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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
After a visit a month ago to the Andover shop today I spent about 6 hrs at O'Connell's in Buffalo NY. In both cases I've bought items online or by phone for some time but not actually been inside the shops.

As earlier visitors to O'Connell's have noted it can be overwhelming. From my perspective, after their remodel last fall of the front part of the first floor there are almost two O'Connell's. Entering from Main street you enter a traditional updated men's store very nicely finished with samples of everything including Viyella shirts, striped and needlepoint belts, shetland sweaters etc displayed in newly refinished wooden shelves and cabinets. As you walk toward the back of the store you enter the "other" O'Connell's which has been commented on before: a very large room with suits on the left wall and tweed sport coats on the right running the length of the room. Between are three or four rows of display tables also running the length/width of the room with space (sort of) between tables. Each table top are full of stacks of trousers twenty or thirty trousers high in the same size, including a great collection of GTH pants(depending on size). The back wall is full of old ties, alden shoes on the left stacked above the suits. Under the display tables in the middle of the room are large boxes labeled panama hats, berets, viyella shirts size L, shetland sweaters by size, LaCoste by size etc. There is a section in the right rear for boys traditional clothes that I wished I'd known at that age.
If you only spent time in the front "lobby" newly remodeled area you'lld be happy with O'Connells as a traditional hard to find men's store.
The back room is sort of like going through your deceased father's wardrobe if he never wore his clothes and had a serious fifty year clothes buying problem. As I poured through boxes in the back room or went through stacks and stacks of marcoliani sock of all types and styles nearer the front it was almost too much. Good thing I took a break half way through.
Anyone who enjoys traditional men's clothes deserves to see O'Connell's if they ever have the opportunity. Although I spent most of the time talking with Ethan, any of the Hubers are both extremely knowledgeable and attentive. I was particularly impressed with their willingness for me, anyone who walked in the door, called or emailed, to respond and to order or investigate in response to requests. Their entire inventory is also computerized which enables Ethan to know which cardboard box to look into (he found a GSP tie for me out of a box that came from somewhere) A tiring, interesting and rewarding visit.
 

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It sounds like you, as have others who have preceded you in visiting O'Connell's after having patronized their website, had a great experience. Thanks for sharing that experience with us!
 

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The back room is sort of like going through your deceased father's wardrobe if he never wore his clothes and had a serious fifty year clothes buying problem. As I poured through boxes in the back room or went through stacks and stacks of ...
^ This part sounds fantastic!

Thanks for the excellent field report. Sounds like the selection is great, but can you comment on price (e.g. a generic grey suit would cost between $300 and $850)?

It would be worth the 6 hour drive to get a HSM or HF sack from 1985.
 

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can you comment on price (e.g. a generic grey suit would cost between $300 and $850)?
I e-mailed them last summer when I was suit shopping, and I believe Ethan told me that their baseline generic charcoal suits (3/2 and all that good stuff) were around $500-600. I've since deleted the e-mail, so I can't say for sure, but that seems right.
 

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I'm glad your visit went well, although 6 hours is a bit long, even in that treasure-trove!

I guess you came from Portland, Maine? OLC is a great store, but travelling from Portland, Oregon, to visit the store seems like excessively fanatical dedication to the cause.
 

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They have several levels of suits. The price depends on the manufacturer and when it was made. I bought a NOS Oritsky gray pinstripe for $495. They also have Corbin made sacks for $595, and H.Freeman sacks for $695. Their most expensive suits are by Samuelsohn and Hilton/Oakloom. Those are $1K or more. I've never been to the store but would love to visit sometime.
 

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Sounds like the beginning of a good Twilight Zone or One Step Beyond episode. Imagine the grizzled geezer like me entering the front door and finding my way to the back, being transported to fresh stock of real TNSIL items from my youth. Pick my purchases, pay for them and have them altered, and then exit the back, only to be reconstituted in my early 20s. Obviously one of you who is more creative could pick this up and run with it but it the screenplay sells I'll take payment in O'Connell's gift certificates.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
DD-Not Portland Maine, but as I said originally, from Portland OR indeed. (Likely my one and only on site visit) There was a rumour at O'Connell's I heard while there that several from Canada visited each fall and bought up all the GTH trousers in my size.
 
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