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New Plymouth clothing store still vital despite shifting work dress rules

 New Plymouth clothing store still vital despite shifting work dress rules

Anthony Manno stands inside the recently-opened Manno Clothing & Tailoring business at 1009 Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth.

Sharply dressed in a grayish sport coat, navy blue buttoned-downed shirt and dark blue slacks, Anthony Manno eloquently explained Monday afternoon why businesses like Manno Clothing & Tailoring are still important in an era when it’s “casual day” almost every day in offices around the world.

“I have the same conversation with people every day who tell me, ‘I don’t need suits; I don’t need them for work anymore’,” Manno said, while sitting in his family’s freshly-renovated Manno Clothing & Tailoring business that opened Saturday at 1009 Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth Township (the former site of The Trading Post).

“I tell them, ‘You might not need them, but we’re still here so you can be pro-active when those life occasions arise when you want to dress well — whether it’s a wedding you’re attending or a nice dinner out.

“You may not need to dress for work in a suit or nice sport coat any more, but there are going to be times when you want to present yourself well. You can go to a nice steakhouse these days wearing shorts and a hat, and they’ll still seat you. But if you’re like me, when you go to a nice place, you feel better if you look better.”

Perfect-fitting analogies

Manno then offered a pair of tailor-made analogies to explain why businesses like Manno Clothing & Tailoring, which he co-owns with his dad, Pat, are still relevant in a world in which casual clothes tend to rule.

Vintage sewing machines add to the cool Manno decor
Vintage sewing machines add to the cool Manno decor

“Just because you’re not a carpenter or a mechanic doesn’t mean you don’t need tools in your garage,” he said. “And even though you may not be a chef, you still need pots and pans in your kitchen. It’s important to have some nice pieces in your wardrobe for when you need them in a pinch.”

The haberdashery industry is woven into Anthony Manno’s DNA.

His grandparents, Leonardo and Lilla Manno, grew up in Sicily, where their career options were limited to farming or tailoring.

After moving to southeast Michigan in the 1960s, they performed personal tailoring for individuals and department stores for seven years before opening their own store in Dearborn.

Mannos’ craftsmanship appreciated

Due to their diligent craftsmanship, the Mannos’ business grew to such a degree that they were forced to move to a larger location — 23810 Michigan Ave. in Dearborn.

Over the years, their son, Pat, took over the business.

“After graduating from Hillsdale College, I actually worked in the college’s student affairs office for three years,” Anthony Manno said. “My dad approached me one day and asked if I wanted to join him in the family business. I agreed and I’ve loved it ever since.”

Once the decision was made to relocate from Dearborn, Pat Manno scoured metro-Detroit communities in search of a perfect new site.

Manno Clothing & Tailoring opened June 8 at 1009 Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth
Manno Clothing Tailoring opened June 8 at 1009 Ann Arbor Road in Plymouth

“He wanted it to be on a main road in or near a city with a nice downtown,” Anthony Manno said. “The minute he saw this property open up, he was like, ‘Yep, that’s it, as long as we can get it’.

“This is a perfect spot because we’re located on a busy road and we’re only a few blocks from downtown Plymouth. We have ample parking, which is important because if somebody needs to pick up their clothes and they’re in a hurry, they may not be able to find parking right away in downtown Plymouth.”

Nice variety of clothing

Manno said the variety of clothing offerings in his store is wide.

“For men, we have everything they need to wear from top to bottom,” he said. “We have ready-to-wear clothing and a robust custom-made business as well. We could even make you a tracksuit if that’s what you need.

“A big part of our business is related to weddings — whether it’s helping the groom or an entire bridal party. This is our busy season, which is why it was important to make the transition from our former site to the Plymouth site as quickly and efficiently as we did.”

Manno employs expert tailors, who provide high-end alteration services.

Pat and Anthony Manno
Pat and Anthony Manno

“We’ll do outside alterations, too, both men’s and women’s — if you buy clothing at another place, you can bring it here for the alterations — which a lot of small specialty stores do not do. This allows us to meet more people.

“Most department stores aren’t offering alteration services now; or if they do, there is an incredibly long wait.”

Stellar salesmanship

Manno emphasized that if a customer walks into his store and doesn’t want a suit, “I’m not going to try to sell them a suit.

“We have a nice mixture of offerings, not just suits. Like I tell people, ‘I’m not in the business of dressing you up; I’m in the business of dressing you well‘.”

Manno’s is open Tuesdays through Fridays 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The store is closed on Sundays; and Mondays are reserved for appointments only.

To book an appointment or learn more about the rich history of Manno Clothing & Tailoring, visit its website here.

Ed Wright can be reached at 734-664-4657 or edwright@socialhousenews.com.

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Ed Wright

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