If you live on the East Coast and want to shop for upscale men’s clothing, you usually must go to places like New York and Boston. However, for the past ten years, snuggled between those fashion power centers, is a well-kept secret in Providence, Rhode Island. Marc Allen Fine Clothiers, where the fashion conscious man with a discriminating eye, can find just what he needs in the realm of bespoke suits guaranteed to set you apart. The clothier also stocks a healthy supply of accessories, ties, jackets, and slacks from favorite designers
Whatever you get, says Marc A. Streisand, who made his fashion bones working in New York City for many years before coming to Providence in 2004, “You probably won’t have the same clothing as the guy sitting next to you at a business meeting.”
Shopping in the luxury store is a low key, relaxing affair that any man would appreciate. The shop is small and colorful and its two orange leather covered chairs invite you to get comfortable with a glass of wine and pick Streisand or his manager’s brain as they help you discover your perfect fit and style. You will always be in good hands as Streisand’s manager, the equally adept fashion intellectual Jim Fortier, and their small army of four tailors goes above and beyond to ensure your highest level of satisfaction.
According to Streisand, the service of bespoke creations in clothing is a rare one, especially in Rhode Island. However, Marc Allen’s tailors are always at the ready to take your measurements and create the perfect suit exactly to your specifications and desires.
“We have a lot of unique clothing from Loro Piana, the most expensive men’s sportswear in the world, and we’re the only one in Rhode Island to carry it,” says Streisand. “And we’re one of only eight in the country that carries premier baby cashmere, made from a baby goat’s first shearing.”
All manner of stunningly beautiful clothing can be had at Marc Allen’s, which Streisand calls “classic with an edge.” From a soft as butter lamb skin jacket with plucked mink lining for $20000, to a baby cashmere crew neck sweater for $1500, here you can be outfitted literally from the feet up. The store carries Michael Toschi shoes from Italy, which mixes technology and luxury in the carbon-fiber soles that flex with your feet, ranging from $600-$800 a pair. As well as socks from Bresciani, Marco Liani, and Pantherella, all of which come in either cashmere, silk, or a combination of both and range from $40-$140.
Trousers can be hand-crafted for you from many lines of fine fabric the store carries sourced from Canada and Italy, including Luciano Barbera. Keep those trousers up with belts of leather or bison for $250. Scarves to keep you warm in high style includes a $6,000 beauty of baby cashmere and plucked beaver fur.
Get fitted for a fine one-of-a-kind suit from fabric the world over for anywhere from $2,900 to $35,000, which Streisand says “is the biggest thing we do; it’s our specialty and to me, the pinnacle of what a guy can wear.”
They’ll create a formal suit for you as well, from cashmere or Dormeuil woolens, sport coats of Holland and Sherry wools or Piana cashmere, and shirts from Sea Island cottons from Egypt, Supraluxe from Switzerland and Acorn textiles from England.
Whatever you need, they’ll make it, Streisand says: He has one customer who requests custom-made underwear, crafted from fine shirt material.
“Everything a man puts on his body,” Streisand says proudly, “we can make.”
Walk in here and be greeted by an explosion of colorful material, including racks of fine ties from Seaward and Stearn, or have your own made with the Marc Allen label of silk, wool or cashmere. Feeling adventurous? Check out the wild Camiceria Artigiana shirt of digital mosaic design for $350. Hot these days are smoking jackets of the finest silk, material that doesn’t hold smoky smells, he says, and will run you $3,500-$4,500, crafted like a sports jacket with braided collars.
“We have a store that allows you to have the best of custom made, or provides instant gratification by walking in and getting something just as good,” Streisand says.
Doctors don’t make house calls anymore but Streisand and Fortier do. They’ll come to your home, evaluate your style, and advise you on what they can provide that will accommodate your tastes.
“If a guy has 14 blue shirts, we’ll tell him to get blue, but we’ll implement it in a different manner, perhaps different shades,” says Streisand, who apprenticed in New York City where he grew up, includes Wallach’s Specialty Store.
And if you’re just into browsing and chatting about men’s fashion, that suits him fine, too. Come on in, sit down and just talk.
“I love educating customers about fashion,” he says. “I’ll talk about it all day.”
He got into fashion as a young man because, he says with a laugh, “I was short and wanted to attract girls.”
He even went so far as to grab swatches of material for a tailor to craft into custom wear just for him. And that instinct has not only stayed with him, it’s landed him in Providence, owning one very unique fine men’s clothing store.
“We give you the style you want,” he says of providing a matchless sartorial experience, “with the fit you need.”