We’re cautiously optimistic; factories have resumed production on custom garments, vendors are back to their offices fulfilling orders, and we just received word that we can unlock our doors to return to serving clients in-person after the holiday weekend. Obviously, we’re elated—we’ve been working these last long weeks to retune Chelsea Menswear to operate even better than before we had to close the storefront to the public—but reopening won’t be as easy as propping the door open and lighting the neon “Open” light.
The fun of summer dressing is celebrating the newly returned colors into our surroundings, whether that’s bright skies and blazing waters or the pastels and fluorescents of budding flora. If you’re inclined to revel in the bolder hues of spring and summer, go for a revelatory sport coat. Otherwise, stick to the classics in suiting and search for lightweight worsteds to beat the heat.
Cleaving to a ritual, whether in cooking, worship, or dressing, is reassuring and familiar, and developing a practiced hand at a task becomes its own joy. In this time of too many hours of the day, listlessly browsing TV or staring at social media, I’ve enjoyed the rituals of maintaining my clothing. How razor-sharp can I press this trouser crease? How smoothly can I iron my dress shirt? And my absolute favorite: how glossy-bright can I shine my shoes? All of these acts take practice and one will certainly make mistakes, but to see the results of one’s handiwork can only inspire pride at a job well done. Most importantly, they all focus the mind on the task at hand, staving off intrusive thoughts of dread, ennui, or boredom.
Maybe you can relate to what I’ve been describing in your own working life. Dealing with the dissolution of the home/work divide means using other tools to keep on task and working somewhat efficiently. I doubt you’re clad in a suit and tie while working on a Zoom call, but having some comfortable and relaxed but smart and tidy garments on hand is a godsend to looking professional to your coworkers and yourself, while still feeling cozy around the house all day.
These last few weeks have been a bit wild, haven't they? Obviously, every sector of society and the economy has taken a blow, and on Biddle Ave, the darkened storefronts and restaurants are downright eerie. Wyandotte's blessing as a hub for small, independent businesses is particularly worrisome; bars and breweries, restaurants and retail all run on tight margins at the best of times, and every day without income makes reopening less likely once this trying time is behind us. For Chelsea Menswear, the spring season had just begun, meaning our shelves and racks are packed to burst right when the stay-at-home orders...