and up. I grabbed something more middle-of-the road at $45, and for a 12-year, it blew me away. Suntory Yamazaki's history as a distillery goes back to 1923 -- at their distillery you can see a wall of whiskeys (thousands of boxes installed in a vaulted ceiling) as well as sit at the tasting table to blend different flavors. Amazing! This relatively young single malt whisky is flavorful, slightly sweet but its smoothness, warmth and richness are its most defining qualities. Available at high-end liquor stores -- I picked this up at Table & Vine in West Springfield.




5. Queen Bee Chip-Chip Cookies


If you think this looks like a heart attack doused with salt, you would be correct. What you're looking at is the Chip-Chip cookie from Queen Bee (just across the hall from us at Jackson & Connor) -- a delectable, crumbly cookie made with chocolate chips, potato chips, half-dipped in chocolate ganache, and then spinkled with sea salt (unh!). Once you start into one of these things (it's almost as big as a dinner plate), you will not stop until you've defeated the monster.
It's out of control. 
I regret nothing.
Available across the hall from Jackson & Connor at Queen Bee Cupcakery.

6. Jade Plants



Got a brown thumb? The browner the better with this little guy. My old roommate left two behind in an apartment we shared for a while, and I didn't care much for plants at the time. I figured I'd just stop watering the little guys until they shriveled up and died...so I stopped watering them for months, and they didn't die. They got bigger. Then eventually did water them, and they got even bigger, and then one of the petals fell off and a brand new jade plant started out of it in the same pot. So, that's my story about jade plants, which is my way of saying these little bastards are nearly indestructible. Get yourself a hearty one, stick it in a windowsill, and water it every once-in-a-who-cares and it should take care of itself. Available in most grocery stores, and at your local garden center.

7. Donut Dip

The best little spot in West Springfield. Our brilliant tailor is based in West Spfld, so I find myself driving there every week. I'm constantly discovering new places that I love, and Donut Dip rates first among them. Thoroughly dissatisified with Dunkin' Donuts, I went in search of a truly excellent donut shop and found Donut Dip.


 It is everything I hoped it would be. They're open 22 hours of the day -- closed from 1 to 3 -- and churning out fresh donuts every hour of every day. Touting over 49 varieties (they're not joking), it looks the same as it does the first day it opened.


(I was here last week -- replace the cars with newer models, and it looks exactly the same.)


There's no room to sit, no chairs...but there's always some regulars hanging out having coffee, shooting the breeze. I swing by and grab a dozen donuts (the chocolate frosted and honey glazed are personal favorites) for about $7.50. The Eclairs? Perfect. Crispy on the outside, doughy and soft on the inside, and never ever spongy or squishy...just baked, filled, chocolate-frosted perfection. Day in and day out, they crank out flawless donuts and baked goods, all the same every time. Available at the one and only Donut Dip on Riverdale Rd. in West Springfield.

8. Nippon Kodo Incense

Well known for their Morning Star line, Nippon Kodo has been making exceptional Japanese incense since 1942. The Morning Star boxes are a great go-to -- cedar, green tea, sandalwood, amber, rose -- they're pretty much all excellent scents. 



However, the real gem of this fine incense company is in their high-end incenses, which you can typically only find online or at boutqiues. The Kayuragi line is outrageous, and their sandalwood is a personal favorite. 


It's the perfect balance between smoky woody muskiness and the sweet, sparkling quality of sandal. They have a variety of other high-end and lower-end incense fragrances, and you really can't go wrong. As mentioned, these are available in high-end boutiques and online.

9. Shoe Trees


If you have a penchant like we do for fine leather shoes, do yourself a huge whopping favor and invest in a pair of shoe trees for each pair of nice leather shoes you own. As soon as you take that thing off, slide the shoe tree in -- the cedar will dry out the moisture from your sweaty, sweaty feet, reduce odors, and the pressure of the tree inside the shoe will kick out wrinkles keeping your Allen-Edmonds looking newer and nicer for longer. Available at most shoe stores.

10. Carthusia Fragrances



Made from the fragrances and flowers of Capri Italy -- and made in Capri as well -- Carthusia has been making incredible colognes, diffusers, perfumes and other products since . All of the men's scents are kissed with the sea salty air of Capri, and their line (Numero Uno, Corallium, Carthusia Uomo, Mediterraneo and Io Capri) is diverse without being scattered. Here's a quick blow-by-blow (the fig scent is on its way, we haven't smelled it just yet!). Available in high-end scent bars and shops, and coming very soon to Jackson & Connor (of course!).

Numero Uno - Traditional, leathery, animalic -- very musky and mens-y. Super formal and straight-forward. An excellent scent for fall.
Corallium - Fruity and light, highly floral and slightly salty -- if you like a cologne that comes pretty close to a perfume, you'll like this one.
Carthusia Uomo - Will's personal favorite. A perfect balance between bright sparkling floral notes and rich, heavy muskiness, with just a slightly salty sea water tang. Goes great for anyone any time of the year.
Mediterraneo - Fresh. This is a light and tart fragrance -- smells like half a lemon mixed with a light floral tinge that peeks out under the bright citrus notes. Great for spring and summer.



So that's what we're into right now! Now get off the computer and go grab yourself some gear.