With summer in the home stretch we revisit this post showing a glimpse of what O’Connell’s, one of the last surviving independent trad clothiers, sold back in the day.
A 2012 edition of the Buffalo News carried a story on independent men’s clothiers, including O’Connell’s, which has opened in Buffalo in 1959 and still carries basically the same stuff. “What we sold in the ’50s is very similar to what we sell today,” the store told the paper.
Here are some more excerpts on O’Connell’s history and customer base:
O’Connell’s, on Main Street near the University at Buffalo South Campus, was started by three Buffalo Bills players in the late 1950s.
Employee Bernie Huber bought them out a short time later, and the store has remained in the Huber family ever since.
The store draws customers from Western and Central New York, Pennsylvania and Ontario with its classic American suits and sport coats — such as an H. Freeman & Son sack suit with a natural shoulder — made from seersucker, madras and other fabrics. “We’re American-style, through and through,” said Bernie’s son, John. “What we sold in the ’50s is very similar to what we sell today.”
Wool suits start at $495 — with custom suits costing $2,000 or $3,000 — and their sizes have expanded as the American male has expanded over the years.
“We’re not faddish. Our best customer is a guy who can appreciate workmanship, who can appreciate value, who appreciates longevity of style,” said John Huber of O’Connell’s.
The store’s website includes a section of deadstock items, including the authentic Indian bleeding madras sportcoat above, and Bermuda shorts below:
For the golf course, there are these deadstock flyweight poplin trousers:
Finally, I’m not entirely sure where you’d wear these patchwork gingham trousers. There’s probably a reason they didn’t sell the first time around. — CC