One of the Kansas City area’s best know custom clothiers now calls Prairie Village home.
Paolini Garment Company late last month opened its new storefront — or “clubhouse,” as proprietor Tom Paolini likes to refer to it – in the Corinth Square south suite recently vacated by Coveted Home. Appointed with plush furniture and hip accents, the new space provides the comfortable environment Paolini needs for its custom fittings and design consultations.
“This is where we kind of wanted to be all along,” he said. “This is really the epicenter of where our client is.”
After starting the company six years ago, Paolini eventually rented his first retail space on Johnson Drive in Mission after he outgrew working out of “dining rooms and living rooms.” He was in the Johnson Drive space for a year but moved to the Plaza with a temporary lease the second half of 2014. But, Paolini said, the Plaza turned out to pose some challenges for his clientele.
“Gentleman don’t just pop in to stores to do shopping on a whim,” he said. “And we found that some clients were having a hard time finding parking when we had fitting appointments set.”
Paolini has made a name for himself outfitting athletes with completely custom suits. The company is the official clothier of Sporting Kansas City, and serves a number of other professional athletes both in and out of town. (This week, for example, Paolini got in a custom-made blue sportcoat for Blue Valley North-grad and rising tennis star Jack Sock. Sock, a Nebraska native, had the jacked lined with Cornhusker red silk. His nickname, “J. Sizzle,” is embroidered in the lining).
Clients come to the store for a detail measurement session — 30 measurements in total — before reviewing fabric and cut options. Paolini then works directly with a tailor to have the suit or other garment created and has it ready for pick up in four to six weeks.
With the move into the new space, Paolini is preparing to expand the company’s offerings a bit, as well. They’ll be bringing in more ready to wear items, like trousers and cashmere sweaters, and will also be custom ordering unique fabrics.
“We’ll order maybe five yards of these, which is about enough for two sport coats,” he said. “Our goal is that you’re one of the only ones out there with that fabric, which is very different from even high end department stores, where they make hundreds or even thousands of the same coat.”
And, he says, they’ll be making use of the new, permanent space.
“This is kind of a clubhouse as much as a retail store,” he said. “We had an extra refrigerator in the back, and we turned it into a kegerator. We’ve got some Tank 7 back there. It’s supposed to be a great hangout spot for our clientele and friends.”