Bob DeGemmis has moved his business from Farmington Avenue to Delamar West Hartford Hotel.
By Ronni Newton
The Delamar West Hartford Hotel is already making a name for itself as a luxury destination, Artisan Restaurant is already very popular with locals and hotel guests alike, and now the Delamar can add “retail destination” to its repertoire.
Bob DeGemmis, owner of what is now known as Connecticut Custom Clothing Company, announced last year that he planned to change the name of his business from “Dressed to the Nines” and and also planned to relocate from 1000 Farmington Ave. and become one of the first retailers in the Delamar’s lobby retail space.
DeGemmis’ business, which was founded by his grandfather Alfredo in 1916, provides custom shirts, suits, and other wardrobe services, and will continue that and more at the Delamar West Hartford.
“We have more ready-to-wear here, things for hotel guests to pick up if they forget something,” said Connecticut Custom Clothing stylist Sarah Powers.
While the space is just 375 square feet – about half the size of the Farmington Avenue location – there is plenty of merchandise to peruse, including a rainbow collection of silk ties and pocket squares, patterned socks, belts, shirts, suits, pants, blazers. The display will change seasonally.
“This is a great little space,” said DeGemmis. “We’ve actually added to what we do,” noting the addition of custom jeans and a greatly expanded selection of shoes, as well as necessities like underwear.
Most of the ready-to-wear pieces are for men, but the business also offers custom clothing for women, and will keep some women’s items in stock as well, Powers said.
Connecticut Custom Clothing Company’s local customers can pull up right in front of the hotel and leave their car while they shop, DeGemmis said, with no need to pay for parking. And in addition to the existing customer base, the advantage of the move is to have exposure to hotel guests.
“We ship anywhere,” said DeGemmis. “We have customers all over the world.”
Many of the customers are repeats, and once they have had an initial appointment and measurements, ordering custom clothing is simple. Nevertheless, most of the customers like to see and touch the fabrics before they decide what to purchase.
“We’re more touchy-feely,” said DeGemmis. “We’re the antithesis of online shopping.”
DeGemmis and Powers both recommend that first-time shoppers for custom clothing make an appointment, which will last about an hour. “But after we take your measurements it could just be five minutes,” said Powers.
It typically takes 3-4 weeks for shirts to be delivered, and about the same amount of time for suits and other items made from in-stock fabric, closer to 6-8 weeks for fabric that needs to be ordered.
DeGemmis said they use two different shops – one domestic and the other off-shore but American owned.
Connecticut Custom Clothing is in the soft-opening phase now, and following a private ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday afternoon, will be officially open for business.
The Delamar was completely booked over Thanksgiving, and even though Connecticut Custom Clothing wasn’t really open yet, DeGemmis said people found their way into the store to shop.
Powers said she is already very impressed with the hotel’s operations, and with everyone she has met. “Everyone who works here is so nice, so helpful. It’s going to be great being here.”
“This is a special place, it’s really special,” said DeGemmis.
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