David Gregory’s grandfather used a horse and buggy to deliver dry cleaning to his customers’ homes around Greenville in the early 1930s.
In 1972, Gregory’s branched out to provide formal wear to the community. This third-generation local business has continued to keep up with the times as well as the trends. Reinvented once again, emphasizing the goal of extreme customer service, is the newly-launched Gregory’s Formal Wear On the Go. The concierge clothing business provides dapper dudes with exceptional quality formal wear and a hassle-free experience. We asked David to clue us in on the finer points of formal dressing.—Ruta Fox
The tuxedo industry is somewhat like real estate: is it better to rent or to own? If you’re in a social circle where you are attending many black-tie events during the year, owning a tux is great.
But, if, for example, you are in the bridal party at a wedding, all tuxedos must match each other, so you won’t be able to wear your own, and renting from us is the way to go. We’ll make absolutely sure your tux will be flawless.
What makes a tuxedo a tuxedo? Historically, it must have satin lapels, a satin stripe down the trouser leg, a bow tie, a cummerbund, and a pocket square.
What are a few new trends in formal wear? I try to steer my customers to something that is timeless, which won’t date wedding photos. Lately, we’re seeing a slim, more modern fit. However, my job is to educate the customer on what looks best for their physique. For groomsmen, bow ties are coming back— I’m seeing shorter ties of the Windsor and Four-In-Hand variety. It’s coming full-circle back to a really classic look.
Enlighten us about black-tie and black-tie-optional. If an event specifies black-tie, a tuxedo is required. Period. If it says black-tie- optional, you can wear a tuxedo or a dark suit, but not a sport coat. Additionally, at a black-tie event, you can wear your own black shoes. However, at a black-tie wedding where you are a groomsman, you should wear shiny patent shoes along with all the other men.
Describe your exceptional concierge service, why your formal wear business is different, and what it means for wedding participants here in Greenville. I have aligned with the largest tuxedo supplier in the country, who has more than 5,000 locations that out-of-town guys can visit. This enables me to work with any out-of-town men in a bridal party who are coming to Greenville for a wedding. I personally oversee their measurements on the phone, which enables them to show up in advance of the wedding with a custom-fitted tuxedo that perfectly matches all the other men. If it’s local groomsmen, I personally go to their home or office to measure the guys, and then I personally deliver and pick up all the tuxes. My 40 years of experience means that I alleviate a tremendous amount of stress for brides.
What are the hallmarks of a well-dressed gentleman? Number one is polished shoes, plus a touch of the shirt cuff slightly showing out of the jacket sleeve, a pocket square, and groomed fingernails. It goes without saying that clothes should be tailored and fit well.
Who do you think are stylish guys these days? I think Lester Holt is absolutely the best-dressed man on TV. George Clooney wears the traditional tux so well, and, of course, Pierce Brosnan as James Bond really nailed it.