June 29, 2022 5 min read
It is my pleasure to introduce featured Cool Summer, Haberdasher and Executive Clothier, Chuck Alf.
For over 20 years Chuck has been addressing the sartorial needs of CEO’s, senior partners, professional athletes, business owners, wedding parties and everyday people who want their clothing to look, feel and fit perfectly. Chuck's colorful personality and understanding of personal colors makes him unique in the bespoke industry.
We met several years ago when he was referred to me by an executive in athletics at a local university. Chuck and I immediately realized the blending of our services would be invaluable for the professional looking to invest in high quality suits and accessories. My male clients most frequent questions are about the combinations of suit, shirt and tie. Understanding flattering colors is important and also incorporating the appropriate patterns, textures and combinations is necessary to create a pulled together look.
Learn more about Chuck’s evolution in the custom men’s clothing business, some of his unique clients like the Buffalo Bills and how understanding his colors has influenced his business.
What prompted you to have a color analysis?
My color analysis done was prompted by a recommendation from a client in the college athletic. Selling custom clothing and helping people coordinate colors and patterns and styles seemed like a natural “fit” with connecting clients to their natural color story. If I could help people recognize what their best colors were first with the help of Kerry at Indigo Tones, it would make my services the most valuable and more professional than any other options in the Buffalo area. It made so much sense!
How has it changed your life?
Thinking more deeply about being a Cool Summer has impacted my life. Rather than the traditional combination of dark navy or black suit with a red tie like I used to wear, I started to opt for lighter gray suits and lavender shirts and ties in softer patterns with an overall summer feel. I’ve always enjoyed purple as an accent color for shirts and ties and really felt good while wearing them. But now I understand that a soft, cool purple is a go to color rather than an accent and that I shouldn’t do “accents” as they can be overpowering on me. Instead, I need to focus on a monochromatic, less contrasting overall look. While the “red power tie” makes some of my clients look powerful, on me it would overpower me. Who wants that? Thanks Kerry!!
One of the coolest things I’ve had the pleasure of participating in since was the design and production of the Buffalo Bills “Wall of Fame” jackets. We used Buffalo head nickels for buttons, red buttonholes and commemorative logos to signify the greatest Bills of All Time!! (Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Steve Tasker, Jack Kemp, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed, Darryl Talley, Bob Kalsu, Marv Levy and Kent Hall). I was on the field to present the coats during halftime of a sold-out game. What an incredible rush!
In what ways has it changed the way you approach your business?
I carry fabrics that will rival the finest men’s stores in Buffalo to the finest men’s stores in the world. My business approach has changed and added layers to how I make smart recommendations to my clients with regard to color choices for their clothing. Men’s clothing choices can be structured based off of professions and situations but accessorizing with best personal colors can add flair, excitement and enjoyment to how someone looks without looking overdone.
My clients feel more confident in taking risks when they know it’s right for them. I have taken a deeper role in helping my clients to explore their unique style and coloring than I did when first getting started years ago when the focus was more on trends. This allows me to stay up to date but trend proof!
“I really enjoy clothing and the unending options I have with contributing to the design and choices that I can have a hand in for my suits and shirts. Thread colors, functional buttons, linings, pic stitching, button colors, buttonhole colors. Chuck lets me run with ideas and we both get inspired by the possibilities. I think I’ve taught Chuck a few things and I know he is appreciative.” Scott L. Of Counsel, Private Firm
What has been the biggest challenge?
At first, my biggest challenges was opening up men to the idea that this isn’t just something that women do. Once they see the results of the analysis, they are interested in the science behind it and get on board. Knowing why certain colors “work” is empowering and confidence building. This knowledge makes me a better clothier and my clients better at making choices for themselves and confidently investing in their wardrobe.
In today’s business climate, men are wearing suits less often, but when they do, it’s a big deal. Job interviews, speaking engagements, weddings, business presentations. More than 50% of a first impression is nonverbal, do you want to risk that the chance?
“I enjoy my meetings with Chuck because he’s entertaining and insightful. He’s not vanilla. I’ve had him speak to my advisers about “dressing for success” on multiple occasions.” James H. Financial Director
Any interesting things happen while you were wearing your colors?
I’ve had countless encounters where people have complimented me on my clothing and appearance and it has led them to becoming clients! As a haberdasher, I’m completely aware that my image is on display and I’m modeling for my business. I always to feel my best and get the most compliments when I’m sporting “cool summer.”
What was the biggest surprise?
I’m constantly surprised at how people “snap to” based off of your appearance. 55% of a first impression is nonverbal and that never gets old nor does it stop amazing me. Why dismiss how you look when you can control it?
Tell me about your favorite color in your palette.
Lavender/ purple has always been one of my favorite colors for years. I’ve always felt especially good while wearing it and the color analysis clarified why!
Tell me about your closet.
My closet is largely based off of the clients that I call on. Attorneys and financial professionals are the bulk of my business. For this reason, my suits tend to be navy and gray. I work with clients who are trying to convey power, credibility, trustworthiness, being established, etc. I think of their wardrobe as foundational and structured inspired by archetypal or historical images like:
George Washington crossing the Delaware in a navy coat…
CEOs addressing their stockholders…
Attorneys talking to a jury…
I try to mirror them so they have confidence in my ability to help them convey that look. Getting my colors done has opened my eyes to how I can add one’s personal colors to enhance the staples but I bring more style and personality along with it.
“I’ve done business with Chuck for 20 years I’ve trusted his recommendations and he’s taking me to areas with my wardrobe that I wouldn’t have had the confidence to take myself. I trust him and I consider my friend.” Robert S.Senior Partner
I’ve got a cool business!! Thanks to Indigo Tones, it’s just simply better! As a haberdasher and executive clothier, I come to you! Meeting your apparel needs in your office or home. I save you time, offer you convenience and provide more selection than you can imagine.
Contact Chuck Alf: (585)750-5550
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