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The pitfalls of online shopping in the age of the coronavirus

Let’s start with the obvious: For better or worse, there has been a surge in online shopping during the coronavirus pandemic. For those of us who actually *like* personal service, this experience has merely reinforced what we have long suspected, i.e., Big Box Stores and eRetail giants cannot provide the love that living, breathing humans need and crave. In many cases, if there’s a snag in your order, you’re expected to navigate a labyrinth of webpages, links and voicemail choices to get to a human–and even then, the experience is usually unsatisfactory.

Nowhere is this problem more challenging than shopping for menswear online, for 1) you probably don’t know your “real” sizes, and 2) manufacturers offer a variety of fits (or “cuts”), which are not standardized, and so EVEN IF YOU DO know your “true” size, you need to know your size in each individual cut. One company’s slim-fit is another company’s tailored fit is another company’s European fit, and so on. If you’re doing it on your own, good luck with that.

So, it’s inevitable that today’s online shopper will end up with clothing that doesn’t fit quite right. What to do? Well, bring it to us! Sure, you should have bought your suit directly from your friendly local men’s store, but even if you bought a garment elsewhere, we’ll help you get a better fit. For example, let’s take a look at our model Brad here.

In this photo, Brad is wearing a size 40S classic-fit sportcoat. If this were a typical case, Brad would tell us, “There was no sales professionals to help me in the big box store (or online), so I tried on coats until I found one that felt comfortable.” Immediately, we would have told him that if the coat is comfortable, it’s too big. When a coat fits correctly, it should not pull across the shoulders or back, but it should hug the body.

Some of you are looking at this photo and thinking, “I don’t think it looks that bad.” To that, we would say, “not that bad” is a pretty low bar, and if you go through life aspiring to “not that bad,” you need to stand up, throw your shoulders back, straighten your tie, and demand better of yourself, and your tailoring.

Here’s a profile view before tailoring. The coat adds 30lbs to Brad’s svelte frame. For those of you wondering, Brad’s true size is a 34-36R, so this coat is the equivalent of  FOUR sizes too big. It’s not easy to take a coat down four sizes–it cannot always be done–and it requires a tremendously talented tailor. Fortunately, our head tailor, Mary, is ridiculously talented. Let’s see what happens.

The first thing she’ll do is reduce the coat from the center back seam. If the coat were just a little big, one might only do that and call it a day (although it usually works better to divide the amount between the two side seams to accentuate the waistline). In this case, the coat is huge, so Mary will have to pin all three seams.

Next, Mary hits the side seams. Unfortunately for Brad, Mary will have to recut the side vents, which is more work (and more money). But any job worth doing is worth doing well, so Brad is willing to make the investment because in the end, it will be worth it.

Some of you may be wondering, “How much will all this work cost?”

Well, it varies with the scope of the work. In this case here, Brad’s looking at a tailoring bill of around $57, which is peanuts when you consider all of the time it takes to perform the fitting and the labor that follows. Trust us, we’re not paying the mortgage on our third vacation home with the dough we collect in tailoring. After overhead, it’s practically a public service. But when you see the final result below, ISN’T IT WORTH IT?! 

If you’re staring at a closetful of clothes that fit you poorly, call us for an appointment, and Mary will use her magic to transform you from a lowly caterpillar into a gorgeous butterfly, like Brad!



2020 Wedding trends

navy wedding suit

Copyright: ImageMakers Photographic Artists

In the Navy

The ballots are in, and fashion experts agree that navy blue is one wedding menswear trend that’s here to stay. Ably accessorized with contrasting vests and pattered ties for a vintage, rustic look, or with somber solids for a chic, classic presentation, navy gives modern brides the versatility to work with any wedding theme.

Slim is IN

Indigo slim-fit suit

Copyright: Michael Vaz

It’s hard to feel your best when you don’t look the part. Now more than ever, grooms understand that tailored clothing is designed to be worn close to the body, and today’s slim- and modern-fit styles will achieve the flattering silhouette you desire. Main Street Formals offers an astonishing array of retail and rental slim-fit options, plus on-site precision tailoring.

