by TYLER HAMPTON
People often ask me how I arrived in the clothing and fashion industry, and my answer never wavers: it’s a personal interest. There were essentially no men’s stores within a 45-minute drive from the Lake Norman area, so this was a void I wanted to fill. Hampton’s is now beginning its tenth year in business, and embarking on a new territory: the vibrant village of Main Street in Mooresville. We’re excited for the relocation and look forward to joining the community of patrons and fellow businesses downtown!
The aforementioned personal interest goes a little deeper, though. I was raised to show respect, and the action of respect can be displayed in numerous ways- attire being one of them. I strive daily to make our customers look great, but to feel it also and carry the confidence and joy of dressing better than they must. Taking pride in your appearance is a sign of not only self-respect, but to those in your presence as well. If you go out looking careless and disheveled, others will suspect that you in fact, are, and don’t expect a higher level of service or respect. I once had a guy tell me he was looking for an outfit for a nice dinner he was attending in Charlotte. After asking him where and showing him potential options, he said he was only wanting to wear shorts and a golf polo. I advised him that he would be totally out of place in this particular restaurant, and they may not even let him in, but he was determined to just “get by.” He came back a couple of days later and said he regretted that decision.
The Covid years brought an influx of athleisure and overly-casual style, but that era is over, and it’s time to up your game again. There are plenty of ways to be comfortable and still look sophisticated; you just have to open your mind and try something new! Leave the performance clothing for the golf course or the lake… With the right fabrics, even the summer heat is easily bearable. Linen shirts, cotton pants, and lightly constructed sportcoats should be your wardrobe staples for the hotter months. A few summer style rules I always try to consider are: long sleeves rolled up always look better than short sleeves (and they aren’t any hotter); with pants, shirts are tucked in, and with shorts, untucked; and for going out in the evenings, pants are always more appropriate than shorts.
Going out for a date night? You know the lady in your life is going to dress the part. Match her effort and be complementary! Don’t be afraid to be the best-dressed guy in the room! One of my favorite restaurants in the country is Maple & Ash in Chicago. Their reservation confirmation reads “ladies, come as your elegant selves. Gentlemen, dress like you give a (four letter word that Ralphie says in A Christmas Story).” This is all just to say that next time you’re going out, consider what your appearance can say and do for you. Dress better than you have to… the right people will notice and appreciate the effort. After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.