Written By Shane Lueck
Photography by Heidi Garrido, HM Photography
Produced by Andy Lien
Hair and Makeup by Brett Dorrian Artistry Studios
The financial investment in a suit can be shocking for a first-time buyer, but it doesn’t have to be. And with more fabric and cut options available than ever, the wearer doesn’t need to be pigeon-holed into any particular “look” either.
From the beginning, Milbern Clothing has had a customer service philosophy to stand above the rest. “Well-known brand names are our stock in trade,” says Vincent Jenny, a custom clothier for Milbern. “Personal service is our hallmark — we know our customers on a first name basis!”
Founded in 1946, Milbern is a family-owned, third-generation business that has been providing its clients with “Quality at a Discount” in the Twin Cities area for 60 years. Originally established as Milton Clothing, a wholesale jobber, in the warehouse district of downtown St. Paul, the name changed to Milbern as they began selling direct to the public at discounted prices.
In today’s parlance, “discount clothier” would mean “fair price,” and that description aptly suits Milbern’s suit offerings, starting at $125 and going up to $695. Milbern even offers custom clothing for those who just aren’t able to find what they’re looking for in today’s menswear market.
“Our vision and aesthetic is rooted in ‘traditional classic’ with an eye toward current trends and styles,” Jenny says. “If you are looking for navy pinstripe we have it. If you want unique linen, we have that as well.”
Now located in the Midway area of St. Paul, equidistant between downtown Minneapolis and downtown St. Paul, Milbern has the styles and service to make your wedding day (or everyday) attire exactly what you were hoping for. Milbern stocks over 2000 suits in a wide variety of fabrics and manufacturers in two-, three-, and four-button jackets. Want double breasted? They’ve got it. And in terms of sizing, customers would be hard-pressed to find a more extensive catalogue; Milbern offers regular, long, short, extra long, extra short, and many of those hard to find big and tall sizes.
This variety in sizes and cuts allows the wearer to find the perfect suit to fit like a glove, no matter the size and shape. Whether that be larger or smaller, broad, masculine shoulders or a more curvy, feminine physique. In fact, Jenny has quite an extensive experience working with women to find a suit for their wedding day.
And don’t think the suits, though discounted, are anything to scoff at. Milbern’s collection offers quality suits by such big names in the fashion world as Austin Reed, Calvin Klein, Ralph Lauren, and Zanetti. They also offer an extensive collection of their own private label suits as well as a full custom made-to-measure department. And don’t forget the free hemming of hems and cuffs that comes with your purchase!
As far as trends go, Jenny says everything in suits continues to get shorter and tighter. “That’s great for the younger set,” he says. “However, after success sets in, a more traditional fit is both more appropriate and, frankly, comfortable.”
For the majority of wedding’s the suits continue to be in either greys or blues, although you’ll be able to find a variety of colors (maybe burgandy is for you?) and patterns (pinstripe, anyone?) to suit your personality. “On the periphery, we are seeing unique suits for destination and summer weddings,” Jenny shares. “Think soft cottons in earth tones and linens in shaded pastels. The one statement I make to all wedding couples is this: it is your day, you decide what to wear!”
For spring and summer weddings, Jenny advises to stay away from darker, heavier colors and cloths. “And anticipate a change in weather,” he says. “It is Minnesota, after all!”
And at prices comparable to a rental, Jenny noticed that suit rentals are on the way out, with more couples opting to purchase the suit. The truest misconception, Jenny says, is the cost. At Milbern it’s possible to get a whole wedding outfit for $165, including a shirt and tie. “If you prefer, we can create a complete custom ensemble for you at a very fair price as well,” he adds. “Milbern is here for you! After all it is your day, just let us be there with you!”
1685 University Ave. W, St Paul
On Oliver (left): S. Cohen suit ($495), Damon shirt ($45), True Forum pocket square ($30) and tie ($20) from Milbern Clothing; Boutonniere ($12.50) with leucadendron, agapanthus,and eriostemon from Luna Vinca.
On Bryce: S. Cohen suit ($495), Ike Behar shirt ($75), Bruno Piatelli pocket square ($30) and tie ($20) from Milbern Clothing; Boutonniere ($12.50) with slivered wood, agonis, and eriostemon from Luna Vinca.
On Oliver: Daniel Hechter linen sport coat ($175), Austin Reed trouser ($99.50), Modena shirt ($25), True Forum pocket square ($30) and tie ($20) from Milbern Clothing.
On Bryce: Afaazy sport coat, vest, and trouser ($175), Damon shirt ($49.50), Bruno Piatelli pocket square ($30) and tie ($20) from Milbern Clothing.