TWO Suits?!

Burgundy slim-fit suit

The “reception look” is a trend that brides have been doing for quite some time. After the ceremony, the bride slips away to put on a second (often less traditional) dress. When she arrives at the reception, she wows her guests again with a brand new, stunning look! This trend is a lot of fun, as it allows brides to get dolled up twice in one day and give their guests a big surprise. Grooms want in on that action, too! A second suit is a particularly great choice if you are planning to have a very traditional ceremony. Your groom can transform from “classy to sassy” by wearing his classic black tux for the vows, and then donning something provocative and fun for dinner and dancing! This makes the wedding just a little more memorable (and you get to see him looking sharp in two Instagrammable outfits!).

Pop Some Champagne…and Some Color

Hunting for hunter green suits? We have them!

Many grooms stick to the classic suit color palette for formal occasions: black, grey, navy, and maybe khaki in the summer. But in the past few years, menswear has seen a dramatic shift toward the colorful and creative. Does your man want to stand out from the rest of his groomsmen? Give him a suit in a bold, brilliant color, and he’ll certainly be the star of the show! (Of course, it is important to remember that your groom’s suit should still coordinate with your wedding color scheme.)

Getting married this year? Take advantage of our Wedding Specials!


Who (really) has the region’s largest selection of men’s formalwear?

Wedding tuxedos in Southeastern MassachusettsWith all of those crazy claims you hear out there, who really has the widest selection of men’s formalwear on the SouthCoast?Seems like a simple question, right? Let’s sort this out.

The Big Box Shops?
They specialize in retail, but some box shops offer a limited selection of rentals, which you’re expected to choose from a website or kiosk. Rental inventory is warehoused out of state, and they are shipped to your local chain store days before your wedding. In-house tailoring services are limited or nonexistent.

The Catalog Showrooms?
Here, you may encounter a showroom of tuxedos and suits, but few (if any) products except samples are kept on site, and your tailoring options are very limited because these companies often don’t employ tailors. Routinely, these stores have an exclusivity contract with a single supplier and can only offer styles from just one catalog. Retail offerings are generally scarce for couples who want to purchase.

Main Street Formals.
Suits for saleWe’re somewhat like a hybrid between the Big Box and the Catalog Store, but we’re also a lot more. For starters, we have three showrooms (a rental formalwear showroom, a retail suit showroom, and our Casual Friday showroom, which features a large selection of sportcoats, dress shirts and trousers), and we carry rental inventory so that when you’re ready to shop, you can come in and try things on. But if you want something we don’t stock, we have many catalogs to special-order hundreds of other rental styles. Furthermore, we stock hundreds of retail suits in stock, with thousands more available by special order. Most important, we have a fully-staffed precision tailoring department with skilled full-time tailors to ensure our formalwear fits like a glove. Somehow, we manage to throw in dazzling group specials, and prices that everyone loves.

Discover it for yourself: Take a short ride to the countryside, and visit the Biggest Little Tux Shop in New England!


The tuX Files: What’s new at Main Street Formals?

Well, 2018 was a whirlwind year for us at Main Street Formals. Let’s take a look back, and then a look ahead!

Our remodeled formalwear showroom featuring everyone’s deer friend, Bogart. (See what we did there?)

Our new farmer’s porch.

Continuing on the success of our recent formalwear showroom remodel, we pressed on with our capital improvements to help us provide a spectacular and unique customer experience. As our loyal customers know, during peak seasons, seating has always been a challenge, so we added a farmer’s porch to create a spacious outdoor seating area, and our enormous new suit showroom (more to come on that below) offers even more seating! No more feeling like you’re packed in a fishbowl. Complimenting this, we installed an overpowered new HVAC system to keep you cool when the thermometer rises. Are you feeling the love yet?

