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J. Alden Clothiers

J. Alden Clothiers: Great Taste and Exceptional Service

From their storefront in the heart of Main Street, Jim and Amy D’Alessio dress the men and women of Essex, Connecticut for work, weddings, wine tastings, and everything in between.

Retail can be a tough business, but J. Alden Clothiers long ago cemented its status as a local institution.

“Other stores come and go, but J. Alden carries on in fine style,” said one loyal customer.

We caught up with Jim D’Alessio to hear the story of J. Alden and how they stay relevant to today’s gentleman.

How long have you been in business?

J. Alden Clothiers has been in business in Essex, CT now for 30 years.

What inspired you to open your store?

While prepping for a masters program in psychology, I took a part time position with a high end independent men's and women's specialty shop in Hartford.

After about six months I found myself in management, assisting with the buying in New York once a month, and driving a convertible! I knew that I'd actually stumbled on the makings of a career I would enjoy.

After that I took a position as menswear manager at a Ralph Lauren shop in an indoor Farmington, CT mall.

As much as I loved both learning opportunities – sole proprietor and corporate – and was confident of my skill set, I just knew that I needed more of an independent storefront in a waterfront destination town.

j. alden clothiers

What sets your store apart from other offerings in your area?

First of all, there are very few men's clothing stores on the Connecticut shoreline, unless someone were to travel to New Haven or Hartford. The few that are around us are covering more of the ultra casual outdoor menswear market.

J. Alden features fine sportswear from Turtleson, Johnnie-O, and Southern Tide. We have tailored clothing from Hart, Schaffner, & Marx, Berle, and Gala Slacks.

Who is your typical customer and how do you cater to their needs? 

Our typical client is 35-80. It's a broad range I know, but I need to have fresh updated styles for the younger newcomers to Essex, as well as satisfying the many seniors who have retired here, but still want to look traditional for the yacht clubs, dining out, or theatre.

I'm quite often meeting clients for appointments or visiting them at their homes for fittings. I admit I'm old school. We still hand write receipts! But I believe in giving our clients my personal attention, providing alterations, and many times deliveries, all to make their lives a little easier.

j alden clothiers - Jim & Amy

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to enhance their personal style?

Someone said to me just the other day that they had seen my wife and I on social media, and liked our styles. I believe that Instagram and Facebook have brought store owners and their employees into the homes of our potential clients to give them a glimpse of our looks and the lifestyles we live.

If the looks resonate with them, I’d invite them to make a trip to the shop and give us the opportunity to EARN a new client.

You can check out J. Alden Clothiers online or pop in to the shop at
17 Main Street in Essex, CT.
Follow them on Instagram

– Thanks for chatting with us, Jim!

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