When’s the last time you heard someone described as a fashion plate, dressed to the nines, or looking like they stepped out of a bandbox?
If you’re unfamiliar with those old expressions, you’re not alone. The day when it was a matter of pride to put one’s best sartorial foot forward seems to have come and gone—that is unless you ask Michael Green, owner of Michael Boyd Menswear, who can provide you with a whole roster of clients who believe otherwise.
The businessman’s keen interest in the fashion industry started many years ago.
“I’ve always loved fashion from a young age, when I used to join my father when he was shopping for clothing,” said Green, who parlayed his passion into a paycheck, opening up H. Michael’s Men’s Shop in York in 1982 and going on to open Michael Boyd in 2001.
He operated both stores until closing the York store in 2005.
For 17 years, Green conducted business in Harrisburg before contemplating a move. When he learned that the property at 2205 Market St. in Camp Hill was available, he jumped at the opportunity to join the burgeoning business area that seems chockablock with boutiques.
“I think this area offers great potential and realized that 60 percent of my clients hail from Camp Hill and Mechanicsburg,” he said.
Although his business may seem anachronistic to some, Green has survived by evolving with the times.
“I recognize how retail has changed for men and how the dress codes are different,” said Green, who went from about 1,000 square feet in Harrisburg to about 350 square feet at the new location. “We’ve become very casual over the years.”
Among the curated selection of sportswear and dresswear are made-to-measure suits and sport coats with labels like Samuelsohn, Gran Sasso, Raffi, Emanuel Berg, Gimos leathers and denim from Italy sold under the Michael Boyd label. With the transition to cooler weather, Green is also carrying cashmere scarves, throws by Johnstons of Elgin and candles by We Took to the Woods.
He puts a lot of thought into everything that appears in his store, but makes it clear that fabric is what excites him the most.
“This store is all about the fabric—the industry and technology are evolving,” he said, handing over a soft-as-silk pair of slacks.
“That’s wool,” he informs, adding that the suits he sells are superior to those sold off the rack. “They promote ease of movement, they lay well, and they keep their shape.”
Green works on appointment for those who want his undivided attention.
“I’ll offer them a fine wine or bourbon, and we’ll go to work to create a look based on their needs,” said Green, adding that he would be loath to let anyone leave without looking short of spectacular. “When they leave here, they become a walking billboard for my store.”
David La Torre said that Green has a keen eye and a listening ear.
“He will discover what you like to wear and will never sell a shirt that doesn’t fit correctly,” he said.
La Torre, founder of Harrisburg-based La Torre Communications, puts a priority on buying local and said that Green is a valuable asset to the area.
“Twenty or 30 years ago, there were stores all over Harrisburg that provided this service,” he said. “Mike is the only one left, and he carries some of the best brands from around the world.”
La Torre travels quite a bit for work, but buys most of his clothes from Green.
“He knows exactly what I want and knows that many men don’t wear suits or ties anymore, and that’s all right with him,” he said.
Davis Mathews of New Cumberland is similarly complimentary.
“He completely renewed me,” said Mathews, who works for an international company and frequently travels to Europe and Asia. “Our dress etiquette in the United States is quite different and, as an individual in an executive position, I’m required to dress a certain way both on and off the job.”
He explained that nice jeans and a tucked-in shirt paired with a blazer is de rigueur when off the clock in those regions of the world. He also mentioned how his eyes were opened when he saw how he looked in front of a global delegation.
“I work out quite often and off-the-rack clothes just look goofy,” he said. “Michael asked me to invest in one made-to-measure suit, and I was sold.”
Mathews also likes buying his jeans from Green.
“You can’t find them anywhere,” he said. “You can wear these jeans, and they feel like you’re wearing expensive slacks. The level of comfort and confidence I have while wearing these, especially after sitting on a plane from 15 to 16 hours, is unsurpassed.”
For Green, it’s all in a day’s work.
“I love fashion,” he said. “I love coming to work every day and working with my clients and creating looks for them. I get a great feeling when I see the smiles on their faces because they see just how transformative the right clothing can be.”
Michael Boyd, Exceptional Men’s Clothing, is located at 2205 Market St., Camp Hill. For more information, visit www.michaelboydmenswear.com.