Our new office, from which Robert operates his graphic design and marketing business.

Our huge new showroom allows us to stock more suits for all of you Last-Minute Larrys. Mostly, it’s just here to look pretty!

Next, let’s talk about our magnificent new suit showroom! With this new space, we can now stock roughly 400% more inventory at a time when our competitors are scaling down. (Wow!) How are customers responding to our new man cave? Well, our new office is located off to the side of this new space, and we giggle every time a couple walks into the new space and whispers, “Holy ****.” (Incidentally, you’re all a bunch of potty mouths.) While it took seemingly forever to get the space up and running, we are positively thrilled by how well you’ve received it. If you ever want to just sit by the fireplace and relax with a copy of Let Me off at the Top by Ron Burgundy, you are welcome to visit as long as you’d like.

You asked, and we delivered. Come see our new selection of sportcoats and dress pants!

Plaid is rad, don’t be scared of wearing some color!

The addition of the new showroom freed up our existing, smaller, suit showroom, so we are now able to offer you some pretty exciting new products! We now stock hundreds of amazing new sportcoats and blazers, and we also run a gorgeous new line of slim-fit dress trousers in sizes 28-44. Furthermore, we’ve added a selection of fabulous retail dress shoes and a growing collection of men’s dress shirts. As always, our in-stock selection of neckwear and accessories is unrivaled in the region, at prices you’ll love.

And we’re not done! By moving our office to the addition, we were able to transition our tailor shop to a much bigger space on our first floor. We added two industrial machines and industrial pressing equipment (which stunningly, someone actually noticed!). The new tailor shop is bigger and better equipped than ever before, and we’ve added climate-control for the staff so that they can be comfortable as they work. It’s not like we were running a sweatshop before, but it got pretty hot upstairs. It’s practically like a resort in the new space now! 😉

What color do you like best?

What’s left? We still have to paint the building this spring, and then add some snazzy signage. Parking improvements are under consideration as well, namely the removal of more trees from our overflow lot. We’re not paving the lawn unless you’re paying for it.

As you can see, we crammed a ton of NEW into the customer experience for 2019, so please come down and say hello, and let us know what you think!

Main Street Formals extends a heartfelt message of gratitude to these talented and dedicated individuals who moved heaven and earth to get this done for us:

  • Ray Lague, the unflappably calm master carpenter who built our addition and the porch. We have to give him credit, but we wish we could keep him anonymous so that we didn’t have to share him with everyone else.
  • Guillotte & Sons, who built our foundation (and who repointed our old brick steps more times than we can count). Amazing local business.
  • Brian Miranda of Miranda HVAC, who installed our new system and is always there when we need him. Salt of the earth.
  • Tim Major, our electrician, who always gets the job done on time, and who even brings us venison jerky and homemade maple syrup!
  • Eversource, who came through on our meter and gas service relocation, when we feared it was going to derail us.
  • The Town of Acushnet, who were exceedingly patient as we completed each stage of construction.



The tuX Files: An offer you can’t refuse

Have we ever done you a favor? Well, then, today we’re calling one in from you. Main Street Formals has been nominated as “Best Men’s Clothing Store,” and if we don’t win it again, then some of the staff fears they might be sleeping with the fishes. So, please take two minutes of your time, and visit this link to vote for the Biggest Little Tux Shop in New England. We’re nominated in two categories: Best Men’s Clothing Store (that’s the important one), and Best Place to Work (which we have no business winning, because we all know Robert is a hot head like Sonny Corleone). Donna at Acushnet Creamery deserves that one.

You could even win some dough just by participating in the contest!

Not sure if we’re the best men’s clothing store? We’re working really hard right now to earn your vote. We have new products, new specials–there are negotiations being made that are going to answer all of your questions and solve all of your problems. That’s all we can tell you right now. (Don’t worry. Robert doesn’t like violence. He’s a businessman. Blood is a big expense.)

