Tailor-made clothes created by honest, caring professionals reflect a myriad of personal touches through and through -- making them especially gratifying and pleasurable to have. Fortunately, West Chester has a local modiste who rejoices from helping others get those types of fabulous looks.
Comfort, functionality, quality and durability in men's handcrafted suits and wedding party attire is within reach at one of the borough's mainstay businesses. Since 1974, Lawrence Albert, owner of Mainline Custom Clothiers, has dedicated himself and staffers to delivering impeccable fits, value and uncompromised service.
"We create great suits that befit men and their lifestyles. Our skilled master tailors handle all of our cutting and sewing, ensuring precision in all production processes and paying attention to the details," assures Larry, who himself now can design individual clothes patterns in 10 minutes with the assistance of laser cutting technology.
"We can make men look 2 inches taller and 20 pounds lighter, just by applying the correct design, style and adjustments," he says.
After navigating in the bespoke industry for 46 years, Larry says he knows how to work with everyone's different body shapes and sizes. He remembers always having a passion for clothing. "After getting out of the Army, I thought about going into commercial real estate. But I started training for a clothing business at a rate of $1.50 per hour. I was living with my parents at the time, so I thought investing into the valuable training experience was wise. Then I soon got a 10 cents per hour raise, and I was hooked," he recalls.
His perseverance paid off, and he made a business for himself that he is quick to say he truly enjoys. "Do what you love, and you'll never work a day in your life," he adds.
After buying a men's elite clothing store in 1974, Larry eventually pivoted from making just formal dress suits to more sporty attire. That move was followed by expanding into four stores, adding a retail portion, and taking over a custom shirt business in King of Prussia in 2000. Mainline also offers popular, ready-to-wear labels, such as Zegna, Lora Piana, Reda, Adrian Jules, Blu Jacket and Bugatchi. "I've survived in this business by changing based on clients' lifestyles and preferences," he adds.
Whether it be made-to-measure, off the rack clothing, formal attire or fine sportswear and accessories, Larry says providing honest client service is what it's all about at his specialty store. "West Chester has great people. Our customers are our friends. Giving them honest feedback, personal tips and unwavering service keeps them coming back."
Through the years, Mainline has provided tuxedo rentals and sales. Larry says one of their largest growth sectors recently has been custom wedding party attire. "Depending on selection, you can own a suit for what you pay for rentals. I believe the custom clothing segment is going to keep getting larger because technology has enabled us to bring prices down," he adds.
While Larry fondly reminisces about making custom suits for high-powered business executives and celebrities, such as Muhammad Ali, he says every client can have his own classic look with modern flair. For anyone trying to find their own style, Larry promises that he can guide you in the right direction. “I think people really appreciate being able to talk to a real person about their clothing choices, especially when it comes to quality, made-to-order items,” he says.
[Open by Appointment Only for Custom and Wedding Parties]
129 W. Market St., West Chester