You would not know by looking at it, but in Wayne started out as a store that sold tie dyed shirts, bell-bottom pants and stacked heal shoes. It was the end of the 1960s, and the hippie- and disco-inspired fashions were just coming into vogue.
Owner David Abraham joined his father in the business in 1970 and has been its driving force every since: through the hippie times, the big suits of the 1980s, women’s apparel, suits and ties, and into a more “relaxed” century.
Abraham said that people dress more “casual” today, and uses the word in its negative uses: apathetic, without serious intention. “People have lost social skills, and getting dressed is a social skill,” he said. “Language, manners, dress — it’s all one package.”
So how does a business survive catering to dressing up when the majority of the society hardly does it?
“We found a small group of people who care about how they look and want to be successful,” he said. Longtime Wayne tailor Joe Dedda works out of the store. Abraham takes care of his customers and knows them all by name. He tells a lot of stories, and his customers reciprocate.
While the store carries sportswear, it also sells custom shirts and suits and sports coats. Almost everything people wear is “dressy casual” these days, he said. So they provide that, too.
Men don’t realize that people look at them and judge, he said. When people see someone dressed up at a restaurant or event, “They think, ‘Wow, that’s got to be an important person’ and wonder who they are,” Abraham said.
“If you want to be noticed and stand out of the crowd, get dressed up.”