Sure, winning in 2017 was great. But we can’t rest on our laurels. Times have changed. It’s not like the Old Days — when we can do anything we want. We need your vote. A refusal is not the act of a friend. So don’t ever take sides with anyone against the Family again. Ever.

Thank you in advance for your cooperation. If you’re not going to vote for us, please tell us right away, because Robert is a man who insists on hearing bad news at once.



The tuX files: Main Street goes to the movies

Since the days of silent movies, the public has admired film stars for their frequently exquisite sense of fashion (or at least for the fashion predilections of their stylists). In this post, we look back at some of some famous (and infamous) formalwear moments on the silver screen.

Casino Royale
One moment he’s juggling martinis and poker chips, the next he’s kicking some bad-guy butt. Whatever the mission, Daniel Craig personifies the spirit of élan as Agent 007. To anyone who believes that Connery was a better Bond, you’re what we like to call, “utterly and completely mistaken.” Craig is more ruggedly handsome, more physically fit, and a better actor. His subsequent appearances in the Bond franchise are all solid, but Casino Royale was still the best. Many of our customers reveal their man-crushes when they’re shopping for suits, pulling out a cell-phone photo and hoping we can style them like Ryan Gosling or Brad Pitt or whomever. For customers over the age of 40, it’s almost always Daniel Craig. You had us at “hello.”

Wedding Crashers
In our book, Wedding Crashers (top) is right up there with Citizen Kane. “You and I both know I’m a phenomenal dancer!” For much of the movie, a hilarious Vince Vaughn and Owen Wilson don penguin suits and woo unsuspecting women like modern-day libertines–until that magical moment when Cupid’s arrow strikes and they realize the true meaning of love. With early career appearances from Bradley Cooper and the lovely Isla Fisher–plus an outrageous cameo by Will Ferrell, Wedding Crashers definitely earned the sequel that is in talks now.

Dumb & Dumber
Seriously, it might have been funny the first 984 times (actually, it wasn’t), but please stop calling to ask if you can rent an orange tux for your prom. Prom is an opportunity to step into the sometimes glamorous and elegant (less so every day, it seems) world of adulthood, and when you show up in what is ostensibly a clown costume, you’re setting the table for what we can expect from you later in life. Don’t be that guy, you’re better than that. Put on your big boy pants…or, as we call them, “trousers.”

The Godfather
Our selection for the greatest film of all time, Coppola’s epic opens with wedding wear. With the exception of Michael (who is smartly attired in his Marine Corps Class A’s), all of the Corleones look Hollywood chic—even Fredo. Damn you, Fredo, damn you. You broke our heart. Let’s go fishing.

The Sound of Music
Actor Christopher Plummer has paid the bills by playing all sorts of characters, but in our minds, he will always be Captain Von Trapp. Dressed in white tie and tails as he clasped a firm hand around Julie Andrews, this dashing Canadian defined fashion for a generation of moviegoers. You will never be as cool as Captain Von Trapp, but you can try.

We used to be aficionados of the Titanic story until this sentimental claptrap spoiled it for us. The writing? Meh. The acting? Please. The effects? Okay, those were good. But if it weren’t for a handful of 11-year-old girls who saw this film 900 times, that smarmy James Cameron never would have won the big one. Oh, and the tuxes? Yeah, Leo looked pretty as always, but that’s why he makes the big bucks. Don’t even get us started on Celine Dion. But because we’re trying to see the glass half-full today, in the interest of finding something positive in this leviathan cinematic torture device, we give you two words: Billy. Zane.

It’s true, Humphrey Bogart was probably not a very nice guy, but dressed in his white dinner jacket, black trousers and bowtie he played a remarkably convincing hero in this wartime classic. Rife with existential angst, Bogart takes the high road and (spoiler alert) gives up the girl to save the world. Great film, worth watching over and over. If you’ve never seen the scene where the patrons of Rick’s American Cafe sing La Marseillaise, you’re missing out on one of the best moments in cinema. Here’s looking at you, Kid.