The thought of flying down to Birmingham, Alabama just to visit Harrison Limited is certainly something that has crossed my mind. At the end of the day I love clothing, but what I really love is retail. And when it comes to my favorite shops, independent men’s stores are by far my favorites. Case in point: Cuff’s Clothing in Chagrin. Men’s shops in the Southeast? That’s when things get really tasteful and very distinctly American. It’s both an aesthetic and an approach that I have come to appreciate and actively seek out as the true shops of this stripe are few and far between. While in Florence (Italy, not Alabama) at Pitti I spent about 30 minutes peppering the Oxxford Clothes sales guy about his favorite men’s shops, specifically in the Southeast. I wasn’t looking for stores with a more New England spin like O’Connells (I already know it, already love it), I was seeking classic, Southern, gentlemenly, tasteful, understated and confident shops. The Oxxford rep reminded me of Harrison Limited and here we all are. It was the perfect call out and it is an amazing place for true menswear.
Having spent some time with Mr. Billy Reid in Northwest Alabama, I love the state’s take on “prep” or whatever you want to call it. I love the classic menswear that emanates from places like Harrison Limited. To visit and shop stores like these is such an elevated and enjoyable experience compared to most retail scenarios. It is especially good when folks like Harrison Limited merchandise the place in an interesting and regional way, so you actually see something unique and new as opposed to seeing the same five brands that all of the other stores offer. The service and the good selection make all the difference – that’s the heart of the experience. If you have to pay a bit more for the product, it is very obviously worth it. It all goes back to a merchant with an honest, fair and measured approach. In a perfect world, every town should have a Harrison Limited. It’s a shame I can’t go by every Saturday, though eventually I know I will just bite the bullet and fly to Birmingham.