This week, as part of the Evening Post’s Get Lancashire Working campaign, we visit Hellewells menswear in Preston...
If you’re in need of a spare sock suspender or button brace, then head down to Hellewells menswear in the city centre.
The shop prides itself on providing quality menswear, from suits to shirts and anything else a gent needs to look dapper.
Hellewells has been kitting out the men of Preston since 1905 and claims to be head and shoulders above the rest when it comes to providing the personal touch.
Dave Seed, managing director, followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather to run the family business.
He said: “We are not just a normal, faceless multiple that you get everywhere.
“Around 90% of our customers are regulars.
“Personal service and product knowledge are two of the main reasons.”
Suit prices range from £200 to £400 and shirts from £35 to £130.
Brands stocked by the shop include Duchamp, McGee, Roy Robson, Camel Active, Eterna and Loake.
Dave added: “We get new stuff coming in all the time.”
Sales assistant Clarke Steele, 38, from Penwortham, sizes up the Preston North End players for their suits every year.
He said: “We do all the suits for PNE. We’ve done it now for about 12 years.
“I go down to the ground and fit the players up. If they’ve get a new signing we make sure they’ve got a new suit.
“There are some odd bod sizes.”
He added: “Everybody buys jeans and you can guarantee a guy is a size bigger in trousers.
“We will find somebody the correct suit and tailor it to fit them properly, which is important.”
Janice Bridge, part-time sales assistant for seven years, who lives on Pedders Lane, said: “I sell all the bits and pieces that go with the suits.
“I fix them up with shirts and ties because a lot of men can’t co-ordinate things.”
The shop offers a personal tailoring service for men who struggle to find an off the peg suit.
And it offers big sizes, up to a 21-inch collar, extra short and extra long fittings.
Eugene Mangan, tailor who lives in Preston, said: “I’ve been a tailor for about 40 years and I’ve been here 26 years.
“I did an apprenticeship in Ireland.
“We do all sorts, like shortening trousers and reducing jackets.”
Michael Corless is a sales assistant who works upstairs in the shop where the suits, jackets and shoes are stocked.
He said: “We have different customers but we have our regulars as well who have been shopping here for years.
“The benefit is we can fix them up all the way through.”
And Michael agrees that the personal touch, which only an independent clothes shop, can provide is very important.
The staff are happy to go that extra mile to find any hard to get hold of items from their extensive list of contacts.